European-market Ford Mustang loses up to 52 hp, costs a lot more

The seventh-generation Ford Mustang is headed to the European market, where the nameplate has been surprisingly popular since its official launch in 2015, but enthusiasts across the pond won’t have it as good as those in the United States. Ford has published the model’s specifications, and it had to significantly de-tune the 5.0-liter V8 that comes standard on some trims to comply with emissions regulations.

Most of Ford’s European divisions list two variants of the Mustang: the GT and the Dark Horse. The European GT is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 rated at 440 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque, while their Dark Horse puts 448 horsepower under the driver’s right foot (torque stays flat). For context, the American-market variants use the same engine but it makes up to 486 horsepower and 418 pound-feet of torque in the GT. Step up to the Dark Horse and you’ve 500 horsepower to play around with. European drivers are getting robbed of over 40 horsepower.

For context, the last-generation Mustang’s 5.0-liter V8 made more power than the European-market version of the current-generation model; it was rated at 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque in GT specification. Ford hasn’t commented on the drop in power in Europe.

To make matters worse, the European-market Mustang also costs significantly more than its American counterpart. Pricing for the GT starts at £55,585 including a 20% value-added tax, which represents approximately $69,800 at the current conversion rate. Order the Dark Horse and Ford will send you an invoice for £65,585, or around $82,300. American prices check in at $44,950 and $61,725, respectively, including a $1,595 destination charge and $645 that Ford charges for an “acquisition fee.”

If you think that’s bad, hop across the channel and order one in France: While the GT costs €59,300 (roughly $63,700), the government collects a €60,000 (yes, sixty-thousand euros!) gas guzzler tax. That figure represents about $64,500. It more than doubles the car’s base price and makes it immune from selling; it’s an indirect ban.

Less power and more dollars isn’t a winning combination, but at least the European-market Mustang exists. In contrast, Nissan chose not to sell the Z across the pond due to the cost and difficulty of making it emissions-compliant; Subaru axed the WRX for the same reason.

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