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Ford reveals facelifted Mustang

Stang face: The updated Ford Mustang gets a small tweak in styling that includes all-LED headlights, a revised grille and updated front and rear bumper.

Revised styling, new tech and updated engines headline Ford Mustang refresh

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Ford logo18 Jan 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

FORD has revealed a mid-life updated version of its hot-selling Mustang coupe and convertible, which features styling updates, new technology and engine tweaks ahead of its Australian arrival in 2018.

The revised model, revealed overnight in California, gets an updated exterior with new-look all-LED headlights, lower bonnet and grille design, blacked out rear diffuser, revised LED tail-lights, optional performance spoiler and quad-tip exhaust for V8 GT models.

With the mild aesthetic revisions, Ford is offering a dozen different alloy wheel designs, as well as a new exterior paint colour – Orange Fury.

Powertrains have also been updated, increasing torque for the 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, while the 5.0-litre V8 has been “thoroughly reworked”, according to Ford, although the new output figures have not been revealed at this stage.

The V8 has received more power and revs higher, thanks to new dual-fuel, high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection, which also improves low-end torque and fuel efficiency, says the car-maker.

Power and torque for pre-facelift GTs stands at 303kW/525Nm, while the current Ecoboost four-pot turbo churns out 233kW/432Nm.

Automatic variants drop the current six-speed box for a new 10-speed unit that Ford says delivers higher average power for faster acceleration, has quicker shift times, reduced frictional losses and includes unique programs for different drive modes.

Manual transmissions have also been updated for both engines, with the V8 version scoring a twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel to improve clutch modulation and torque capability.

Suspension has been included in the makeover with all models given new shock absorbers, a new cross-axis joint in the rear suspension and updated stabiliser (anti-roll) bars.

Ford’s MagneRide magnetic damper system is on offer as an option, as is an active valve exhaust system for the GT which allows owners to control the exhaust note and volume of their vehicle.

When it arrives Down Under, the Mustang will be the first Ford to be fitted with the all-LED digital instrument cluster recently detailed in the Ford GT, with the 12-inch screen letting owners customise their instruments and choose between normal, sport and track mode displays.

Other tweaks include padded knee bolsters, a hand-stitched wrap with contrast stitching for the centre console, aluminium finish for the door handles, rings and bezels, new seat upholstery patterns and colours, and optional heated steering wheel. New models come equipped with Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system.

Mustang MyMode with memory function allows drivers to save their favourite drive settings including suspension and steering preferences, while the 2018 model has a suite of new driver assistance systems, including pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, distance alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and driver alerts.

The range Australian range will remain the same with EcoBoost and V8 engines being offered in coupe and convertible bodystyles, however it is likely that a hybrid EcoBoost-derived variant will appear sometime in the model’s life cycle.

In the US, the Mustang range kicks off with a V6 version, which has been included in the mid-life update, but the six-pot variant will not be coming to Australia with the update next year.

Sales of the current-generation Mustang have been heavily skewed towards the GT, with around three quarters of Australians opting for the V8 version, resulting in a waiting list that currently stands at around six months for the 5.0-litre and around 3 to 4 months for an EcoBoost.

Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy said that he didn’t expect any customers on the current waiting list to postpone their order to wait for the next-gen Pony car.

“The inherent design and style of the Mustang is still there,” he said. “I think the people who have been waiting for the chance to have their Mustang experience will still absolutely want to have that experience, especially with these waiting lists – they’ll be keen to get their Mustang and put it in their driveway as soon as they can.”

The Mustang managed a healthy 6208 sales in its first full year on sale in 2016, making it far and away the best-selling sportscar under $80,000, followed by the Hyundai Veloster with 2232 and BMW 2 Series with 2159.

Last year it was also the fourth-best seller in the Ford stable, behind the Ranger ute (36,934), Territory (6928) and Focus (6783).

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