There can be no better deal
than driving a fast car on a race track, not bothering to look out for stray
animals or reckless jaywalkers. The fast car I got to drive was the American iconic
muscle car -- the Ford Mustang GT. It took Ford Motor Company almost five
decades to build a right hand drive version of this pony car, as it is called
in the US of A. Though Left Hand Drive Mustangs are available in various engine
options including a race track version (Shelby GT 350), India will have to just
do with a single variant with a 5.0L V8 petrol engine, churning out a 395.5 hp
of peak power and a peak torque of 515 Nm. The peak engine power and torque are
a wee bit lower than in the Mustang available in a country like Britain. This
is primarily because of the slightly inferior quality of fuel that we have here
Ti-VCT V8 petrol
automatic with paddle shifters
395.5 hp@ 6500 +-50 rpm
515 Nm @ 4250 +- 50rpm
speed (km/h) / Fuel Tabk capacity
kmph / 60.9 litres
Double Ball Joint MacPherson strut with stabiliser bar
Integral Link independent with coil springs & Stabiliser bar
& Rear: Disc
Wheels / Tyres
Front: 9.0 X 19 X 45
alloy; Rear: 9.5J X 19 X 52.5 Alloy / Radial, tubeless
Min Ground clearance
Rs. 65 lakh (ex
The modern Mustang has
retained the essential characteristics of the iconic Mustang of yesteryears,
but when the engine starts, you feel the growl is in place and the machine is
rearing to go. The long sculpted bonnet and short rear deck still evoke
nostalgic memories of the Mustang’s glorious past. The emblem of the Mustang
wild horse running from left to right of the vehicle defines the born free
character of this vehicle.
Unfortunately, driving a fast
paced vehicle for the first time on a race track for just about five rounds at
menacing speeds with a class teacher like instructor by your side is no real
fun. I mean you like the car, but you wish you could push the instructor out of
the window and make him disappear. So the impressions I gathered about the car
was limited to those five rounds around the Buddh International Circuit,
India’s only F1 race track.
The two-door coupe looks
stunning from all sides. It’s not like an overdressed woman going for a party
looking garish after the make-up. Rather, the Mustang is more on the elegant
side. The front has the signature shark-bite front fascia and trapezoidal
grille with the emblem of the Mustang horse in silver adding character to the
car on the whole. The rear is of course very aggressive three-dimensional,
tri-bar tail lamps giving shark teeth like look. Though the car comes with
seating for four adults, the truth is that this car is shaped more in favour of
the front two seats. The longish bonnet, the short rear, and a tight passenger
compartment, makes the Mustang look aggressive and bold.
The new Mustang GT has had
some design changes as compared to its predecessor. It’s got a lower and wider
stance for which the roof height has gone down. The car is now much more
planted to the road, even at higher speeds. The windshield and the rear glass
are a bit more steeply sloped
The interiors of the Ford
Mustang GT are designed in favour of the driver. More leg room, more comfort
and a lot of controls to change your driving experience. It’s almost like
sitting inside a cockpit. A large, high-definition display screen puts vehicle
information right in front of the driver with tactile switches and knobs
improving ergonomics and providing better control. The six-way power-adjustable
leather-trimmed driver and front passenger seats in Ford Mustang are heated and
cooled. The boot can at best accommodate two golf bags and not one of those
huge pieces of luggage so many of us Indians are used to lugging around.
Ok, the Ford Mustang GT is not
really about family holidays with tons of luggage but rather it’s about those
travelling fast and light. All you got to do is to keep the key fob with you
and press on the start/Stop button on the dash. The throaty noise from the V8
machine let’s you know that the car is ready to eat up the road in front of
you. Technically, this engine features an upgraded valve train and cylinder
heads. But you will not let any of that mundane information bother you. It’s
the speed which you are waiting for and the moment you get the signal, the car
leaves the pit lane to begin its sprint in the open.
By simply tapping the toggle
switches on the console, one can adjust the steering effort, engine response,
and transmission and electronic stability control settings. There are different
Drive Modes to select. These include Normal, Sport+, Track Mode and Snow/Wet.
It’s obvious that I selected the Track Mode to start my five lap drive around
On normal roads it is best to
choose the Normal Mode because it delivers a balance of comfort and responsive
handling. Sport+ mode provides a more responsive steering and throttle
response, plus different shift points. It is in the Track mode that an
enthusiast discovers his slice of heaven. The engine sound gets more powerful
and loud and the engine responds so quickly to the tap of the accelerator
The Snow/Wet mode is ideal
when inclement weather forces you to be careful on the roads. Paddle shifters
should best be used in the Sport+ mode and the track mode if you want to get a
bit more oomph out of the car.
On the track with a track mode
on, driving the Mustang was a breeze. With right kind of braking and
acceleration, I realised the car showed its predictable wheel control. With new
fully independent front and rear suspension systems, one can have loads of fun
with this rear wheel drive car. I managed my share of drifting as I cut into a
corner and braked hard without accelerating. As the large disc brakes froze my
tyres, I noticed that the car remained stable trying its best to pull me out of
the corner. It’s only when I accelerated hard that it stopped its slide and
promptly put me back on the track with absolute confidence.
The new Ford Mustang also
comes with an electronic line-lock - which automatically locks the front brakes
and releases the rears so you can spin and heat up the rear tyres, raising
smoke like nobody’s business. But then the instructor did not allow me to do
that. Like I said earlier, if only I could have thrown him out of the car, me
and my Mustang would have crafted an entirely different and exhilarating
driving experience on the race track. Wild fantasy, I guess!
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