Ford has started testing a right-hand-drive version of the new Mustang in preparation for the start of UK sales next year.

With the sixth-generation Mustang set to go on sale in the US this autumn, Ford’s engineers are turning their attentions to the first-ever factory-produced right-hand-drive variant, which will go on sale here, as well as in other markets such as Australia and South Africa, in 2015.

The prototype Mustang will be used to conduct various development tests, with the focus likely to be on tuning the handling and steering for European roads.

Until now, only left-hand-drive versions of the Mustang have been seen, both at the model’s official debut in Detroit at the start of this year and more recently at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The latest model developed under the Blue Oval’s ‘One Ford’ plan, the Mustang is set to become a truly global car, and will eventually be sold in more than 120 countries.

Two engine options will be available in the UK, with an entry-level 305bhp 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine sitting below a 420bhp 5.0-litre V8 – which will be upgraded to 500bhp within 18 months of the car going on sale. US markets will also get a 3.7-litre V6 option.

While the US is undoubtedly the Mustang’s largest market, more than 4000 units were exported outside of North America in 2012. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, which first went on sale in 1964.

Pricing for the new Mustang has yet to be announced, but the model is likely to cost from around £30,000.