Review: Updated Ford Mustang GT is much faster than before
THE Ford Mustang has more grunt, a louder exhaust and a 10-speed auto that turns it into a slingshot. Here are five things that got our attention after a week behind the wheel.
1. Finally, it's quick
Despite the hype the Mustang V8 released in 2015 wasn't super-quick by modern standards, stopping the clocks in the 0 to 100km/h dash in about 5.3 seconds. The updated model released mid-year is capable of a 4.6-second time - if you use drag race launch mode. In normal mode it'll still do a decent 5.0-second burst. Tiny tenths of a second might seem incidental to casual observers but to the diehards every fraction counts.
2. Finally, it sounds awesome
The Mustang finally has the bark to go with its bite, with a deep yet crisp exhaust note and an engine that sounds like a V8 Supercar. There's a quiet mode if you don't want to upset the neighbours but most owners will leave it in loud mode. I didn't realise how important sound was to the overall enjoyment of a car until I tested the super-quick but almost-silent and dull-sounding Audi RS4 and Porsche Cayman.
3. I love the new digital dash
If you know anyone who has just taken delivery of a new Mustang be prepared for a long demo on the new widescreen digital dash. The driver can configure it in different modes, depending on their mood and what info they want to see at a glance. It gives the interior a decent lift. Downsides? The handbrake lever is still on the passenger's side of the centre console and the button in the middle of the volume dial still isn't a button. I've lost count of how many I've broken.
4. It's hard to see out of it
I forgot just how long the bonnet is and about the limited over shoulder view. U-turns and multi-storey car parks need to be negotiated with a little extra caution because it's hard to tell exactly where the nose is. Fortunately blind spot warning and large convex side mirrors make it a bit easier to see what's in adjacent lanes. The rear camera is reasonably clear versus some of its peers.
5. It still turns heads
This is not the car in which to travel incognito. Its bold looks still draw attention wherever you go, even with more than 20,000 put on Aussie roads since late 2015. The new sloping nose takes some getting used to but after a while it begins to look normal again. I also like the subtle changes to the tail-lights and rear bumper. But most people will hear it before they see it.