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Ford’s prancing pony is timeless

Dubai: As a 50-year old, the Mustang, which marks the milestone on April 17, is definitely not showing its age. In fact, the present for one of the most enduring automotive marques is as much about constant renewal as it is about retaining a link with a storied past.

But the legions of Mustang followers in the region will just need to be a bit more patient to get familiar with the latest — and sixth-generation — version.

“We are looking at first quarter 2015 launch in the markets here,” said Paul Anderson, marketing director at Ford Middle East. “It’s way too early to fix the sticker price; there’s always a bit of a lag between start of production and the vehicle’s availability.”

The version, first unveiled at the Detroit show, does seem to put a premium on getting a sleeker and even more chiselled look. It is supported by a brand-new chassis, not surprising given the gravitas that goes with being the 50th year offering. (The base engine will be a 3.7-litre V6.)

“Indeed, there are a lot of great opportunities tied to future sales of the Mustang in the region, and tied to the 50th year anniversary,” said Anderson. “Saudi Arabia and the UAE have historically been the key territories for the model, and with the UAE there’s also the Shelby factor [the souped-up version of the Mustang].”

By the looks of it, the region’s buyers are holding back until the new one hits the showrooms. In the year to date, sales have been running flat. “Certainly, there are people looking forward to the next launch to make the buy,” said Anderson, who used to own a 1965 model as well as more recent versions.

More than 9.2 million units bearing the prancing pony have rolled off Ford production plant in the last four decades and more. It has been immortalised in literature and in many a film, and continues to wear the all-American legacy with an easy charm.

“For me, the Mustang means total freedom and I just can’t name any other vehicle in history which has been able to impart such a sentiment to the driver,” said Anderson. “Mustang equals independence.”