Wow, this is a bit of me this is! Yes, the build quality is a bit a shabby and the steering wheel is on the wrong side of this example, but the big ol’ bruiser that is the new Mustang is truly fantastic! With a grunty 2.3-litre EcoBoost up front, six-speed gearbox in the middle, and 300-odd bhp at the rear wheels it is the closest thing wearing to the mighty Sierra and Sapphire Cosworths that Ford has built in 30 years! Little wonder I like it then!
The Mustang wins you over before you get anywhere near the driver’s seat – just look at it! It looks awesome! And that’s not just my humble opinion, that’s a fact than cannot be disputed!
When you do slide yourself into the incredibly low driving position you are greeted with acres of sculpted bonnet to remind you this is not your average rep-mobile. I’ll admit the interior isn’t as nice as many other models, in fact it simply isn’t very nice. But the car I drove was actually a US import (hence the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car!) and the UK-spec cars are said to be much nicer inside.
But then you don’t buy a Mustang to worry about the cabin! You buy one for the thrills it offers behind the wheel! And that’s where the left-hooker has its advantages. By importing a car from the ‘States, Revo have been able to get their hands on the Mustang long before any UK customers, and have spent the last 18 months delving into the Mustang’s ECU and engine bay to see where improvements can be made.
The first software upgrade was a much needed improvement over standard, with reports of the heavy Mustang feeling a little flat and underwhelming in stock 2.3-litre trim. A simple reflash of the ECU sees the Stage 1 upgrade produce a Focus RS-rivaling 300bhp at the wheels, and a V8 Mustang-rivaling 538Nm.
This means things can get very hot under the bonnet very quickly, and the stock hardware really isn’t very good at keeping the temps under control. Therefore Revo have added some extra protection by way of clever temperature controls to protect the engine. When the intake temps start to rise too far the ECU starts to restrict power, first by around 5%, then 10%, until it knocks the power back to that of a standard car.
Understandably this livens things up nicely, but Stage 1 is just the beginning. The real fun starts when you add hardware upgrades, then the Stage 2 software can make full use of potential performance…
Stage 2 makes full use of Revo’s yet-to-be-released intercooler (a must as the OE intercooler struggles at even a Stage 1 level of tune), free flowing induction kit, and an uprated exhaust with sports cat. With Stage 2 package bolted in place the power figures climb to a very impressive 349hp at the wheels, and a staggering 570Nm. These hardware upgrades allow you to drive harder, for longer without the worry of overheating or loss of power.
And behind the wheel, that means this Mustang is fun, a lot of fun! Despite the car being so heavy the enormous amount of torque on offer from as low as 2500rpm means it takes off very impressively for a car of this size. It gives you a punch in the backside and then keeps you pinned to the seat as you continue to gather speed and the power starts to climb.
We didn’t have to time to gather any performance figures of our own during the test drive, but Revo claim the Stage Mustang can do the 0-60mph sprint in 5.03 seconds, and 0-100mph in 11.86 seconds. It certainly feels like this is possible from where I was sitting!
But it’s the Mustang’s ability to go sideways that appealed to me the most. It really is like a modern day Cossie in that respect; plenty of power and just begging you to kick the tail end out.
I was pleasantly surprised with just how comfortable everything was at cruising speeds too. Despite this car being kitted out with a full aftermarket exhaust and sports cat, open-cone air intake, and Eibach springs and roll bars it was actually very nice to drive a slower speeds too. The ride was compliant, the exhaust offered a little rumble but was no way intrusive (even at cursing speeds) and the air filter didn’t ‘woosh’ and ‘pisshh’ anywhere near as much I feared it would.
In short then, you could actually use a Stage 2 Mustang as an everyday car. But the temptation to ‘light ‘em up’ at every opportunity would mean you’d be a regular at your local tyre fitters!
2.3-litre EcoBoost, Revo Stage 2 software, Revo open-con air intake system, Revo front mount intercooler, Revo big brake kit, Milltek exhaust system including sports cat, Eibach anti-roll bar, Eibach lowering springs, 349WHP, 570Nm.