Ford is known for the Mustang. This is their storied, cult classic car that’s made their brand the thing of boyhood posters and manhood fantasies. The Mustang is one of those cars, like the Challenger and Corvette, that young boys (and girls) craned necks to see as they rumbled past on the street.
So, has Ford managed to maintain that boyhood charisma that’s made the Mustang so appealing for 50? After cruising Mulholland Dr., the Pacific Coast Highway, and pushing the ‘Stang on twisty canyon roads, I kinda think they have.
Doesn’t it have an EcoBoost engine now?
Alright boys and girls, gather round, I have a secret to tell you. Are you listening? Ready? Even though the EcoBoost is only a 2.3L inline-4, it’s boosted which means its got pull (320 lb-ft of torque over the 3.7L V6’s 280), which means it’s a blast to drive plus it’s gonna save you money at the pumps down the road. It’s a wonderful engine that feels light and playful in comparison to the heavy-duty, hard-hitting 5.0L V8.
Complemented by the 6-speed manual transmission (that’s in need of a short-shift upgrade), the 310-horsepower EcoBoost feels sublime and sounds great too. The faint whistle of the turbo as it spools is music to any car lover’s ears, and the gears are so easy to row through you’ll enjoy every moment behind the wheel.
Oh, but that V8
Of course, if you want more of the Pony Car experience, you should look no further than the 5.0L V8. From the moment you press that start-stop button and the V8 rumbles to life, your senses will tingle and you’ll just want to press the throttle down as often as possible.
Equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission, the 5.0L 2015 Ford Mustang GT was malleable and oh-so fun to throw into the corners. With 435 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, the 5.0L is a bit of a beast. Power is sent out the rear wheels (and with it in full Stig mode as I called it – there’s a track setting that looks like the Stig’s helmet – which turns off all traction control) meaning that getting the bum out is oh-so easy and oh-so tempting. The V8 makes the Mustang feel a bit nose heavy, especially in the corners, but it is still more than possible to throw this coupe around and have a blast.
However, despite an updated suspension and rear differential, it felt a bit soft to me. Having just driven the Challenger (another Halo Car), I found that the Challenger felt much sportier than the Mustang which at times felt dopy and a bit too body-roll-y for my liking. Consequently, the ride is actually very, very comfortable and perfectly suited for everyday use, even with a Performance Pack attached to the top GT model.
The retro look is so hot.
And you’ll agree with me here. Ford took all the things that were good about the Mustang in the past, modernized them, and stuck them on the 2015 model. Instead of a choppy, angular mug, the front is now sleek, sexy and oh-so macho. LED headlights and the signature three-bar sequential-turn-signal rear LED taillights are perfectly placed and sized. Exaggerated rear wheel arches make for an aggressive, ready-to-pounce stance, and the prancing pony and clean rear trunk design come together beautifully to complete the 2015 Mustang package.
My favourite exterior bit? The 5.0L GT features rear-facing nostrils on the hood (one on each side) and when you’re in the car looking forward, you see them ever so slightly flanking the “power bulge”. Love it.
Inside, the centre stack was completely rethought and is user friendly, and actually very simple. No overload of buttons or fancy bits. It’s all there and it’s all in easy to reach buttons and knobs. Of course, Ford’s Sync system is in place, but if you’ve got the V8 you’ll only want to listen to that exhaust note anyways.
Does it pony up against the competition?
Well, this falls directly in line with the recently redesigned Challenger, Charger, and ‘Vette. These are all Halo Cars, all American muscle vehicles that were once known for straight-line prowess and lots and lots of power under sculpted hoods.
The new Mustang is right in line with that, but also on to something more with the introduction of the EcoBoost engine into the lineup. With a starting price just under $25k for the 300-horsepower V6 Coupe and the top model GT Premium Coupe sitting just shy of $45k, there are many options and engine specs for you to play with in order to build your perfect Mustang.
Is it the best Mustang so far? I’m not totally convinced of that, but I do know it’s an improvement on the outgoing model and it looks bloody sexy and is a ton of fun to drive. In my mind, Ford did it right.