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Ponies aplenty under this bonnet

THE love affair with the Mustang for Ford fans is growing all the time.

Since Ford brought back this icon of the motoring world, the demand has been strong. To Ford drivers it is mana from heaven.

Even better, there are five models available to give buyers a wide choice.

At the top of the totem pole are two V8 fastback models, a manual and automatic, along with a convertible automatic. Their five-litre engine produces 303kW of power and 530Nm torque.

Then there is the 2.3 litre fastback Ecoboost automatic, which also comes as a convertible. Thanks to a turbo, it produces an impressive 233kW of power and 432Nm torque.

The story of the Mustang, one of the most recognisable names in the motoring world, goes back 50 years.

Recently it has been difficult to import left-hand-drive cars into New Zealand.

But now Ford has made a bold move and is making right-hand-drive models in Flat Rock, Michigan, for distribution worldwide.

The Mustangs are available on order and not generally seen in showrooms.

The company’s New Zealand allocation has already been swamped, with reports of customers, including some Gisborne Ford clients, queueing up to buy.

What might be called the new generation Mustangs are more refined than the original muscle cars of previous decades.

A new independent suspension makes them more driver- friendly on winding New Zealand roads.

The cabin interior has been based on an aircraft cockpit, with the driver’s seat in a low sporty position with the gear shift close to hand.

They are packed with technology, including Ford’s Sync 2 with its audible text messages and voice commands for entertainment. climate and satellite navigation.

All the extras you would expect in a luxury car, such as independent climate control and a reversing camera, are there but there is another pleasant surprise for Ford buyers in the price.

Despite high specifications and the performance involved, Ford has kept the price down. The V8s go for $77,880 and the 2.3 litre models start at $59,880 which is on the mark for this kind of car.

At the end of the day all you want to do is sit back, push the start button and listen to that growl that makes a zoo lion sound like a pussycat. A Mustang is not a car — it is a way of life.