In just a few days, the new generation of the legendary Ford Mustang will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. The outgoing model is celebrating the end of her career with a special edition California special. These were her eight-cylinder convertibles only, and her quota of 2,000 in Europe sold out quickly. We only had two days behind the wheel of this exclusivity, but we will remember them for a long time.
The Mustang is more than just a car, it’s a symbol. It recalls the prosperous style of America’s boom and the endless optimism of his ’60s when the first generation emerged into the world. For us Europeans, it has an even more exotic appeal. In Germany it was his third best-selling sports car after the Porsche 911 and Audi TT.
American style can be seen in everything. Starting with the dimensions – basically his two-seater car is about as long as a Skoda Superb. This imbalance is explained by the endless bonnet that hides the 5-liter 8-cylinder engine. And an orthodox rear-wheel drive concept.
Marketing is similarly different. Porsche offers different variations of his 911 type depending on engine performance and chassis tuning, but Mustang often focuses on stylish accessories on the surface. This also applies to the California Special Edition. Based on the genuine GT, the grille, seat upholstery, wheel design, and side stripes have been changed.
You can’t know the Mustang well without correctly interpreting the term American pony car. It’s not the sport, it’s the image of the sport. Happiness, that’s what we’re talking about here. We say to ourselves as we step into our spacious cabin with comfortable seats. However, there is no room for compromise, much of which is taken away by the bulky dashboard.
Presented in 2015, the interior of the car does not deny its age. But by American standards, it’s very well made, as confirmed by the careful leather stitching of the details and the decent carbon upholstery. It’s fragmented, but those who drive Mustangs often will certainly get used to it.
And I believe there is something here to get used to. If the American Hank isn’t about sport, it should be about casual, which didn’t fare well in California as the GT version’s sporty chassis worked against the convertible’s limited stiffness. It also works on smooth asphalt, but not often in the Czech Republic. Hanging out on the street with the roof down is accompanied by a restless vibration, and the rear axle gently kicks your butt when you hit a bump under the gas.
Even an 8-cylinder engine doesn’t pull as effortlessly as one would expect from its volume. When tuning a naturally aspirated engine, the designer must decide between a bushy engagement at the bottom or a sharp power peak at the top. The Mustang GT is the latter case, starting from the bottom with considerable hesitation.
You’ll have to shift more often, but this is the job of the 10-speed automatic from the van. It has a wide gear range, but don’t expect speed or culture. I also sometimes hesitate to select the right gear when downshifting, and if I let the gas out in the meantime, the gearbox rattles.
As you probably know, the Ford Mustang first impression art reminds me of my compatriot Donald Trump. But the longer you ride, the more you learn to fully adapt to him, the more you enjoy it and the deeper your relationship with him.
Despite some modern elements, it’s still a lump of iron according to the old recipe. I already knew not to hit the intermediate gas.
So read the road in front of you more and more carefully to make sure you can fit such a bus around the corner. Adjust the paddles under the steering wheel to get the right rpm midway through and the engine starts smoothly. So vent the gas beforehand so you don’t stress the transmission by listening to the 8-cylinder bubbling happily. Where the asphalt allows it, you drive faster and laugh harder and harder.
And such a ship can go fast with 450 horses. Above 3,000 revs, the engine begins to take a deep breath, slurp menacingly, and thunder like an oncoming thunderstorm. The roaring theater that unfolds at 4,500 to 7,000 rpm is a rare experience. As if shot 19 meters of iron from a slingshot.
After all, living with a Mustang is so unique. From the hellish roar of exhaust fumes at the start that drives all the dogs out of the street, to the ubiquitous cheers, flashes, and thumbs-ups from the crowd to pass the truck in one long jump.
The logical tax is 11 liters of consumption, which today only a driver with a heart as big as Prince Rohan can bear. Mustang on the other hand, his convertible is almost fully loaded and he is happy with the very affordable price of 1,660,000 crowns.
It reflects a relatively simple design, a long-paid engine with roots in the 1990s, and a mass-produced gearbox for American pickups. Chubby Czech barbarians who describe Harleys as American Javas are sure to find their industrial equivalents here as well.
But it’s more elegant. There is only one of his convertibles of similar dimensions on the market today. His 8-cylinder engine is turbocharged, accelerates like velvet at any rpm, and the automatic shift is so smooth that you won’t even know it’s there. The bumps are perfectly smoothed out by a chassis that rides on a much stiffer body. It’s a BMW M850i, and you’ll pay 4.4 million crowns with the right equipment.
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