Los Angeles – Being global, as Ford’s Mustang became in its latest generation, means keeping with the times, even if you are a pony car lugging at nostalgic heartstrings.
So without further ado, let’s check out the Mustang’s mid-life refresh, which includes a subtle facelift front and back as well as upgraded engines, a new digital instrument cluster and some driver-assistance gadgets.
The exterior design changes are nothing radical, but Ford has redesigned the grille, bumper and bonnet and those aggro-looking new all-LED headlights will feature across the range, as will the revised LED taillights.
The big news under the bonnet is an upgraded 5-litre normally aspirated V8 engine, which gains a new ‘dual fuel’ high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection system, which improves lower-end torque and increases high-rpm power. However, Ford has yet to disclose how many ponies the new motor actually makes. Same goes for the extra torque produced by the mildly-revised 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbopetrol option.
Both engines will be available with an improved manual gearbox or an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. The former is a much-needed addition as the previous six-speeder did the car no favours during high-speed cornering.
Another area where some welcome modernisation takes place is inside, where besides a few new trims and design touches, there’s the option of a new Audi-style 30.5cm LCD digital instrument cluster, offering easy personalisation through three separate views (normal, sport and track).
Talking personalisation, there’s a MyMode gadget that allows drivers to save their favourite drive settings and buyers of the GT can even adjust the V8 engine’s beastly soundtrack through an optional active valve exhaust system.
Other new gizmos include Ford Sync Connect, with an app that allows you to start, lock/unlock or locate the car through your smart-phone, and various driver aids such as Pre-Collision Assist with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist and distance alert.
Hardly your basic bang-for-buck pony car then, but then it’s not 1964 anymore is it?
The 2017 Mustang goes on sale in its home market during the third quarter and our contact at Ford SA said that local timing has yet to be determined.