Ford Mustang Fastback GT Review - Toybox

By: Mark Higgins, Photography by: Ford Australia

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ford mustang front ford mustang front
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The Mustang GT lobbed here with more hype than an AFL Grand Final

When Ford Motor Company launched the Mustang on April 17 1964 at the New York World Fair, it had no clue it was introducing an icon that would stand the test of time for over half a century.

Still smarting from the Edsel’s failure, enthusiastic President Lee Iaccoca convinced the Ford board members to back his hunch and give this all-new affordable, sporty two-door four-seater a shot. Now, with ten million sales in sight, the rest was history.

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While the Mustang was an instant hit, becoming the second most-recognised Ford after the T-Model, Australians had to wait over 52 years until 2016, when it finally lobbed here with 6000 pre-sales and more fanfare and hype than an AFL Grand Final.

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Although not an uncommon sight these days the Mustang never fails to draw plenty of looks. The unmistakable shape, three-bar tail lamps, long bonnet, wide haunches, dual exhausts, low roofline, big black alloy-wheels and the signature pony on the grille. It shouts power, performance and presence and turns more heads than the entire Kardashian clan.

Inside the leather-trimmed multifunction steering wheel (with 16 buttons) and infotainment system with its 8-inch touchscreen unify neatly with the retro chrome toggle switches, raised dash panel in front of the driver and passenger (circa 1969) large round air vents and analogue instruments.

The body hugging, heated and cooled, leather sports seats set you low in true muscle-car style and you look along the Mustang’s never-ending bonnet with its raised character lines.

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It’s roomy for two but forget four unless they’re kids, however the boot can swallow a couple of decent sized Samsonites.

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Sitting behind the wheel brought back childhood memories of Allan Moffat’s bright red Coca Cola Trans Am Mustang and my bedroom wall, covered in posters of it. I sat for a few quiet moments, closed the door and took it all in before hitting the starter button, bringing the brawny 5-litre V8 to life with a rumble.

Trundling through the city early one morning had me feeling like Steve McQueen in Bullitt, hunting the baddies and their Dodge RT Charger.

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I often gave the throttle a stomp just to hear the V8 sound track ricocheting off the glass and concrete edifices.

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A few hours later, I was scything up and down the six-speed manual gearbox along a winding coast road, with ‘Sport’ mode selected to fully flex the Mustang’s sizeable 303 kW and 525Nm muscles and exploit its handling and (first-for-a-Mustang) independent rear suspension.

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Nailing the loud pedal the Mustang’s five-litre injected V8 dumps equal measures of power and adrenalin all the way to the redline. Its fierce acceleration, masses of torque and limited-slip diff help shoot it out of corners like a missile. Feisty thoroughbreds should be treated with respect and the Mustang is no different, as this one has a habit of breaking traction and chucking itself sideways through bends if you’re a tad enthusiastic with your right foot.

Ford Mustang Fastback GT

BODY 2-door coupe
ENGINE 5.0-litre V8
POWER & TORQUE 303kW/525Nm
PERFORMANCE 0-100km/h 5.2 seconds
TOP SPEED 250 km/h
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual
SUSPENSION Front: MacPherson Strut
REAR independent with coil springs
BRAKES Front and rear discs
WHEELS 19 x 9 inch
FRONT 19 x 9.5 inch rear
PRICE $57,490 (+ORC)

 

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