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First Drive: Ford arms South African Mustang range with a Bullitt

Ford has updated its sixth-generation Mustang by rationalising its transmission choices and offering the brand’s historically significant Bullitt pony car.

Styling changes which differentiate the new Mustang include alterations to the grille, LED lighting profiles, bumper shape and wheel design. The aesthetic enhancements compliment Mustang’s classic front-engined GT proportions.

Inside the blend of chunky American-specification switches and Sync3 Smartphone convergence remains.

The most significant change to Mustang concerns its transmission. Ford will now only offer its latest ten-sped automatic, which debuted on Ranger earlier this year. Those additional gears improve fuel efficiency and sharpen throttle response.

Engines  are carried-over and benefit from a higher compression ratio and better fuel injection. The 2.3-liter Ecoboost gains 11Nm of torque, to register 213kW and 441Nm. Mustang traditionalists will obviously prefer the 5-liter naturally-aspirated V8, which is now slightly more powerful than before, cranking out 331kW (a gain of 25kW).

An array of dynamic driving modes are available, including drag mode and the line-lock function. Ford claims that on a high-friction road surface you’ll run 0-100kph in 4.8 seconds with its latest Mustang V8.

By far the most heartening aspect of Ford’s midyear Mustang update concerns the introduction of Bullitt. The Mustang naming association made famous by Steven McQueen in his eponymous movie from 1968 will only be available to 50 very luck South African customers.

Finished in traditional (and correct) highland green, the Mustang Bullitt adds 7 additional units of power, to produce 338kW and a booming V8 soundtrack that tunes all the way to 7000rpm. It gets even better: all Bullitts feature a six-speed manual transmission.

Ford Mustang Bullitt South Africa

This unique configuration, combining a larger atmospheric V8 and six-speed manual shifter, give Ford something rather special in the South African sportscar market.

Pricing for the Bullitt is just shy of seven figures, at R995 400. Lance Branquinho

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