Power, Fun and Personality-2019 Ford Mustang Launch.
Very few cars command the respect and sheer legendary status Ford’s Mustang does, it does it with minimal effort, with best sports car sales locally, it can boast with the zest kaSomizi! I can distinctly recall my first encounter when I was told I have been scheduled to test a Fastback EcoBoost derivative, funny story actually , I live in Uitenhage, the car was in PE , which is about 30kms away, that morning I took a taxi to collect the car just so I could appreciate the drive more. Boy was it rewarding, a year or so later , the local dealership allowed me some private time with a manual V8 in Camouflage wrap. That drive was very sentimental as I took my visually impaired colleague with, it meant the world to him, for that am eternally grateful to Dale and his team.
July will never be the same after 2019, the small town of Montagu had never been stirred the way we did as we arrived with a fleet of ponies. Let’s go back to the beginning of that launch day, My first stint was with a drop dead gorgeous red 2.3L Ecoboost convertible, now it is available with a 10speed automatic transmission, still powered by a 4 potter turbo charged engine that generates 213kw and 441nm , what is new now is that it has an over boost function. In the looks department, this new pony is sleeker thanks to Darth Vader inspired front end, with LED daytime lights and a bolder bumper with sharper splitter. It looks mean. The side view highlights are those new 19” alloys, worth noting are the fact that now the Mustang comes with 3 different choices of wheels to choose from. The hips are wider, and nicely visible via the side rear view mirrors. At the rear twin pipes on either side, the world famous triple slit horizontal taillights in LED. The V8 now has the locally famous “4 pipes”. The improvements are notable, now it is easier for anyone to spot the new comer a mile away now.
On the interior the biggest transformation is the interactive digital cluster, it looks stunning, it is designed to match the various drive modes or you can simply individualize yours by clicking on the new added button with a Mustang logo on the multi-function steering wheel. The centre console is highlighted by the massive touch screen, and old school switches, must say I was not quite cosy with position of the hand brake. The seating position was okay, could be lower though, then again that nose is quite long. It’s a lovely place to be in , that sound system was put into use during the drive in the 2.3l , speaking of the Ecoboost.
It drives beautifully, power is delivered swiftly, it is very deceiving how the numbers climb, the 10 speed box is actually a great match for this power plant. The route we drove to our overnight stay is a must!I gotta do again, it really showed the prowess of the improved handling of the refreshed Mustang. It has just enough flex and solidity in varying road conditions, I drove in sports + for most of my drive and even that was not rock hard. It dances Kamnandi Nje!!!
The 5.0L V8
The first thing that blew my mind were the tail pipes, then the 5.0 badge on the side panels, and last but not least, THE SOUND….when it comes alive. It’s rough….. yet as revs climb it has starts being sweet audio pleasure, then there is the way it moves, if your wheels I slightly turned as you plant it, the tails wags like a happy puppy, traction control is good but has some delay. The vigor as you surge towards the horizon is one that changes your outlook on performance. The nose still lifts, it is a muscle car after all, however it is not as bad as in the preface lift. With 331kw and 529nm at its disposal, it shares a 10 speed automatic box with the EcoBoost, it has to be said the ECU running things works overtime, according to my friend and colleague Thami from In4ride, it is very good, I concur. The twisty bits do seem scary as it builds velocity very quickly, so one has to be cautious. The power hike is notable immediately, I can assure you it is not untidy, superb turn in, and you have a rewarding exit speed. The amount of body roll is minimal as the V8 is fitted with progressive dampers. The brakes are absolutely brilliant, smash them hard and you end up shaving a lot of momentum. It’s a RIOT!!!!
The Special One – BULLIT
It is available only in 2 colours , an deep army gree or a solid black, only 50 units are scheduled for South Africa,5 of those are black while the balance will be the in the famed Green . Only available in a 6 speed manual, the Bullit benefits from 7kw hike from the standard V8 to an impressively vicious 338kw, the torque figures remain at 529nm. Styling hues are neat and distinctly unique, these is no way you can miss a Bullit even in traffic. The retro wheels, and the Bullit badge at the rear are a dead giveaway, it just stands out.
The Interior is a just bliss , especially those Recaro sports seats, they are huge but cosy and serve a purpose, then there’s the steering wheel with the words Bullit smack dab in the middle ,a constant reminder you are in the presence of a LEGEND, and the most charming detail has to be the white golf ball manual shifter, it’s a lovely touch. The whole feel of the interior oozes performance.
How does it does drive!!!!! Wow Wow Wow…… depress clutch….start her up ….set the mode to Race or Sports plus, activate flaps on the exhaust, the ongoing shove in each gear is hugely entertaining, the beauty about a manual is you can perfectly measure how the torque is delivered. In here it’s just intoxicating; the sound of the blip sensored change downs, the exhaust note is louder than the standard V8 for sure and has all the party tricks. I actually doubt the difference is 7kw btw the 2 cars, that Bullit has some serious pulling power. It handles just as well as the standard V8, it is just magnificent what they have done, the drive was much shorter but it will stay with me the rest of my days on this earth. It’s a life changing experience.
The facelift comes with a host of safety features making the Mustang quite an appealing sportscar, Precollision assist which even has been equipped to sense pedestrians, lane detection and lane keeping assist which we switched off , it does interfere a little, and adaptive cruise control to mention but a few.
In conclusion, the Mustang is a car we all agreed at launch that will still lead sales and we all want one to own, for me the Bullit is a one of a kind once in a lifetime type of car , it is truly special.
Ford Mustang – Recommended Retail Prices:
Mustang 2.3 Fastback 10AT R768 000
Mustang 2.3 Convertible 10AT R831 000
Mustang 5.0 GT Fastback 10AT R915 800
Mustang 5.0 GT Convertible 10AT R978 400
Mustang Bullitt 5.0 V8 GT Fastback 6MT R995 400
All models come standard with a four-year/120 000km warranty, 3year/unlimited distance roadside assistance and five-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. A 6year/90 000km service plan , service intervals at 15 000km.
Thanks to Minesh and his entire team for an epic time at the launch….whoever planned that route deserves a Bells!!!!
Yours in Motoring
Wezile Lorenzio Bonani