Caught in the classifieds: 2016 Ford Mustang V8
The Ford Mustang used to be a really crude instrument. Americaís most popular muscle car (technically called a pony car) sold amazingly well over in the States, but it didnít make much sense anywhere else in the world. People in the UK seem to be infatuated with muscle cars, so much so that there are thousands of left-hand drive Mustangs currently on the road in Great Britain.
As part of their ďOne FordĒ campaign, when Ford completely revamped the sixth-gen Mustang back in 2015, they decided to build left-hand drive models as well, and start shipping out the Mustang globally. The end result is arguably the most versatile and popular Mustang generation to date, dubbed the S550.
In this weekís ďCaught In The ClassifiedsĒ section, weíre looking at a rare manual-equipped Mustang GT with just 18,000 miles on the clock. Built in 2016 and having gone through just one previous owner, this is practically a brand-new car thatís barely been worn-in yet. The best part about buying a second-hand S550 Mustang? Theyíre extremely affordable given what they offer, and they hold great residual values since theyíre rarer than most performance coupes like BMWís M4.
I still havenít met someone who doesnít like the way this new generation of Mustang looks. You can criticise the car all you want, but as far as visual appeal and design go, the Mustang is a clear cut above its competitors. I like M4s and C63s as much as the next guy, but theyíre becoming an increasingly rare sight on the roads these days. On top of that, thereís no escaping the fact that even the most hardcore M4 Competition is based on a regular 4-Series BMW. The Mustang is a purebred muscle car, or, as is the case with this latest one, a sports car.
A lot of people think the Mustangís main competition is Chevroletís Camaro and the Dodge Challenger, but I would argue thatís not the case. You see, this latest Mustang has been Europeanised (if thatís even a word). Itís much more sophisticated and refined than either of its American counterparts. Itís very clear Ford was aiming at the likes of BMW M4s and Audi RS5s more than they were for Camaros and Challengers.
Donít get me wrong, I still think itís more brutish than an M4, but itís so civil and ironed-out compared to Mustangs of old it almost seems a bit too ordinary. Take the design for instance. I love how you can immediately recognise itís a Mustang, but itís got smooth lines and curves, much like a European car. The front fascia is really aggressive, but my favourite part is the rear end with those clear striped taillights and the amazing lip spoiler residing just above them.
Anyone familiar with older Mustangs knows that the interior was their biggest Achilles heel. The very latest one solves that by using premium materials and improving the build quality quite substantially. For the first time ever, I can honestly say this feels like a well put together car. There are very few squeaks and rattles, and the cabin is a genuinely nice place to spend time in.
I love how the dashboard over on the passenger side comes out towards the passenger at the very top, much like it did in Mustangs built in the late 60s and early 70s. The steering wheel feels very traditional too, and so do the gauges. Itís got Fordís latest infotainment system running on the central screen in the centre console, but who cares about any of that? Itís a Mustang, and the only thing you need to know is that the seating position is superb, the seats themselves are super comfy, and thereís even room in the back for kids or smaller adults.
Engine and Performance
The GT uses a 5.0-litre Coyote V8 engine, producing a healthy 440 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or a 6-speed auto. The manual box is so slick and enjoyable I wouldnít bother with the automatic if I were you. On top of that, the older six-speed auto isnít as good as the very latest 10-speed auto in the facelifted Mustang, making the manual that much more desirable in my eyes.
The Mustang GTís performance figures are as follows: 0-60 in just 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (limited). The engine is a real monster too. It burbles and pops at idle, screeching and howling as you get closer to the redline. A manual gearbox and a proper, naturally-aspirated V8, is something thatís becoming increasingly rare these days, and thatís a real shame.
Like previous generation Mustangs, a lot of people expect this car to be a one-trick-pony: great in a straight line, but it falls flat in the corners. Not so with the latest sixth-gen incarnation of the Mustang though. For the first time ever, Ford has fitted its most popular two-door muscle car with actual independent rear suspension. Thatís right, gone is the old solid-axle setup and in comes something thoroughly modern. Couple that with a limited-slip differential, and the driving experience is profound, to say the least.
The S550 drives closer to something like an E92 M3 than it does to Mustangs of old. Itís so positive and enjoyable in the way it behaves, I almost feel bad calling it a muscle car, because it isnít one. Based on the way it drives and the dynamic chassis prowess it displays, itís more akin to a sports car than anything else.
Model: Ford Mustang
Why you should buy one
I honestly struggled to find anything bad to say about the S550 during the writing of this article. I guess it likes to use quite a bit of fuel in traffic, but then again, which N/A V8 doesnít? Yeah, I guess there are very few vices to this car. If youíve always wanted a Mustang because of the way they look and sound but were never able to pull the trigger because of how they drove, then this is the car for you. It takes the Mustang recipe we know and love, and it further refines it by a magnitude of a hundred. Donít just take our word for it. Check out the used Ford Mustang cars for sale we have available right now on DesperateSeller.co.uk and make up your own mind.
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