The first right-hand drive Ford Mustang has been produced, ahead of deliveries at the end of this year.
Around 1800 orders for the new Ford Mustang have been taken in the UK since January this year. Huge demand for the new Ford Mustang, which is available to order now and priced from £29,995, means the UK order book for the US-bred performance car is already full into the middle of 2016.
The all-new car is the first Mustang to be offered in right-hand-drive form and comes with a choice of two engines.
Ford says 70% of UK buyers have chosen the 410bhp, 386lb ft 5.0-litre V8-equipped model, which costs from £32,995 and sprints from 0-62mph in 4.8sec.
The final power output is actually 5bhp lower than that of the left-hand drive version. This is due to the location of the steering assembly on the right-hand side of the engine, necessitating a new exhaust manifold, which resulted in a small reduction in peak power, according to Ford. Torque, acceleration, top speed and fuel consumption figures are not affected.
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The other 30% of UK customers have opted for the entry-level 2.3-litre Ecoboost petrol engine, which develops 313bhp and 320lb ft. This variant can hit 62mph from rest in 5.8sec.
There is the option of either six-speed manual - which 55% of customers have chosen - or six-speed automatic transmissions. The automatic adds £1500 to the price.
The 5.0-litre V8 will be upgraded to 500bhp within 18 months of the car going on sale. In launch specification, the V8 emits 299g/km of CO2 and can return a claimed 20.9mpg, while the Ecoboost option emits 179g/km of CO2 and returns up to 35.3mpg. US markets will also get a 3.7-litre V6 option.
The first right-hand-drive models are already rolling off the production line at Ford's plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, with first deliveries expected in November. Buyers have been told that it will take around 12 weeks for the car to reach them once it has left the plant.
Ford of Britain boss Andy Barratt said: “We are now sold out beyond July next year, although that’s not a reason not to go into a dealership and buy one. I will do my very best to ensure we look after every single customer in the right way."
Ford has launched the new Mustang in both convertible and 'Fastback' bodystyles. The convertible body style is around £1500 more expensive than the equivalent Fastback, which 80% of customers have chosen.
Standard kit in the UK includes 19in alloy wheels, a performance brake package, xenon headlights, LED tail-lights and a rear diffuser. Inside it gets dual-zone climate control and Fords latest Sync2 infotainment system with nine speakers an 8.0in screen.
There are 10 colours to choose from, including yellow and orange hues that are bespoke to the Mustang, while the options list includes upgraded seats. 'Race Red' is the most popular colour among UK buyers so far, accounting for 23% of all orders.
The new Ford Mustang made its public debut at the Detroit motor show in 2014. It is the latest global model developed under the ‘One Ford’ plan, but Ford claims that the character has not been altered as a result. “We didn’t decide to do a global Mustang,” said programme boss Dave Pericak. “We decided to take the Mustang global. Everything we do is to make a Mustang, and then take it global with homologation. We didn’t change the recipe.”
According to Pericak, the fact that the hugely successful outgoing model was the conceptual starting point is partial proof of that, even if “the only commonality is the wheelbase - every sheet metal panel is different and only two fasteners are retained”.
Most significantly, the new Mustang now has independent rear suspension, a move that comes 30 years after most manufacturers jettisoned live rear axles. The change in set-up greatly improves ride quality, while the front suspension has also been redesigned to help make the car suitable for a global audience.
Even so, Ford has admitted it is looking at improving the low-speed ride comfort of its new Mustang ahead of its 2015 European launch.
Autocar test-drove the Mustang in Los Angeles in 2014. It received praise for its performance and high-speed handling but there was criticism of its low-speed ride, which was rated as being short of the compliance needed for UK roads. “As soon as we play with the low-speed damping we risk harming the car’s handling,” said global engineering chief Raj Nair. “Even so, we’re about to begin testing and there are some things we can do.”
An initial run of 500 Mustangs was offered for sale across 20 European countries during a special promotion at the 2014 UEFA European Championship final. During the match - held between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid - the cars, including 130 right-hand-drive cars for United Kingdom, were offered for sale and sold out in less than 30 seconds. In total, more than 9900 buyers tried to buy the cars.
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