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Updated Mustang gets new look and 450hp V8. Image by Ford.

Updated Mustang gets new look and 450hp V8
Styling changes and new transmission for Fordís Pony Car
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Is that a new Mustang?

Yes, and well done for spotting. Ford is making some major updates to the 'Stang for the 2018 model year, but you'd be hard pressed to know from the outside.

It does look a tiny bit different...

Yes, there is a lower bonnet, which now has integrated vents, and some new headlights (with daytime running lights now). At the back, new LED tail-lights and a reprofiled bumper are added, plus there are some new paint options - Kona Blue, Orange Fury and Royal Crimson. There are new 19-inch wheels which you can have in Nickel, Ebony Black and Polished Aluminium.

Doesn't look much different inside, either...

No, not really, although Ford says that it has made the cabin feel a bit more 'premium'. But then given how cheap the interior felt before, it would want to. There is a new optional digital instrument panel, basically taken from the mighty GT supercar, and the central eight-inch touchscreen now has SYNC 3 software, which means you can have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Anything else inside?

Some new trim materials, and the option of new Recaro sports seats. That's about it.

What about changes underneath?

Ah, here's where there are some significant updates. The 5.0-litre V8 engine has a new fuel injection system which liberates more power, taking it to 450hp. Ford hasn't made any performance claims yet, but there's a new (optional) 10-speed automatic transmission and standard Launch Control, so Ford's expecting it to be the fastest accelerating standard Mustang ever.

That auto also includes some new driving modes. Alongside the existing Normal, Sport, Track and Snow/Wet settings, there's a new Drag Strip mode which hunkers everything down for the best possible standing starts, and a new 'My Mode' which means you can pick and choose how you want your settings set (the six-speed manual version gets the same extra modes).

On the safety front (where the Mustang has in the past been criticised) there's now standard pedestrian detection and pre-collision assist, while active cruise control and lane-keeping aids are now on the options list.

The suspension has been updated with new dampers (and active 'MagnaRide' dampers as an option), a stiffer setup at the rear, and new anti-roll bars.

Amid all these improvements, there does seem to be one backward step - the 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo engine has seen its power cut from 310hp to 290hp. Ford isn't yet saying why, nor how much it affects the car's performance.

"Europe's passion for Mustang has proven even greater than we imagined - almost 30,000 Mustangs are already bringing one of the most iconic sights in motoring to the continent's streets," said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company. "There are few cars on the road that can deliver such a combination of heritage, style and performance to such a wide audience. The new Ford Mustang offers the most compelling package yet."

When can I have one?

Deliveries start next year.

Neil Briscoe - 11 Sep 2017

2017 Ford Mustang facelift. Image by Ford.2017 Ford Mustang facelift. Image by Ford.2017 Ford Mustang facelift. Image by Ford.2017 Ford Mustang facelift. Image by Ford.2017 Ford Mustang facelift. Image by Ford.

2017 Ford Mustang facelift. Image by Ford.2017 Ford Mustang facelift. Image by Ford.2017 Ford Mustang facelift. Image by Ford.2017 Ford Mustang facelift. Image by Ford.2017 Ford Mustang facelift. Image by Ford.    - Ford road tests
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