Personalisation, customisation, tuning – call it what you will but American owners have been tweaking their Mustangs from when the car first went on sale in the mid-'60s. Whether it’s a set of stripes or a whole engine transplant, through established tuners like Shelby, Roush and many others there’s a fine tradition of uprating Mustangs to ludicrous levels of power. And with the Mustang finally on sale here it seems British owners have taken this passion to their hearts, something Ford is supporting it with a range of Ford Performance Parts. From badges and stickers to 670hp supercharger upgrades it’s all here. And much of it is fitted to this car.
The car you see here is based on the pre-facelift, 5.0-litre V8-powered Ford Mustang GT Fastback. There’s now an updated version with a new look, updated engine and other tweaks but it makes sense for this car to be based on an existing model, given it demonstrates the kind of things owners could add to their current car. Given the dramatic increase in performance the visual changes on this car are relatively subtle, stretching to silver stripes, a rear wing, some Ford Performance stickers and a few ‘dress up’ parts around the engine bay. Suffice to say, you can take it much further if you wish.
The 416PS (410bhp) 5.0-litre V8 in the stock Mustang GT is classically big and brawny. But thanks to £10,000 worth of Ford Performance Parts supercharger kit it now has an astonishing 670PS (661bhp) – same a a Ferrari 488 GTB but about as far removed from F1-bred sophistication as it’s possible to get. The power delivery is extraordinary, the Mustang erupting off the line and delivering huge punch in any gear and at any speed. It’s big, heavy and unapologetically old-fashioned but more accomplished around the Goodwood circuit than you might credit. You might be faster in a supercar. But you’ll probably have a bigger grin in the supercharged Mustang.
By offering owners officially sanctioned and warranty compliant tuning parts direct through dealers Ford is to be applauded for supporting those looking for more out of their Mustangs. It’s not quite the level of the American Ford Performance catalogue with its crate engines and all the rest. But it’s a start and, while the Mustang is still a relatively new sight on UK roads, it’s good to see owners embracing US tuning culture. Even with all these bits the car you see here is still cheaper than a BMW M4 but punches harder than a Nissan GT-R. It’s the very essence of democratised horsepower and a powerful display of what American bang for buck really stands for.
Price tag of our car: 2016 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT Fastback, £38,095 new, £53,824 with Ford Performance Parts upgrades as tested.