The growl of an American V8 in the morning is probably the best way to start a day in my humble opinion. It’s more than pure automotive sound, it’s about the rich heritage of almost 52 years of the American Muscle cars history being blurted out in a matter of seconds. Yes, a crash course in history. We present you the 2017 Ford Mustang California Special
2017 Ford Mustang GT California Special Review | The Great American Pony Car
What’s special about the “California Special”? Mechanically nothing!! The Mustang is still powered by the 5.0 L Coyote 435 hp V8 of the Mustang GT and available either with a 6-speed manual transmission or a 6v speed automatic with paddle shifters. Sadly most of the Mustangs in Dubai and the Middle East opt for the automatic transmission. Our tester is basically a Mustang GT with a different trim. What you get are a lower lip, black decals on the hood, taller rear spoiler, unique 19-inch rims and Alcantara seat covers and a plaque. There’s a bit more plastic on the interior as compared to the GT trim, but that gets overlooked because the 2017 California Special comes with Fords latest SYNC 3 infotainment system which is vastly improved over the previous ones. It’s now responsive, well laid out and has Apple CarPlay for full cell phone connectivity.
The sixth generation Mustangs is due for a facelift next year in 2018 after being launched in 2015. But that did not stop Ford from creating a variant in trim called “California Special” in paying homage to its success in California back in the 60’s. Back to the “California Special”. This is a Mustang GT in essence. What you get is a comfortable sports car for everyday use. It does not carve the canyon like it’s on rails but what it does is it gives you a more hands on feel of driving to your edge. You can tap the accelerator and the rear end slides pointing the nose towards the direction of travel. It’s amazing that the traction control actually lets you have some fun and play before it overrides your uncontrolled enthusiasm.
And then there’s the 5.0L V8. There’s something about a two door sports car/coupe with a V8. Something is just right. 435 hp is not superbly impressive these days but when it comes with 542Nm of torque and behaves like a true muscle car then it does raise the hairs on your arms, you get goosebumps. It’s not perfect but it tingles the right senses somehow. That’s why the American Pony car has had a cult following, and that’s not limited to one country or continent, the Muscle Car mania has taken over the world. Hollywood has immortalized the Mustang and you can complain about many things about the Mustang but you cannot ignore the fact that it is special.
The power delivery is linear and while it does launch with a bang, what it does is gives you a controlled and linear delivery. You can predict the nature of the Mustang through the twists and turns, the slides are composed and exactly as you wanted it to be, there are no surprises. It’s all about the balance between you and the vehicle. The California Special edition does enhance the looks of the Mustang GT, and our tester in silver complimented the Arabian Desert pretty well.
The history behind the Mustang is one that has been deeply embedded in a petrol-heads DNA. Movies have played a big part of our lives and have molded our thoughts and dreams. Ford’s Mustang has played an iconic role in that and while the Europeans can teach the Americans what a muscle car is these days, it won’t take away the nostalgia and the presence of the Mustang from us.
Price and Specs: 2017 Ford Mustang GT California Special Review
|2017 FORD MUSTANG GT CALIFORNIA SPECIAL|
|Gearbox||6 Speed Automatic|
|Rated Output||435 Hp @6500 rpm|
|Rated Torque||542 Nm @ 4250 RPM|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||4.4 seconds claimed|
|Top Speed||250 kmph|
|Fuel Consumption||15.8L/100KMS Combined as tested|
|Price (AED)||As tested 240,000|
Images by Arnab Saha: 2017 Ford Mustang GT California Special Review