I was fortunate to grow up with a classic Mustang in the family garage and so I was perhaps understandably delighted to see the new Mustang in the metal.
The model on the floor of the Ford Go Further Expo, taking place in Sandton this week, is an early right hand drive pre production model. The unit I was able to climb aboard was a blue 2.3 Ecoboost Coupe with a GT performance pack, while the model paraded on stage at the conference was a V8 Cabriolet. Currently, these are the only two Mustangs in the country.
The good news is that all Mustangs will be sold as standard with the GT performance pack. While the Ford representative couldn't tell me exactly what that meant in terms of mechanical upgrades, aesthetically at least, the GT pack adds larger wheels, a deeper front splitter and twin exhausts, even for the base model 4-cylinder model.
I'm happy to report that in the metal, the Mustang looks even better than in any press images I've seen. It is approximately sized between a BMW 4- and 6-Series, and I was told that in terms of power and spec, it will be positioned in the market between those two.
However, critically, pricing will generally be below the pricing of the 4-Series. While our very friendly Ford man remained frustratingly tight-lipped on actual pricing, he did offer that information and that means the performance coupe market in SA likely in for a shake up.
Climbing aboard, the solidity and high quality of materials is immediately apparent. It is going to be hard to separate the interior of this car with the current establishment. The rear seats are however quite compromised, perhaps only comfortable for younger children, while the boot is substantial, as is to be expected from a lengthy coupe.
From the interest expressed from dealers and potential buyers, Mr Ford told me that demand will completely outstrip supply in our market, which is why they have launched a Mustang lottery, offering an opportunity through random chance for a South African motorist to buy a Mustang. The lottery and general order books opened yesterday, see Ford's website for details.