Ford Mustang GT Fastback 2015 and Hardtop Coupé 1965 32 Photos Zoom

Ford Mustang GT Fastback (2015), Mustang Coupé 289: V8 family get-together in Hockenheim

Hybrid, Electro, Fuel cell – it's high time to enjoy the high-octane present to the V8 full, with a Mustang get-together. All-systems go for the family get-together: the current Ford Mustang GT Fastback (2015) meets its hardtop Coupé relative from 1965.

Hockenheimring. It has been 166 days, 17 hours and 14 minutes since this sad moment here in Box Number 28. Flap open, twiddle the charging cable in and give the BMW i8 some juice at a power outlet. Pah, electrification tastes about as palatable to us as alcohol-free Pils. Today we shirk the presumed future and enjoy the smoke in Box 28, which makes even the thick fog in the Scottish highlands seem like a mild breeze. It's delicious, the octane cold-start smoke that 4.7 and 5-litre engines bellow out at temperatures around freezing point. Box gate open and out to the V8 family get-together: the new Mustang GT Fastback 2015 meets its hardtop predecessor from 1965, by the name of Mustang Coupé 289 in the test.

More than nine million Mustangs have already come off the production line

50 years separate the two pony cars. We hope that the 65 model doesn't suffer from cold shock in the Hockenheim freezer. In December of last year, US specialist Karl Geiger brought the Oldie from sunny Los Angeles to Munich. The imported Ford Mustang GT Fastback 2015 also stemmed from his showroom, which is filled with US gems. Wewere so excited we simply could not wait any longer. Why wait? According to Ford, this sixth generation will also be sold here for the first time from the Summer. Historians are crying out: between 1964 and 1979 the American was already available in Germany in the form of the T5. At the time the name Mustang was trademark protected by Krupp and Kreidler.

While the oldie brings its engine up to temperature with a wonderfully asymmetrical V8 idling hum, we take a brief flick through the Mustang history book. Even at the beginning of its career in early 1964 it made a lightning start. From the very first sales day on 17th April 1964 Ford took around 22,000 orders. By today, almost 51 years after the start of production, over nine million Mustangs have rolled off the production line.

Initially, in 1964, hardtop-coupé and convertible versions could be ordered, before in 1965 the hatchback version by the name of Fastback was launched. In terms of engines, there were at first a 2.8-litre inline six-cylinder and two V8s (4.4 or 4.7 litres) to choose from. As standard, the power transmission was via manual three-speed transmission. Subject to extra cost, there was a manual four-speed toploader transmission and the three-speed automatic by the name of Cruise-O-Matic.

Ford Mustang Coupé 289 with a 4.7-litre V8

Click, history lesson over – the historic Ford Mustang door opens with a mechanical greeting tone. Plump down into the comfortable, headrest-free leather seats and just enjoy for a second. The senses dulled by digital instruments are beguoled by the sexy chromed analgue instruments in the Ford Mustang 289 V8. To the left the fuel gauge and to the right the temperature display, while between them lies the fanned out 120 mph speedometer. Rev counter? Our pony doesn't have one as the initial buyers didn't bother with the Rally-Pac including the rev counter, at an addition 6,930 Euros.

No matter - even without this display we awaken this 289 V8 with a 4.7-litre engine capacity from its idling snooze. 225 SAE-HP still lie in slumber. A tug on the gear lever of the Cruise-O-Matic, referred to as the T-Bar and the coupé, which weighs 1,318 kilos when fully fuelled lets rip.

The pedal hits the metal. From out of the background blubber comes a full V8 stomp. The 230-kilo Windsor V8 with classical carburettor technology is by no means an eardrum-burster. It's surprising how well the oldie hangs on the throttle and flies out of the lower rev range. The only spoilsport from a sporty perspective: the three-speed automatic transmission that shifts barely noticeably between the gears but, at over 100 km/h, pardon, 62 miles per hour, allows the thrust to become viscous, like chewing gum.

While the speedometer in the Ford Mustang Coupé 289 V8 flicks from side to side, barely legible, the pony car conquers our measuring distance on the Hockenheim Parabolica. A glance at the anachronism, which hangs on the windscreen in the form of a digital GPS measuring device. Measured values for the 0-100-km/h sprint: a respectable 8.2 seconds. Okay, we'll also share the chewing gum value with you: 0-160 km/h in 25.5 seconds. In the test the current 429 HP Ford Mustang GT Fastback (2015) requires just 10.8 seconds.

At first, the 1965 Mustang remains stubborn

Classic car fans will probably refer to our longitudinal dynamics orgy as automotive rape, but if the V8 gran is already here, it should also have a quick lap of the Short Circuit in it. Dear Mustang 289, we don't want to get too personal right away, your dished three-spoke steering wheel is pretty as a picture, but the precision of your light-footed, emotionless and indirectly geared steering behind it is scary. A quarter-turn on the steering wheel – and nothing happens. With the stubbornness of the trans-continental railway, it continues straight ahead. Only with an even greater steering angle does the historic Mustang finally corner in the test.

The next driving challenge waits begins the original accessory wheels, at the time referred to as Styled Steel Wheels. The Mustang featured hubcaps as standard, yet the gleaming chrome rims distract even more beautifully from the brake drums. The – logically – ABS-free brake doesn't perform any heroic tasks with deceleration values of 5.6 m/s² in the limit range. Finding the right pressure with the doughy pedal sensation is about as simple as setting up a lunch date with Barack Obama. Early and sensitive braking is required, otherwise you end up kicking up dust on the gravel with blocked wheels.

