In 2016 the new Ford Mustang finally landed on Irish shores. The car has been in production for more than fifty years and it has taken the manufacturer this long to make it available in right hand drive. The wait was long and while many of us expected it to land in 2015, we were made to wait. Was it worth it? Probably, never before have we seen so many heads turn as we test drove a vehicle. Thumbs-up were given by cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers alike. It's iconic muscle car on Irish roads - a good combination.
Two engines have been made available for the Irish market. The 2.3 Ecoboost and the 5.0. While we all know that a Mustang isn't a Mustang with that 5.0 badge, please don't be put off by the lesser 2.3 Ecoboost. This tiny engine offers plenty of grunt and some nice figures. On-paper we're told that it'll bring you from 0-100km/h in 5.8 seconds and it offers a not-to-be-mocked 317hp. However, once you get a whiff of the 5.0 V8, you realise that you can't really match its growl. On-paper the 5.0 brings you from 0-100km/h in under 5 seconds and 435 hp.
On the road the Ford Mustang surprises. It handles better than you would expect - especially considering its size. It can be wobbly on uneven surfaces, but to cruise with, it is a satisfying ride. If you take off a bit too eagerly though, traction can be lost - this can happen with both engines, such is the power on offer. Inside the V8 you'll find a short shifting six-speed manual gearbox - it's all a delight to use. Steering is light and while it can feel wide on corners (because of its size), it actually deals with them quite well.
When it comes to refinement, the Mustang is only as good as it should be. Usually at this point we talk about not letting external noises into the car, but the whole idea of a muscle car like this is hearing the growl of the engine and the rumble of the road. The 5.0 sounds like your sitting with Steve McQueen. The same can be said about the 2.3, but what you hear on the inside is synthetic - it's been put there for our aural pleasure.
The plastics in the interior are hard wearing, but some of them feel a bit cheap to the touch. Apart from that, the leather upholstery in our test models were more than comfortable and appear to be of high quality. One issue that we did have with our 2.3 Ecoboost convertible test model was that it wouldn't start on four occasions. To fix, this required the car to be left alone for a few minutes and then it started again. We asked Ford to look at this, unfortunately (or fortunately) the problem did not arise for them. So it's something I'd keep an eye out for. We will say that our test model was on fleet for a long enough time and that it has been put through its paces more than your average vehicle - so this might explain it.
The Ford Mustang has not undergone Euro NCAP safety testing. This monster comes with a high performance braking system which uses four-piston brake calipers and ventilated discs. To lessen wheel spin, it uses an advanced traction control system - which keeps grip steady. The new Mustang also comes with Ford's SYNC2 emergency assistance - connects you to emergency services if the car is in an accident - it also passes the car's location to the emergency services.
This is a 2 door coupe (or convertible). While it may have two seats to the rear, they are of no real use to anyone over the age of ten due to a lack of leg room. However, we can't relly complain about this space because this car is clearly meant for two people. The boot space is 320 litres in the convertible.