For all the accolades the Ford Mustang has achieved in its legendary and long-tenured run, there’s a good chance that “ultimate stunt car” has never been one of them. That was the case until recently, when the Blue Oval’s very own iconic pony car was named by stunt driver and former Stig Ben Collins as the best stunt car in the market today.

Collins made the proclamation in his new film “Ben Collins: Stunt Rider”. In it, Collins pits the Mustang against a bevy of noteworthy competitors, including the Noble M600, Aston Martin Vanquish, and believe it or not, even the Ariel Atom. The objective is to find that one car that’s best suited to star in a Hollywood-style car chase. Each of the cars Collins drove in his film underwent a series of challenges designed to test their capabilities under duress. The cars also had to deal with enough explosives that would certainly make Michael Bay stand up and applaud.

Collins didn’t elaborate on the criteria he used to determine which of the cars are stunt-ready and which ones aren’t up to it, so at least we have that element of surprise going for us.

Needless to say, the Mustang knows which category it belongs to, especially considering that the model — in various incarnations over the years — has been involved in over 37,000 Hollywood movies including the legendary Bullitt racing scene back in 1968.

The announcement on who won the title may have been premature because most of us have yet to see Stunt Rider. Then again, it’s not the least bit surprising to see the Mustang receive this accolade. The Ford pony car is arguably one of the most iconic models in the business today. It may not be the fastest and most powerful performance model that has ever graced the silver screen, but it certainly knows how to get past the baddies on its way to racking up the multitude of roles in has played in Hollywood.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

I’ve seen my fair share of movies that have the Ford Mustang in them. Sure, Bullitt and Gone in 60 Seconds’ “Eleanor” get most of the attention, but other Mustangs have earned their keep in other movies. There’s the 1964.5 Mustang Fastback from Goldfinger; the 1971 Mustang Mach 1 from Diamonds Are Forever; and the 1976 Mustang Cobra II from Charlie’s Angels. Oh, let’s not forget about the 1968 Shelby GT350 from Bull Durham and if you’re really reaching for it, the 2015 Fox Body from Back To The Future II.

I bring this up because Ben Collins has a point. The Ford Mustang makes for the best movie stunt car because — in addition to all the technical and performance minutiae he says about the car — he didn’t mention one important point: the Mustang has been there and done that.

The movies I mentioned are just a few examples of the Mustang being an all-around badass in movies. Whether it’s being driven by James Bond, Steve McQueen, or Marty McFly, the Mustang has that uncanny ability of doing things in movies that buffer up its legacy.

Sometimes, the Mustang even ends up becoming the defining feature of that movie. I love Gone in 60 Seconds as much as anybody, but nobody remembers Angelina Jolie being in it. All everyone cares about in that movie is Eleanor, and rightfully so.

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Press Release

The all-new Ford Mustang has been named the ultimate stunt car by Ben Collins – top Hollywood stunt driver, racing driver and former “Stig” on the BBC’s “Top Gear” – in his new film “Ben Collins: Stunt Driver”.

In the new Lionsgate film, the Ford Mustang fastback – powered by a 5.0-litre V8 engine – beats an array of high-performance road and competition cars during 48 hours of explosive, high-speed challenges featuring aerobatic planes, helicopter gunships and military machines.

“The point of this adventure was to find the perfect car for an epic, high octane, Hollywood-style car chase, and it’s the iconic Ford Mustang that gets top billing,” Collins said. “Mustang has starred in many a classic car chase during the past 50 years, and is still the stunt driver’s weapon of choice to leave the bad guys standing in a cloud of tyre smoke.”

Collins’ movie stunt driving credits include the James Bond films “Quantum of Solace,” “Skyfall” and “Spectre,” as well as “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.” Collins was also the anonymous “Stig” for eight years on BBC’s "Top Gear,” and he has competed in Le Mans, GT and NASCAR race series.

“We are thrilled to have been able to work with Ford on this special project at such an exciting time in the world of motoring entertainment,” said Nicola Pearcey, executive producer, Lionsgate. “Ben’s incredible stunt driving skill and close relationship with the car industry has meant we were able to leave no stone unturned in making this a truly spectacular action experience.”

The all-new Ford Mustang is now on sale across Europe for the first time in more than 50 years in fastback and convertible bodystyles, equipped with Ford’s 5.0-litre V8 engine or the fuel-efficient 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine delivering 317 PS.

Mustang helped Collins evade baddies in his new film with all-new front and rear suspension systems including innovative integral link independent rear suspension, and standard performance brake packages behind 19‑inch wheels. A lightweight balanced and responsive chassis delivers up to 0.97 g-force when cornering, and customers can choose between six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic with wheel-mounted paddle shifters for slick gear changes.

Mustang also gives the driver an edge on a movie set whether chasing or being chased, using selectable Drive Modes to match Normal, Sport+, Track or Snow/Wet settings to driving conditions. Launch Control helps the 5.0-litre V8 Mustang sprint 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 4.8 seconds.

More than 10,000 Mustangs have now been sold in Europe since the order books opened in January this year, including almost 4,000 orders in Germany and more 2,100 in the U.K., where customers are eagerly awaiting delivery of the first right-hand drive models.

Mustang also was the world’s best-selling sports car across the globe during the first half of 2015, according to IHS Automotive global registration data, with 76,124 vehicles registered.*

“Mustang has made more than 3,700 movie appearances and has kept cinema-goers on the edge of their seats in car chases from the legendary ‘Bullitt’ sequence in 1968, to the first movie to feature the all-new Mustang, ‘Need for Speed’ in 2014,” said Roelant de Waard, vice president, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe. “Being named the ultimate stunt car in ‘Ben Collins: Stunt Driver’ further cements Mustang’s place as an automotive and screen icon.”

“Ben Collins: Stunt Driver” is produced by Lionsgate U.K. in partnership with Wise Old Fox Productions and is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Nov. 9.

* IHS Automotive global registration data includes all registrations in the IHS global sport segment, January-June 2015.

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