Thursday 5 December 2013

Road - Sacrilege in USA?

A four cylinder engine in a Ford Mustang? Surely Not. Oh yes it is, but fear not there is a V8 in the line-up. For a car which provided the soundtrack to the 60s and 70s, gave the Beach Boys ‘Good Vibrations’ and helped Steve McQueen chase down the baddies, the thought of a four pot doing the business just doesn’t bear thinking about.
The first ever Mustang to go directly on sale in Europe in almost 50 years of production was revealed yesterday in Barcelona. Executive Chairman Bill Ford also revealed that it will be just one of 25 new vehicles that Ford will launch in Europe in the next five years.

Ford’s 420 bhp, 5 litre V8 will be joined by an all-new 2.3 litre EcoBoost turbo-four which will pump out a ‘mere’ 305 bhp while delivering “the fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions demanded by Europe’s car consumers”. Adding further to the onward ‘march of progress’ is an automatic transmission – with paddles. Steve will be turning in his grave!

But having said all that, the new car has brakes and suspension that work, and are not just there as unnecessary trinkets for the chest-beating ‘good ol’boys’ who were happily content with sheer straight line grunt and a parachute to slow them down.

McPherson struts are used at the front and the ‘traditional’ live rear axle has been replaced by an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension set-up. And tucked behind the 19 inch rims are a set of callipers and brake discs that will do the business.

There is no getting away from it, the Mustang is an American icon. More than 9 million have been sold since it was first launched in 1964. In fact, April 17 next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original Ford Mustang.

The end of an era? Or just the continuation of the revolution?

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