Magic Mustang muscle

Ford Mustang, 2018, side, action
Ford Mustang, 2018, front, action
Ford Mustang, 2018, front
Ford Mustang, 2018, rear, action
Ford Mustang, 2018, interior
Ford Mustang, 2018, V8 engine
Ford Mustang Convertible, 2018, side
Ford Mustang Convertible, 2018, front
Ford Mustang Convertible, 2018, rear
Ford Mustang, 2018, cockpit
Ford Mustang, 2018, sill
Ford Mustang, 2018, badge

THE all-new 2018 Ford Mustang is better looking, more powerful and faster than ever.

It now looks even sleeker than before but thankfully the designers have added to its muscular appearance without spoiling its striking looks.

It is still available as both a fastback (coupe) and a convertible and looks fantastic in either style.

At the front the bonnet has been lowered and it now features integrated air intakes and under it sits a revised grille.

The changes make it look sharper and at the same time have improved the Mustang's aerodynamics with a front splitter helping to keep all the power planted to the road.

A new rear bumper freshens the rump and quad tailpipes now produce a superb sound that is guaranteed to make you grin.

Three fantastic new colours are available for the exterior with my favourite beingKonaBlue - you can also choose Orange Fury or Royal Crimson.

New 19-inch alloys add to the cars stunning looks and they can be in Nickel, Ebony Black or Polished Aluminium. LED headlights are standard in all models and now have daytime running lights and LED tail lamps.

Changes to the cabin mean the Mustang now has a more premium feel with soft touch materials featuring on the door linings and dash while the handles are now finished in aluminium.

The centreconsolehas a hand-stitched soft-touch wrap and the instrument panel surround is available in four new aluminium finishes.

A new engine-start button pulses red from the moment the door is unlocked and only stops when the engine is fired into life. Apparently it pulses at 30 beats per minute - the resting heart rate of a pony.

A customisable 12-inch digital instrument cluster offers multiple configurations to suit the taste of drivers and there is also an eight-inch Ford SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment system which offers Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

There's also the option of a Carbon Sport package which provides suede-effectAlcantaradoor and seat inserts, plus a carbon fibre instrument panel surround and gear knob.

Leather trimmed heated and cooled seats and a heated steering wheel are offered across the range for the first time and customers who opt for the leatherRecaroracing seat option can select from threecolours.

Two engines are available and both have been tweaked and improved to provide greater performance and slightly better economy.

Both can be had with a choice of a nice 10-speed automatic gearbox or a six-speed manual.

The more fuel-efficient 2.3-litreEcoBoostengine delivers 290ps and can deliver a claimed 31.4mpg on the combined cycle with a top speed of 145mph. Emissions are rated at 209g/km.

It takes just 5.8 seconds to reach 62mph with the manual gearbox and 5.5 seconds with the automatic. It feels smooth and more refined than before and packs enough punch for most drivers.

If you want the ultimate in performance go for the superb 5.0-litre V8 which has been developed to give 450ps and will fire you to 62mph in just 4.3 seconds before going on at a rush to a limited top speed of 155mph.

It is simply exhilarating to drive and makes a wonderful noise that can be appreciated in the Fastback or Convertible. There is nothing quite like it and as for economy who cares?

The new Mustang is also equipped with Launch Control to improve its off-the-line performance and engineers have worked hard on the stuff you don't see to improve the car's handling and I certainly felt the benefits on the twisting roads of the French Riviera.

Two new Drive Modes - Drag Strip Mode and My Mode - join Normal, Sport, Track and Snow/Wet Modes, to offer more choice and personalisation in how the car performs.

My Mode enables drivers to select their own preferred settings for performance, dynamics and even the sound of the exhaust.

Ford has also added more driver assist features to improve the car's overall safety. These includePre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection,Adaptive Cruise Control and Distance Alert, Departure Warning and a Lane Keeping Aid.

More than 33,000 Mustangs have found there way on to European roads in the last couple of years and 7,000 were sold in the UK during the last 12 months.

This new model is sure to increase the numbers with prices starting at £35,595 for the 2.3 Fastback with the manual transmission and £37,595 for the automatic. The Cabriolet with the smaller engine costs from £39,495.

The V8 starts at £41,095 with manual transmission and the 10-speed automatic adds an extra £2,000. The Cabriolet costs from £44,595 as a manual and from £46,595 with the automatic gearbox.

No European model can compete on looks or performance for the same kind of money.

Good news for Mustang fans is that a special edition MustangBullittvariant inspired by the iconic Steve McQueen movie will be on sale later this year to mark the film's 50th anniversary.

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