October 6, 2022

All the time fancied a Ford Mustang, however by no means wished to drive a LHD automobile within the UK? Nicely, for the reason that arrival of the S550 now you can have a correct UK-spec, RHD Mustang. Right here’s what to search for when shopping for one…

Information first appeared in Quick Ford. Phrases: Dan Williamson. Images: Matt Expensive

Be trustworthy: is a Ford Mustang S550 in your wish-list of must-have Fords? No? Not tempted by a thunderous V8 and sub-five-second 0-to-60mph dash? Not enthralled by a rapidly-growing tuning market producing 1000bhp conversions, making the ‘Stang a critical Blue Oval various to a Nissan GT-R?

In fact you might be. And rightly so. With official UK right-hand-drive imports beginning in 2015 and so many Mustangs stampeding onto the used-car market, there’s by no means been a greater time to leap on board.

Better of all, you don’t must wave a star-spangled banner to get behind the wheel – as a result of, with just a few selection upgrades,  the Ford Mustang S550 is sweet sufficient to compete with European rivals. And it makes a real (albeit left-field) various to that Focus RS you’ve been promising your self.

The Ford Mustang S550 previewed within the USA in December 2013, starting manufacturing at Ford’s Flat Rock manufacturing unit in Michigan the next summer season. Boasting fabulously aggressive styling, the brand new machine was provided with a selection of four-cylinder, V6 and V8 engines, guide or automated transmission, two-door coupé (so-called fastback) or convertible bodystyles and quite a lot of trim ranges. In contrast to its predecessor (the S197), the 2015 MY (mannequin 12 months) Mustang featured unbiased rear suspension and – for the primary time – a factory-built possibility of right-hand drive.

The 2015 UK launch provided four-pot or V8 energy (the latter badged as GT), tin-top or drop-top, and Efficiency Pack as normal. There was an non-obligatory Customized Pack and broad selection of colors.

A facelifted Mustang was introduced in April 2018, sporting LED headlamps, a extra highly effective V8, a ten-speed automated and a number of other new possibility packs. The four-cylinder Mustang continued alongside the GT, however it’s the V8 that draws punters, and it’s the motor Quick Ford recommends.

Right here’s how one can get your fingers on some throbbing muscle…

Ford Mustang S550 purchaser’s information

Engine & Transmission

It must be a V8. Sure, the UK-supplied Mustang was provided with a 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost (and also you’ll discover some left-hand-drive imports with the US-spec 3.7-litre Cyclone V6), however it’s the 5.0 Coyote V8 that draws two thirds of consumers – and it’s what this shopping for information is about.

Not that there’s something unsuitable with the two.3 (it powers the Focus RS, in spite of everything). It’s simply that the V8 is the normal Mustang motor; it’s within the DNA. And should you’re going to purchase a giant, hefty Yank bruiser, it solely is smart to go for all-out muscle.

The Ford Mustang S550 makes use of the Coyote engine was carried over from the earlier Mustang, however it’s a completely fashionable unit, that includes strengthened alloy block, four-valve cylinder heads and twin unbiased variable cam timing (Ti-VCT). It’s additionally just about bombproof.

The Coyote was improved for 2018 with elevated capability, plasma-coated liners as a substitute of conventional sleeves, increased compression ratio, larger valves, direct gas injection, revised consumption runners and raised rev restrict. Energy elevated from 412bhp to 443bhp, though you’ll wrestle to really feel the distinction.

What you’ll discover – on a normal automobile – is the sound high quality: pre-facelift GTs had an underwhelming exhaust be aware however 2018 machines gained an excellent quad-pipe active-valve system that lets drivers modify the amount through a dashboard menu. By now, most pre-facelifts have had an aftermarket exhaust fitted, but when not you’ll must finances for purchasing one – important for any automobile fanatic.

Certainly, it’s regular to search out modifications on any Mustang as a result of it’s what they’re constructed for: 500bhp-plus is definitely achievable normally-aspirated, though many ‘Stangs are supercharged. The Coyote will deal with 750bhp with out a hitch, and Ben at Motorsport And Efficiency reckons, “It’s not working arduous, so it’ll take upto 1000bhp with inventory pistons and rods.”

Beware when shopping for, although, as a result of exaggerated outputs are commonplace; until you’re very conversant in Mustangs you would imagine a 700bhp automobile has a claimed 800bhp or extra. Examine receipts for who’s completed the work.

