SEE | Only 100 cars coming: Ford's new Mustang California Special Edition now in SA

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  • California Special sports "colour shift" decals, limited to just 100 units for South Africa.
  • It comes with a 330kW 5.0-litre V8 and advanced 10-speed automatic transmission.
  • The new Mustang California Special is priced at R1 154 900.
  • For motoring news, go to Wheels24

Mustang fans rejoice. Despite the rising fuel cost, the Ford Mustang California Special has arrived in South Africa, bringing the quintessential style of west coast America across the Atlantic to local shores.

Embodying the free-spirited ethos of the 1968 original, the new California Special is available in South Africa exclusively in the Fastback coupé body style paired with the muscular 5.0L V8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. Limited to just 100 units locally, it offers a high exclusivity for enthusiast buyers. It builds on the instant sell-out success of previous unique edition models, comprising the Mustang Bullitt in 2019 and the Mustang Mach 1 in 2021.

READ | These are the 3 most thrilling new cars driven in 2021

2022 Ford Mustang California Special
2022 Ford Mustang California Special

No competition

"The Mustang is the runaway leader in the sports coupé segment, both in South Africa and around the world," says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager for Marketing at Ford South Africa. "Exclusive special edition models such as the Bullitt and Mach 1 added further spark to the Mustang range as our halo Ford Performance product in South Africa. The California Special will continue in this tradition.

READ | Sold out! Here's how much Ford SA stands to make from its limited edition Mustang Mach 1

"The Mustang California Special is a huge part of the Mustang legacy in America, and it symbolises 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 and Mustang fans in South Africa," Mashinini says.

2022 Ford Mustang California Special
2022 Ford Mustang California Special

Classic design reinvented

When the now iconic Ford Mustang first hit the streets in 1964, owners' clubs sprang up across America, with many regional dealers creating their personalised designs. One – inspired by the 1967 Shelby GT notchback coupé prototype – came to be called the California Special.

That original version featured a blacked-out grille, fog lights, side racing stripes that ended ahead of the rear side air scoops, and a Shelby-inspired spoiler. Impressed, Ford put a limited number of California Special cars into production for 1968.

The newest interpretation reflects the original with a honeycomb front grille finished in Ebony Black and featuring a GT/CS badge in Race Red and lower side stripes finished in black, red and grey. Incorporating GT/CS logos, the lines run from the front to the rear wings and feature a hidden "California Special" script that is almost invisible in low light conditions but becomes much more prominent in stronger sunlight.

2022 Ford Mustang California Special
2022 Ford Mustang California Special

Like the original, aerodynamic enhancements hint at V8 performance, including a larger front splitter, a rear wing from the GT Performance Package, and the introduction of side air scoops behind the doors for the first time on the Mustang range in SA – all of which give the car a more muscular stance. At the rear, a California Special faux filler cap sits above quad 4.5-inch tailpipes linked to the Active Valve performance exhaust. 

Unique five-spoke alloy wheels add to the exclusivity. The front 19x9-inch and rear 19x9.5-inch wheels are finished in Carbonised Grey to complement the front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser.

Nine exterior colours are available, including signature Atlas Blue and Cyber Orange Tri-Coat, providing an eye-catching contrast with the distinctive black and grey detailing. Customers can also choose five other metallic colours: Rapid Red, Dark Matter Grey, Carbonized Grey and Oil Slick Purple. Solid colours comprise Shadow Back and Oxford White.

2022 Ford Mustang California Special
2022 Ford Mustang California Special

Nothing can replace the V8

The Mustang California Special's 5.0-litre V8 engine – delivering 330kW and 529Nm of torque – provides the performance and soundtrack befitting the Mustang badge. As one of the few remaining naturally aspirated V8 engines, it's said to provide a thoroughly engaging driving experience.

Combined with Ford's advanced 10-speed automatic transmission, the Mustang California Special can accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds. The automatic transmission also optimises performance depending on the selected drive mode. Normal, Sport, Track, Drag, and Snow/Wet modes deliver the appropriate driving experience on Route 62 or the N2. Meanwhile, Good Neighbour mode limits the exhaust's noise output to avoid disrupting the neighbourhood.

2022 Ford Mustang California Special
2022 Ford Mustang California Special

The iconic Ford Mustang is one of the world's most recognisable and revered automotive nameplates, and it's no surprise that this legendary car continues to lead the sales charts. It was the world's best-selling sports coupé for the seventh consecutive year in 2021, selling across 146 countries as Ford continues to grow its iconic brand globally.

READ | Ford's new Pony driven: We take the upgraded Mustang for a spin

In South Africa, the Mustang remains in a class of its own, achieving an 87% share of the sports car segment in 2021. As of May 2022, 3 652 Mustangs have found happy homes among enthusiast owners since Ford first launched the latest model in South Africa in 2015.

2022 Ford Mustang California Special
2022 Ford Mustang California Special

The Mustang California Special is priced at R1 154 900. It comes with a four-year or 120 000km warranty, a four-year or unlimited distance Roadside Assistance plan and a five-year or unlimited distance corrosion warranty. The recommended service interval is 15 000km or annually, whichever occurs first.

You can purchase service or maintenance plans for up to eight years or 150 000km, and the warranty can be extended up to seven years or 200 000km, while Ford can extend the Roadside Assistance for an additional one or two years.

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