The iconic American pony car, the Ford Mustang, has just received its midlife update. These include a restyled front and rear bumper, new bonnet and restyled front grille. They all contribute to aerodynamic gains, so it’s not just form over function.
The hallowed headlights from the old model have been replaced by a new LED type lamps. Over at the back, the C-shaped taillights are still distinctly Mustang with the tri-bar LEDs, and completing it are the new diffuser and spoiler.
Apart from the use of better materials for the cabin, the Mustang gets subtle tweaks to the trims, and the traditional analogue gauge instrument clusters have now been replaced by a wholly digital 12-inch screen – a first for Ford. Up to three graphics can be selected – Normal, Sport and Track, all varying in design and colours.
Performance wise, the biggest news of all is the retirement of the 3.7-litre V6. The 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, which is the smallest engine powering the Mustang, will succeed the V6. Meanwhile, the 5.0-liter V8 now gets port and direct fuel injection, improving both power delivery and fuel economy.
The 2018 Ford Mustang is also a recipient of the Blue Oval’s best transmission to date – the 10-speed automatic. Available in both the EcoBoost and V8 variants, the gearbox offers swift gear changes and is capable of handling more torque than the six-speed automatic it replaces. Fortunately, the six-speed manual is still available, but what’s unique to the V8 is a new twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel for better torque delivery.
In the ride department, the Mustang receives new shock absorbers and a new cross-axis joint in the rear suspension, while the optional MagneRide adaptive dampers should make this muscle car a little bit more agile around the corners than the outgoing model.
Last year, Malaysia was one of the selected few countries in the region to receive the right-hand drive Mustang. It’s available with either the 2.3-litre EcoBoost or 5.0-litre V8, with prices starting from RM488,888.00. Expect the facelifted Mustang to make its way here sometime in the near future.