In Depth

Ford Mustang scores 'worrying' two-star safety rating

Backseat passengers reportedly slid under seatbelt during Euro NCAP test crash

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Ford's Mustang coupe has been awarded just two out of five stars in a European safety test after passengers sitting in the back of the car reportedly slid under the seatbelt during tests.

Euro NCAP, the European safety assessment programme, said there were "concerns" over the crash protection for both adult and children in the car.It also reported that the Mustang had a "worrying" lack of the safety systems widely available on the majority of European cars.

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Euro NCAP's tests found the driver and passenger airbags failed to inflate sufficiently and rear seatbelt pre-tensioners did not hold passengers in place during a full-width frontal impact.

In side-impact collisions, the head of the dummy representing a ten-year-old child missed the curtain airbags and hit the interior trim.The score is the lowest Euro NCAP rating since the Lancia Ypsilon in 2015, says AutoExpress, while the most recent "mainstream" vehicle to do badly was the Jeep Compass, which "fared equally poorly" in 2012.

Euro NCAP said the Mustang was clearly designed to "score well" in the less rigorous North American crash tests, with European variants receiving "minor updates" to comply with pedestrian and forward collision safety regulations.Ford's new facelifted Mustang equipped with pre-collision assistance, which will reach the US market in the autumn, is expected to fare better in the tests when it reaches Europe next year.

2018 Ford Mustang GT gets more powerful V8   

19 January

Ford has just unveiled its 2018 model Mustang, which will go on sale in Britain early next year. The car will feature a new front-end and have an upgraded version of the GT's V8 engine. 

Exterior tweaks to the outgoing model include a sharper front bumper with angular lines and a reshaped grille. Ford has also improved the design of the air vents on top of the bonnet and added small openings on either side of the front bumper that could be used for brake cooling. 

Under the bonnet, the 2018 Mustang GT has a reworked version of the current model's 5.0-litre V8 engine, allowing it to rev higher and deliver more power. This is coupled to an upgraded version of Ford's six-speed manual gearbox, which now includes a twin-disc clutch and a dual-mass flywheel to improve torque. 

The 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost model has also been tweaked to improve torque at full-throttle. It will be available with Ford's new ten-speed automatic gearbox, as will the V8 GT, and is expected to offer faster shift times and smoother cruising at lower speeds. 

Inside, Ford has introduced a customisable 12ins digital instrument cluster that can be viewed in either normal, sport or track mode. Buyers can save their driving preferences through the car's MyMode system, which remembers suspension and steering settings.  

There's also an optional active exhaust system that allows drivers to adjust the sound and volume of the car. MagneRide suspension, designed to improve the handling dynamics depending on road conditions, is available in the optional Performance Package.

The 2018 Ford Mustang will go on sale in North America in the autumn. UK deliveries are expected "in early 2018", according to AutoExpress

Ford unveils track-only Shelby Mustang FP350S

13 December

Ford has announced the new Shelby FP350S - a track-only Mustang that will be fully compliant to racing and safety regulations set out by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

It is based on Ford's road-going Mustang GT350, although with exterior modifications including an adjustable rear wing and front splitter. There are also several track-orientated safety modifications, such as a quick-release bonnet system and exterior tow hook.

Under the bonnet sits a Ford-Performance built 5.2-litre V8 engine, which is expected to produce significantly more than the GT350's 519bhp thanks to a racing exhaust and oil-cooling system. 

Autocar reports the Mustang is being "offered as ready to race" and conforms to FIA racing legislation, so it can be entered into several racing series without "further modification".

Inside, the FP350S features a completely stripped-out interior with Sparco bucket seats and an FIA-compliant six-point roll cage. Racing suspension and a high-performance brake system are among several chassis modifications to optimise the Mustang for circuit racing. 

Orders will soon be open for the US market. There is no word yet on whether Ford will export the Mustang race car to the UK. 

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