brand new Ford Mustang – a few generations of America's pony car tested
Source : brand new Ford Mustang – a few generations of America's pony car tested
As the brand new Mustang hits the UK, This particular time with right-hand drive as well as official backing, we check out the a few previous iterations of the galloping Ford
By then, more than two million examples of the pioneering pony car had been sold – a landmark the idea took Land Rover 57 years to reach with the Series Land Rover as well as Defender. Today, as the right-hand-drive, officially imported sixth-generation style arrives, sales are nearing the 10 million mark.
Yet the galloping ’Stang has barely created a tremor inside UK. There have been official imports before – even right-hookers, as we’ll see – nevertheless most of us fill the space between the legendary first-gen car as well as the outgoing style with little more than a fog of vague recollection.
Today, we’re joining the dots all the way coming from 1964 to 2014. We have each of the a few generations of Ford Mustang on hand – all privately owned, as well as all V8s, naturally. currently, there are online tracts dedicated to the minutiae of style years as well as variants should you wish to explore them. Instead, we’re going to sketch the outline of each car before shading in with first-hand driving impressions. So let the 40-pot cubefest begin…
This particular will be genesis, the automobile of which created a formula to last 50 years: sporting bodywork over a compact chassis (by American standards, at least), front engine, rear drive as well as live rear axle. Although notchback (read two-door saloon) as well as convertible bodies were available, as were straight sixes, the idea was the combination of fastback coupé styling as well as V8 power of which best matched the Mustang’s performance pretensions as well as elevated the idea above the Ford Falcon upon which the idea was based.
Cue Tony Pook’s breathtaking, Signal Flare Red 1966 Fastback in GT trim. Although first-gen Mustangs were available through a UK concessionaire, Pook bought his last year fresh coming from Arizona following a thorough restoration. The Mustang was created with tinkering in mind, as well as Pook’s car features a transplanted engine, the original 210bhp, 289cu in (4727cc) modest-block overhead-valve ‘Windsor’ V8 having been replaced by a 230bhp, 302cu in (4942cc) type of the same of which runs a four-barrel Edelbrock carb.
Installed inside largely original Inner surface, I drink inside distinctive format, finish as well as details: twin-cowl dashboard with wooden inserts, thin-rimmed wheel embellished with mother-of-pearl, chromed switches as well as compressed speedo font.
The V8 fires into a steady idle as well as begins to bellow as I pull away. More pedal pressure as well as the bellow deepens then gains a growling overdub – a softer soundtrack than Frank Bullitt’s big-block 6.4-litre 390 GT’s snarling wall of sound, nevertheless classier, too. the automobile isn’t especially quick (think 8.5sec to 60mph), nevertheless the powertrain’s noise, keen throttle response as well as top-end poke prove extremely addictive.
The ride will be loping nevertheless stable as well as isn’t the limiting factor when cornering. of which falls to the delayed action of the over-assisted recirculating ball steering of which’s further hampered by an understeer habit, as nearly 60% of the automobile’s 1400kg burdens the front axle.
Mustang II (1974–1978)
The white car here will be the black sheep among our group. A spluttering economy, rising oil prices as well as tightened emissions regulations blighted the pony car sector as well as the Mustang had to adapt to survive. The original car had stretched to 4763mm by its final iteration as well as had once forged more than 500bhp (in 1969’s 7.0-litre Boss 429 special). Something smaller as well as cleaner was needed.
This particular time, the little Ford Pinto provided the underpinnings, shrinking the Mustang to 4445mm. During its first year, engines were limited to an almost unbelievably meek 88bhp four-pot as well as a 105bhp type of the 2.8-litre Cologne V6 later seen inside Mk3 Capri.
Yet the idea was a forecourt success, tripling sales to 386,000 in 1974. The 302 V8 returned in 1975, producing just 122bhp. So equipped will be Tony Wilcox’s notchback Mustang II Ghia.