Issues? There are few. Early (2015-to-2016) vehicles had a possible oil cooler subject, when it ruptures and dumps the engine oil externally (onto the ground, or doubtlessly onto scorching parts) or internally, into the cooling system. Both means, the motor shall be wrecked, you gained’t know till it’s too late, and also you’ll face a £10k invoice.

It’s uncommon however it’s doable (particularly on hard-used vehicles), and most would have already been fastened beneath the three-year/60,000-mile Ford guarantee. However should you’re shopping for an early automobile, put money into an aftermarket oil cooler package (about £600) for peace of thoughts.

The Ford Mustang S550 are additionally susceptible to tapping from the engine – primarily at idle however generally although the rev vary. Gentle ticking is typically attributable to unfastened cables and warmth shields, however extra generally there’s a noise from the bottom-end that appears like a worn bearing.

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Technically it’s effective, and the official Ford reply is to disregard it. Some engines have been stripped to seek for the supply, solely to search out nothing unsuitable, whereas others (the Coyote has been round since 2011) have coated excessive mileages whereas ticking.

If something, the issue appears to happen after an oil change; Ben makes use of Millers Nanodrive 0w20 (5w40 on supercharged vehicles), and he’s by no means had any ticking…

Change the oil yearly or every time the show advises (service intervals are one 12 months/10,000 miles), swap the spark plugs at 30,000 miles (a lot much less in a big-power machine), and spend the remainder of your money on pursuing energy.

Ford Mustang S550

Now the query is guide or automated? Quick Ford would select the stick-shift, however the auto remains to be rated as a driver’s automobile, and all ‘containers are ultra-tough.

Guide Mustangs have the Getrag MT-82 six-speed, which acquired a duff status within the S197 Mustang for poor really feel and breakages. Fortunately, the S550 model is significantly better, and few faults have been reported.

Ford issued a TSB (technical service bulletin) after some pre-June 2016 manual-transmission Mustangs wouldn’t crank the engine on account of a broken clutch pedal place swap – not the type of fault you’ll discover when shopping for used.

A revised guide ‘field (MT82-D4) was fitted for the 2018 facelift, with recent gear ratios, bigger synchro rings and dual-disc clutch. Some hard-driven vehicles exhibit issues with their aluminium shift forks on third and fourth gear snapping off; Ford fastened the issue fairly shortly, however verify the gearchange on an early 2018 machine feels clean.

The gearbox is in any other case robust, and even the inventory clutch will deal with critical energy for some time, however it may be killed by dangerous drivers – and it’s a four-figure job to interchange. The primary signal is a excessive biting level on the clutch pedal; if there’s any signal of slipping (you’ll have the ability to inform instantly, with all that V8 torque) it’s already failed.

In response to Spencer at Haynes Ford, automated Mustangs make up round three-quarters of UK gross sales. Early variations had a six-speed model of Ford’s ZF-based gearbox, the 6R80. The 2018 facelift launched the ten-speed replace, the Ford-GM 10R80, which though not a dual-clutch design, does a rattling good job of out-dragging its guide counterpart: quoted figures are a standing quarter-mile in 11.8 seconds (an entire second faster than the guide). Autoboxes are reckoned to be good for 1000bhp.

Examine the six-speed auto doesn’t clunk when going from impartial to drive or reverse, which is able to want the entrance transmission flange to get replaced.

Hear for vibrations, buzzing and rumbling from 40 to 60mph, which counsel an imbalanced driveshaft, though might additionally outcome from worn wheel bearings or tyres. Robbie from Steeda reckons some Mustangs have noisy differentials (UK vehicles characteristic the Torsen T-2R from the American Efficiency Pack 1), though it’s nothing to fret about. Half-shafts, he says, are the weakest level of the transmission: for avenue use they’re effective, however have been recognized to snap on the strip.

Ford Mustang S550

Chassis

You’ve seen the YouTube clips and heard the jokes: the Mustang-crashing-into-a-crowd situation is a really actual phenomenon. Partly it’s as a result of exhibiting off comes hand-in-hand with driving a muscle automobile, and primarily as a result of many Mustang drivers aren’t conversant in highly effective rear-wheel-drive equipment. One other issue is that, though the S550 is the primary Mustang with unbiased rear suspension, it’s not precisely a sporty setup.

