Friday, December 6, 2013

A Euro Ford To Get Excited About.

Big news for sports car fans, Ford is FINALLY bringing their iconic Mustang to Europe! No more back-door importers cutting holes to jam in side marker lights, or swapping in coloured turn signals, or riveting licence plates into spaces never designed for them. Ford has redesigned their 6th generation, 2014 Mustang as a true world car, with Europe in mind from the beginning.
Varying automobile standards around the globe (such as crash tests, headlight and taillight specifications, and safety equipment, for example) have made it difficult for an automobile manufacturer to design a car for one market and later try and introduce it in another. A car well suited to the US, for example, won't necessarily cut it in Asia, just as a car certified in Europe might not pass the test for South America.

This was the case with the current Mustang. As with every previous Mustang, the US domestic market was all that mattered when it was designed. That car was and still is a success, but when it came time to plan the 2014 version, Ford had bigger ambitions. Having a car dependant on the US market is a dangerous proposition... if that one market shrinks, there is no way to boost sales elsewhere to compensate.
Starting next year Ford will be playing in a much larger sandbox. Europe's weak economy is certainly not an automaker's golden ticket, but a car as unique and legendary as the Mustang will certainly be able to gallop its way into the market. Studies have shown that the Mustang nameplate is one of Fords best-known names even in countries where it has never officially been sold. That's a huge plus for an automaker, as getting a new car onto the radar of new car buyers is a huge, costly struggle.

For as long as it has existed, the Mustang has found its way to Europe by way of import companies or private citizens who have imported the cars on their own (such as American military stationed on bases in Europe). This is a very pricey option, however, and results in a very expensive Mustang.
The other sticking point until now has been the engine displacement. Some would argue that the only true Mustang is the one with a 5.0L V8, but an engine of that size is hugely taxed by European governments keen on pushing people into low-displacement, economical cars. When the average car engine is somewhere below 2.0L, the tax rate on a 4.6L V6 or 5.0L V8 is prohibitive.

It seems that Ford was really willing to do what it takes to help the Mustang succeed in Europe, as they have included a 4-cylinder option for the first time in over 20 years. This 2.3L Ecoboost turbo engine will put out more than 300hp, so while the reduced displacement will help tax and insurance rates, the power is still there to make this one respectable ponycar.

Looks are subjective, but I think that this new 'Stang is a knockout. It's got the creases and bulges to prove it's a sports car, and the clean, sleek profile to help it fit into parking lots filled with BMW and Mercedes and Audi coupes, the go-to brands for Europeans looking for a sporty ride.
I really think that Ford has something hot on their hands. In the very least it will continue the success it has always known in the US... but it will also be a truly unique, stand-out option in Europe, and I suspect that it will redefine the sports car market there over the next few years.



  1. Hmmmm... Ford France has a great Mustang mini-site up on their webpage, and it states that the Mustang will be available with TWO engine choices (and not the three that will be available in the US).

    There will be the base 2.3L 4-cylinder Ecoboost and the optional 5.0L 8-cylinder. This actually makes good sense, for the tax and insurance reasons I mentioned before... anyone with the budget for the V6 may as well cough up a bit extra and get the 'proper' V8 version.

  2. And I see that the same site is available in English on the Ford Uk website:

  3. Just read that all 2,000 of the 2015 Mustangs heading to Australia this year are spoken for! Haven't yet heard about European interest in the car, but glad to hear it's a hit down under!

    I also saw that Mustang sales so far this year are up over 40%, so it's a great time to be a ponycar fan!


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