I’m old enough to have driven the first-generation Ford Mustang when it was new, so take it from me: the Mustang has come a very, very long way over the years. Tell you what, I can’t believe they’re about to replace the current fifth generation Mustang for 2015, because the car is just so darned good the way it is now.
I know, I know–they’ve got to make the body sleeker, and it’s got to have more computer screens and warning systems and whatnot. That’s the way cars are going these days. But if you ask me, the 2014 Mustang GT just might be considered the best Mustang ever when all’s said and done. Let me tell you three reasons why.
1. World Class 420-Horsepower V8
I hear the next Mustang’s going to have this V8 too, so fortunately 2014 won’t be its swan song. But my goodness, what a motor! The only real problem with this modern-day “five-point-oh” is that it’s so smooth and high-revving, some folks might tell you it’s not a proper muscle-car engine. To be honest with you, the engine it most reminds me of is the 4.0-liter V8 in the previous-generation BMW M3. But I see that as a good thing, not a bad thing. When a Mustang V8 makes me think of one of the most thrilling engines ever built, it’s a great day for America. An engine doesn’t have to shake the car all over the place at idle to make me smile.
2. Track-Ready Performance
Pick up any car magazine and you’ll hear them singing the same tune. “The Mustang’s got a solid rear axle! It can’t compete with sophisticated imports!” Listen, that’s just a load of bunk. I drove a 2014 Mustang GT on a track recently, and it was the perfect tool. The steering is sharp, the brakes are strong, and the chassis keeps you planted like–yeah, I’ll say it–a “sophisticated import.”
I gather they’re going to make the rear suspension independent for 2015, and that kind of bums me out. It’s not just a heritage feature, after all; you also get better launches at the dragstrip with a solid rear end, and Ford has engineered the Mustang’s suspension so well that you hardly ever notice any handling issues. To me, you take away that solid axle and you lose part of what has always made the Mustang cool.
3. Plenty of Technology
When you read the reviews of the 2015 Mustang, they’re going to go on about how the previous car was so outdated, but look at all the fancy doohickeys in the new one…yada yada yada. Let me tell you something: the 2014 Mustang GT has enough technology for just about anyone’s taste. Shoot, you can get the full-on MyFord Touch infotainment suite if you want it, but I’m more interested in the functional stuff, like three-mode adjustable steering effort and an available “Track Apps” system that can keep a record of your acceleration runs and lap times.
What’s really great about these gadgets is that they don’t at all detract from the Mustang’s authentic muscle-car character. I’m afraid the 2015 Mustang’s going to be like some sort of spaceship inside, and that’s just going to make me miss the 2014 Mustang GT more.
What do you all think? Is the 2014 Mustang GT the pinnacle for Ford’s pony car, or will the 2015 Mustang prove me wrong?
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Photo courtesy of Ford.