“The suspension can’t cope with 400bhp, not to mention 700bhp,” says Robbie, “it’ll be straight right into a hedge.”

Though British Mustangs have the Efficiency Pack settings as normal, it’s very gentle and imprecise. Poor alignment from the manufacturing unit means the rear subframe may be up to now to the left or proper that, if spacers are fitted, you’ll discover wheels protruding extra on one aspect than the opposite.

Ben says Steeda’s IRS Base Pack is a must have modification, even should you do nothing greater than drive to the outlets. By filling outsized bolt gap with void bushes, it takes the slop out of the suspension – which implies you may really feel what the rear finish is doing. Add a set of decreasing springs and subframe help bushes and your invoice shall be nearly £1000, however you’ll must finances for it in case your earlier automobile was an ST or RS – otherwise you’ll be very dissatisfied.

Suspension upgrades may even assist to eradicate wheel hop, for which the Mustang is often criticised. Once more, issue the modifications into your finances earlier than shopping for the automobile.

There are few suspension issues to pay attention to, though it’s price listening for rumbling from the rear wheel bearings, which may fail prematurely.

Be ready for rear tyres to endure an analogous destiny, and keep away from something carrying low cost budget-spec rubber. Robbie recommends the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, which fits UK roads and helps to scale back wheel hop too.

Lastly, don’t assume any facelifted Ford Mustang S550 will characteristic fancy MagneRide damping, which adapts to street circumstances – it’s a £1600 non-obligatory additional, however reckoned to be definitely worth the outlay.

Within the States, the Mustang isn’t such a giant deal. The bottom mannequin is a rent automobile; a buying automobile; a automobile for middle-class households to provide to 16-year-old children for driving classes; the idea for observe vehicles and present vehicles the place all of the inventory stuff is solely thrown away.

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Fortunately, the UK didn’t obtain the essential Mustang (other than just a few pre-official imports), and all British GTs embrace Ford’s Efficiency Pack 1 as normal – which supplies whopping Brembo six-pot entrance calipers and 380x34mm discs, plus 330x25mm ventilated rear discs with floating callipers.

As you may think about, they’re excellent for avenue and observe days, though chances are you’ll discover enthusiastic homeowners have swapped the heavy entrance anchors for light-weight two-piece discs. You may also see the pads are worn; fortunately, they’ re non-exotic costs.

It’s unlikely you’ll discover any points with the brakes, albeit some pads are likely to squeal greater than others. A heavily-used Mustang may exhibit juddering by means of the pedal on account of contaminated discs/pads in want of substitute.

An digital line lock is discovered on all GTs, which lets the driving force spin the rear wheels whereas stationary by making use of the entrance brakes. However don’t get excited as a result of it’s only a get together trick and ineffective until you’re at a drag strip.

Inside

It’s no AMG. And, to be trustworthy, it’s no Vignale. However the Mustang’s cabin makes a superb effort at wanting thrilling, even when it’s not precisely a premium product.

There are shiny switches and leather-clad seats. And, after all, that iconic pony emblem on the steering wheel (until you’re fortunate sufficient to bag a Bullitt, which has its personal evocative design).

Sadly, it’s all constructed right down to a value. These switches are silver-painted plastic, and many homeowners are dissatisfied by the Mustang’s construct high quality. Early vehicles are significantly susceptible to cockpit rattles, squeaks and vibrations. Some have even been equipped with mismatched elements.

Pre-facelift S550s have been equipped with one trim stage plus non-obligatory climate-controlled heated seats, which have been additionally included within the standard Customized Pack.

Facelifted vehicles gained better-quality cabin supplies, aluminium door handles and extra choices: Ebony leather-based Recaro seats (fastback solely; good however uncommon), local weather managed seats, or a selection of 4 Customized Packs (which embrace hand-stitched centre console and climate-controlled seats). In the event you care about resale worth, make sure to purchase a automobile with a Customized Pack. Facelifted machines are additionally stated to rattle a lot much less, and really feel that bit extra luxurious.

You’ll not discover quite a bit unsuitable with Ford Mustang S550 electrics. Puddle lights within the door mirrors are susceptible to breaking on account of moisture (usually fastened beneath guarantee), and there was a recall in January 2019 on account of a hearth danger from the battery wiring harness, which runs too near the exhaust manifold and desires insulating; verify it’s been fastened.

A number of vehicles have had faults with the air-con condenser, so guarantee all of it works. Twin-zone local weather management is normal.

Some homeowners additionally report difficulties with the audio system’s DAB radio and connectivity. Early fashions have been fitted with Ford’s SYNC 2 8in color touch-screen, however from April 2015 gained the preferable SYNC 3.

Surprisingly, satellite tv for pc navigation wasn’t standard-fit however included in varied Customized Packs – a automobile with out nav is price much less. The pre-facelift Customized Pack included Shaker Professional premium audio system with satellite tv for pc navigation and reverse parking sensors, whereas 2018 Customized Packs added sat nav and 12-speaker B&O sound system.

The facelift additionally launched an LED instrument cluster, which many patrons are eager to amass; thankfully it’s not a deal-breaker, as a result of it’s an achievable improve for earlier vehicles. Not so the 2018 LED tri-bar headlamps rather than the unique HID xenons, which contain cracking open lights and many rewiring.

Ford Mustang S550

Model

Make no mistake: the Mustang is a giant automobile. In the event you usually drive a Fiesta you would be shocked by the Yank’s bulk. And – not that we’d anticipate any Quick Ford reader to fall into this entice – be sure that it matches your storage earlier than signing on the dotted line…

If you need a Mustang fastback relatively than convertible (eight-out-of-ten patrons do), you’ll have a wider selection on the used market. Drop-tops are a few grand costlier new, however second-hand costs stage out.

Color selection shall be necessary too. Race Purple is hottest within the UK (specified on round a fifth of vehicles), with greys and blacks equally sought-after. If you need a lairy shade (resembling Want For Inexperienced) it might take longer to search out, however you’ll be rewarded with one thing mighty particular.

Facelifted Mustangs (within the UK from round April 2018) had new colors (together with White Platinum, Grabber Blue and Lightning Blue); additionally they are usually higher bolted-together.

Many homeowners of pre-facelift vehicles complain of dodgy panel gaps, significantly on the entrance and rear bumpers but in addition across the bonnet, entrance panel, sills, rear quarters, boot lid, rear window, lights, gas cap and doorways (which can additionally drop when opened). Convertible tops usually look askew when raised.

Some Mustang are so dangerous they appear to be they’ve been rolled down the street – but it’s merely on account of poor high quality management in America. Sometimes the misalignment is huge by a few millimetres; usually it’s so dangerous that panels are rubbing collectively. Examine just a few totally different Mustangs to verify.

Clearly, it’s important to examine any automobile for accident injury, resembling creased internal wings and floorpan; being rear-wheel-drive, it’s greatest to verify a Mustang’s boot ground and rear quarters – behind any trim if wants be.

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To make issues worse, the paintwork on some vehicles is shoddy, with runs from the manufacturing unit, and scuffs and dents from transportation; rear spoilers and different plastics may additionally be off-shade.

Facelift vehicles don’t appear so dangerous, though there was a 2018 recall for a towing eye with the unsuitable thread. Nothing to fret about.

Mustangs include a prolonged anti-perforation guarantee (usually meaningless when trying to make a declare from…), however some ‘Stangs have already exhibited rust bubbles on the wheelarches and the sides of the bonnet.

Keep in mind that manufacturing unit anti-corrosion therapy leaves quite a bit to be desired, and Ben recommends treating the floorpan to high-quality underseal. In any other case, just a few years of salted winter roads will spell bother.

Select a automobile with Customized Pack. The pre-facelift pack included chrome window surrounds (fastback solely) and Lustre Nickel end to the multi-spoke 19in rims. Facelift Customized Pack 1 is similar however Customized Pack 2 options black 19in alloys and no chrome; Customized Pack 3 contains 19in solid alloys plus chrome surrounds, and Customized Pack 4 appears the identical however with out the bling.

Ford Mustang S550

Id

Keyless entry and push-button begin: nice to have, however an invite to thieving scum. It’s normal on all S550s, so think about it a bonus if the automobile you’re shopping for has further safety measures put in. It additionally means you’ll should be vigilant in the case of cross-checking the VIN (automobile identification quantity) on the logbook with the quantity within the windscreen, beneath a flap within the carpet beneath the driving force’s seat and on a sticker on the driving force’s-side B-pillar.

Naturally, with a automobile of this worth it’s important to put money into a full historical past verify to make sure there’s no excellent finance or hidden accident injury.

