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New Mustang gallops to the front for Ford 

IT’S almost a year since I sampled Ford’s right-hand drive Mustang.

It was the muscular V8 GT convertible model I did a brief review on in the News after a short drive.

This motoring icon was a real eye-catcher – looking wild and sporting in a stunning Competition Orange colour.

And the roar from the 5-litre 421ps engine was fantastic as I fired it up and blasted around some roads on Scotland’s west coast.

With more than nine million models sold since its launch in 1964, the Mustang right-hooker finally arrived in the UK at the end of 2015.

There was a real stampede to get this icon when it arrived and it’s not difficult to see why.

It looks simply stunning – inside and out – and this is one Mustang that loves to gallop.

Available as fastback or convertible from launch, there is the choice of two engines – the V8 or a new 2.3-litre 314ps EcoBoost unit, with either six-speed manual or auto transmissions.

Ford has recently added a limited run Shadow Edition model for UK customers that will be available in Race Red and Grabber Blue from £39,895.

A unique body styling pack on this includes a black pony emblem for the GT grille and exclusive black 19-inch Y-spoke alloys.

It will also have a Shaker Pro audio system with SYNC 3 nav, climate-controlled seats and reverse parking, with optional black contrast roof.

My most recent drive was in the lower powered fast-back version.

You don’t get the cracking roar you experience when firing up the V8 but this engine also has power aplenty – and brings huge benefits of fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions.

Ford adds a more sporting soundtrack that comes through the stereo in this model but it doesn’t really get close to the V8’s massive growl.

While not as striking as the previous model I sampled, this white-pla-tinum Mustang was still very much a head-turner.

The four-cylinder turbo engine also supplies blis-tering acceleration – rea-ching 62mph in just 5.8 seconds against its big brother’s 4.8 seconds.

It is also capable of achi-eving 35.3mpg with the V8’s figure 20.9mpg.

The six-speed manual transmission was super slick as I pushed up and down the gears, enjoying the quick response from under the massive bonnet.

With its firm suspension, handling didn’t disappoint with lots of grip when cornering at speed.

And with a top speed of 145mph there was never any shortage of power.

It wasn’t too harsh a ride either and you have the option of four driving modes – normal, wet/snow, sport and track.

The toggle switch quickly allows the driver to adjust steering effort, engine response and electronic stability control settings.

There’s plenty room up front in this sporty cabin and a top-grade infotainment system is included in a model that comes with stacks of equipment.

Rear seats are only suitable for small children and there’s a fair-sized 408 litres boot space.

The Mustang is a super sports car with the test model’s on-the-road price £33,645.

And if you’re not too fussed about fuel economy or emissions, the V8 isn’t that much more expensive at £38,095.

Just as I was writing this review it was announced that the Mustang had become the best-selling sports car in the world in 2016 – with more than 150,000 sold.

In the first full year of European sales, there were 15,335 ordered.

In the UK, 4,500 have left the showrooms with over 3,250 of those in 2016 – leading the sales tables for cars over 250ps.