The Ford Mustang lost its sales crown in the United States last year but is still enjoying strong demand in Europe. The automaker wants to keep the momentum going and is introducing another addition to the pony car’s lineup on the Old continent. The California Special makes its debut at the other side of the big pond, joining the Mustang GT and Mustang Mach 1 on the European markets.

After dusting off the Bullitt name for a new special edition, Ford resurrected the California Special in the United States four years ago. It is now finally arriving in Europe offered exclusively as a convertible with a folding soft-top, “channelling the spirit of iconic 1968 original.” Some of the design highlights include a new honeycomb-style front grille, lower side stripes in black, a larger front splitter, and optional rear side air scoops. Special CS/GT badges all around identify the sports car as a special model.

Gallery: 2022 Ford Mustang California Special

Available in nine exterior colours, the Mustang California Special for Europe rides on 19-inch wheels finished in grey. The standard equipment for the model includes heated and cooled front seats, aluminium trim on the dashboard, eight-inch touchscreen display with SYNC3 infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist, and others. 

Under the bonnet, there’s a 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated engine, the same unit also used in the Mustang GT and Mustang Bullitt. In the European specification of the California Special, however, it is slightly detuned compared to the US model - 444 bhp (331 kilowatts) and 390 pound-feet (529 Newton-metres) versus 453 bhp (338 kW) and 420 lb-ft (570 Nm).

Two gearbox options are available - a standard six-speed manual with rev-matching technology and a 10-speed automatic. Depending on the transmission, the Mustang California Special sprints from 0 to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometres per hour) in 4.8 and 4.5 seconds, respectively.

Just like the Mustang Bullitt, the new special edition open-top comes with a standard limited-slip differential. Optionally available is the MagneRide suspension system which adapts automatically to the driving conditions.

The Mustang California Special will be available in the UK starting from £52,105. Deliveries will be announced at a later date.