Ford celebrates 50 years since the GT40 won the 24 Hours of Le Mans

The sixth-generation Ford Mustang was unveiled in December 2013 and went on sale for the 2015 model year. The redesigned pony car is a significant departure from its predecessor, being the first to feature an independent rear suspension. The new Mustang is also the first to be marketed and sold globally, and the first to receive a right-hand drive version from the factory. Also, it’s the first pony since the third-generation car to feature a turbocharged, four-cylinder engine.

It’s been two years since the new muscle car arrived in dealerships and the sixth-gen Mustang has already spawned several special-edition models, as well as high-performance versions wearing Shelby, Saleen, and Roush badges. For 2016, Ford is releasing yet another limited-edition model, this time around for the French market only. Dubbed 50th Anniversary, it is limited to only 50 units, features a special exterior color, and pays tribute to Ford’s legendary 1-2-3 win at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 50th Anniversary Mustang arrives just ahead of this year’s endurance race and is part of a series that also includes the Fiesta ST, Focus ST, and the bonkers Focus RS.

The special-edition coupe is based on the range-topping Mustang GT and we will have a closer look at its features below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Mustang Le Mans 50th Anniversary Edition.

What makes the Ford Mustang Le Mans 50th Anniversary Edition special

2016 Ford Mustang Le Mans 50th Anniversary Edition High Resolution Exterior
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The Mustang GT 50th Anniversary doesn’t come with a lot of extras compared to the standard V-8 model, but the exterior livery offered by Ford France should mean a lot to Le Mans and racing enthusiasts. The coupe comes wrapped in Shadow Black Mica with gray racing stripes on the hood, roof, and trunk lid. Although this combination might seem mundane compared to the flashier exteriors you can order on the new Mustang, it replicates the livery of the Ford GT40 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1966 with Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon behind the steering wheel.

Besides the color scheme, the Mustang GT also features a "50th Anniversary" badge on the rear fascia and a bespoke plaque on the center console. The latter also says "1966 - 2016" and "Limited Edition 50 units," and features Ford’s classic racing logo from the 1960s.

2016 Ford Mustang Le Mans 50th Anniversary Edition High Resolution Interior
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Under the hood, the 50th Anniversary is identical to the standard Mustang GT. Power comes from a 5.0-liter, "Coyote" V-8 mill rated at 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet, which is enough to enable the coupe to hit 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. Transmission choices include a Getrag six-speed manual and an optional six-speed automatic with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles.

Pricing for the Mustang GT 50th Anniversary starts from €47,100, which is a €4,600 premium over the standard GT model. That may sound like a lot for a pair a stripes, a badge, and a center console plaque, but it far from ridiculous given that this version is limited to only 50 units.

Ford Mustang

2016 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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A new chassis complete with a new independent rear suspension lay the foundation for the sixth-generation Mustang, while an all-new, 2.3-liter, four-cylinder, EcoBoost engine joins the lineup. Returning for 2015 is the 3.7-liter V-6 and the mighty, 5.0-liter V-8. The V-6 cranks out 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, the EcoBoost four-banger delivers 310 horses and 320 pound-feet, and the V-8 generates a whopping 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet. A manual or automatic transmission can be had with all three engines. The new suspension allows the Mustang to handle corners more confidently, especially when a mid-corner bump interferes. The car is more controllable and balanced in nearly every situation, providing a much smoother ride and all-round better dance skills. The interior still features the twin-cockpit design, but looks completely refreshed otherwise. Pricing for the Mustang starts at $24,425 for the base V-6 and rises to $38,720 for the GT.

Read our full review on the Ford Mustang here.

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