European vs US-Spec Mustang Comparison

European vs US-Spec Mustang Comparison

Last Updated September 19, 2023 | Bill Tumas

Since Ford announced that they were going global with the new S550 platform for the Mustang, many have wondered what the underlying differences are when it comes to the US version and European version of the 2015+ Mustangs.

More or less, the differences between the two models are strictly aesthetic with only necessary modifications made to the structural aspects of the S550. There are even fewer differences now that the European models have received the mid-cycle refresh. For 2018 onwards, Euro Mustangs feature the same LCD instrument cluster, Recaro seats, heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, hood scoops, DRL's, and revised fog light style as the American model. The new EcoBoost set-up also adds the Active Valve Performance Exhaust option, as in the U.S.

Along with these updates, the V8 engine was boosted from 410 hp to 444 hp, while the EcoBoost was unfortunately downgraded from 313 hp to 286 hp due to European emissions regulations. The stricter environmental requirements leave the Euro Mustangs with somewhat less power. Another reason for the overall horsepower reduction on the Euro-spec Mustang is due to the redesign of exhaust manifolds to support the switch to right-hand drive. For its part, Ford says that the revised engine is actually more responsive to drive.

Though the previous iteration of the European Mustang did not have hood vents (which are functional), the new refresh does. They were able to make them compliant with European pedestrian safety regulations, solving a complaint that some enthusiasts were quite vocal about.

The Bullitt is largely the same across the pond but unfortunately does have a bit less horsepower: 457 hp instead of 480 hp.

U.S. vs European Mustang Power Specs
MetricU.S. GTEuro GTU.S. EcoBoostEuro EcoBoost
Horsepower 460 hp 444 hp 310 hp 286 hp
Torque 420 lb-ft 390 lb-ft 350 lb-ft 325 lb-ft

Right-Hand Drive

The immediate and obvious difference that sets the Euro Mustang apart would be the steering wheel would be on the right-hand side of the car for models sold in the UK. With that, the majority of the controls were mirrored from the US version. However, there were some aspects that were left unchanged.

  • Parking brake location did not move.
  • Steering wheel and turn signal/wiper switches remain unchanged from US version.
  • Gauge cluster is also the same. Tachometer on the left and speedometer on the right.
  • The shift pattern is the same. This means that first gear is to the left and up - takes some getting used to being away from the driver.

Clear Taillights & Rear Fog Light

  • European Mustangs sport clear taillights rather than the red ones you see in the states. The sequential function is not used in Europe, as the outside light on either side blinks amber as a turn signal indicator.
  • Where the reverse light is on US-spec Mustangs, is also a rear red foglight on Euro-spec Mustangs.
  • Red rear sidemarkers replaced with orange reflective sidemarkers.
  • Additionally, American Mustangs feature the GT or pony emblem directly on the rear panel, while Euro Mustangs have a larger, fuel cap-style emblem that protrudes more.

Euro Mustang taillights
Pre-Refresh Euro-Spec S550 Mustang With Clear Taillights, Orange Side Markers and Rear Fog Light

Wider Mirrors

  • US Mustangs have slim, sleek side mirrors whereas European Mustangs have much taller and wider mirrors.

Front of a European Mustang
Pre-Refresh Euro-Spec S550 Mustang GT Showing Larger Side Mirrors

Performance Package:

European Mustangs receive the Performance Package brakes along with the unique chassis tuning, larger radiator and 3.55 gears with limited-slip differential (the 3.73 TORSEN axle is not available in Europe). This included the choice of three different wheels depending on which engine you choose.

  • 19” Black EcoBoost Wheels (US EcoBoost Performance Package Wheels).
  • 19” Black GT Wheels (US GT Performance Package Wheels.)
  • 19” Luster Nickel Wheels (US 2016+ GT Performance Package, optional).

Certain US Options Not Available on Euro-Spec Mustangs

  • Blind Spot Information System Indicators
  • Various optional wheels
  • Performance Package Level 2

Euro-Spec Mustang headlight switch
Euro-Spec Mustang Interior Headlight Switch

Leather Interior and Thatcham Security Package Standard Across All Models

Euro-Spec Mustang with wheel on right hand side
Euro-Spec Mustang Interior With Right-Hand Drive

In short, many or most of the mid-cycle refresh features that we got in the U.S. for the 2018 model year were added to the European Mustangs as well, giving our overseas friends a version of the car that is much closer to what we enjoy in America. Though they’re still less powerful, they now included hood vents, tri-bar DRLs, new exhaust options, and tons of technology features. Apart from the powertrain, only the taillights, side reflectors, and side mirrors really stand out as noticeable differences between the American and European Mustangs at this point.

Europe itself is not a monolith, of course, and so there are some minor differences in color availability and naming as well. Take Germany, for example. The Bullitt's Dark Highland Green is simply called Montana-Grün Metallic, or “Montana Green Metallic.” This is still evocative of mountains but might sound better in German than a direct translation, while also invoking a bit of Americana (and avoiding potential in-country trademark issues). In France, the color is almost directly translated, as Vert Highland Métallisée.

“Oxford White” is renamed as Liquid-Weiß or “Liquid White,” another interesting change. It would take too long to delve completely into the color differences by European country, but just keep in mind that they will vary heavily. Orange Fury, for example, is not available in Germany but can be selected as an option in France and Switzerland. In Austria, it is called “Tropical-Orange,” which just goes to show how much variation there is. Wheel options are also quite different by country.

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.