The seventh-generation Ford Mustang gets aggressive styling
The seventh-generation Ford Mustang will land in the UK in July as the cheapest V8 car on sale.
Ford has confirmed to Autocar that it will be offered here only with eight cylinders, with the 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo version absent from line-up.
Prices start at £55,685 for the Mustang GT, which will be offered in both coupé and convertible bodystyles.
Prices rise by £10,000 for the top-rung Dark Horse edition, which has been created chiefly for track use.
A bolder, edgier take on the classic Ford icon, the Mk7 Mustang remains on the Mk6's platform, rather than Ford's latest CD6 architecture.
This means the Mustang is more of a comprehensive reskin of its predecessor and that it misses out on long-rumoured electrified powertrains and Ford's next-generation driving aids.
Under the bonnet, the Coyote 5.0-litre V8 is carried over and comprehensively updated with a new bore and stroke design.
Like before, a six-speed manual is offered along with an updated version of the 10-speed torque-converter automatic. These are available on both the Mustang GT and Dark Horse.
The Mustang GT's V8 produces 439bhp and 398lb ft - 29bhp and 7lb ft more than before. A full suite of performance figures has not yet been released, but the engine was previously tipped to launch from 0-62mph in around 4.0sec and top out at more than 170mph.
Strong visual cues have been adopted to differentiate the V8 GT from the Dark Horse.
Of the two, it's the GT that gets less shouty styling, including a new grille inspired by the original 1964 Mustang flanked by a pair of slimmer headlights, featuring new tri-bar LED daytime running lights.
The Dark Horse, meanwhile, gets more aggressive cues such as a gloss black grille surround plus a pair of nostrils within the grille that feed air to the new intakes.
Other changes are a new lower front bumper and a large bonnet extractor that not only vents hot air but also channels high-pressure air from the front air intakes to reduce lift over the front axle.
Inside, the base models get twin screens, but mid-grade and above trims gain a new 'continuous' screen combining a 12.3in digital instrument cluster and a larger, 13.2in infotainment screen running Ford's latest Sync 4 software.
Capable of being updated over the air, this new system enables a huge level of customisation that Ford hopes – along with the car's styling – will attract younger buyers. One party piece is the ability to swap the modern gauge graphics for a digital recreation of the clocks from the Fox-body Mustangs of 1979-1993.
Under the skin, the new Mustang carries over its MacPherson-style strut front suspension and the independent rear suspension introduced on the sixth-gen coupé in 2015. Both mounting points and linkages have been stiffened and new springs and dampers added.
A performance pack is also available, adding stickier rubber, 20mm-wider 275-section rear tyres, Magneride adaptive dampers, larger 19in rims (18s as standard) plus bigger Brembo six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers.
All models have a Torsen-style limited-slip differential and, for the first time, the Mustang gets a 'drift brake' that employs an electric handbrake to help coax the rear axle into huge slides, but only in Track mode. A line-locking burnout mode is also available.
One of a select few cars to have remained on continuous sale since its introduction in 1964, the Ford Mustang has racked up more than 10 million sales and remained the world's best-selling sports coupé for the past seven years, beating its key rival, the Chevrolet Camaro.
Commenting after the Mustang's unveiling, Ford CEO Jim Farley said: "Investing in another generation of Mustang is a big statement at a time when many of our competitors are exiting the business of internal combustion vehicles."
Ford reveals track-focused Mustang Dark Horse with 500bhp and handling upgrades
Ford has also unwrapped a new 500bhp Dark Horse performance variant that's been created for those who will use their car on track.
Said to be the first new performance nameplate since the Bullitt was introduced 21 years ago, the new variant has been created to bridge the gap between the Mustang Mach 1 and the wild Shelby GT350 and GT500 twins.
Sharing the same 5.0-litre 'Coyote' V8 as the Mustang GT, the Dark Horse gains a software remap plus forged internals – that include the connecting rods from the 760bhp GT500 – to help it produce 20bhp more than the standard lump.
To improve durability and keep it cool during hot track sessions, the Dark Horse bags NACA brake cooling ducts, an auxiliary engine cooler, a rear differential cooler and a lighter radiator that, combined with more powerful fans, boosts thermal efficiency.
A Handling pack is also available, adding stickier Pirelli P Zero Trofeo RS rubber, stiffer springs, thicker front and rear anti-roll bars, and different dampers. Brembo six-pin callipers clamp down on 13.9in discs.
In the US, two track-only versions – the Mustang Dark Horse S and Dark Horse R will also be offered.
The S is stripped of all its luxuries, getting an FIA-certified roll cage, safety nets and a fire suppressant system in their place.
Under the skin, a race-spec exhaust and adjustable suspension have been added. A new rear spoiler features at the rear to boost downforce.
The R goes a step further, introducing rigidity-increasing seam welds around the body shell, as well as a motorsport-derived fuel cell.
John Mahoney and Jonathan Bryce