- ‘Enhanced engines, sharper driving, advanced tech’
- Diode lighting new colours, aluminium cabin touches
- Bullitt edition tributes to Steve McQueen movie
PRETORIA, South Africa – Sleeker, faster, more technologically advanced. That’s how Ford SA describes the latest Ford Mustang which has just arrived in South Africa with the automaker adds, ”more-athletic styling, sophisticated engine and suspension enhancements, and advanced driving assistance features”.
Doreen Mashinini, marketing boss at Ford SA, added of the car that finally reached the South African market only in 2016: “The passion for Mustang is stronger than ever as shown by its dominance of the global sport-car segment.
“Few cars deliver such a combination of heritage, style, and performance to such a wide audience – and this is the most compelling package yet.”
There are two shells – fastback and convertible in a choice of nine paint jobs – into which can be fitted either a 2.3-litre EcoBoost or mighty five-litre engine, each sending movement to the rear wheels through a 10-speed auto transmission.
REMEMBER THE MOVIE?
Probably not, as the movie hit ”the pictures” 50 years ago, before the latest car’s diode headlights and more-refined aerodynamics had even been dreamed of…
Then there’s the 338kW Ford Mustang badged as the Bullitt that pays homage to the Mustang GT fastback that featured in a legendary 1968 Warner Bros film starring Steve McQueen and Robert Vaughn and that fantastic chase through San Francisco.
These units will offer only two paint finishes – dark green (the same Highland Green as the car inthe movie) or black – and only 50 will be available in South Africa with only the five-litre engine but hooked to a six-speed manual gearbox.
While the styling of the cars has been further improved it’s fascinating how the designers have managed to maintain the ”look” of the original Mustang (which, BTW, was originally designed as a 1964 car for housewives).
NEW VENTS AND GRILLE
”The shell,” Ford SA explains, ”of the 2019 Mustang delivers a sleeker, more athletic appearance while retaining the instantly recognisable character honed through more than 50 years of production.
”The bonnet profile, however, is lower with and has air vents, and the lower grille design has been revised to give the Mustang a sharper, more assertive face, while improving aerodynamics.
”The tail has been further enhanced with a re-modelled bumper and diffuser and four exhausts for the five-litre units.”
Every lighting item – headlights, daytime running lights, indicators, foul-weather lights and three-bar tail lights – use diode technology.
Three new metallic paint colours are available – two shades of blue, and orange. New 19” alloy wheel-rims are available in a range of finishes (depending on model) along with (optional) 19×9″ nickel-painted, forged aluminium versions as an option.
The new Mustang interior, Ford says, has ”a more premium” feel with soft-touch materials for the door linings and their releases have an aluminium finish. Seats are leather-upholstered, heatable/chillable, and have six-way electric adjustment.
The automaker adds: ”The heart of the Mustang since the first model was launched in 1964 has been its power-train. Later came chassis and technology enhancements to enable the new Mustang to deliver the most-rewarding driving experience yet.”
Ford’s V8, Ford SA says, is now even more powerful and can handle higher revs. Peak power climbs from 309 to 331kW, torque to 529Nm, through a new high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection system – the latter improving low-end torque.
The less thirsty 2.3-litre EcoBoost can make 213kW/441Nm – the latter up by 11Nm.
The revised engine offers a ;;more responsive and engaging” driving experience thanks to an overboost function for the turbocharger.
The 10-speed auto transmission is standard (except for the Bullitt) and uses an electronic control system that optimise performance. Steering-wheel paddle-shifters give the driver override control.
Drivers can, for the first time, adjust the intensity of the Mustang’s exhaust to suit their mood and the driving scenario. ”Good Neighbour” mode will tone things down… especially early morning when firing up the V8.
The cars’ shock-absorbers have been calibrated for more cornering stability – the rear set-up stiffened with a cross-axis joint. Thicker anti-roll bars offer lean control for sharper handling.
Driving assistance tech includes auto emergency braking and pedestrian recognition and for the first time Mustangs will have auto-following cruise control, and lane-keeping capable of warning the driver by vibrating the steering-wheel.
COMMS AND SATNAV
An all-digital, 19cm, diode instrument displays according to drive mode – similar, Ford says, to its GT supercar. The cluster configuration will autochange according to drive mode and can be programmed by the driver to display a range of gauges in one of seven colours.
SYNC3 communications and entertainment which the driver can control through a connected cellphone with conversational voice commands or pinch/swipe on the 20cm central touch screen.
The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android AutoT. Embedded navigation is standard across the Mustang range.
…AND SO TO THE PRICES
Mustang 2.3 Fastback 10 a/t – R768 000
Mustang 2.3 Convertible 10 a/t – R831 000
Mustang 5.0 GT Fastback 10 a/t – R915 800
Mustang 5.0 GT Convertible 10 a/t – R978 400
Mustang Bullitt 5.0 V8 GT Fastback – R995 400
Each will be delivered with a four-year or 120 000km warranty, three years of roadside assistance, and five-year/unlimited distance anti-rust through warranty.
A six-year or 90 000km service plan is included.
Service intervals 15 000km.