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MUSTANG PALLY (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
You could really form a bond with Ford's latest Mustang in Convertible form. Jonathan Crouch reports.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 65
With a 2.3-litre turbocharged engine offering the option of better fuel economy than the traditional V8, as well as a lower price point, this improved Ford Mustang should continue to be quite a success in Europe, especially in Convertible guise. The idea here is to provide sports car performance and 50 years of heritage for the same sort of money as a humdrum executive drop-top.
Backgroundword count: 114
A few years back, Ford announced it was going to make the Mustang in right-hand drive and offer it for sale in the UK, which meant that the same dealer selling Fiestas could also, rather incredibly, offer you a 5.0-litre V8 Mustang. Suddenly American sports cars didn't seem so stupid any longer. Sales since have been strong, so much so that Ford has moved to further 'Europeanise' this car. But will that dilute it's appeal? Let's see. Just because it's an American trying to blend in abroad though, don't imagine that it is trying to be a stereotypical European sports car. This is still very much a tyre-smoking muscle car. Particularly in Convertible form.
Driving Experienceword count: 408
The roof is fabric and must cover 4.7-metres of car. To start its retraction process, you have to twist a roof-mounted handle though from then on, the process is electric. Another potential irritation is that this process can only work when the car is at a standstill. Nor is there the option of a wind deflector. While there will be many who don't see the point in choosing anything other than the 5.0-litre V8, Ford predicts a good take-up of the 2.3-litre Ecoboost turbo four. With UK pump prices being what they are, you can see the logic. It's not exactly limp-wristed either. With 290PS to call upon, it'll get to 62mph in around 6 seconds in six-speed manual guise. As an option, Ford now offers an auto transmission wth no fewer than ten speeds. The brand claims that this new auto 'box offers greater fuel efficiency and improved acceleration. The gearbox's electronic control system enables settings that optimise performance for the car's various Drive Modes, plus there's real-time adaptive shift-scheduling that allows the transmission to adapt to changing conditions and select the right gear in any situation - from coast-road cruising to the drag-strip. In short, for the right buyer, the 2.3-litre EcoBoost Mustang variant could now be quite a tempting proposition. Look at the ballistic V8 version though and your resolve might weaken. Its output has now been increased to 450PS, plus there's more low-end torque than there was before. As for driving dynamics, well Ford claims to have improved these for European buyers with this enhanced model. Recalibrated shock absorbers should improve stability through corners, while the rear suspension has been stiffened with a cross-axis joint that reduces unwanted movement at each corner that can lead to body flex. Thicker anti-roll bars also better control body-roll for sharper handling. A new optional MagneRide Damping System can deliver a lightning-quick response to changing road conditions. Plus there are two new Drive Modes in addition to the usual 'Normal', 'Sport', 'Track' and 'Snow/Wet' settings. 'Drag Strip Mode' optimises performance for maximum acceleration from standing starts. And 'My Mode' enables drivers to select their own preferred settings for performance, dynamics and exhaust sound. In addition, the car also has a 'Good Neighbour Mode' that can be programmed to automatically limit the exhaust's noise output at pre-programmed times of the day to avoid disturbing your neighbours, not least when firing up the legendary 5.0-litre V8 early in the morning.
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