It seldom happens that a high-end car launch creates so much of excitement amongst a diverse range of people. That is exactly what has happened with the launch of the Ford Mustang GT, which has created such a buzz that it has almost become the talk of the town. We drive this iconic car on the Buddh International Circuit and get you our first drive experience.
The Ford Mustang GT has been launched in India for INR 72 lakhs (on-road, Delhi) and this is the company’s first muscle car for India. As Ford has decided to globally make right hand drive versions of the iconic Mustang, the company has got the new Mustang to India finally. Ford Mustang has come with a 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine that churns out 395bhp of power and comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
DESIGN AND STYLE ;
Although this is the first Mustang to be designed for the global market, it still keeps its predecessor’s hefty proportions. It now carries a lot of design cues from the modern Ford line-up like the slim headlamps but its design language is unmistakably Mustang-esque — the upright grille, muscular wheel arches, strong crease running across the side and the striking rectangular tail lamps will make every person notice you as you drive by
The profile looks familiar with the hong food, two prominent creases slashed across the side and the tapering roofline which blends into the stubby boot. It makes the car look dynamic and helps it stand out from the traditional sportscar crowd. The muscular look is further complemented by the huge wheel arches and the large 19-inch wheels. But it’s from the rear that this car just looks menacing. The boot section is fat, the three slat tail lamps look rustic and the twin tail pipes point at what’s lurking in its heart. Unlike the old car’s boxy proportions the new Mustang looks more rounded but Ford has done a fabulous job of retaining the essence of what this pony car stands for.
COMFORT AND SPACE ;
The retro theme continues on the inside as well. The sizeable three-spoke steering with a circular horn in the middle gives you a hint of the 60s. The flat dashboard with circular vents and a huge instrument cluster with analogue dials adds to the classic feel of the Mustang. However, some might feel the styling is not that premium and contemporary compared to the Germans but the Mustang is meant to be this way. The centre console comes with an action packed touchscreen infotainment system having a fantastic user interface shared with the new lot of Ford cars. It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity that syncs your Smartphone seamlessly. The audio quality is crisp and rich but who needs to listen to music when there’s this beautiful symphony of the V8 engine.
The driving position is not that raked which means it’s comfortable for long journeys as well as city driving. The ingress and egress is relatively easy and you don’t need to crouch down hard to get into the car. The front seats are very supportive and snug and the cushioning is suitable for long drives. The rear seats are strictly meant for kids since the legroom and headroom is tight for adults. It’s only usable for short stints in the city. Some of the key features include Pony projection puddle lamps, rain sensing wipers, dual zone climate control, power adjustable front seats, ambient lighting, etc.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
While a lot of us expected Ford to introduce the Mustang with a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder EcoBoost motor, the company decided to give us the heavy-duty V8 instead. There’s no replacement to displacement especially in an Amercian icon. The 5.0-litre motor sounds angry and goes well with the aggressive character of the car. The V8 puts out 401PS of max power at 6,500rpm and an equally impressive 515Nm of torque. This is one of the few modern V8s that continue to be naturally aspirated. It’s one of the biggest USP of the Mustang. Push the starter button and the engine comes to life with a loud growl. It’s a unique engine note and very different to most modern V8s.
We started off by driving through rush-hour traffic. The engine offers various drive modes (Normal, Sport+, Track and Snow/Wet) that alter power delivery. In town, it’s best to drive in Normal mode. The large motor and quick throttle response took some time getting used to but we managed to comfortably drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic. The Mustang even gets a dual-clutch 6-speed transmission. It’s tuned well and offers quick shifts. The engine has been specially tuned to offer better low-speed breathing at idle speeds. The car is usable in town which proves that the Mustang is a capable everydaytool. We were surprised by the car’s touring abilities as we hit the highway. Triple digit speeds come up in no time and the engine is hardly stressed, the car cruised effortlessly too.
Slot to Sport+ mode and power delivery changes drastically – best felt on an open road. Despite weighing close to 1.7 tonnes, the car hit 100kmph from standstill in 5.4 seconds! This is an impressive figure considering the car has been detuned for India to cope with fuel quality. Top speed is a claimed 250kmph. We couldn’t take the car past 220kmph as the bonnet started to flap and threatened to lift up despite being shut properly. It didn’t, but the sight was extremely unnerving. Fuel efficiency is pretty decent, the car returned 5.5kmpl in town and 7.8kmpl on the highway, translating to an overall figure of 6.1kmpl.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
Whether you spend your time behind the wheel on the open highway or in dense city traffic, the 2017 Ford Mustang is easy to drive and generally pain-free. It’s quiet and composed on the highway, even if the ride can get annoyingly bouncy on irregular pavement, but it’s generally smooth. One option that can make things a bit bumpy is the Performance package (EcoBoost and GT models only), which includes a stiffened suspension that’s noticeably less supple. If you’re looking for a track-and-canyon-capable Mustang, that’s probably the suspension you want, but there’s a trade-off for daily driving comfort.
Even though it’s considered the base engine, the V6 is actually a pretty strong engine choice. It has respectable horsepower and fuel economy for the class but upgrading to the turbo-4 or the V8 is definitely worth the cost. The EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder is chiefly distinguished by its superior EPA fuel economy, but it isn’t very refined. It lacks the smooth and consistent power delivery of its German counterparts, but it’s a serviceable engine that incidentally improves handling due to its lighter weight.
The Mustang GT is equipped with eight airbags including knee airbags for both driver and passenger. ABS with EBD, multi-stage traction control, crash sensors and seatbelt pre-tensioners come as standard. Ford MyKey lets you program your key to a restricted driving mode before handing the car over to your chauffeur or any less experienced driver. The top speed and audio system volume can be restricted through MyKey. The back seats have Isofix mounts for child seats, too.
The sixth-generation Mustang represented a revolution for the iconic nameplate, bringing together a vintage-inspired design, state-of-the-art technology, and, for the first time, an independent rear suspension. Arguably the sportiest pony car on the market until 2015, the new Mustang got some serious competition from the redesigned Chevrolet Camaro. Lighter and more powerful, the new Chevy quickly rose to fame and dethroned the Mustang as the best-selling muscle car in just a few months after arriving in dealerships. Ford and Chevrolet have been playing this game for decades now and this is why the Blue Oval put so much effort in this facelift. The new tech and design features will definitely keep it fresh for a few more years, while also providing Shelby with a new base for the GT350, GT, Super Snake, and other beefed-up ’Stangs.