Configurator Challenge: 2024 Ford Mustang
The new Ford Mustang is due in Australian showrooms by this time next year. Here’s how members of the Drive team would build theirs, based on US website options.
Customisation is in vogue at the moment, but too much choice can be confusing. In our configurator challenge, Drive team members scroll through a manufacturer’s website to create their ideal combination for a certain model.
The focus of this week’s challenge is the new Ford Mustang sports car, which is now available to order – and build in full on the online configurator – in the US ahead of Australian showroom arrivals early next year.
Tell us what your ideal Ford Mustang would look like in the comments below (build yours here), and what you’d like us to configure next.
Kez Casey, Production Editor
I know that purists don’t pick convertibles over coupes – but this is a Mustang. Sure they can go fast, but ultimately they can just as easily pump hundreds of horsepower to do nothing more than amble up and down Woodward Avenue.
As sinister (and tempting) as the Dark Horse is, there’s no drop-top version yet – but I reckon I can get close-ish. The V8-powered GT Premium convertible is the best starting point, and unlike the current car in Australia, American buyers get the option of a six-speed manual, so that’s a must.
Coat the outside with Carbonized Gray Metallic paint, drop over the very lovely tech-mesh 19-inch wheels from the Bronze Appearance Package, and add in the sportier chassis tune of the GT Performance Package (including Torsen limited-slip differential), and additional body bracing and the package is almost complete.
While you can make a Mustang look wild, the low-key menace effect really hits with the more angular new Mustang. The only risque inclusion is the Carmine Red leather trim.
While it’s not quite a Dark Horse (and Ford cleverly won’t let you build up a lesser car to imitate one) I reckon there’s room in the convertible range for a Shady Steed.
Sam Purcell, Off-Road Editor
I’ve opted for the GT Premium coupe in a fetching yellow hue (Yellow Splash Metallic), and have tried to simplify the exterior wherever I can. No spoiler, 19-inch wheels and no stripes helps accentuate that classic coke-bottle shape of the Mustang.
I opted for Recaros inside, a six-speed manual gearbox and active exhaust, because V8.
Susannah Guthrie, Consumer Editor
Before I begin, let the records show: I wouldn’t buy a new Mustang. For me, Ford nailed the design back in the late 1960s and shouldn’t have played with perfection.
But I digress. If I was buying a new Mustang, I’d do my best to evoke the classic version of the pony car with a cherry red exterior (‘race red’ is apparently the formal name), clean silver-painted wheels and, in lieu of my dream cream leather seats, the all-black interior. And a manual transmission to keep up the illusion that I’m in the ’60s.
Tom Fraser, Journalist
It doesn’t take a lot to make a Ford Mustang look good, but I’ve swung for the fences with my specification.
Even though my colour combo is subdued without an outlandishly bright colour, I love the way the Iconic Silver metallic paint pairs with the bronze-accented wheels and badging. Other attributes including the grille surrounds and bonnet vent are darkened for a stealthy look overall.
Ordinarily I’d be all too keen to spec a set of big GT stripes right down the middle, but the options with the 2024 Mustang aren’t quite as cool as they used to be. I’m not a fan of the two-tone colouring.
In any case, I’ve opted for the package which includes the Bang and Olufsen sound system. My spec also includes a set of bronze 19-inch alloy wheels with black-painted Brembo brake calipers. Gone is the standard large rear wing and in its place is a subtle lip spoiler – much better.
Inside the cabin I’ve selected a standard black leather finish. It doesn’t wow all too much, but the most important bit is seen between the two front seats. A six-speed manual transmission is the only way to do a Mustang. Read about why here.
Jordan Mulach, Journalist
It’s a good thing that my money is already tied up in other cars – including an old V8 Ford – otherwise I’d be making the poor financial decision to buy a Ford Mustang when it comes to Australia, preferably in Dark Horse Premium trim.
Yeah, the Mustang GT nameplate has pedigree, but the Dark Horse – like the Mach 1 which preceded it – appears to just be better in every measurable way, especially when finished in Atlas Blue metallic paint.
Those twin throttle bodies look gorgeous and the stronger internals inside the 5.0-litre Coyote V8 produce 373kW/566Nm, which I would prefer to be sent to the rear wheels through a Tremec six-speed manual transmission.
Anyone who has had the pleasure of driving a previous-generation Mustang Mach 1 manual knows how nice this gearbox is – arguably transforming the muscle car into a respectable sports car.
To help carry the coupe through corners, I wouldn’t mind throwing in the optional Dark Horse Handling Package, which includes wider wheels, adjustable magnetic suspension, a stiffer chassis and a larger rear wing – all of which will help this track day ‘bro’ shave minimal time on a circuit.
Having been disappointed with the standard seats in most Mustangs, the Recaro buckets are a must, though hot summer days and cold winter mornings might make me regret that decision.
Unfortunately Ford’s US configurator doesn’t allow us to option the beautiful carbon-fibre wheels made by Carbon Revolution, an Australian firm based in Geelong – the spiritual home of Ford Down Under.
Excluding the eye-watering $US8495 ($AU12,750) carbon wheels, my Mustang Dark Horse Premium comes in at $US71,505 ($AU107,300) plus on-road costs – otherwise known as a lot of money.
Alternatively, I could save some coin by buying a Mustang GT with RTR performance parts and a supercharger – a combination which I imagine would be followed by going bankrupt replacing tyres every few kilometres.
Alex Misoyannis, Journalist
The design of the new Ford Mustang has grown on me since the first leaked photos appeared more than 12 months ago – particularly this GT version, with the bonnet vent and the big pony-badged grille.
I’ve selected a GT Premium coupe with the six-speed manual transmission, finished in no-cost Yellow Splash Metallic, as I quite like bright colours on a brash V8 muscle car like this.
The base price for this model grade in the US before taxes and destination charges is $US47,015 ($AU70,500), but I’ve ticked no less than $US13,615 ($AU20,400) – or an additional 30 per cent – in optional extras.
The headline additions are the $US4995 ($AU7500) GT Performance Package – with 19-inch wheels, Brembo performance brakes, a Torsen limited-slip differential, stiffer suspension, and more – and the $US2900 ($AU4350) GT Premium High pack, with a B&O premium sound system, memory seats, upgraded leather-accented upholstery, and a suite of advanced safety systems.
Other option boxes ticked include the $US1095 Mustang Nite Pony Package (black wheels, badges, roof, mirrors, spoiler and headlight surrounds), $US1750 MagneRide adaptive suspension, a $US1225 active sports exhaust, and $US1650 Recaro sports seats.
The final price is a cool $US62,225, or $AU93,000 in our currency. For some context, a base Porsche 718 Cayman costs $US68,300 ($AU102,400) plus on-road costs and taxes in the US. Ouch.