New York show: Ford promises 414bhp 50th anniversary Mustang

It has starred in more blockbusters than most Hollywood actors but now the Ford Mustang faces the toughest comeback of its career.

Mustang 2 resized

IT HAS STARRED in more blockbusters than most Hollywood actors but now the Ford Mustang faces the toughest comeback of its career, writes Nick Rufford from the New York motor show.

Approaching its 50th birthday, the all-American muscle car has been facelifted and surgically enhanced to recapture the appeal it had in the 1960s.

Then, it took the record as the fastest selling model of car ever launched. The 2015 Mustang will have the advantage of going on sale not just in the US but around the world including the UK, with a right-hand drive version available from next year at prices expected to start at £30,000.

Ford claims it will be engineered to suit British tastes with a new fuel-efficient 300bhp 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo engine capable of “meeting the performance and fuel efficiency requirements of European car buyers”. This will put it head to head with rivals such as the Audi TT, BMW 4-series and Mercedes E-class coupé.

Those wanting to live out their Bullitt fantasies ‒ a 1968 GT fastback
Mustang grabbed the limelight alongside Steve McQueen ‒ will want to
sample the 414bhp 5-litre V8 version.

The special 50th anniversary edition will be based on McQueen’s car and will come in a choice of white or blue. Just 1,964 will be sold (a homage to the Mustang’s launch year).

Performance brakes and tyres will be fitted, as well as 19in alloys and lowered three-quarter windows (harking back to the original) plus a unique badge at the rear and a special steering wheel.

Ford won’t say whether the anniversary version will be on sale through dealers in the UK (the decision has “yet to be made”) but it will be available through importers.

Ford repeated a publicity stunt last night that it first pulled off in 1965 by slicing up a yellow Mustang convertible and putting it inside the elevators at the Empire State Building. It was reassembled on the observation deck, 86 floors up where it greeted slightly bewildered visitors.