The Ford Mustang is an instantly recognisable icon, but will it be an instant classic, asks John Oxley.
Many many years ago I was asked to write an article for a business magazine about investment cars – what’s good value to buy now and keep for a better return in the future.
Without going into specifics, I said then that convertibles, and more especially convertible sports cars, were the way to go. And that has proven correct; unless it’s a real collectible, it’s not often a tin top will break the bank at auction, unless it’s something that cost the bank in the first place, that is, while soft top sports car continue to be the draw cards.
Although I’ve always liked the look of a convertible, and more important the one-ness with the rest of the world you get when driving, they can be a bit impractical in terms of wind in your hair (knots long tresses), extraneous wind noise (more places for it to get in) and security ( a sharp knife gains you entry).
Put all that aside, though, and I’d still like one!
So it was with some anticipation that I finally got behind the wheel of a new Ford Mustang V8 GT convertible. From the point of view of that investment story I was talking about, this would be the one to get, and it would also be my preferred choice, giving as it does not just iconic looks, but iconic sounds, too.
First up, it’s got Ford’s five-litre Coyote naturally-aspirated V8 with 306kW/530Nm of torque, driving through to a six-speed automatic transmission, and although it feels big and fat at times, you can hustle it along fairly tight country roads without scaring yourself to death.
That said, it’s not really the sort of car you want to hustle along anyhow. It’s better with the roof down, and that means taking it easy so you have a comfortable ride and can smell the countryside (as long as nobody is spreading natural fertiliser).
Inside the car you might be forgiven for thinking you’d gone back a few generations in terms of the quality of the materials used – there’s lots of plastic – but this is offset by lavish use of leather.
Also low rent are its equipment levels. It gets cruise control, but not radar-assisted. It gets parking sensors and a reversing camera, as well as electric seats, Bluetooth and keyless entry (with push button start), but it’s lacking what should be fundamentals at this price point, such items as blind spot monitoring, pre collision assistance (with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking) and lane keeping assistance.
That’s one of the reasons why it only got a two-star crash test rating, although Ford says those things will be fitted from later this year.
All-in-all, is it the great American dream? Certainly it’s still a car to dream about, it looks good, it feels OK, and it’s comfortable. And it may just turn out to be an investment classic…
Body type 2-door convertible
Drive Rear-wheel drive
Engine type V8 petrol
Engine capacity 4,951cc
Max power 306kW/6,500rpm
Max torque 530Nm/4,250rpm
Fuel consumption 12.7L/100km
C02 emissions 296g/km
Front suspension MacPherson strut
Rear suspension Integral-link independent
Roof rack No
ABS brakes Yes
Stability programme Yes
Air conditioning Dual zone climate
Lap/diagonal belts Four
Satellite navigation Yes
Electric seats Yes
Burglar alarm Yes
Boot release Yes
Cargo cover N/A
Boot capacity 324 litres
Wheel type 19-inch alloy
Spare tyre Inflator kit
ANCAP rating 2 Stars