Seventh generation Mustang ends 50 years of longing
Kids who spent the 60s with their noses pressed against car showroom windows had some pretty amazing performance hardware to drool over.
But in amongst all their dreaming was one that was impossible to achieve. The Ford Mustang had whetted their appetites but the closest they could ever get to the car in the metal was a 1:43 scale version from Corgi Toys.
It may have been good but it was no compensation for the real thing. But the good news is that this American icon, now in its seventh generation half a century down the track from its launch, is available in right hand drive layout from the factory and in the showroom at English Ford in Poole.
No doubt the window cleaners are having a hard time of it as a result but better than any window shopping experience is grabbing the keys to the stunning convertible Mustang demonstrator outside and taking it for a lengthy spin.
Classic Mustangs command strong money these days but they are hardly sophisticated. The new Mustang EcoBoost, with around 315 bhp and 319 lb ft of torque, has plenty of urge and is hardly slower than the Focus RS which share this engine in a slightly different tune although it feels quite different. In convertible form you might imagine it a mere boulevard cruiser but give it some squirt and it wants to gallop despite the bulky body.
It’s an easy car to drive and anyone who has experienced the scuttle shake of soft tops in the past will find the Mustang a rigid car, even with the roof down. There’s no hint of the screen rail hopping about in front of your head and the car also avoids buffeting the front seat occupants without the need for a windbreak to deflect the airflow.
Sitting back behind the long bonnet will bring happy memories for anyone who ever drove a Capri, the Mustang’s poor relation in Europe that did its best to fire the imagination but could be sadly lacking especially when fitted with the 1.3 litre petrol engine seen in 1969 when it came out.
In the Mustang, the EcoBoost is required to rev more freely to get maximum torque, slightly less so when it comes to peak power. But it feels capable and urgent – there’s also a hint of sporty exhaust note in the right conditions.
It’s easy to munch the miles in this car, with the electric seats letting you get the perfect position so you don’t feel too low. It’s really a 2+2 rather than a full four seater although the back seat is big enough for child seats or adults if those in the front are not too tall.
Ford’s stylists have kept the appeal of the original but brought it right up to date so the car is not some awful retro pastiche masquerading as a modern day relevance. Gaze at the coupe in the right shade of green and it could take you back to the car chase sequence in Bullitt, piloted by Steve McQueen and recently voted the best Ford movie clip ever by screen fans.
Of course, ramping a Mustang up and down the slopes of San Francisco, Bullitt-style, is probably not the best way to treat a car. Far better to take a relaxing yet inspiring drive around the English South Coast with the roof down and the breeze blowing, albeit gently.
On days when life needs to love at a faster pace, this iconic American can show a clean pair of heels to many other cars. It can certainly stand the pace of busy urban driving conditions and is a dream to bowl down a motorway, happily munching the miles.
Certainly, anyone of our generation, brought into their motoring years on the seemingly impossible dream of Mustang ownership, will find this car inspiring and not some retro disappointment lacking in character. But it will also appeal to much younger enthusiasts who can now discover what the fuss has all been about. This Mustang does the galloping Pony badge justice and at £35,245 is genuine great value.
Here are some specs on the Ford Mustang Convertible 2.3 EcoBoost:
0-62 mph: secs
Top speed: 145 mph
Bhp: 317 @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 319 lb ft @ 3000 rpm
Combined: 34.4 mpg
CO2 emissions: 184 g/km
Below you can see a picture of the Mustang's beautiful interior!