New Ford Mustang California Special revealed with retro styling tweaks

The Ford Mustang range has a new member. The Mustang California Special is a designation that can be traced back to the 1960s, but it hasn’t made an official appearance in Europe until now.

The latest car to bear the name is based on the current Mustang GT Convertible. It focuses on cosmetic changes, which on the outside include a black-finished honeycomb grille, black, red and grey decal stripes down the sides of the car, and unique 19-inch wheels. The latter are finished in ‘Carbonised Grey’, matching the side skirts, rear diffuser and larger front splitter. GT/CS logos appear in abundance, there’s a faux rear filler cap and there are some rear side air scoops on the options list.

Inside, Ford has added grey suede ‘Miko’ (a material made from recycled polyester) to part of the seats and the inner door panels. There’s ‘Carbon Hex’ aluminium trim for the instrument cluster, a Mustang California Special plaque, and GT/CS logos embossed on the seats and floor mats.

Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity features as standard, as does a suite of driver assistance technologies incorporating adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assistance.

The 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 is unchanged, producing 444bhp and 529Nm of torque. When combined with the standard-fit six-speed manual gearbox, this makes for a 0-62mph time of 4.8 seconds. The optional 10-speed automatic reduces this to 4.5sec.

The California Special is available in nine exterior colours including Grabber Blue and Cyber Orange. It’s priced from £52,105, just £650 more than a regular Mustang GT Convertible.

“The California Special is a huge part of the Mustang’s legacy in America and it symbolises so much of what Mustang stands for: The joy of driving and the freedom of the open road,” said Ford Europe’s Mustang chief programme engineer Matthias Tonn, adding, “Those ideals resonate just as strongly with driving enthusiasts in Europe, so it’s about time customers here got to experience the unique California Special blend of style, performance and driving fun.”

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