If I stand on my front porch I can see a whole lot of Fords. The widow across the street has a Grand Marquis. Next door is a Mercury Villager. Then there are an Escape and a Focus. Skip a couple houses and there are a Ranger and a Mustang. Skip one, then a Harley F-150 and another Escape. And I could go on. It isn’t uniquely “Ford Country.” But there is a considerable number of them. (If I went in the southerly direction there is a Freestyle, then a pair of Fusions, then. . . .)
Here’s the point. Because Fords of all shapes and sizes, makes and models, are common, it is surprising to me just how much neighborhood attention the Torch Red Mustang GT attracted when it was parked in my driveway. I even had one of those door-to-door solicitors show up on my porch one day while it was there and he was completely distracted from his spiel, spending a whole lot of time looking over at it, rather than trying to convince me that I needed to buy something that I had no interest in. (This, by the way, may be another reason to get a Mustang. That way they’re more interested in looking at the car than at you.)
The Mustang simply is the kind of car that people are really attracted to. So if you’re someone who is in the federal witness protection program, you should probably opt for something less obvious. Perhaps a Ferrari. (Just kidding.)
It would seem that with the Camaro back in the mix, and the Challenger in it a bit earlier, that the Mustang, which has had that venerable ‘60s fastback look for the past few years now, would be somewhat under the radar, or simply not something that would still have magnetic powers. But that’s far from being the case.
Although the sheet metal is new for 2010, and although there are mods to the appearance of the car, like the integration of the front lamps, what is most appealing about the vehicle is that by doing things like putting a power bulge in the hood it is more accentuation of what’s already good, so it is a matter of upping the game, not changing it.
What’s more important, of course, is the drivability of the car, both from the standpoints of the interior fit, finish and feel, as well as the chassis setup. And on the inside, the instrument panel has gone from being a somewhat hard-touch plastic to a softer TPO. The design is contemporary, yet with a flavor to things like the gauge faces that resemble the past without being subservient to it. The springs, stabilizer bar, and shocks have all been returned so that there is an overall better feel to the car, as well as improved levels of control.
And then, of course, one can’t overlook—or what would be more appropriate would be a word that would mean the same sort of thing but as related to hearing, because the sound of the car is certainly satisfying—the 315-hp V8 engine that allows you to, well, act younger than you are regardless of what age you are.
Here’s the thing. There are those who are going to go for the Chevy, those who are going to go for the Dodge, and those who are going to go for the Mustang. That’s just the way it is. There is no getting around it.
The good news for all concerned is that because the competition is so good—witness this car—everyone wins.
Engine: 4.6-liter 90-degree V-8 with cold air induction
Engine material: Aluminum block and heads
Valvetrain: SOHC, three valves per cylinder
Horsepower: 315 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 325 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual (Tremec 3650)
Length: 188.1 in.
Wheelbase: 107.1 in.
Height: 56.1 in.
Width: 73.9 in.
Curb weight: 3,533 lb.
Fuel economy: 16 mpg city/24 mph highway