Initial excitement has spurred on demand for cars with three pedals and a V8 engine, but Ford says this trend is short lived

Ford expects the 2.3-litre EcoBoost version of its new Mustang to account for half of sales by the time the model reaches the end of its production life, despite the fact an overwhelming majority have so far been ordered with a V8 engine.

Speaking to Autocar at the opening round of the World Endurance Championship at Silverstone, product development boss Raj Nair said that the rush to order the bigger engined cars would slow as initial excitement fades.

“You’ll see by the end of the car’s production lifetime the sales will be split about 50/50,” he said. “Early sales are made up of people who have always wanted a Mustang, so they’ve ordered it in ultimate Mustang-spec – V8 engine and a manual gearbox. But later on, that trend will change.”

Ford has delivered more than 1000 right-hand-drive Mustangs to the UK, with more than 680 of those cars featuring a V8 engine and manual gearbox. The alternative engine, a 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder, has proved less popular, especially when mated to the other available gearbox, a six-speed automatic.

But Nair expects forthcoming UK buyers to prefer the more efficient engine, which is 98bhp down on power but offers better fuel economy (35.3mpg versus 23.5mpg combined) and cheaper tax. It's also £5,500 cheaper to buy, starting at £30,995.

“Once people see the car on the road, others will order it in a more practical spec because they like the look of it,” he said. “This is a normal trend so we expected it to happen.”

Nair added that the Mustang is often seen in a more exotic light in Britain than it is in the US, so early UK buyers have been motivated to go all out and order the most extreme version they can.

The Mustang has also proved to be incredibly popular in other markets too, with sales in Germany surpassing more established local rivals like the Porsche 911 and Audi TT last month. Ford’s Pony car sold in 780 units during March, beating the 911’s 752 and the TT’s 708.

“This did come as a surprise,” smiled Nair when asked what he made of the results. “It really shows what people want – a proper V8 – and we’re unique in that way.”

Recently, Autocar reported that UK waiting times for the new Ford Mustang had reached as much as six months due to higher than expected demand. Nair admitted production times had grown, but saw the problem in a more positive light. “It’s true demand is so high we can’t build them fast enough,” he said. “But really this is a great problem to have.”

Our Verdict

Ford Mustang V8 Fastback

The Ford Mustang is available in the UK in right-hand drive for the first time, but does the rest of this American muscle car fit the UK car scene?

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Comments
17

TS7

18 April 2016
Now, if they were to import a few LHD GT350s...

289

18 April 2016
cant think of anything worse that a 4 cylinder Mustang....even if it was quicker!
It takes away the whole point of a Mustang....there are plenty of capable Euro coupes with 4 cylinder engines.
Still...if you want to be laughed at, and commit social suicide - knock yourself out!!

18 April 2016
Absolutely agree. Mustang must be V8. It's pretty raw and unsophisticated as it is, but by taking also the V8 away it is just a shell, a box with a name and no content.

No manual - no fun

18 April 2016
What Raj Nair says makes perfect sense.

Yes, I know and the V8 would be the one I'd choose but there is something else to consider. The Ecoboost engine will be cheaply tunable (ECU chips and cheap mods because it is blown) and sooner or later people will cotton on to this. 98bhp deficit at the moment but how long before someone like Mountune will have a remedy for that for £350.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

18 April 2016
Yes, it sold the best in Germany last month. TT is freaking expensive. Porsche is even more expensive (though good). Young people bought Ford, it's an unsophisticated sledgehammer but at least it's got a brawny V8, that's Mustang's forte.

No manual - no fun

18 April 2016
At least Ford moved the steering out of the passenger's seat for the UK - GM is still trying to sell LHD Camaro/Corvette here.

18 April 2016
The most amazing thing about this story is how few TTs Audi sell in Germany! I agree that as more Mustangs are seen on the road, less 'enthusiastic' drivers will cotton on to the car, but go for the cheaper/more economic option, especially if they are being run as company cars.

18 April 2016
Much as I like Mustangs, I wonder how sustained the excitement will be.

18 April 2016
Ford has missed a trick, I was a very satisfied owner of a Capri, and there are still die-hard Ford fans out there who would fork out if the name's to be resurrected with the right successor, all they needed was to just make the V8s here and with a styling tweak here and there to distinguish the two badge the ecoboost Capri and they would have trebled their production output of the V6s in the UK, alone.
The marketing people at Ford are too well fed...

18 April 2016
If i were Ford, ide quickly get the Shelby GT350 and R variants
over to Germany ASAP!!! The standard Mustangs are great but
Lets be honest the Shelby GT350 IS the real deal.
Its everything the Mustang Should be, only lacking but a few
areas it could be a bit better at (particularly weight)
The Standard Mustang gets everyone in the door. Drop another 3 grand for a supercharger atop the 5.0 and your well into the 600hp range.
And though The mustangs Aftermarket is legendary for the DIY crowd, the turn key Shelby GT350 and R would solidify what people have in their heads about a mustang (the positive). The mustang is never ment to be clinically perfect. is rough around the edged, and that roughness creates gobs of character, your car will mold itself to you the owner and jumping into another mustang will not feel the same. Thats would be a negative thing for say a porsche but not the mustang which developes a character a life from a machine. Thats what makes them so great. If you dog it, it will be a dog just like its owner if you treat it like an exotic will become an exotic.

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