What is it?
The inimitable Ford Mustang ‘pony car’ in 2018-model-year, entry-level, four-cylinder turbo form – and driven in the UK for the first time in that particular specification. Having brought us Brits an official factory-built, right-hand-drive Mustang for the first time in 2015, Ford has this year updated the legendary Mustang’s styling and equipment tally, and applied some tweaks to its engines and suspension.
Ford has also introduced the option of a 10-speed automatic gearbox available for both 2.3-litre four-cylinder and 5.0-litre V8 engines – although it’s the 2.3-litre manual we’re testing here.
Compare it with its pre-facelift equivalent and you may wonder how Ford has managed to update both engine and transmission, and yet can have allowed peak power, combined fuel economy and carbon emissions all to slip backwards – the engine’s headline output falling from 313bhp to 286bhp.
The explanation, as you probably won’t be surprised to read, has everything to do with the way that the European emissions testing regime has changed since the introduction of the pre-facelift Mustang; because the Mustang’s real-world performance is almost entirely as it was.