So this new Mustang has kept its accent even as it’s acquired a passport - it’s in Europe now with LHD, and arrives in Britain this autumn with right-side steering. Over here, Ford of Europe’s pitch is to folk who seek Americana but with world-class competence. You can have it with a 2.3 Ecoboost or a V8, with manual or auto, and soft or hard top. That makes eight possible combinations but almost everyone who’s ordered one in Britain has gone for either a soft-top 4cyl auto or coupe V8 manual. They want the cruiser or the muscle car - always the two most significant Mustang strands. For us today, it’s the muscle car, to see what it means in the European coupe landscape. Is it a direct competitor, an interesting diversion, or a hopeless irrelevance?
In the US, no one likes to be taken for the sort of fool who’d pay over the odds. Value is an American, er, value. So here we are, bubba-bubbing down a German dual carriageway, impressed by the refined cruise. For under £34,000, we’ve a 5.0-litre V8 up front, a limited-slip diff in the back, big Brembo brakes inside the 19in P Zeros, a pretty sophisticated integrated infotainment system and upgraded hi-fi in the cabin. Before you ask, to be ‘world-class’ meant this generation of Mustang has ditched the live rear axle in favour of proper suspension. The V8 isn’t some pushrod job but a four-cam all-aluminium effort with variable timing on all four camshafts. The bonnet and front wings are aluminium.