WHAT IS IT?
The Ford Mustang is the original muscle car – a car engineered to be fast and make a lot of noise. The Mustang pictured is the sixth generation, and it is the ragtop or convertible version.
Rollin' in my 5.0,
With my rag-top down so my hair can blow,
The girlies on standby waving just to say hi,
Did you stop? No, I just drove by.
- Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice
I know, quoting Vanilla Ice both shows my age and my extreme levels of uncoolness, but I just can’t help it. Every time I got in the Ford Mustang Convertible, dropped the hood and took off, these lyrics popped, unbidden and unwanted, into my mind. You want a Mustang because it’s part of pop culture – a legendary icon that, like Elvis, is recognised by only one name.
For a two-door convertible, the Mustang is big. American big, which means it stands out on the road and is hard to miss.
This new Mustang has loads of odes to the more historic generations, to the extent that you can see just a silhouette of one and immediately know what it is. I loved that open maw of a grille, silver horse galloping across it, and the LED headlights, all angular and rakish. The black fabric roof, I think, weakens the original design (but which convertible looks as good as the coupe?), but the character lines along the bonnet and sides make it a sexy car, especially when the roof is dropped. The best angle of the car is from the rear, where the light bar has been made to look so very Mustangish.
As we said, there is space for days in the Mustang, to the extent that I could do the most un-Mustang thing and fit two kid’s seats in the back. The leather seats are big and comfy, the steering wheel feels like that of a sports car, and there is a nice modern entertainment system based around an 8-inch touchscreen. The New Mustang is offered with a comprehensive range of driver assistance technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection – designed to reduce the severity of and, in some cases, even mitigate frontal collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians.
For the first time Mustang is equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert technologies that help drivers maintain an appropriate distance to the vehicle ahead, as well as Lane Departure Warning that can warn when drivers unintentionally drift out of lane, and Lane Keeping Aid that can apply torque to the steering wheel to steer the vehicle back into lane.
Unfortunately the Mustang I drove wasn’t the 5.0 (5-litre V8, producing 331kW and 529Nm) but the more sensible, economical 2.3 Ecoboost. It was, however, a rag-top, and if I had hair it would have been blowing.
The turbocharged 2.3 Ecoboost produces power of 213kW and torque of 441Nm, so it still has plenty of power to get the large muscle car moving, and the rear-wheel-drive layout makes it fun to drive. A 10-speed automatic gearbox does duty across the range, and it’s a good one.
A great feature is being able to choose between different drive modes, some comfortable and others harsher but more fun and easier to drive fast.
It is a privilege to have driven the Mustang and to have experienced the icon on the open road. If you are after street-cred and don’t mind being stared at, the Mustang ragtop is for you. There are better drivers’ cars out there, and there are cars with better interior build quality, but the Mustang has a presence and a uniqueness that few cars can match. If you can, swing for the 5.0 though.
GO GET IT
The Mustang range starts at R859 000, while the 2.3 Convertible is R928 800. A 5.0 Fastback will cost you R1 023 700, and the Ice Ice Baby 5.0 ragtop is R1 093 000. Ford Protect comes standard, which comprises a 4-year/120 000km Warranty and 6-year/90 000km Service Plan is included, as well as 3-year/unlimited distance roadside assistance.
Visit www.ford.co.za for more information.
- The muscle-car styling
- The street cred
- The drop-top value
- Spec level
- The interior build quality
- The 2.3 isn’t the 5.0!