People are always so disappointed when I list the Ford Mustang in answer to the question, "What are the coolest cars you've driven while at Automobile Magazine?" They then inform me that it has a live rear axle, is a little porky, and isn't even that powerful. That all may be true, but it doesn't change a thing: the Mustang is one of my favorite cars to drive.
Ford designers can point out dozens of places where they nipped, tucked, and refined their pony car, but the changes are hard to appreciate unless you're parked right alongside an old model. That's fine. The 2009 model we had in our office last fall was a blast, and so is this one.
I did notice improved grip. This might be partially because the ground is now warm, dry, and salt-free, but the Track Pack goodies on this car clearly have some effect. I was less pleased with the brake pads, which were way too soft until they got some heat into them. That's fine on a track, where you can warm everything up, but not in daily driving.
We've heard a lot recently about how the Mustang is shaking in its boots in fear of the Chevrolet Camaro and Hyundai Genesis. Somehow, I doubt that's true. The Mustang has never been the most advanced sports car on the street, but that's never stopped buyers from snapping them up. Ford clearly has the formula down with this car. The Mustang may not be the fastest, most comfortable car, but it is one of the most fun.
Oh, and you can make that three obscene speeding violations in our electric blue Mustang. Coming out of a sweeping turn, I nailed the throttle, grabbed fourth with that wonderfully precise, solid feeling aluminum-ball shifter, and saw the needle sweeping toward the 100-mph mark before visions of a Michigan jail cell intruded on my reverie.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor