By Clive Funziwe
Lackluster was never going to be in any of the words used to describe any Mustang, never mind the CS (California Special) derivative. So, it comes as no surprise that it is the best-selling sports car and re-evaluating the reasons why the Mustang is a gift, that keeps on giving, will always be a pleasure for us at Khulekani On Wheels. So, we jumped in, pushed the start button, and awoke our nervous system along with our envious neighbors.
Hearing that thunderous 5.0l V8 never gets old. It’s always an aural pleasure to hear what 331kW and 529Nm sound like and knowing that all that power is pushed to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s a smile inducer recipe that pleases without fail. Obviously, that’s not all, and we are here to explain exactly why there’s more than what meets the eye.
The CS draws inspiration from the 1968 original and features grey-painted aluminium (or aluminum if you’re reading this from the US) wheels, unique (special edition) badges and detailing, an ebony black honeycomb grille that has GT|CS emblem, GT|CS decals on the side, a rear spoiler, CS details on the seats and a front splitter. If that is not enough, there will only be 100 units for the CS edition and will only be offered as a Fastback coupe, making this even more exclusive. All the above translate to a look that is immediately retro and this differentiates it from its siblings, an important aspect for a special edition.
Now that we are done with what meets the eye – how does it tickle the petrol head vessels? In a word – spectacularly. This is an old-school recipe that is pleasing to the driver. Words like exciting and thrilling come to mind. The Mustang is a modern car, with modern technologies and execution that doesn’t spoil or over assist the driver. There’s more than a fair amount of driver involvement even in the auto-box. You can easily get the tail to pop out and enjoy power slides, but you need to be awake as things happen quick here. The downshifts are not as quick as we would like them to be, but this adds to how you drive the car, and that acquaintance process is exactly what makes it fun. Upshifts though, are visceral and absorbing into the driving experience. The steering has a fair amount of feel but is precise and so are the brakes, which are sometimes a touch grabby.
Overall, there is plenty to love with the CS. We can choose to point at how the infotainment screen is eons behind on resolution and colour scheme, but we won’t because it remains functional and intuitive. What we will point out is that this recipe doesn’t exist elsewhere because the competition has something that resembles more precise and refined tools – words that allude to boring, in the enthusiast world.
Is the Mustang CS worth the asking price of R1,154,900? In our view – it is because it has no identity crisis. It is what it is for the enthusiast who enjoys a car that will reward a good driver and one who seeks character over an autonomous experience.
Leave a comment