Ford Australia have announced details of the upcoming version of the country’s most popular sports car. Following its 2018 update, all variants of the Mustang will come with improvements made to its mechanicals and interior along with a few visual tweaks.
More tech is on offer this time around, which could the main attributor to the start price’s jump by $4,000. The car is due to be launched somewhere in the middle of 2018, and when that happens the new range will start at $49,990 before on-road costs are factored in - this is for the base Mustang EcoBoost Fastback with a manual transmission.
As compensation, the 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol has received a retune to deliver 9Nm in peak torque. However, this is curiously at the expense of 9kW in peak power, resulting in a total output of 224kW (previously 233kW) and 441Nm (previously 432Nm).
More love has been lavished on the naturally aspirated 5.0-litre Coyote V8, though, taking the figures to 339kW and 556Nm thanks to high pressure fuel injection among other things. Collectively, Ford claims this also improves low-end torque and even fuel economy.
Either engine will, of course, be available with either 6-speed manual transmission or an automatic. This time, the Mustang will be fitted with the newer 10-speed torque converter unit that’s currently being used in the F-150 Raptor (also due to appear in the Ranger Raptor) and shared with the Camaro ZL1, possibly contributing to its increased frugality due to its wider selection of ratios and reduced friction losses.
The suspension has been given a bit of tickle all around, really, though these changes might only become evident in a back to back comparison. New components contribute to the claimed increases in lateral stiffness while better shocks give the 2018 Mustang better control during a more varied spread of situations.
For some of the higher-end variants, the new adaptive - and optional, $2,750 - MagnaRide dampers should improve the car’s versatility the leaps. These will integrate with the new driving modes that also effect parameters such as steering sensitivity and resistance, throttle response, transmission behaviour, traction control, and status of the active exhaust system (which can be adjusted separately).
The visual alternations made to the 6th-generation Mustang are worth mentioning, but only just barely as these are relegated to a revised front fascia and other minor tweaks to the rear lamp array. To most, these changes will not even be noticeable, which is just as well because Ford wouldn’t want to sully any progress the Mustang has made a globally sports car.
More important are the new safety systems available as standard. Importantly, the 2018 model comes with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection as standard. Depending on variant, features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, auto-levelling headlights, and Lane Keep Assist become available.
As before, Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system is the driver’s window into multimedia and connectivity, again represented through an 8.0-inch central touchscreen and supporting smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. However, a new 12-inch instrument cluster is one of the main technological highlights of the 2018 Mustang, which is a significant step up over the traditional analogue gauges.
It’s layout and interface were inspired by the Ford GT race but now combines customisability with the breadth of quick at-a-glance information that has been touted by automakers such as Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz.
2018 Ford Mustang - Fastback
- EcoBoost - Manual - $49,990
- EcoBoost - Auto - $52,990
- GT - Manual - $62,990
- GT - Auto - $66,259
2018 Ford Mustang - Convertible
- EcoBoost - Automatic - $59,490
- GT - Automatic - $74,709