Take a look at that body. Its long hood, sexy haunches, and wide rump are hot AF, causing motors to rev, but this fly ride is also quite smart beneath the skin. Its flaunts a tech-laden cabin and undercarriage that always rises to the occasion — whether flogging two-lane backroads, commuting to work, or slaying left lanes.
This generation Mustang wears the sexiest sheetmetal of any generation, perfectly balancing classic design cues with modern elements. Viewed in rearview mirrors, it looks ready to devour you. Check the two-tiered lower splitter and “snake teeth” jawlines that run from below the bumper, through the grille, and into the hood. Edgy gray ground effects, side sculpting, dark 19” alloys, and sloping rear roofline pay homage to the past, present, and future. Its sexiest view may be the wide rump that’s equal parts Porsche and classic ‘Stang.
Echoing exteriors, interiors reference the past without living in it. The twin-cowl dash design and large analog gauges carry through, but are accented by faux machine-turned aluminum between. The console is dominated by a large touchscreen with intuitive icons for audio, climate, and navigation. There are also proper volume and tuning knobs plus redundant buttons for the dual-zone automatic climate control to keep it simple. Toggles adjust the steering feel (Normal, Sport, Comfort) and driving modes (Normal, Sport, Track, Dragstrip, Snow). It’s quite flexible.
Strap into the Recaro sport seats and drive it like the headboard is bolted to the wall. “5.0” badges on the fenders and a quick blip of the throttle tell you this stud is ready for action. Our GT gallops forth with a 5.0-liter V8 bellowing out 460 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque through a six-speed manual transmission. Every day will be leg day with the stiff clutch, but the shifter feels precisely mechanical. Fuel economy of 15/25-MPG city/highway seems frugal for a fully stoked pony car.
Mustangs have always had powerful V8 engines, but the chassis could barely channel all of the muscle to pavement without untoward drama. Ford made excuses for years about why it couldn’t trash the solid rear axle and install a modern independent suspension. Now, it seems the engineers are saying, “You want a refined ride? Fine, take this.”
This generation’s independent suspension already challenged Audi for refinement, but adding MagneRide Damping that adjusts firmness electronically and continuously creates a near-magical experience. Fly over rough pavement without concern. Add in the drive and steering modes, and you have a car that can change character with the flip of switches. For Mustang aficionados, it’s revolution.
Designers and engineers delivered an expected virtuoso performances, but this is finally a car that makes no apologies when it gets busy. Crack the sinister exhaust and your brain will levitate. You can buy a base Mustang for $26,120, and you’d enjoy the date, but go ahead and spend $45,885 to get the brilliant 5.0 GT. Competitors include the Chevy Camaro SS, Dodge Challenger SRT, and Audi S5.