Sixth generation Ford Mustang arriving in December

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Crucially, the famous American muscle car will be more attainable than ever before as a result of the One Ford approach that has made the new, sixth-generation model a global, rather than US-only, model. It is also has factory built in right-hand drive.

There are further benefits for the Mustang’s migration to other markets. Ford has at last ditched the antiquated live rear axle and introduced independent rear suspension.

No one has driven an Aussie spec mustang, although there are a couple of 2015 private mustangs in the country. The UK and Australia will be among the few countries to snare right-hand drive production, and the waiting list 17,000km away is about the same; order now and it’ll be a mid-2016 delivery for you. The first right-hand drive Ford Mustangs are just starting to roll off the production line this week in Detroit, Michigan and showroom arrival is expected in December.

The all-new front and rear suspension shines in the hills beyond the City of Angels but the Mustang is no (Sunset) Boulevard cruiser. Whether on the regular underpinnings or firmer set-up of the Performance Pack, the fastback Ford is frequently bucked out of its stride. It does settle as speeds rise, though.

A driving mode toggle offers comfort, normal, sport and wet/snow settings for the steering, transmission and stability control, and opting for sport adds some welcome meatiness to the weighting, without becoming artificially heavy like some steering systems from German luxury brands.

Our GT test car didn’t have the performance park and didn’t feel quite as sweetly balanced as the lighter EcoBoost. But while there was noticeably reduced grip from the all-season Pirellis, compared with the performance-focused versions, the coupe’s rear end control remained impressive.

The V8, of course, is regarded by many as an essential part of the Mustang experience, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The 5.0-litre, carried over with tweaks from the previous generation, fires into life with purpose before burbling away on light to medium throttle.

It revs relatively quickly, building speed as if it’s on a mission as you head towards its 6500rpm peak power point. Ford never provides performance figures but it’s unquestionably quick – and all without the supercharger bolted to the same ‘Coyote’ engine borrowed by FPV.

As a sports coupe (or convertible), the Ford Mustang is never going to match the practicality of the V8 Falcons, and its urban ride will need to be fixed to match the Aussie sedan’s all-round capabilities. But it looks great with its classic muscle car proportions, and will help ensure the brand fills a performance gap post-2016, especially in GT form.

Thanks to chassis engineering that makes a bigger break from the Mustang’s heritage than the design, the engaging, rear-drive driving experience won’t be so alien to Australians, either.

The 2.3-litre EcoBoost is a willing and honest workhorse. The engine emits an upbeat, slightly muted thrum (almost akin to a Subaru boxer engine) that tends towards dull as it nears its 6500rpm cut out. There’s a suitably mechanical throw action to the six-speed manual tested here; Australian models will receive a six-speed automatic as default. The four-pot will hustle from nought to 100km/h in a claimed 5.8 seconds and sip on 9.0L/100km combined on a US cycle, using premium unleaded fuel. It feels perky when held in the mid-range, reaching a peak 233kW at 5500rpm and 432Nm on a band of revs between 2500rpm and 4500rpm. Below that though, the four-cylinder cannot muster its energy in the same way as a traditional V8.

Fast Facts

Coupe

Four-cylinder manual: $44,990
Four-cylinder automatic: $47,490
5.0-litre V8 manual: $54,990
5.0-litre V8 automatic: $57,490

Convertible

Four-cylinder automatic: $53,990
5.0-litre V8 automatic: $63,990

Engines

2.3-litre turbo four-cylinder (233kW/432Nm)
5.0-litre V8 (303kW/525Nm)

 

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