Driven: Mustang by Giugiaro
by Bill Barranco    05 Sep 2007
Instrument panel and materials are all bespoke. Click for larger images
The Mustang was built for America, Giugiaro explained
Photos: Bill Barranco

Once on the road, the Mustang reveals that despite the clear canopy and the rear vision displays, it is indeed one very powerful muscle car with plenty of ways to get into trouble. By the time second gear is summoned, Fabrizio is explaining how this car is also no "trailer-queen". He says that he has driven the car hard outside of Turin and uses the car whenever he has the occasion.

Clear canopy roof
Under the hood is a 4.6 liter V8 creating 500 horsepower
A supercharger sits atop the powerplant

The car does feel like it wants to be driven. The steering wheel and pedal controls feel distinctively masculine and substantial, but refined. The shifter is a parody of one of the engine's connecting rods, but for this car, the literal translation seems appropriate. The instrument panel binnacle and displays are clear and deliberate expressions of the Mustang form language and yet somehow, it can't escape from feeling like a corporate jet.

Continuing through the twisting lane, embellished by elegant, wind-swept Tory Pine trees and the mansion houses of those who wish to remain anonymous, we pull over at a clearing. Now by the seaside, it seems appropriate to stop and have a chat and a more in depth look at the design of the Mustang.

"This car is for America," Fabrizio explains, "for this special market and culture that you have here. Still, the purpose of this project is no so much to have a Giugiaro Mustang as it is to show that this is what Ital can do for its customers. When we did the Bugatti EB118 for Volkswagen, we went through the same process."

The dimensions of the Mustang by Giugiaro are nearly identical to the production Mustang, despite J's encouragement to increase to overall width. This was achieved in part to a tapering of the body sides from front to rear (in plan view), from the widest point at the front, to narrower at the rear. In addition, 20-inch wheels and 275/40 tires on the front and 315/35 tires at the rear help to improve stance.

The engine bay has been extensively styled and features the none-too subtle supercharger. When the doors and hood are open, the car has the presence of a kind of 'transformer' toy from the 1980s. Fabrizio agrees, and as you might expect, this will not be the last of the 'transformers' from Italdesign. But let's hope that Ital's next transformation will jet us to an even more exciting future.

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