The new Ford Mustang GT is all about one thing – the engine. Sure, it’s got retro style to spare, and yes, the interior is quite comfortable, but really, none of that matters. Nor does the optional satellite-linked navigation system that gives you everything from live traffic to movie times and local gas prices. Because under the hood lies the star of the show, an all-new 5.0-liter V-8 packing 412 brutal horsepower and a 7,000 rpm redline, linked to the rear wheels via all-new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. And we haven’t even mentioned the exhaust note yet; its deep growl perfectly fits a performance icon like the Mustang . And noise is really what this car is all about. Whether revving in neutral at a standstill or shredding the tires in a massive, car-engulfing burnout, the Mustang carries with it at all times the ability to make anyone within earshot take more than a cursory glance over their shoulder. In short, it’s everything we want in a 5.0-liter pony car – excessively fast, stunningly loud and, at under $30K for the base GT, reasonably affordable as well.
What's to Like
Tons of power coupled with relatively long gearing means the new Mustang GT packs plenty of power but also returns respectable fuel economy, getting up to 26 mpg on the highway, which when you consider its output of 412 horsepower, is quite impressive.
What's Not to Like
You can’t write about a Mustang without mentioning the car’s stubborn and persistent use of a solid rear axle. As adept as Ford’s execution of this nearly ancient rear-end setup may be, it’s hard to call it anything but an obsolete performance engineering application. Some interior plastics are still a bit on the hard side, but at this price, it’s tough to complain.
DriverSide Driving Impressions
How fast do you like to drive? Because the new Mustang GT likes to go fast. Very fast. The 0-60 time is less than five seconds, and it feels every bit that fast, as the speedometer seems to easily sweep past freeway speeds every time you put your foot into the throttle. The car feels at its most impressive between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm in third and fourth gear, where it really pulls hard. But the Mustang GT isn’t a one-trick drag racer. The combination of a stiffer chassis, standard front strut brace and limited-slip differential mean the Mustang GT is happy to carve up a mountain road, and the new optional Brembo brake package mean it has little issue bringing itself down from big speeds as well. And like all V-8 Mustangs before it, the V-8 is quite the singer. Our advice? Find a tunnel, roll down the windows, drop a couple of gears and enjoy ...