Ghia spec includes the part-vinyl roof as well as a plump, cosy burgundy boudoir of an Inner surface of which’s mainly trimmed in velour as well as adventurously textured plastics. The big surprise will be a starboard-mounted tiller, an official conversion supplied via Ford’s imports office in Mayfair. The Mustang II remained the only sanctioned right-hand-drive UK style until 2015.
Underpowered or not, the idea’s still a V8, rumbling at idle. the idea chugs endearingly under load as well as offers unexpected perkiness above 3000rpm, although progress remains stately. The primary ride will be (almost) as forgiving as the plush upholstery, nevertheless sharper bumps resonate. The steering will be far more responsive than inside ’66 nevertheless spookily light in constant-radius cornering.
This particular ’Stang kept the nameplate alive during a difficult period as well as deserves recognition for of which.
‘Fox Centeng’ (1979–1993)
These were still uncertain times, nevertheless upon the Fox platform (which supported myriad Fords, Mercurys as well as Lincolns) the Mustang was slowly as well as tentatively ushered back into performance territory. Facelifts in 1983 as well as 1987 modernised its design inside as well as out, rear leaf springs were at last dropped in favour of coils as well as a a few-speed manual gearbox emerged.
Don Hardy works at Ford’s Dagenham engine plant as well as will be a Fox hunter of the legal kind, owning several as well as co-founding the ‘Fox Doctors’ owners club.
By the time his 1987 car was built, carburettors had been dropped altogether, as well as his High Output V8 (still the venerable 302) makes a decent 225bhp. Drop-tops were reintroduced after their Series II absence, nevertheless Hardy’s will be one of a few tin-top GTs adapted by coachbuilder American Sunroof Corporation into two-seat convertibles designed to court Mercedes-Benz SL fans using a bodykit, fared-in roof mechanism as well as lashings of hide to embellish the two-tone plastic Inner surface.
Despite the oddly high seating position of which brushes my head against a roof cross member, the Fox features a lower, sportier stance than the Mustang II. The speedo goes up to only 85mph, nevertheless contemporary tests put the automobile’s top speed at just under 150mph, with 0-60mph taking 6.4sec. the idea’s tractable coming from below 2500rpm, meaning kickdown isn’t essential for overtaking, yet some of the ’66 Fastback’s bellowing urgency will be revived inside Fox’s 4000-5000rpm sweet spot.
The steering will be much increased, too – not quick, nevertheless consistent as well as with some feel – as well as although the ride remains soft with occasional jitters, Centeng control will be far neater than before. the idea’s a driving experience of which’s easily recognisable as a Mustang’s.
inside light of the 2015 Mustang’s entry-level 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine, an apposite side note to the Fox’s story will be the 1984 limited-run, twin-spoilered SVO, which used a turbocharged type of the Mustang II’s 2.3 to make 175bhp with the help of an IMSA racing-bred intercooler. The SVO impressed at the time with its combination of performance, composure as well as understeer-curbing set-up.
SN95 as well as ‘brand new Edge’ (1994–2004)
The Fox platform was heavily modified rather than replaced for the SN95-generation car (introducing range-wide all-disc brakes inside process) nevertheless the idea was the end of the line for the modest-block Windsor V8, retired in 1995 after three decades of Mustang service. Although the SN95’s 302 produced a still-conservative 215bhp, there was a final flourish for the Windsor inside stroked 300bhp 5.8-litre SVT Cobra R road-going racer.
A 3.8-litre Essex V6 anchored the range, nevertheless the GT’s engine bay was filled using a 16-valve SOHC type of Ford’s brand new modular 4.6-litre V8. Initially no more powerful than the 302, its output rose to 260bhp for the 1999 facelift of which also sharpened the external surfaces to fit Ford’s global ‘brand new Edge’ design language.