It’s additionally sensible to familiarise your self with what’s in the marketplace: left-hand-drive Mustangs are prone to be lower-specced than official UK vehicles, and – until it’s one thing superior resembling a Shelby –  are greatest averted. The facelifted Mustang of April 2018 fetches extra money (and rightly so) due to an entire host of enhancements; it’s recognisable from its decrease nostril with LED headlights and extra aggressive entrance bumper.

It’s additionally price searching for a particular version such because the 2016 Shadow Version (Race Purple or Grabber Blue with black pony grille emblem, black Y-spoke alloys, Customized Pack and non-obligatory black roof) or the 55 Version of 2019 (stripes, black grille, black roof, Customized Pack, distinctive black alloys and non-obligatory rear spoiler). Such Mustangs actually are limited-runs (even Mustang important supplier Haynes Ford has single-figure allocations).

In fact, it’s the legendary Bullitt that will get most consideration. Fastback/guide solely, it boasts extra energy (due to GT350 Open Air Induction System, 87mm throttle our bodies and remap), heavy-duty entrance springs and rear anti-roll bar, black Torq Thrust-type five-spoke alloys, pink Brembos, debadged grille, Recaro seats with inexperienced particulars, and cue-ball gearknob. Paintwork is McQueen’s selection of Darkish Highland Inexperienced, however Shadow Black is offered on later vehicles. The primary batch of 2018 offered out nearly instantly, so Ford prolonged manufacturing into 2020. Value having? Oh sure!

Wish to know how one can get probably the most efficiency out of your Ford Mustang S550? You may take a look at our tuning information proper right here.

Ford Mustang S550

Tech Spec: Ford Mustang S550

Engine:  

Coyote 4951cc (2018-on: 5038cc) DOHC 32-valve V8 with aluminium block and heads, forged aluminium pistons, solid metal con rods, 11:1 compression ratio (2018-on: 12:1), sequential multi-port gas injection (2018-on: direct injection), chrome steel tubular exhaust manifolds and twin-exit system (2018-on: Energetic Valve efficiency exhaust with quad tailpipes)

Transmission:

Rear-wheel drive with Getrag MT-82 six-speed guide gearbox or 6R80 six-speed automated (2018-on: 10R80 ten-speed automated) gearbox with paddle shifters, Torsen T-2R restricted slip differential, closing drive ratio: 3.55:1, digital launch management

Suspension:

Entrance: double-ball-joint unbiased MacPherson strut and tubular anti-roll bar; rear: integral-link unbiased with coil springs, monotube dampers and anti-roll bar. Bullitt with uprated spring and anti-roll bar

Brakes:

Entrance: 380mm ventilated discs with Brembo six-piston callipers; rear: 330mm ventilated discs with floating callipers; ABS, AdvanceTrac digital stability management, digital line-lock

Wheels & Tyres:

Entrance: 9x19in alloys and 255/40×19 tyres; rear: 9.5x19in alloys and 275/40×19 tyres

Exterior:

Unitary metal two-door coupé or convertible with aluminium bonnet and entrance wings, auto HID (2015-2017) or LED (2018-on) headlamps, heated power-folding door mirrors, LED tail lights, rain-sensing wipers, GT grille and badging. Colors embrace Competitors Orange, Race Purple, Oxford White, Absolute Black, Deep Impression Blue, Guard Gray, Magnetic, Ingot Silver, Ruby Purple, Triple Yellow, Shadow Black, Velocity Blue, Iconic Silver, Kona Blue, Grabber Lime, Tornado Orange, Lucid Purple, Want For Inexperienced, Orange Fury, Darkish Highland Inexperienced

Inside:

Electrically-adjustable entrance seats, leather-based upholstery, color touch-screen SYNC stereo with 9 audio system, rear digicam, dual-zone local weather management, KeyFree with PowerStart button, MyColour ambient inside lighting. Non-obligatory Recaro seats (not convertible) or climate-control heated/cooled seats

Ford Mustang S550 efficiency stats

Made: 2015-present

Value when new: £32,995-£51,045

Value now: £19,000-£60,000-plus

Energy: 2015-2017: 412bhp @ 6500rpm; 2018-on: 443bhp @ 7000rpm; Bullitt: 453bhp @ 7250rpm

Torque: 2015-2017: 386Ib/ft @4250rpm; 2018-on: 390lb.ft @ 4650rpm

High velocity: 155mph (Bullitt: 163mph)

0-62mph: 4.3-4.8 seconds