Ford testing SA-bound RHD Mustang

Ford has started testing its first-ever right-hand drive Mustang prototype ahead of it going into production in the not-too-distant future.

This, of course, opens the door to the Mustang being sold in over 25 right-hand drive markets around the world, including South Africa. Without getting too specific about timing, Ford SA promises that the new Mustang will hit local shores during the course of 2015, although buyers will be able to pre-order theirs from January next year.

The Mustang is being built with the steering wheel on the right hand side for the first time ever and South Africans will be able to order theirs from January 2015.

For now though, the recently-built RHD prototype that you see in the top picture will be used to conduct various final development tests ahead of the car's imminent global launch.

Ford's decision to go truly global with its new muscle car for the first time was something of a no-brainer. The Mustang has over 100 fan clubs around the globe and was recently voted “Europe's Most Wanted Classic Car” by AutoScout24.

To ensure that it's up to the task of satisfying buyers across the globe, and especially those discerning Europeans, the all-new Mustang has evolved into a more sophisticated beast, featuring a far more rigid structure and independent rear suspension.

That's not to say it's given up its muscle car role. Drive is still to the back wheels and buyers can still opt for a rip-roaring V8 engine, the five-litre unit pushing 324kW and 544Nm. Those with less dosh can also opt for a 224kW/380Nm 3.7-litre V6 and for the sake of being vaguely politically correct and not falling too foul of emissions regulations, Ford is also offering a 231kW/433Nm 2.3-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost turbopetrol option.

The engines are mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox, or a six-speed auto with rev-matching tech for downshifts.

Expect the local engine line-up, and pricing, to be announced when the order book opens in January. Just don't expect anything near the US market's $24 425 (R260 000) starting price.