After a 30-year canter, the Mustang finally broke into a gallop again in 2003. The brand new Edge SVT Cobra – the first (as well as until 2015 the only) Mustang with independent rear suspensiovn – produced 390bhp using a supercharged 32-valve DOHC type of the 4.6 V8 to hit 60mph in 4.6sec. The Mach 1 badge, introduced in 1969, was revived to sit below the idea, bringing us to Kevin Mortimer-Hampson’s car.
Its extrovert external surfaces will be countered by a conservative cabin: plastic-heavy nevertheless functional, with gentle nods to early Mustangs. Upon ignition, the ‘shaker’ air scoop justifies its name, quaking atop a naturally aspirated 32-valve 4.6 of which makes 305bhp in stock form nevertheless more like 360bhp here, thanks to intake as well as exhaust upgrades as well as a custom remap. The engine note will be higher-pitched than the modest block’s nevertheless still aggressive, as well as the exhaust tone will be moreishly thunderous. coming from 2800rpm, there’s real clout, too.
Although the suspension will be factory-lowered, the ride will be extremely comfortable, yet the accompanying dive as well as roll are stable. A chunky aftermarket short-shift kit requires little articulation between a few manual ratios nevertheless takes two deliberate movements, as well as the over-light steering doesn’t reassure. nevertheless the Mach 1 proves a barnstorming cruiser, as well as great fun for the idea.
the idea was back to the future when the next Mustang was previewed at the 2003 Detroit motor show; the GT concept traced the silhouette of the original Fastback as well as borrowed plenty of external surfaces as well as Inner surface details. The S197 production style retained most of of which atop Ford’s D2C platform, which was related to the Jaguar S-Type’s. brand new front suspension was influenced by the Mondeo, yet the modified rear axle remained solid.
nevertheless the brand new car was also more than 150mm longer as well as wider than the original as well as around 300kg heavier. Indeed, Patrick Howson’s 2005 car makes the ’66 Fastback look delicate as well as petite. Although a V6 engine as well as convertible Centeng were available, like most S197s imported to the UK, Howson’s will be a GT coupé featuring a 300bhp 24-valve type of the 4.6 V8 equipped with variable valve timing.
By European yardsticks, the idea’s not sophisticated, nevertheless the S197 will be a far slicker proposition than any of its forebears in both quality as well as dynamics, coming from the upgraded Inner surface finishes to the well-weighted, progressive steering as well as vastly increased Centeng control. There’s even a heightened appetite for cornering, partly due to a front-end mass of which’s closer to 50% than 60%.
The a few-speed auto ’box doesn’t get the best coming from the V8 as well as the screaming aftermarket exhaust isn’t quite equalled by the engine’s performance; 4000rpm will be needed before the idea actually starts to heave. (For full fireworks, see the 653bhp supercharged 5.8-litre GT500 coming from 2013.) nevertheless This particular will be still a 5.2sec-to-60mph car as well as the most complete Mustang so far.
A 2010 makeover was followed by the introduction of the brand new Coyote type of the modular V8 – a 5.0-litre, 32-valve DOHC unit Great for 412bhp. as well as the idea’s This particular engine as well as the S197’s retro design ethos of which form the building blocks of the 2015 Mustang.
the idea has been a treat to drive these diverse cars, each one an idiosyncratic character of which reinterpreted the Mustang spirit for its time. For our time, there’s independent rear suspension, right-hand drive as well as official UK sales. We could be the luckiest ones yet.
Before the ‘Mustang’ name was signed off, ‘Avanti’, ‘Allegro’, ‘Torino’ as well as ‘Cougar’ were all considered, the last even being realised into a feline badge on late pre-production cars.
Although various other horse emblems were considered, the winning sketch came coming from Phil Clark, designer of the Mk1 Capri. In some applications, patriotic red, white as well as blue bars were added as well as a ‘corral’ border was applied on the grille to enclose the horse. In 1963 modeller Charles Keresztes revised Clark’s design in clay before finalising the idea in a wooden sculpture, as well as the badge has barely changed since.
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