Increasingly stringent emissions regulations have forced automakers active in Europe to cut cylinders and add turbocharging. Consequently, the new car market in 2024 is dominated by models equipped with three- and four-pot engines featuring forced induction. However, the Ford Mustang defies the odds. The pony car still has a big ol' V8 under its hood, the familiar Coyote 5.0-liter naturally aspirated mill.
Now comes the bad news. Ford UK has launched the seventh-generation performance car with a significantly detuned V8. The standard Mustang GT makes 440 horsepower, so the Blue Oval had to sacrifice 40 horses to comply with the stricter laws. To make matters worse, torque has taken a hit as well since the engine can only muster 540 Newton-meters (397 lb-ft). That's 28 Nm (21 lb-ft) less than the version old in North America.
2024 Ford Mustang (Europe)
Seeing the glass half full, there's still more power than what the previous-generation Mustang initially had in the UK when it came out back in 2015. Side note – the S550's right-hand-drive layout necessitated a redesigned exhaust manifold to clear the steering gear, which took its toll on peak horsepower. The UK-spec S650 is slightly more powerful than the early S550 versions but the later ones (from 2018) packed an extra punch.
Numbers aside, those among us living on the Old Continent should be grateful that Ford has managed to launch a V8 car in the age of downsizing. It still packs sufficient muscle, but should you disagree, there's also the pricier Dark Horse.
The flagship Mustang for Europe belts out 448 hp and 540 Nm (397 lb-ft), which means it's handicapped by 52 hp and 28 Nm (21 lb-ft). You can have it with a six-speed manual gearbox, in which case the sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) takes 5.2 seconds en route to 163 mph (263 km/h). Go for the ten-speed automatic transmission and it gets the job done a lot quicker, in 4.4 seconds, but it tops out at a lower 155 mph (250 km/h).
Although the new Mustang was introduced in Europe back in September 2022, it's only now that the rear-wheel-drive sports car is going on sale. In the UK, it starts at £55,585 for the GT and rises to £65,585 for the Dark Horse. At current exchange rates, that works out to about $70,900 and $83,700, respectively. It's predictably a lot more expensive than its American cousin, available from $42,710 in GT guise and $59,485 for the Dark Horse. The major difference is primarily due to the value-added tax (VAT) of 20 percent.
At the top of the hierarchy, the Mustang GTD will be going on sale in the US either late this year or early 2025. Aside from having to pay an exorbitant starting price of approximately $300,000, you'll have to get approved by Ford to buy one. The company's European branch hasn't made it clear whether it intends to sell hardcore version with the supercharged 5.2-liter V8 dialed to over 800 hp.