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2016 Ford Mustang GT Review

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Driven: Ford Mustang GT Review

I was lucky enough to apprehend the Mustang GT for a short test, and this car certainly got me excited.

What is the Ford Mustang GT all About?

Now this is a car that I was thrilled to test out. You see, this is not just because of the inner American in me, but also because Ford never really gave Britain a proper right hand drive V8 Mustang.

Along with the 2.3 litre Mustang EcoBoost, Ford has finally gave us a RHD V8 Mustang.

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For this generation’s Mustang, the 6th generation, Ford reworked on the exterior a lot. Of course, the galloping mustang still trots proudly. A symbol of the Mustang signifying that the car is most at home at the wide open roads.

Our Mustang is in a very understated and stealthy Shadow Black, a £595 option. In my opinion, it definitely looks like a handsome brute. Aggressiveness had been the motto of the Mustang ever since its birth really, and it’s pulled off really well in the latest iteration.

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From the front of the new Mustang, there’s a giant black grille that is shaped to complement the front headlamps. The headlamp is of a slim design and threatening. The Mustang definitely sends the message of ‘get out of my way’ from the rear mirror of the car in front.

Additionally, the Mustang GT has a “5.0” badge proudly embossed on the front wings. The rear wings of the car bulge out nicely, and the rear tail lamps of the car are reminiscent of the Mustangs over the generations.

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The Mustang GT is powered by a 5.0 litre quad cam 32-valve naturally aspirated V8 engine. It puts out a considerable 415 bhp and 530 Nm of torque. Nothing to scoff at. Although the weight is worrying at 1.7 tonnes.

That engine is paired to a Getrag six-speed manual gearbox, although a six-speed automatic is also available. The gearbox drives, as expected, the rear wheels and propels the Mustang GT from a standstill to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds, to a top speed of 155 mph.

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Make no mistake, this is a pure-blood American engine, so really, economy is not at the top of the list when it is designed. The engine puffs out 299 g of CO2 per km and achieves a relatively acceptable 20.9 MPG. Yeah, this is definitely not your run-of-the-mill ecocar.

How Does it Drive?

All you have to do is just like any other modern car, sit in the car, press the red outlined start button and it’s ready to go.

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Let’s face it, the Mustang was never particularly well regarded for its driving dynamics, it was never praised as a local resident of Nurburgring, and it was never meant to be.

The honest and frank truth is that the new Mustang GT still doesn’t quite make it as a purpose built track car. The GT certainly doesn’t drive like a Lotus, but we don’t expect it to either.

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Don’t get me wrong, the Mustang GT is amazing on motorways. It’s  surprisingly serene inside, in fact, it feels docile. The engine grunts like a proper American V8, however, and you’re reminded that this is a proper Mustang every time you step on the throttle.

The 5.0-litre V8 in the Mustang GT is quite strong. Rev it up to 4,000 rpm and let the engine sing and it’ll fly.

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You constantly get the sense that the Mustang GT does not want to grip, hit the apex and pivot around a corner beautifully while catapulting out of it. What it really wants to do is slide around the corner in a barbaric manner while decimating its tyres to produce tyre smoke like no other. This, in my opinion, defines the American muscle and us British car guys can’t get enough of it.

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The weight is a fundamental flaw that cannot be completely solved, only mitigated, for the Mustang GT but it’s all part of the charm. People want the Mustang because it burns tyres. It even has a mode, Line Lock, that lets you do a burnout by just depressing the pedal. Ford has done their job lowering the center of gravity and adding a limited-slip differential to improve the outlook.

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Additionally, the Mustang GT feels big. It’s not used to Britain, really. The turning circle is a bit wide. But the Mustang is made to turn by flooring the throttle, overpowering the rear tyres and letting it slide around.

Remarkably, the Mustang GT stops rather well, no doubt thanks to the front six-pot Brembos. The massive ventilated discs paired with passive cooling from the vents allow the Mustang to hold its weight decently.

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What is it Like Inside?

The interior of the Mustang has never been a strong suit of the car as well. Nevertheless, the new Mustang GT has subtle improvements over the last generation, and some of it is pretty exciting.

First thing you notice are the leather-wrapped bucket seats, they feel quite comfortable and will no doubt be able to support you well throughout a journey. Colour options are available for the upholstery as well, with our spec being the Ebony leather.

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Although plastic is still used in the Mustang, I can’t do anything but admire the small details included in the new Mustang GT. Especially those switches right beside the start/stop button, that’s reminiscent of the old Ford GT, a lovely touch.

The centre console of the Mustang GT is relatively simple, although half-cylindrical shapes seem to be a big inspiration for the designers over at Ford. Most of the controls are handled by the 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system.

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The steering is a 3-spoke design, although I think that Ford put too many buttons on it. Nonetheless, it feels good in the hands. The instrument clusters are typical of the Mustangs, large, chrome surrounded binnacles enclose the meters inside.

Worth noting that the speedometer has the word ‘GROUND SPEED’ ingrained, all the more reason to be charmed by this car.

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Additionally, the badge ‘Mustang since 1964’ is also affixed to the passenger-side dashboard. The extra steps taken by Ford are noteworthy to say the least.

The Mustang GT offers a 2+2 design, so storage capacity is slightly affected by that. While it’s not a wagon, it offers solid luggage capacity at 408 litres. If you opt for the convertible, the roof takes 76 litres of it, resulting in a still decent 332 litres of luggage space.

The Experience

While the Mustang is extremely common in the States, over here in the UK, it’s still quite rare in the UK. So you are guaranteed to be the centre of attraction everywhere in one of these, people will look at you, and you just have to deal with it.

You can really feel the embodiment of straight line speed while driving the Mustang. This is a perfect example of a car that evolved and adapted to its home country, America, a land with many vast, straight roads.

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It’s a pretty fast car. Although over the decades, the competition has no doubt stepped up, with the horsepower war getting increasingly tight. That does not mean the Mustang GT is slow. The exhaust note is a harsh bellow that pushes the driver to go faster, although the engine is relatively muted at low speeds.

The Verdict

To put it simply, the Mustang offers comparable horsepower to cars much more expensive than the Mustang. For example, the Jaguar F-Type, which is nearly two times the price of the Mustang.

If you spend some of the money you saved by going for the Mustang, you can even go for an aftermarket exhaust system. In my opinion, that’s what really wakes the engine up by giving it a properly brutish growl.

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While the price difference can definitely be felt, the Mustang is a good choice for those looking for speed and substance at a budget. Yes, it has plastic, yes, its weight hinders the cornering ability. But it more than makes up for it in charm and panache, and it’s a car that part of Britain wanted for 50 years.

Video Highlights

Specification

Ford Mustang GT

  • Price: £35,745
  • Engine: 5.0-litre 32-valve naturally-aspirated V8
  • Power: 415 bhp
  • Torque:  530 Nm
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • 0-62mph: 4.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 155 mph
  • Weight: 1,720 kg
  • Economy combined: 20.9 mpg

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Author: Paul Hadley

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