John Gilbert Staff Editor
November 9, 2015

England, it’s the mid-1960s and there’s a hot new wisp of a fashion model on the scene named Twiggy. Some say Twiggy was the Typhoid Mary of anorexic super models while others more respectfully just say she was Stig’s grandmother the lady that gave Top Gear’s anonymous stunt driver the nickname Stiggy.

Shortened to Stig for television purposes Ben Collins better known as “The Stig” from BBC’s internationally acclaimed Top Gear TV show for 8 years kept an audience of 500 million worldwide viewers guessing as to his identity until the popular series crashed and burned last spring.

Ben is a Champion racing driver in his own right, having won races across a diverse arena of Motorsport from the Le Mans Series to GT and NASCAR. As a stunt driving expert he has worked on numerous Hollywood blockbusters including Batman, Fast & Furious and the latest James Bond movies.

Ben Collins’ story is as unique as it is compelling. He coached hundreds of celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz around the racetrack, though none of them ever saw his face. As the Stig, Ben Collins was the benchmark of speed against which all other drivers set themselves, and the man that everyone including Formula One World Champions Nigel Mansell and Jenson Button tried and failed to best.

Ben organized high voltage car chases and tested hundreds of priceless cars to the brink, whilst maintaining his anonymous trademark.

Ben holds many credits in his own name: A professional Le Mans 24-hour racecar driver, bestselling author, TV presenter, world record breaker and Hollywood stunt driver. Jackie Stewart watched a young Ben win a Formula 3 race and was blown away, saying: “When you see the likes of Ben Collins in Formula One, remember you saw him here first.”

And now a word about the all-new Ford Mustang, being named by Ben Collins as the ultimate stunt car 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 body styles, 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 Mustang 5.0 gallop to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds.

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 for decades to come.”