When Ford launched a right-hand drive Mustang, we all rejoiced. Here, finally, was the legend - in official, usable format in the UK. It even looked good. Ford UK was delighted, too, because the initial demand far outstripped supply; the queue for a V8 - which was almost as affordable as everyone hoped it would be - was prodigiously long, and stayed that way for months.
The firm's solution for shortening it, and obviously to appeal to a wider audience, was to simultaneously introduce a version powered by its 2.3-litre Ecoboost motor. It made an eminent amount of sense: the engine developed over 300hp, was much more economical than the naturally aspirated 5.0-litre unit, and was shared with the Focus RS that closely followed it - where it was initially lauded.
It was also offered for a significantly lower starting price than the V8. The problem, of course, was that for most UK buyers the appeal of a right-hand drive Mustang was indivisible from the thought of a big, shouty engine. The Ecoboost made sense on paper - and drove well enough in the real-world, too - but it tended to diminish the muscle car concept that Ford fans had in their heads. (Not for nothing either, but the Focus RS was available for similar money, in a more recognisable format, with more power).
Consequently the four-cylinder version was never hugely popular. And now it's gone for good in Europe, as Ford seeks to consolidate its manufacturing and fleet emissions. "The latest Mustang coupé range is V8-only, reflecting customer preference and prior low demand for the 2.3 four-cylinder at 15% of sales. Engineering resource has to be prioritised across all car models, balancing their popularity, emissions compliance and CO2 contribution," it reported.
So while the 2.3-litre version is still mentioned in passing on Ford's customer website - and presumably still available from dealers while stocks last - you can only order a V8, meaning the Mustang lineup now starts at £44,185 for a manual 450hp GT (or £46,185 for the 10-speed auto). Alternatively you can have the slightly more powerful Mach 1, which effectively replaces the recently departed Bullitt, from £55,185. Expect that model to make a lot more sense to Mustang fans in the UK.
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