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Thread: 2017 F.E.N.A Ford Mustang Review

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    2017 F.E.N.A Ford Mustang Review

    Sitting in the passenger’s side of our Ford Australia, Ruby Red, FM Mustang GT with manual transmission, I notice a plaque that reads “Mustang since 1964”

    Six years before I was born in other words, which in part goes someway to explaining my disconnect with this brand.

    If you are a car person it usually stems from something in your youth or you acquire the love of driving in your formative years. For me it’s the former. Dad was a mechanic, loved cars and racing so Dad and the 77 Bathurst was all it took for me to be a car tragic.

    I didn’t get to see the Mustang race as a child and when it did it was in the 80s and not what you would call a classic design. It also wasn’t sold here. When there was no Falcon on the track I ventured over to team red and supported the V8 alternative which was also local.

    I have always struggled with the notion or ideal of making one’s life tougher than it need be. A coupe falls into that category for me and that’s the prejudice I took into this review. Making occupancy harder, access harder, doesn’t make sense to me so I had some pretty serious questions going in to this review.

    Those American reality build shows, the OHS that’s on display, it’s like a time warp back to the 60s, the originating era of the Mustang. Perception it is but perception is what can hurt you most.

    Because of all this I went in being clinical and cynical right from the start.

    The car has no romance or emotional attachment with me which is unlike Falcon where I have cut it some slack and acceptance because of what it means to me on a personal level. The heritage of the Mustang is lost on me and as such this car needs to rate purely on being good at what it does and gets no pass from it's past or name from me.


    F.E.N.A product review of the 2017 Mustang GT- Manual.


    Outward appearance and design tick every box you could think of. Thinking back to the first time we saw the S550 version of this American classic, the front wasn’t something I was sure about. Not the case now. It’s a very good looking car and more importantly for those who do value heritage, as the first global version for the brand, it has ticked all those boxes that make it recognisable as a Pony. That’s a good thing and very clever too because I think when you go global with an icon as the Mustang is, this value above all else is what early adopters will seek most.



    As we move forward, the key to ongoing success will be in attracting opportunity for repeat custom.
    In my mind, Mustang will only be considered a success if people keep coming back and supporting the brand. To do this Ford must continue to develop and evolve the product. For Ford this can’t be one of those life boxes, a bucket list item you tick on your way to the next line or rung on the ladder.






    When I first got into the car I was upset. I didn’t feel comfortable, I didn’t feel like it was me and I had to pull over even before we got 200 metres to sort stuff out. By the end of the day I was wondering how much effort Ford would spend looking for their car if I booked it on the Spirit back home. Surely, they wouldn’t miss one Mustang, right? There was even a phone call from an interested Ford party who was told “you aren’t getting this car back”

    If by now you are looking for a bottom line here, screaming enough already, there you have it.
    This is a car I could happily own and more than that I am not sure I would modify it.





    For everyone who can make a two-seater car work, if you have a Ford bias or even if you don’t, this car needs to be on your list of potentials. It’s that good. I am told the test drive situation is improving and this is a mandatory focus for Ford in my opinion.


    As good as the car looks, it is exponentially better when you are driving it. In the early stages, it sold itself and is still doing so today, but now there needs to be more opportunities to demonstrate the products core and driving strength to the masses.


    In Depth


    This is a car you drive. Every day, no exception. When I look at it like that it personally makes sense to me. To fill the role of a weekend cruiser, hey it does that exceptionally well but for me that’s a waste of what driving is all about which is the way it makes you feel.

    First and foremost you do need to be in a place in life that this design of car works for you so let’s start there. Let’s deal with the elephant in the room first.
    I can’t tell you how comfortable the rear seat is because while I did manage to get back there I couldn’t sit upright. Combine this with a seat base that is required to be shifted forward via the relevant seat side controls and it’s not very user friendly either. From the rear seat you can get the front seat back to fold forward but unless you have really small feet and are very short and slim, the seat has to go forward and there is no way to activate that from the rear seat without some contortion.

    There is another problem. We attempted this in the dark. Lighting back there isn’t good or rather non-existent that we could see or couldn’t as the case be.


    So we turn our attention to what I believe is the real focus of this car and that’s the front seats.

    These seats are some of the best I have sat in and I thought that at the Dealership reveal way back when imports were doing the rounds as a first up exposure initiative.

    After three days comprising of long stints, those initial impressions were confirmed. The seating position is excellent, the addition of cooling, not something I would have rated before this review but do now. As a driver’s car, it’s always nice to be as low as you can be, to have the centre of gravity as low as you can get it. As one drives a car largely through this connection between backside and seat, it’s the vital first line of communication that tells you what is going on underneath you. This right here is very satisfying. There is no sensation of being disconnected here and I think, fingers crossed we have heard the last of seating position issues in a V8 Ford.
    I have no issue with seat adjustment, under thigh support or lumber but for some reason the passenger seat in this car was even more comfortable than the driver’s seat. I don’t know why.

    Leg room up front is obviously not an issue as its simply carnivorous length ways and well off for width too.

    Originally, we missed the leather loop that brings the seat belt down for drivers of our height so after day one we were lamenting an adjustable seat belt height mechanism to stop neck chafing. It’s a simple and effective way of adjustment but it does mean that if you fold and move the seat forward a person can easily detach the loop. I would prefer a dedicated pillar adjustment myself.
    There is no passenger grab handle in the roof which I felt was odd and an oversight. Not that it mattered because with the window being down, the first roof mould ridge makes for an excellent finger grip. It fitted my hand perfectly but I am sure the designers didn’t have that in mind.

    As a personal preference, I would like to see a grab handle. The window line itself is high and means for those of us who like the elbow on the window edge its slightly uncomfortable but after familiarity, acceptable.
    On the subject of windows down, we coined a phrase, here’s a town, windows down. We were impressed by the lack of “boom” from both windows being open simultaneously but then again how quiet the car is when you want it to be. It’s a very pleasant place to be.

    While trying to work out the seat entry to the rear we discovered, by accident, the sunglass holder for the driver.
    Storage isn’t a strong suit of this car it must be said.

    In many situations I felt awkward accessing what was available and frustrated by what wasn’t.

    The door pockets run the entire length of the door so that gives you an idea of how long they are but the opening you have access to from your seat isn’t accessible to the entire length of the cavity. The first take off from a stand still will see whatever is in there slide to the back to the point you can’t retrieve said item without stopping. What I think you would do is fill the cavity with things you don’t use that often, maybe chamois or something which would prevent things from sliding back there.

    Ours was a manual so the drink holders just don’t work for me. In the Falcon I can drive around them but the shifter in the Stang is such that I wanted that area dead smooth and completely free of obstruction. It’s a seat height arm relativity thing for me that I can explain later if people are interested.
    A check of a left-hand drive car shows us the centre console hasn’t been changed at all for RHD markets which is disappointing. With the US version, the drink holders are on the passenger’s side which will make a difference. That is going to give you much better access to the first four gears than what we have in our market.

    You can see here the difference between driver location and centre area being spoken about in these two pictures.






    The centre console storage box, its release is either side, instead of the front edge. I felt like I was reaching to an uncomfortable position to release it and access it whereas what we have enjoyed in Falcon seems so much more sensible. Release at the front and tip back in one motion and with a hand position as such, that gives access to the release at the closest point, not extending back further behind you or against the seat itself. I question if this lid is the best option in the space. I have seen examples where the top lid can flip right over and then act as a drinks holder base.

    I don’t think we are making the most of what space there is on this subject.
    Today I walked passed a 911 where it had a drink bottle for front passenger and driver coming out from the dash. Assuming the mechanism is sturdy and fitting of a car of that type, I think it’s a much better solution to what is currently on offer.

    You can get a water bottle in the door pocket on its side and stay roughly there wedged in the trim but again I found I had to cock my wrist to get under the handle release for the door to retrieve it.

    Which brings me to the number one pet hate. The handbrake location is a direct result or potentially the cause of not changing the centre tunnel configuration.

    The best thing I can say about this is it’s a good thing the starter button was shifted. When you think about it you apply the handbrake nearly every time you stop which means it’s being used just as much as the starter button. How it escaped correct relocation is a bit of a mystery to me outside cost considerations.

    It just needs to be replaced with an electric version, simple button and drive off feature, then redesign that entire area for better usable storage and access. Some nets on the side of the trans footwall wouldn’t go astray either.
    In short, I think this car could have done with some Australian input in these areas because had they done so a digital speedo would have been included in what is an exception by Falcon standards information service that displays in the centre of the main binnacle. The trip and information provided is excellent, as in the resolution of those graphics.

    These two points are the ones I feel the most strongly about. Hated the handbrake location and annoyed there wasn’t a digital speedo.

    I have my heart set on a flat bottom steering wheel. A big fat rimmed bugger too. This rim feels nice, no issue with it, but I just think it’s not a particular attractive item to look at. It probably has some Mustang heritage issue about it but for me give me a sexy great feeling and looking tiller.

    Being super picky here but I prefer the easier thumb access to all buttons around the rim perimeter as opposed to the stretch my thumbs had to indulged with the inboard options.
    I place a premium on voice activation and hand not leaving the wheel these days so again it is more of a personal taste issue.


    Staying with the interior a bit longer we cast our attention to the 8 inch touch screen housing Sync 3. I was expecting good things from Sync 3 and to be honest I was disappointed relative to my own Sync 2 FGX experience.
    The layout is good, I think it is better than the sync 2 that the last Falcon got. I was impressed with its improved touch response which makes our (Falcon) unit frustrating. However, it’s a good thing our voice activation is usable or at least that’s my experience with it because for some reason I had a lot of trouble with voice activation with our Mustang. My sprint hardly gets anything wrong, the Mustang got most things wrong. I don’t really understand that.
    Navigation wasn’t great and caused some frustration but I think this and probably most of the other issues encountered with sync 3 would be resolved with time and familiarity.
    I also cannot discount the phone that was connected. It’s a now dated windows phone but that said it works perfectly with sync 2 and its connection is much faster than with sync 3. Bluetooth audio as you can hear in this clip, excellent. No issues with the sounds system for me.

    Climate control was excellent and we know this because it largely went unnoticed.

    Plastics and trim, I felt were ok. Initially the toggle switches felt a bit low rent but the more you used them the more one was inclined to shift them from the naughty list over to the acceptable column.
    Air vent distribution is on the lighter side of touch inspired confidence but not too bad.
    I wouldn’t mind some front fascia options and some of the harder plastics could do with some softening for my tastes. It is a car built to a price especially for its home market and you can tell that in places.
    Where entry to the rear is not great, the front is much easier than I had thought it would be. I think the seat side bolsters are in for a hard time eventually so I would be perfecting the rear end swing and pivot manoeuvre myself to avoid scuffing but in livability terms it posed no problem with egress and entry.

    As is the general quietness of the cabin. In fact the amount of plastic rattles and noises was very low and what did present seemed to come and go potentially being temperature related over the three days.
    I liked the fact that it was enough of an 8 noise when you wanted it to and then at cruising speeds a very tranquil environment. I do love my music so these days it suits me to cruise at highway speeds listening to that or when I need to clear the head, pretty much dead quiet. When I want the noise back it’s a matter of down shifting and back it comes. We admit to wanting as many red lights as we could get but at the other end of the scale it was also pleasant in the lack of noise which I know will be controversial. It must be my age catching up.

    For a stock system, I feel the sound it makes is better than what I have in a Miami. Its deeper and more bass satisfying to my ears and I loved that. I would entertain a change here but only after being satisfied that it didn’t reek too much negative tones at cruising speeds. There is also an overall car nature aspect coming into play here where the cohesiveness of each element is complimentary to the next. A bit more on that later as we bring this altogether.

    As we had the windows down a lot, we got caught out with opening the doors and not being able to close the window. This surprised me because clearly the window does have power as it has the sequence of opening a little and then closing fully after the door is shut but if the window is fully down there is no power on delay to allow you to close the window ahead of shutting the door.
    Not sure if there is another way to do it but the one way it worked for us was pressing the starter button. Unlike Falcon if you are too slow to close a window you either press the remote or turn the ignition key you do appear to have to reach back to the centre of the car to reach the starter button.
    I can’t be sure about this but once you do get accessory power on you seemed to need to turn it off before it would be happy with relocking. On more than one occasion the car alerted us on locking with the fob that we had done something wrong and this appeared to be the issue.

    Potentially stand to be corrected on this one.

    Auto up on both windows. It’s a forum thing, so nice. OK an Ian thing then.

    When we get into the driving I will explain the mode switches but having the hazard switch closest the driver and the mode furthest doesn’t seem logical to me with respect to what gets used the most. It makes as much sense as the name of the best steering feel mode which is comfort.

    Not a fan of the bonnet strut. Two gas ones for me please Ford and the luggage area could do with being better illuminated.



    Our car came with the tyre inflation kit which I am ok with myself.




    Surprise and delight features include changeable mood lighting, an outside Mustang symbol projected onto the ground and naturally the Mustang logo on the Sync screen. Illuminated sill plates also a nice touch.





    I expected the long bonnet to be a bit daunting when combined with the low seat position.
    One gets used to the bonnet reasonably quickly I found, but it's true, being confident of where the corners are, well let’s face it, unless it ever gets fitted with front cameras it’s a bit of a guess to where the corners are. Our car did have a damaged front wing extension where someone got that judgement wrong. Like all cars, you just leave plenty of room and operate on the side of caution.



    Over the shoulder is very good. What would be a “B” pillar in a sedan is much further back so the blind spot is further back along the car giving the mirrors more of a chance. I would still like to see blind spot included on this car but a situation never came up on test where it would have alerted.

    The mirrors themselves are large and useful although the passenger one for our seating position only just makes the recommended coverage requirement. For some people, it doesn’t come back close enough to the body. I was OK with it, Andrew was a bit iffy and tended to think it needed more adjustment allowance in. Drivers side was fine. They will fold if you ask them too.
    Rear vision was also good and as you would expect it came with a reversing camera that looks exactly like FGX




    What did you do?

    How fast do you drive your own car? When you are paying the bills, how fast, how hard do you push your own equipment on a public road that justifies that cars place in your life?

    This is about the most politically incorrect question that one can ask yet it’s very important for us to not present to you something that is other that what occurred.

    We both treated our Mustang as though we owned it and judged it the way we gain satisfaction from our own cars. This to me is the justification of such ownership. I can’t tell you what the limit of this car is because we never got close to it. We didn’t need to yet we feel confident our driving will cover the greatest percentage of owners who enjoy the type roads we sought. There was no emphasis placed on straight line performance this time so unlike Sprint we won’t be setting the motoring world on fire with our efforts here but hand on heart what I will say with confidence is that based on my years of driving like this, it’s at the upper end of what you encounter on club runs and personal satisfaction drives. The biggest gains over what we didn’t on this test and what you could do yourself is up the reliance on brakes to the point of new pads. That will bring in a very different set of circumstances.



    Explaining the fuel table.



    The car always had two people in it except for the video and photo situations at Bathurst.
    No more than a suitcase each, the weight added to the car would be about 230kg.

    When we took delivery of the car the tank was full but we checked this at a service station just north of the Customer Service Division of Ford.
    Before we selected the fuel type we pulled out the owner’s manual to see what Ford said the car should run on. It has a wide range of fuels it will be happy with but it was optimised for 95. After a short discussion, we decided that using 95 would give middle ground. The advantage of 98 is debatable in some circles but we felt owners would be worst case using 95 so let’s do that.

    As you can see we ended up using 98 in places and that’s simply because 95 wasn’t available. The price penalty in some cases was negligible but if you want to use 98 just times out the litres by the highest price we paid and you will get a total fuel bill that’s closer to what you would have achieved.

    The next thing we did was only one person filled the car for the entire trip. Andrew took responsibility for the fuel going in at the pump and the recording of the records.

    This was done to be as consistent and as accurate as we could be.

    The car was never driven for economy unless it was on the Hume. In most parts, it sat on cruise in 6th for that sort of driving.
    The two worst results involve Falls Creek and Bathurst laps. In both situations, straight after those events we did essentially return to highway mode which would lower the number somewhat for that driving style.

    We also never really drove in a city type environment for any length of time. Canberra just isn’t Melbourne so that’s important in considering the overall result.
    The numbers you are reading are bowser numbers, not the cars computer. The only possible error is that the car wasn’t level in a couple of those stations but its insignificant in the overall scheme.
    On the highway at 110kph it looks to us that this car is in the low to mid 9s but like all situations your right foot dictates what goes on here. I have to say I am amazed with this result. It really looks like we didn’t try on this test but the good thing here is I have a witness.

    When Andrew suggested this route, one of the selling features for me was the T series nationals had come through here a few years back. What this does is give me the opportunity to question Andrew about the style of driving we did against a club environment which I tend to bench mark as being reasonable and an expectation.

    It’s at the upper end and doing it easier in comparisons with the front group of said situation. I would concur with how it felt to me and this is important because we are now moving into the dynamics proper of this car.
    Dynamics to me work two ways. Firstly, it’s about how the car works within itself and then secondly how that impacts on you as the driver. We all tend to sense things differently which is a challenge when creating products with such a wide discrepancy in end user sensations.

    My description of car traits might be very different to yours so all we can give here is opinions and as best we can let you know what we did and how we did it to come to these conclusions.

    It’s a feel-good car. There in no way around that. It inspires confidence.

    If I was pushed and limited to claim just one stand out dynamically speaking, it would be the way the car turns. It’s very responsive and especially so if you select the comfort mode via the steering toggle switch. That doesn’t sound right does it and it should not be called as it is. The three modes are Normal, Sports and Comfort.

    What the other modes do is add weight and resistance to feel which for reasons I don’t understand, makes the experience worse. Maybe with more time getting used to them it all makes sense but for a stranger and first time experience, there was a standout option that made the car feel responsive and willing to turn without it fighting you- even just slightly off centre.

    For sure you do miss the road feedback with such a system but the delight in response more than made up for it if I am honest. I don’t know what the industry bench mark might be for electric steering but surely this must be in the ball park.

    A very close second is the suspension tune. It’s my favourite part of any car, the first thing I focus on. In a way, I felt I could pick a family resemblance to Sprint. Mustang is slightly softer than Sprint and by no means a performance suspension by my determination. If this is the American idea of performance, whoever picked this as the only spec for our country did the right thing. The other tunes used in the U.S will be rubbish compared to this and I say that with the greatest respect of being ignorant and having not sampled them. I suspect they will be a wallowing incoherent mess for our conditions as per my preference for body control.

    We get the performance pack as standard which comprises of:
    *Unique Chassis Tuning (not sure what that means but let’s say it works very well)
    *Upsized rear sway bar (fastback only)
    *Heavy duty front spring (my new best friend)
    *3.55 diff ratio with limited shift
    *The rims and tyres that you see on our car but most importantly 255/40 and 275.



    That extra bit of tyre I think plays an important part because sometimes when you get the balance of front and rear grip wrong you can make a mess of cohesion. I didn’t see that here or feel it rather. Undulations never resulted in the front becoming unsettled or eliciting a push. A severe bump at one point did cause the rear to hop but was predictable and presented no surprises. Watch the "sound" video in the early stages for that instance.

    The condition of the roads in general was better than what I encounter in my own environment. The absolute worse we encountered for road state of repair was still way better than what cars have to cope with on some of Tassie’s best driver’s roads. There just weren’t the corrugations in and out of slow speed corners or patches on patches. What we did get of that type of condition though allows me to surmise this car will handle said environment extremely well. It’s going to need to fall off a cliff in a dynamic and dramatic way and I just don’t see that with this car outside a track environment.

    For a car carrying the GT name, it’s a very comfortable car to go for a drive in, yet composed enough in most situations we encountered for a sports car status. There is a ride quality to this car that makes it liveable in all conditions but as a sports car that effort is complimenting and allowing excellent body control and capability. It’s a beautiful balance.

    In saying all this I have been unfair to the brakes because they could have easily been number one here. Excellent feel / bite and consistency but truth time. As mentioned, it's probably the one thing we never really pushed hard with. You won’t see them smoking and I doubt Ford would need a pad change.
    Like we have covered already I don’t think many owners would go through a pad set in 2220kms so we didn’t either but I presented my findings to someone who does know what it does on a track and he confirmed these brakes are good for a day’s track work with no issue. These are the best feeling Brembo's I have come across and that’s with the rather anaemic piston count on the rear.
    Goes to show you it’s not always about the numbers but how it all comes together as a package which means I can’t finish up on the brakes without reminding you that the front suspension plays a part here as well. The anti-dive characteristic are such that it’s not loading up and compromising turn or control. The anti swat, well it’s there and contributes to be deceptive but the engine needs more torque to head down that path of praise.




    Last is the engine but don’t underestimate it. It doesn’t set you back in the seat like a Miami and that’s more prevalent in standing starts and getting away from a stand still. Once moving though it’s very willing and smooth. I say its responsive because it gathers speed very effortlessly but doesn’t really feel like it is.
    As a country, we have spent the best part of two decades searching for a straight line factory performance solutions only to finally have it and for it all to end. It’s not meant to work like that but that’s the hand we have been dealt so it’s the cards we play now.
    In some ways, we are back to AU days where it’s an underutilised chassis in terms of potential. This time however our hands appear to be tied as to finding an official solution. Mustang isn’t our car to touch which given where we left of with Sprint, it’s a bit hard to take especially with recent news Ford's internal dealer fit package has been cancelled. Politically speaking, personally speaking, I think it’s a shame.

    When I get in a car I accept where it’s been positioned in the market and try to establish some perspective based on that data. The raw numbers are 306kws at a very high 6500 and 530nm @425O.
    For me that puts in the Turbo XR6 270 ball park and at times it felt exactly like it.
    The numbers for the turbo are 270 and 533 but the turbo has trick to its arsenal which bumps it to around 290 and 580. It produces its torque lower in the rev range where 2000-4000 is big bang for what I call “application sensation”.

    I rave about my turbo. I love it to death. It’s a very good engine and experience and walking from it one day will be very hard. I can’t very well now turn around and dismiss something I feel is in that ball park. It would have been nice if the complete 430 US HP had made it to this country, another part I guess where not everything Pony intended has made the translation, but there was only a few times where I really thought to myself I miss the Falcon’s power delivery.



    For enjoyment and feel good, maybe using one gear lower, consider weight and final drive, using more of the rev range, it’s was simply satisfying. There I said it. I am close enough saying 300kws is enough when totality of its package is this good.
    The GT is more a 3500-6500 rpm car and you are rewarded for going there in every sensation but it’s not disgraceful below 3000rpm either.


    Now if anyone from Ford is reading this, well the line goes something like this.

    You never say no to more and I won’t be the starting point for that conversation.

    Third gear is a stand out. It was bringing up a green arrow all the time with us because it wants to be in a higher gear to save fuel at what I would say is a ridiculous low road speed and engine rpm. This gives excellent flexibility but it comes at the expense of response.

    The mode toggle gives you Normal< Sports Plus< Track < Bon Jovi. (slippery when wet)
    If you have the auto it does more than in our manual which is effectively throttle response and steering only. Shift points get adjusted in the auto. It would have been fantastic to have an auto and or even an ecoboost but baby steps hey.

    Regarding the modes, it worked like this for me. I wanted the throttle feel of sports plus but the steering feel of comfort. As soon as you select sports it matches or, as the case be, ruins the steering by also shifting to sport. You notice it instantly. You then go to the dedicated steering toggle and switch it back to comfort.

    This works until the engine is switched off. The steering stays where you left it or it seemed to but the overall mode goes back to normal. There appeared to be no way to get the car to remember my preferred settings. I persisted with this for this trip but I think it would eventually get the better of me and force me to stick with normal and comfort.
    Then there are the tyres where when monitored told us we had an 8 psi increase over its cold starting pressure after Falls Creek. This sort of increase surprised us as did the heat coming up from the floor which melted our stash of Allen’s lollies into one conglomerate of gel. There was also no mistaking the smell of trying. Not only did we smell it ourselves but on the first lap of the mountain walkers commented on it as Andrew passed not realising I was there videoing the car. The cars underside is getting very hot.

    The seats, they round out the dynamics via communication of what the chassis package is doing.

    When you consider the back drop to all this, the wonderful country side and great roads we have in this country, the Mustang impressed immensely and left an imagery that gets etched into your memory for life. The totally of satisfaction here is what sells you on a car.

    Take it away from this environment and up the ante, include a professional reviewer or a race driver and I suspect it might be the rear that gives up first. With a short wheel base and a steering that is direct, I suspect a normal person might find correcting it tough. The way the body responds, we felt was razor sharp which we liked but maybe it might not be for everyone tastes.

    Dynamics also encompass the electronic wizardry that act as an overwatch. I found no issues with the way these worked to compliment the package and that’s the way it should be.

    There is a separate article about the 2 star rating, what happened, my thoughts on it and so on. Why I have waited is because I feel the dynamics of the car need to be taken into account so after having read this check out what I have to say at this link here -> http://www.falconforums.com.au/showt...360#post120360


    What I will say in this review is that in 2220Kms I never felt at risk or concerned. Very much the opposite in fact.
    That the car in question is on the excellent side dynamically.

    With any talk of crash avoidance, I feel compelled to present that side for your, the readerships, consideration.
    This is another case of the numbers not being the complete picture.

    The most fundamental aspect of crash avoidance isn’t braking but avoidance through control. You need to be able to change direction and this car does that very well and from what we have seen very quickly.
    In the event I couldn’t react quick enough or took the wrong action in that split second, the sustained injury indicators for the front seat occupants appear to be more than acceptable to me and not a step back from what I drive today which is what the rating suggests. I think this is the biggest failing of the system we are moving towards especially if products are allowed escape via options or the package as offered to the market isn’t also considered.
    Dynamically it’s a pretty significant step forward for me and it’s for all the reasons cited previously.

    Low centre of gravity
    Performance suspension that works with the chassis to prove excellent body control via anti swat and dive measures maintaining a flat attitude in most situations.
    The standard GT brakes, are possibly the best Ford brakes I have sampled via the 380mm rotors- 6 x 36 mm front pistons. They might not look as sexy as what we are used to with a single piston being offered on the rear and no cross drilling anywhere, but they are mighty effective at what they do. Remember it’s not the statement, it’s the results we are after. All ways look at the results or the totality of what is occurring.




    As our first review under the new name of Ford Enthusiasts Network Australia, it was important that we lead with a car like this and once again lead with a transparency and accountability expected of us. Ford have a future in this country. With now 1700 employed in engineering and support that is a massive commitment to the future and part Australia has to play in the automotive arena. This matters to me and I think it should to all Australians. Supporting Companies that support our communities is still very much in my own DNA.

    The addition of Andrew to this review (please read his report here) http://www.falconforums.com.au/showthread.php?4608-Capt-Slows-Review-of-FM-Mustang-GT gives another perspective, a real road trip report that to my mind captures what owning these cars are all about.

    It is more than rating a car, telling you what the car does or doesn’t do but the journey along the way. It’s the spirit of driving enjoyment captured beautifully so please also read his work at this link.


    A great driving and ownership experience on great roads.








    Cars like this, I believe, need to make you feel a certain way. Personally, I never once felt like I was experiencing an occasion built from heritage or nostalgia but something closer to a fresh sheet design that had a cursory glance towards a silhouette of ghost’s years gone. Retro doesn’t work so well for me so it is with relief that I say it is the sum of its parts working with cohesion that delivered an experience that was not easy to walk from, from a Ford enthusiast’s perspective. I am proud of what Ford have achieved with this car as much as it’s an awakening for me personally.
    We haven’t sugar coated this. We see our point of difference as being community aware and relative, giving a perspective that might not be accurate but context wise, closer to the heart.
    Isolation can indeed give a different context and that’s something we are acutely aware of. When cars share the same space at the same time, when you can step out of one and into another, it’s remarkable how perspective can change.
    We didn’t do that here, we didn’t have another Mustang or a Falcon or anything to benchmark from.

    What I can convey is how the car felt to me in conditions I would seek as enjoyment and ownership justification as a consumer.


    As one could expect of a sports car philosophy, the intentions are pure here. What might not be expected is the success of the execution being American made. I just don’t mean quality here but manners and being polished in facets I personally rate as mandatory in performance DNA.

    I chose to see a connection with what I own today via the Sprint and that of which I sampled in Mustang. Very different in most respects yet share the Company finger prints which satisfyingly gave comfort to what has been on occasions, a tortured mind. What’s next? Where do I go now?

    I like the fact it wears proudly “Powered by Ford” and I like the Ford logo on the front screen because it's largely what I grew up with. It is without doubt the closest thing I will see of my Falcon roots moving forward and I say this with the utmost respect to both sub brands.

    The V8 RWD gets to live on and that’s never a bad thing. It won’t fit everyone’s life style or circumstances but for those of us of which it does, it is one of the finest driving machines gracing our shores of blue blooded origin.

    Previously I wasn’t motivated to make this car fit my requirements, now I am.


    History is a statement, the future is a question.

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    7753 - 5030 HSE2's Avatar
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    These videos don't do the car justice. I could live with this easily.

    History is a statement, the future is a question.

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    History is a statement, the future is a question.

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    Before you watch this video I need to explain what Andrew is saying.

    This is shot after Andrew drove on this type of road for a few kms to get used to the car. Its his first drive away from the highway, so what he is saying isn't just about what you are seeing. Its more to do with what happened leading up to the video starting.

    What you are hearing is his very first reaction to this experience. You can probably tell we are both pretty happy with what's going on right now, me having driven the Mount Hotham stage.

    It is more of a summation and its raw, not scripted, just saying stuff as it comes into your head.

    When he is saying turn in with one hand its more like one finger such as the sensation that the car is working with you not against you as we felt the other settings did.

    The comment about body control relative to Falcon was about what happened a bit further back where in cars he is used to, mustang is simply better controlled thanks to it lower centre of gravity. R spec and S spec do something similar but each differently with S spec being the closest to this car. There is, in my opinion a family resemblance that way. Perhaps I just wanted to see it that way too.

    I have spoken to some owners who disagree with our engine response comments. I am not sure what to say about that other then perhaps our expectations are just not as high. We are talking about the way the car gathers speed as opposed to what you feel with a push in the back from outright urge.

    What worries me slightly about this is that I can now see a way where the SS V is doing so well and how the comments work from the media. If its like this car, the numbers are doing a disservice. This thing punches pretty hard and its pretty satisfying. You probably are using more of the revs range as compared to a Miami.

    When they say 300 kws is enough and we say "you have to be joking", there is a catch to it.



    The video is deceptive too. You watch these videos we have and you will be saying go deeper or too slow out getting back to the throttle. This is the PC version.

    History is a statement, the future is a question.

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    Aka Captain Slow TS50's Avatar
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    Nice report Ian, one comment neither of us made , was that in making it a RHD car, they even moved the indicator stalk to the RH side of the steering wheel, which is far less important than moving the handbrake
    As my daily driver is a Merc these days , I did hit the indicators a few times, but funny I don't do that in my T3 Falcon
    2002 T3 Manual Naroma Blue TS-50 (049)Sunroof, Premium Sound, Black/Blue Leather, Brembos

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    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    Fantastic review as well Ian, you guys have knocked this out of the park!
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

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    There are plenty of things still to talk about. The clutch is one that comes to mind, shift quality, those sort of things. We have held them back because while its a review, we also have a thread or two here now that we can use to discuss further and get some participation going.

    We want and welcome questions.

    Nothing is off the table.
    History is a statement, the future is a question.

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    7753 - 5030 HSE2's Avatar
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    and by that tell us where we got it wrong, bring up some professional reviews for comparison if you want.
    History is a statement, the future is a question.

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    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    Front parking perception, how did you find parking it when its hard to know where the nose is?
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

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    7753 - 5030 HSE2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Vman View Post
    Front parking perception, how did you find parking it when its hard to know where the nose is?
    You know, watching a lot of people park, I think this rings true for most cars not just Mustang.

    You see them inch forward, tense as though they are waiting for contact. They aren't confident andthink light contact is somehow ok. Instead of reversing back and going again, they risk it.

    That's not me. So the answer is no problem because when in doubt go the extra effort and make dead certain you clear the front.

    As I said in the article there was some damage low on the front extension but I think what we will see with Mustang now that its global is a fast tracking of fixes in these areas. Its not going to take much to put sensors or even cameras in the front to help.
    History is a statement, the future is a question.

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