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What The UK Think Of The Ford Mustang

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It’s a strange time for Ford and even muscle cars in the UK at the moment. On one hand, the Mustang is selling well in native hand drive and even beating out European performance vehicles in sales. On the other, Ford are pulling the plug on one of their biggest plants in Bridgend, UK being open since 1980, with the possible loss of 1,700 jobs. Ford announced some time ago that they will be phasing out all small cars apart from the Mustang and Focus Active, but even the Focus is getting the chop.

Matters are compounded with the tightening of EU emissions rules, which means the Chevy Corvette and Camaro won’t be available in the UK after August 31 2019. Dodge vehicles will probably get the same treatment, so it will be down to the Mustang to head up muscle/pony car sales moving forward. This is why the Mustang has to do well in the UK and the rest of Europe as it may also have an influence on the US market.

But this post isn’t about business or financial news, it’s how the modern day pony car has an influence on the rest of the world and how it’s viewed.
Muscle cars have always been popular across the globe. Pockets of fans have everything from the classics to modern day cars, usually as imports, so you can consider the latest Mustang as going fully mainstream and taking on the likes of Porsche and BMW at their own game.

Mustangs living the UK country life
Huge muscle cars have traditionally never fitted into the general UK automotive environment. Big, loud and in the past handled the corners like a large cargo ship (ironically, at the time most European cars didn’t handle much better, they were just smaller) they just seemed too out of place against the much smaller 4 cylinder boxes popular on European roads. However, the modern Mustang has never fitted in better. The size of the car doesn’t look out of place and the magnificent sounding V8 engine is a welcome change to all those 1 liter turbo boost things with additional spoiler kits.

One review of the Mustang over at nails how the Mustang fits into the rolling hills of the average English countryside. It’s not just a favorable review, but also documented by the female of our species. Yes, that market sector is more important than ever.

So how does a modern Mustang cope with the quaint and winding roads of the UK. Very well apparently.
The first impressions are always the same for modern muscle in the UK. At first it seems a bit out of place in the quiet British countryside. A touch larger than the average UK sedan, enough to not look out of place, but still turn heads and just looks a little different.

But what about the driving experience? As per all modern muscle car reviews from Europe, ‘It is loud and brash; it’s also enormously, irresistibly good fun.’ Europe get a 5.0L V8 engine with 450bhp, good for 0-60mph in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Meaty enough to hold its own again the like of a Porsche or BMW. Which brings up another standout point, ‘This is a car that doesn’t spark envy in the manner of a Porsche; it’s a car that puts smiles on the faces of passers-by.’ A common theme for the Mustang these days. Give me enjoyment, fun and a constant smile while driving over envy any day, no matter the car.

There is a ‘quiet’ mode on the exhaust if you want to tame the pony, but the advice is keep it in ‘track’ mode and let yourself be heard. Almost bringing out the Americanism in the more stiff upper lipped sensibilities of the average UK patron.
The old handling like a boat from the early days of muscle cars have long gone, replaced by very capable suspension and brakes, plenty enough to handle the English countryside and its winding roads. A ten-speed automatic transmission makes short work of hills and bends.

So, on the UK roads the modern Mustang has gone from a wild pony to a trained show horse. At a starting price of £48,245 (£51,310 on the road with satnav, adaptive suspension and 12-speaker B&O sound system) Ford aim to continue to take some of the market share.

The company itself aren’t exactly in the UK’s good books at the moment, but the Mustang is a welcome change to what is currently on the English roads, almost as a breath of fresh air and a different take to European performance. It’s always going to be a niche market for those who like their rides raw and fun and hopefully it will pave the way for a bigger interest into the world of muscle cars in general.

Now its off for a nice pot of tea and cucumber sandwiches, while I watch re-runs of the Super Bowl…


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