Road test: Ford Mustang 5.0 GT

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It’s no wonder the new Mustang has become the world’s best-selling sports car. At £35,000 for the 5.0 GT, it’s half the price of a slower Jaguar F-Type and sits in the same price bracket as the current crop of hot-hatches.

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A few years ago we all thought the Mustang was back, it had retro styling, a retro interior and what turned out to be throwback chassis technology. Basically it sucked and thankfully never made across the shores.

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Then something unexpected happened. Despite the recession, the rising cost of fuel and our obsession with the environment, Ford decided that WE could have an all-new Mustang… In right hand drive!!!

Two engine choices are available, a 2.3-litre ecoboost and a 5.0-litre full-fat V8. Don’t be too quick to ridicule the four cylinder unit – it’s the same that is found in the Focus RS and serves up more power (310bhp) than the equivalent V6  found in most rental spec Mustangs in the states.

That said if you are going to part with 35,000 of your British pounds, the V8 is quite simply the only choice.

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In modern times the muscle car is quite difficult to comprehend. It’s supposed to bring performance and style to the working man – but as technology has developed and evolved we have become a demanding bunch where only the best will do. In order to meet such high standards the car usually ends up costing six figures. Well out of reach of the working man.

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This all new Mustang has a far more striking appearance than its predecessor, its reminiscent of the early 60s cars with its high nose and wide stance. Yet it has modern lines and technology. It really is the perfect blend of old and new.

Under the skin fully independent suspension and lightweight materials mean it is more sports car than muscle car.

Fire up the engine using the keyless push-button start and the cabin is filled with the burble of a large capacity American V8. The manual gearshift is weighty and requires a fair shove to engage, there’s a satisfying feel to all the controls – a refreshing break from the lightness that is inherent in so many new cars.

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Accelerate flat out and the Mustang reaches 60MPH in just 4.8 seconds, as with any V8 the outright acceleration is only a small piece of the pie. There’s a mechanical roar accompanied by a jackhammer of torque – ready to lift the nose and hurry you along.

Combined with the snarling tailpipes, it’s hard to better the driving experience the Mustang offers. Sure there are faster, more precise and nimbler models available but nothing makes you feel this good.

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It’s the magic of a muscle car – let’s not forget this thing costs less than an Audi estate, yet gets as much attention as a Lamborghini.

Drop the clutch and it will spin the wheels for a good 20 feet, plus there’s a feature called line-lock which holds the front brakes so you can spin up the rear tyres. No seriously, it actually has this!

Out on the road its better than you might expect, at higher speeds the steering gets a bit light and you can feel there’s a fair amount of weight shifting about. But it’s hard to fault, plant your foot with the window down or catch a glimpse of your reflection in the shop window and its back to being the best car in the world.

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It’s not for everyone though. For starters, practicality is a little on the back foot and if you’re lucky it will return 22mpg.

However, if you love cars and you want to drive something that makes you smile, makes your passengers smile and makes passers-by look in awe of you then put the Mustang at the top of your list.

 

 

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