Have you ever experienced the beauty of the Rann of Kutch at sunrise? Ever stood on dry land and experienced a 360-degree view of the horizon? Or, put a car in cruise control and climbed into the back seat? No? Then you better pack your bags.
So there we were, buckled up and ready to take off. Just that the flight was headed to Udaipur! Isn’t the Rann of Kutch in another state? Or was this some elaborate ruse? It had to be. Things, however, worked out quite differently. Waiting for us at 6.30 in the morning was a car with an engine slightly larger than I had expected. The folks from Ford had brought along a Mustang! What a bunch of nice people. The first time I drove Ford’s Mustang was at the Buddh F1 circuit. Of course, pounding around a track is fun, but the Mustang never really felt at home there. The open road, with fast flowing sections, is what you need to extract the best from this car, and that’s exactly what we were about to do.
The first sign that the Mustang is great for touring shows up when we have to load the boot. We’ve packed light of course, but there was really no need to. At 408 litres, the boot is large and would have had no trouble swallowing more bags. It really does help that there’s also a spare, although it’s of the narrower front tyre’s size. It really is an essential bit of kit if you want to go out into the wild.
But I can’t wait to get going, so I hit the start button. The engine isn’t loud thanks to the ever-tightening sound level norms, but what a sound it is. The growl fills the cold morning air. At idle there’s a slow rhythmic pulse that filters through, and when I flex the long-travel accelerator, the V8 emits a lovely, smooth boom. The 5.0 V8 pumps out a strong 401hp, and once out of the airport, I can feel every one of those horses. Flexing my foot just a bit elicits a soft push in the back, accompanied by a deep rumble. When I lift off the gas, the noise just widens, like there’s a Second World War bomber following you. This is going to be a fun drive, and the route suits the Mustang to a T. The first 250km leg runs from Udaipur to Ahmedabad down one side of the Aravalli range. On the way, and time permitting, we plan to stop at two car museums. The drive down to the Rann of Kutch is likely to happen late in the evening – we know we’re going to find ourselves stuck at the museums. That’s the plan for today, but tomorrow it’s all on the Rann.
Sergius has been a part of the automotive industry for 18 years, fixing, selling, training and consulting on all things automotive. Auto enthusiast by birth. Auto engineer by education. Now auto journalist by profession.
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Issue: 213 | Autocar India: May 2017
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