The CS800 Mustang starts out as a relatively cuddly and benign 410bhp GT, but by the time Sutton is done with it, the thing is transformed into a snarling and malevolent brute. A stage-two Whipple supercharger, larger throttle bodies and high-flow fuel injectors bump power output to a faintly absurd 825bhp. The internals remain untouched. At £13,716, the engine upgrades are not cheap, and you’ll pay a further £3117 for the exhaust system and £1920 for installation and a 12-month warranty.
The adjustable KW coilovers, meanwhile, cost £2928 and the 20in wheels are £3120. This demonstrator ticks every single box on the options list, including a truckload of carbonfibre styling parts, which means the total cost is just about as ludicrous as the power figure: £101,735, including the donor car.
Some of the carbonfibre bits and pieces look the part, such as the £3270 bonnet, but the rear quarter window louvres and faux side intakes are questionable. You can at least pick and choose the styling parts you want, as you can for all the upgrades.
In this specification, the CS800 has massive visual presence. It can be hard work to drive, though, because with a short-shift kit, the manual ‘box is very tight and heavy and fourth gear seems to melt away entirely when the transmission gets hot. The soundtrack is complex and multi-layered; the rumble of the V8, the manic wind-rush of the induction system and the crazed rattle of the exhaust like Zeus with a chesty cough, all underscored by the wailing supercharger.
Quoting such a vast power figure does present certain problems; if the car doesn’t feel like the fastest thing you could possibly conceive of, it’ll be a bit of a disappointment. The CS800 is brutally fast and there are occasions out on the road when it draws in the horizon so rapidly that you feel your eyes widen involuntarily, but it doesn’t feel much more rabidly accelerative than the Nissan GT-R, for instance.
The linear power delivery means the engine doesn’t quite have the punch of a heavily turbocharged motor, while the gear ratios are long enough to span Cheddar Gorge. It all means the rate of acceleration builds and builds throughout the rev range, rather than taking your breath away the moment you dig into the throttle pedal.
Somewhat surprisingly, though, the CS800 actually finds good traction, even in second gear, thanks in part to those long ratios. They are so lengthy, however, that you rarely get the opportunity to stretch the engine all the way out one gear after another, which means you just don’t tap into the full 813bhp particularly often.