Pony car fans have been waiting a long time for the new Mustang. General Motors drew first blood when they revealed the new Camaro and what it’s packing under the hood. It’s hard to ignore the fact that at its current state, the Mustang needs an update. So for 2010, Ford is giving it its best shot. Ford has finally revealed the new Mustang and it sure looks like, well, more Mustang.
The car’s lines are meaner and tighter, and the overall effect is of a much more modern interpretation of a classic silhouette. Ford designers did all they could to update the ‘Stang without compromising its trademark lines. Still, the case of how the rubber meets the road hasn’t changed one bit. There is still no independent rear suspension (like its competitors) and the new Mustang basically carries over the same chassis set-up as the old car but with re-tuned dampers and anti-roll bars. That means we still get a live rear axle at the back, and for sake of comparison with the others, it’s a big negative.
Another department the Mustang falls short in is the power department. This one is a big notch against team blue oval since we all know that they’re called muscle cars for a reason, horsepower! We would think that Ford would heed the call of its competitors and give us something with at least 400-hp. Not so, my friends. In fact, the engine is a basic carry-over from the older Mustang, only this time it makes 315-hp! A massive 15-hp boost over the old engine (can you feel the sarcasm?).
The truth is that the Mustang is just plain weak compared to its rivals. The V8 GT model makes a massive 120-hp less than its nearest competitor. That’s like having an extra engine! The poor V6 Mustang likewise makes a substantial 90-hp less than the V6 Camaro. So let me ask you something Ford. Where’s the muscle?
One thing that has changed for the better is the tacky, cheap-looking interior of the previous generation pony car. Instead, it gets replaced with a very similar looking layout as the old model, but material and build quality have gone up 10-fold. This finally looks like a proper interior, fitting of a car that represents an entire company. Two additional trim packages are available to add even more pizazz to the interior of the new Mustang, the Premium and Premier packages. Both add their own assortment of leather trims and aluminum accents, plus an optional choice of red, blue or "Cashmere" accent colors to go with the black interior. Navigation and Ford’s Sync 2.0 entertainment system are also available.
To be able to compete, Ford is going to have to be aggressive with its pricing of the new Mustang. Chevrolet dropped a bomb when they announced that their V6 Camaro would make 300-hp and cost $22,995. Ford is hoping by selling the new Mustang V6 at $20,790 (roughly $2,000 less), it will make people forget about the power difference (same with the GT, which will undercut the SS Camaro by around $3,000).
But who are we kidding? With the guaranteed dealer incentives that will be attached to these cars in the future, $3,000 isn’t going to make that much of an impact. The facts are that both the Mustang’s competitors offer more technology, more modern chassis setups and much-more power, for not much more dough. Ford offers a supercharger for the mustang that pumps power past 400-hp, but I doubt it will be less than $3,000 to buy and have installed.
In my opinion, Ford must have major faith in its Mustang fan base, because technically speaking, the Mustang falls way short of the mark. How Ford hopes to compete with the other muscle cars on the block is anyone’s guess. A convertible model will debut alongside the coupe, so at least they’ve got that going for them, but it’s easy to see why considering it’s basically the same car. Given a choice of a new Camaro or a new Mustang, the choice is as clear as a day at the strip. There is only one winner here. I’d say be careful Ford. You’re bringing a knife to a gun fight.
Source: Inside Line
Photos: Ford Motor Co.