Bye-bye rigid axle

About tyre smoke. After the 1965 enters the corner in Titanic fashion, with huge roll and slightly understeering, a white wall begins to spread across the rear-view mirror when accelerating out. It's no wonder that without differential locking, a rear wheel spins wildly under full load, searching for traction.

Meanwhile, inside the vehicle the pilot also searches for grip with lateral acceleration values of up to 0.95 g. Seats with absolutely no lateral support and no seatbelts require a certain amount of tension within the body. In any case, the initial owner is solely responsible for the fact that the 65 Mustang, with its lap time of 1:34,3 minutes - was 2.9 seconds slower than a Citroën C3 Pluriel with 108 HP.

Had he ordered the four-speed automatic transmission, the 4,160-Dollar differential locking and the extra "GT Equipment Group" package (firmer springs and dampers, thicker front stabilisers, more direct steering, disc brakes to the front) then the C3 Pluriel would certainly not have humiliated the 1965 Mustang. pushes the German coupé competition In spite of being in slow motion, drive-wise the Hockenheim lap was challenging and therefore not to be underestimated with regard to driving fun – but at what point do you ask yourself whether the transverse brace really delivers at 133 km/h?

Ford Mustang GT Fastback in Europe with 412 HP

An abrupt change of scene, welcome to the current Ford Mustang GT Fastback 2015. Traction problems were part of the code of honour for the majority of the US muscle car's predecessors. Now a new era begins with the sixth generation. While the fifth model series Shelby steam-hammers tested thus far on the race track generally exuded their power spectacularly, but not effectively, for the first time, the Boss 302 Laguna Seca special edition model showed that Mustang doesn't necessarily only mean dragstrips drawings made in black rubber on the asphalt. With 412 HP, a race track-optimised chassis and Pirelli P Zero Corsa Cup tyres, for the first time, the German competition listened in respectfully.

Our current import model from the Geiger showroom rumbles onto the Short Circuit as a GT Fastback with the traditional five-litre V8. Alongside the eight-cylinder and the 3.7-litre V6 with 296 H, for the first time ever the engine range now also includes a 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo with 306 HP. In view of being politically correct, however, we stick with the pure doctrine of eight Mustang cylinders. Whereas our US-specification model produces 429 HP, the model offered in Germany with the Europe specification is only expected to produce 412 HP.

5,000, 6,000, 7,000 rpm – a hammering V8 beat emerges from the racing boat-like idling gurgle as the revs increase. Handling and torque? Top marks – and once again the question arises as to why the naturally aspirated V8 engine is threatened with global extinction. The five-litre engine has been further refined for use in the current Ford Mustang GT Fastback (optimised dethrottling).

1,729 kilograms for the Mustang

Thanks to the new shift linkage, the gear lever of the manual six-speed transmission shifts with much greater precision through the streets than was the case for the notchy gearbox of its predecessor. Frustration with the gearbox in the Ford Mustang GT Fastback is as much a thing of the past as lamenting over the poorly balanced handling. Even though the Mustang coupé weighs in at a hefty 1,729 kilograms when fully fuelled and is thus unfortunately weighs 77 kilos more than the most recently tested Boss 302 predecessor, its drive dynamics performance in the test brought the greatest of pleasure.

At Ford they are particularly proud of the radical chassis modifications. The traditional rigid axle construction at the rear axle was thrown onto the scrapheap and was replaced by an integral independent suspension with a roll stabiliser, helical springs and single-tube damper. Long live the revolution!

In Germany the Ford Mustang GT will roll into dealerships with the GT Performance package as standard. Our import car only has this as an optional upgrade in the USA. Alongside the firmer spring and damper tuning, a thicker stabiliser to the rear and a Brembo brake system with six-piston callipers to the front and specially adjusted ABS tuning, 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero tyres and, last but not least, a Torsen differential lock, provide a clear increase in dynamics.

The competition is left trembling before the Mustang

Precise selection of braking points, pinpoint steering and accelerating out of corners with good traction – in terms of drive dynamics, the Ford Mustang with 28 percent higher body rigidity and a new chassis is barely recognisable. The new electromechanical power steering with three adjustable characteristic curves works more directly than the spongy steering in its predecessor. In comparison to the forerunner, it has also been possible to minimise understeer and body movements.

The braking system also convinces on the race track with an easily dosed sensation on the pedal, impeccable ABS regulation and stability. Whereas the new pony car steers stably and precisely, the rear pushes with tender power oversteer when exiting the corner. Fantastic - this is what high-speed driving fun looks like! It almost seems as if the drive dynamics developers took a BMW M3 E92 as a precedent.

With a braking distance of 34.9 metres from 100 km/h and a Hockenheim lap time of 1:13.8 minutes, the Ford Mustang GT Fastback pushes the German coupé competition in the form of the most recently measured BMW M4 (sport auto11/2014: 35.5 m, 1:13.6 min) and the Audi RS5 (sport auto12/2014: 34.7 m, 1:14.1 min) harder than ever before. The times when people here could laugh at the expense of the power pony are now a thing of the past.

Christian Gebhardt

Photo

Rossen Gargolov

Date

20 June 2015
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