The 5.0-litre V8 engine has been thoroughly reworked and now develops 450 horsepower (339 kW). This power increase has been achieved with the first application of Ford’s dual-fuel, high-pressure direct-injection and low-pressure port fuel injection. The result is solid low-end torque, high-rpm power, and improved fuel efficiency. Peak torque is now 556 Nm.
For obvious reasons the V8 has been the big seller in the Mustang since day one, but don’t overlook the lighter 2.3-litre EcoBoost unit that develops 300 horsepower (224 kW). A revised tune gives it 9 Nm more torque, now 441 Nm.
Biggest news is behind the engines where a new 10-speed automatic is offered with both Mustang engines. It has a wide-ratio span between first and tenth, faster shifts and optimised gear spacing to keep it at peak torque, and fast response. Steering wheel-mounted shift paddles give drivers manual control.
The six-speed manual gearboxes have been upgraded to handle the added torque on both engines.
Even better, the Mustang’s engine note can now be adjusted. An active valve exhaust system is standard on all GT models. Four modes are available: Normal, Quiet, Track and Sport.
On all models, revised shock absorbers make for better ride control, while a new cross-axis joint in the rear suspension leads to increased lateral stiffness. The stabiliser bars have also been revised.
For the first time, MagneRide damper technology is an option for Mustang, designed to optimise ride and handling in all situations. Previously exclusive to the Mustang Shelby GT350, the system allows automatic adjustment of each corner, up to 1000 times per second, for even better responsiveness and lateral performance.
Visually, there’s a lower, remodelled bonnet with air intakes in new positions and revised upper and lower front grilles. But it still looks very much like a Mustang.
All models will have LED front lights including signature tri-bar lighting – a first for Mustang in Australia. The rear has revised LED tail-lamps, a new bumper and fascia. The GT has quad-tip exhaust as standard, along with a black rear diffuser.
Mustang EcoBoost has a fresh alloy-wheel design. The GT carries over the mesh design from the current model.
Inside, the 2018 Mustangs have a 12-inch all-digital instrument cluster that offers three separate views – Normal, Sport and Track modes – and the ability to change colours and gauge layout.
The centre console adds a new hand-stitched wrap with contrast stitching and padded knee bolsters while door handles, rings and bezels are finished in aluminium.
Standard seats feature new patterns, six-way leather-trimmed Recaro sports are a factory-fitted option.
Safety features include autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian detection as standard, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.
If everything still goes horribly wrong the Ford SYNC 3 includes Emergency Assist. This automatically calls emergency services for faster response times in the event of a crash.
Ford’s well regarded SYNC 3 setup also offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility at no extra cost, as well as an 8.0-inch full-colour reversing camera display.
“Most people have a Mustang memory, whether it be a favourite film moment, a childhood memory or, more recently, parking one in their own garage,” says Ford Australia chief Graeme Whickman.
“The updated model offers customers a raft of new features for greater capability of Australia’s best-selling sports car, which has shown how much Mustang resonates with the Australian lifestyle.”
We can’t wait to get our backsides into these hot new Ford Mustangs. Stay tuned.