Crossing the Atlantic for the first time, the Ford Mustang California Special finally arrived in Europe.
The new California Special is the embodiment of the free-spirited values of the 1968 original as it is exclusively offered in a convertible body, equipped with a folding soft-top for open-air thrills and classic looks. It was also given a special edition design package which gives the model its distinct style through detailed, unique badging, 19-inch alloy wheels, and a special “color shift” California Special decals. Under the hood is the powerful 450 PS V8 engine which allows the model to cruise effortlessly.
For the interior of the Mustang California Special, Ford designed it to really maximize the experience of driving on the open road no matter the weather, its bespoke California Special detail giving it an additional exclusive appeal. As standard, it has heated and cooled front seats, and a 12-inch customizable instrument cluster which is also equipped with advanced SYNC 3 connectivity allowing drivers to call up their road trip soundtrack or even just find directions to their destination by just using their voice.
Ford even released a new video to celebrate the arrival of the Mustang California Special in Europe, showing that California is a state of mind, and the spirit of Mustang allows you to enjoy it wherever you are.
Ford of Europe, Mustang chief programme engineer Matthias Tonn shared, “The California Special is a huge part of the Mustang’s legacy in America and it symbolize so much of what Mustang stands for: The joy of driving and the freedom of the open road. 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.”
In 1964, the first Ford Mustang hit the streets, and almost immediately, owners’ clubs were established all across America. Many regional dealers created their own personalized design. One example specifically stood out. Taking inspiration from the 1967 Shelby GT notchback coupe prototype, the example became known as the California Special.
The original had a blacked-out grille, a Shelby-inspired spoiler, fog lights and side racing stripes that stopped ahead of new rear side air scoops. Impressed with the design, in 1968, Ford released a limited number of California Special cars into production.
The newest version will be available only as a folding soft-top convertible as a tribute to the famed “Golden State” Mediterranean climate. Ebony Black honeycomb front grille is a nod to the original and it features the GT/CS badge in Race Red. The lower side stripes are also finished in black, red, and gray. Running from the front to rear wings are the stripes that incorporate the GT/CS logos and feature a hidden “California Special” script that is practically invisible in low light but becomes more evident under stronger sunlight.
Design improvements on the California Special is much like its predecessor wherein aerodynamic design improvements like the larger front splitter and optional rear side air scoops hints on the performance of the V8. Above the quad tailpipes at the rear sits the faux filler cap of the California Special. The distinct five-spoke alloy wheels gives the California Special an air of exclusivity matched with 19×9-inch and 19*9.5 inch wheels for the front and rear, respectively. The wheels are finished in Carbonized Grey matching the front splitter. Rear diffuser, and side skirts. Under the bonnet is the strut tower base that shows the California Special badge.
The model will have nine exterior colors including the signature Cyber Orange and Grabber blue. The finishes perfectly contrast with the black roof that folds down to show the sleek convertible in only eight seconds.
As a special-edition model, the Mustang California Special has other special design modifications and comfort features that sets it apart. As a standard for the model, it is equipped with heated and cooled front seats allowing the driver and front passenger to stay comfortable despite the weather, be it summer or winter. For the leather seats and door inserts, parts of it are finished in grey Miko® suede which is an ecological, synthetic material that is made out of recycled polyester, and some red stitching highlights. Even the seats and floor mats proudly display the embossed GT/CS logo. The instrument panel was given a Carbon Hex aluminum finish with a unique Mustang California Special badge.
The SYNC 3 communication and entertainment system from Ford was designed to always be available for a spur of the moment road trip. It allows the drivers to control the connected smartphones, audio, navigation, and even climate functions through conversational voice commands or through a central 8-inch touch screen. The system can be used both with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. As standard, connectivity is not a problem even while on the move through the standard FordPass Connect model.
Several driver assistance technologies also come as standard in the California Special. They include the Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Assist, and Lane Keeping Alert, these features help keep everyday driving more enjoyable with the folding roof providing unlimited headroom, making the ride just downright exciting and exhilarating.
Powering the Mustang California Special is a 5.0-liter Ford V8 engine which delivers 450 PS and 529 Nm of torque. It has a performance and soundtrack that you could expect from a special-edition Mustang.
The powerful engine matched with Ford’s six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching technology provides seamless gear changes and a sportier character. In just 4.8 seconds, the California Special can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph. For the more advanced 10-speed automatic transmission, it can deliver a performance of 0 to 62 mph acceleration in just 4.5-seconds.
Depending on the Drive Mode selected, the automatic transmission also optimizes performance. Drive Modes include Normal, Sport, Track, and Snow/Wet modes gives just the right driving experience. Good Neighbor mode can also be activated to automatically limit the noise output of the exhaust at pre-programmed times of the day.
A standard limited-slip differential as well as an available MagneRide® suspension system optimizes traction and cornering grip. The system monitors the conditions of the road a thousand times per second and it also uses electronically-controlled fluid to match the damping resistance.
The Ford Mustang California Special is an addition to the European Ford Mustang family. Part of the lineup include a Mustang GT fastback, Mustang Mach 1, and the all-electric Mustang Mach-E and Mustang Mach-E GT.