With 37 elephants, 50,000 soldiers and 9,000 riders, the army commander Hannibal crossed the Alps in 218 BC - in 16 days. The two of us set off in a Ford Mustang GT Fastback with a 5.0l V8 engine and 421 horsepower.
To this day, research is still being done on where Hannibal crossed the Alps. We decided to take the Little Saint Bernard route. They say the skeleton of an elephant was found there. First of all: What Hannibal succeeded, we did not succeed. Instead of the open passes promised on the Internet, many passes above 1400 meters are closed - and with them the 2188 meter high pass "Kleiner St. Bernhard". We have to change our strategy and stay on the western side of the Alps. Hannibal came from here after crossing the Rhone.
"Pursuers swallow dust."
Already the drive on the motorway to Geneva has a high fun factor. In less than 5 seconds it goes from 0 to 100 km/h, up to a top speed of 250 km/h it pulls hard all the way, always has torque, no hole, never. The pursuers swallow dust, in the Mustang there is a big grin. The 6-speed transmission is good, direct, up to the 5th gear it pulls full power. The sixth gear is a fuel-saving gentle gear, which we test while driving through Switzerland.
"Every mile is pure pleasure."
Although the 4.78 metre long Mustang is a bit hard and bumps through bumps, every kilometre is pure pleasure on the grippy handlebars. Only the aluminium bonnet, which flutters from 160 km/h, is, until you get used to it, just something for strong nerves. All in one, the 6th model generation of the US legend delivers a lot for little money. Spanish silver money does not have to be plundered like Hannibal for financing. The Ford Mustang GT Fastback with 5.0 litre V8 engine costs 43.000 EUR. And this, although the price has already been increased twice since its market launch in 2015 in Europe. 5,000 EUR less costs the Mustang EcoBoost with a 2.3 litre four cylinder turbo. Both are available with a 6-speed manual transmission or, for an extra 2,000 EUR, with an automatic transmission. We recommend automatic transmission. The clutch has rough wild west character and is very difficult to press. For another 4.000 EUR both versions are also available as convertible, Ford calls it "Convertible". We find the new and modern American look of the classic Mustang extremely stylish with its shark mouth, powerful grill, long straight bonnet and large three-piece rear lights. Only the sound could be a bit cooler, despite 530 Nm maximum torque at 4250 rpm we wish it were darker. The Mustang is not a small car and you have to get used to the long muzzle. Nevertheless, the dimensions can be estimated relatively well, the beginning of the bonnet is clearly visible and the driver is not surprised by another 20 centimetres of bumper. With the rear view camera, visibility is good all around. Hannibal's gaze was always directed towards Rome. From North Africa via Spain and France he wants to go to Italy to destroy Rome.
On the way, a Roman army blocked the easy route along the coast in France. Hannibal goes down in history with his decision to take a route across the Alps. Our route is also blocked - by a huge construction machine positioned across the entire width of the road, making it impossible to continue up the pass. Narrow romantic roads, hairpin bends and steep climbs can also be found on the western side of the Alps. We take secluded small roads, in a narrow canyon there are fallen rocks on the road. But it was probably not like then Gauls, who let huge stones roll down on Hannibal's army. Thanks to the energetically gripping brakes, which can be exactly dosed, no problem for us. Especially since we switched over to sports mode. Chassis and engine electronics are adapted to fast, winding driving, the steering reacts directly.
"For a moment we wonder how Hannibal supplied his army."
Our average consumption is 13.8 litres per 100 kilometres, which is largely in line with the manufacturer's figures. If you want to save money, you might be able to switch to LPG, the boot with 408 litres is at least big enough. Shortly we ask ourselves how Hannibal supplied his army. We at least stock up on paprika chips and hot coffee. For this we have a nice blue illuminated cup holder - which is useful at night. It is one of many well thought-out details that make the handling inside easier. The footwell is also illuminated, so feet and handbag no longer disappear in the dark nowhere. The door handles stand out in the blue light and can be found without any night keys. All this is practical and well thought out. A lot of things in the Mustang are also simply pretty, such as the Mustang symbol projected onto the floor in front of the door when entering. The appealing chrome ornaments in the interior are made of plastic on closer inspection, you can get used to it. But what will it look like in 5 years? Metal would be more beautiful. The Mustang offers enough space even for tall drivers. Decisive is the narrow centre console, which is not available in many comparable models. Driver and front passenger have noticeably more foot space. In addition, the Mustang has beautiful curved doors, which again gives a little more space. There is also room at the top. All in one you have a good and safe feeling all around. Even in the back seats it is relatively comfortable. If you are tall you have to keep your head down, but you can't and shouldn't expect more from a coupé. Hannibal needs 16 days to cross the Alps. Almost a quarter of the soldiers die, only one elephant survives. He will fight for Rome and against the Romans for 15 years. After 36 hours with all 421 horsepower we cruise home well, safe and completely satisfied.
Technical data at a glance
- Engine design: 5.0-litre petrol engine, eight cylinders
- Power 310 KW (421 PS)
- Acceleration (-0-100 km/h): 4.8 s
- Maximum speed: 250 km/h
- Standard consumption:: 13.5 litres per 100 km
- Emission standard: Euro 6
- Price: from 43.000 EUR