Pony to gallop
9 January 2004

Leading the charge for Ford at the Detroit Motor Show is the 2005 version of the iconic Mustang. Now in its 40th year, the latest incarnation is a real return to form for the original ‘Pony’ car.

Mixing ancient and modern, the stylish four-seat coupé was sired by last year’s stunning concept car and features numerous design cues from the Mustang’s ’60s glory days (see picture), such as the familiar grille shape with inset spotlamps, sculpted C-scoops in the flanks, a rakish fastback shape and three-piece tail lights. A wide, muscular stance and short overhangs add a touch of modernity.

The Mustang will be available in two distinct models when it goes on sale in the US in the autumn. Prices start at ‘less than $20,000’, equating to £11,300 for the Mustang V6 with cloth bucket seats, 16in alloys and a new 202bhp 4.0-litre overhead-cam V6. The range-topping Mustang GT gains 17in alloys, front fogs, leather trim, a discreet rear spoiler and V8 power from the ubiquitous Ford all-alloy 4.6, with 24-valve heads and variable cam timing boosting power by 40bhp to 300bhp. Both versions are available with either Tremec five-speed manual or a new five-speed auto driving the rear wheels.

Front suspension is by MacPherson struts and, at the rear, it remains true to Mustang tradition with a solid axle, though the ’05 model features triple links and a Panhard rod to ensure better locationduring hard cornering. Larger disc brakes are ventilated at the front and have four-channel anti-lock. Intelligent traction control keeps the 300 horses in check. A six-inch-longer wheelbase boosts cabin space and rear passengers sit in individual bucket seats.

Inside are more retro touches, with a ’60s-style double-binnacle aluminium dash fronted by huge chrome-rimmed speedo, rev counter and handsome three-spoke wheel. The instrument panel changes colour at the touch of a button to suit the driver’s mood.

Ford might have decided not to bring the new Mustang to Europe, but British enthusiasts will be able to get their hands on left-hookers just weeks after its autumn launch from importers such as Bauer Millett. ‘There is a real niche interest here for fully loaded V8s, which we’ll sell for around £25,000,’ said owner Lawrence Millett.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq