Hey it’s James Harris here. Whether you’re a car lover or not, you know what it is; one of the most iconic vehicles ever built. On the big screen, the race track or the street, it commands attention and creates excitement. More than half a century since its first release, the brand new MY-18 Mustang has again raised the bar for affordable sports cars. Building on the hugely successful 2015 Mustang, the new MY-18 gives us a lot to talk about.
Starting with the exterior. To the untrained eye, the exterior is much the same. Take a closer look and you’ll find some big changes. A completely redesigned front end, including the previously deleted bottom vents from the 2015 model, a lowered bonnet height for improved vision, redesigned headlights with functional tri-bar running lights, which we’ve also missed out on in the 2015 model. A more aggressive front-end design, surprisingly inspired by Darth Vader’s helmet. Minor changes to the rear end. Restyled tail lights and rear plaque and new signature performance re-spoiler option. All changes to the new model.
The most notable change? The quad-tip active exhaust system. Standard with all GT Mustangs, the active exhaust allows the driver to increase or decrease the exhaust nodes at the press of a button. My personal favourite — track mode — is an unmistakable Mustang note that can be heard streets away. For track use only, of course.
Moving to the interior. Again at a quick glance, very much the same. But jump in and hit the start button. Right away, you’re impressed with the 12-inch full digital dash cluster, fully customizable and paired to the five different drive modes. Normal mode, giving a sedate and comfortable drive, will give the standard needle display through the cluster and driving just like any other vehicle. Change into sports mode or race mode, that’s when the fun begins. The cluster gives a much clearer display of revs and current speed. Much easier to read and much more exciting.
The latest addition to drive modes on MY-18 Mustang is drag strip mode. Drag strip mode, waking up the all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. Drag mode gives improved launch figures when taking off from a standing start. The transmission gives quicker gear changes, while the engine continues to keep 100% throttle. Causes the car to thump into gear, threatening to break traction, but continues to power on. This gives the new MY-18 Mustang consistent quarter mile times of high 11 seconds. The power of the five litre Quad Cam Coyote V8 engine is now improved to an impressive 339 kilowatts and 556 Newtons of torque. This is thanks to the three new engine technologies: dual fuel injection, giving both direct injection and port injection. Helps with the power increase.
Two big changes. A Ford-developed spray-on ball liner for less internal friction, currently in use on the Shelby GT350 and R35 GT-R Skyline. The most noticeable change for me is the increased RPM red line, moving from six and a half thousand RPM to seven and a half thousand RPM, giving the feeling that the engine revs forever, never loses power and is a huge amount of fun. The added firepower is supported with some big underbody changes: rear tail shaft, borrowed again from the Shelby GT350, helps get the power to the ground, along with revised shock absorbers and new cross-axis support and other tweaks to the rear end. All go towards a more stable ride.
Another exciting Shelby technology is also available as a factory option, MagneRide dampeners. Not only firming your ride for better control in corners, the MagneRide system can adjust each corner of the vehicle 1,000 times per second, again increasing lateral performance. Other factory options include leather Recaro seats, lightweight forged aluminium wheels and a performance rear wing and factory stripes.
Writer: James Harris
Photos & Video: Carbuzzzn