The first production mustang rolled off of the Dearborn Michigan assembly line in 1964 and was marketed as the 1965 model year. Ever since that date, there have been many transformations in the design and its evolution to its current sixth generation. The 50th anniversary model in the sixth generation is, in my opinion, one of the sexiest-looking Mustangs ever. It’s the perfect balance of innovation, performance, and Mustang heritage and nostalgia.
The fully loaded convertible version, delivered to me to test drive, was a bright competition orange. And I mean bright. Once I got over the screaming, perky colour of the car, it was time to get acquainted.
The outside styling is superb. There are endless subtle (and some not-so-subtle) nuances of the car that wowed me at every glance. I particularly love the front end, especially the headlights. The hood and the side body profiles have exquisite lines and styling. Even though delivery was in the daytime, I did manage to catch a glimpse of the light feature that casts the image of a Mustang Pony onto the ground outside each door – love that!
Once I was seated behind the wheel, it was hard to ignore the commanding presence of the front of the car. As I looked through the windshield and out over the hood, my eyes were drawn forward to follow its ridges, and I could catch just a slight glimpse of the hood vents towards the front of the bonnet. It’s an impressive view that screams, “I’m a powerhouse.”
The inside styling is equally as impressive. Leather interior with colour-contrast stitching sets a definite premium stage. The use of an axle spin-finish aluminum on the instrument panel, along with a mix of rotary dials and high-quality toggle switches, really captures the essence of a modernised vintage roadster.
The dash gauges are well laid out and all controls are cleverly and conveniently placed. I liked the location of the engine start/stop button and the convenience of the USB outlet directly below it. I just wish there was a sensible and practical place to set down your mobile device when plugging it into the car’s system.
The info centre menu offers numerous options, including “Track Apps” to record your acceleration and stopping times, as well as an accelerometer. However, I would love to see integration of the info centre and the navigation system so that you don’t have to leave the radio on the navigation screen to view your upcoming directions. Oddly enough, one of my favourite features has nothing to do with performance or styling at all: I love the presence of a “Tone” access button on the radio. No more navigating menus on the touch screen to get the perfect sound – yay! I think the radio, with all of its output power, multiple speakers, and massive sub in the trunk, is lacking in sound quality and control. Even though easy access to the tone settings helps a little in the manipulation of that sound, it would be great if it had broader settings. Other features that I loved include the air-conditioned leather seats, adaptive cruise control, and the collision avoidance feature (which, I’ll admit, saved my butt on more than one occasion).
Storage in the trunk and back seats is not particularly large, but then again, that’s not why I’d be buying this car. The back seats are tight but comfortable and would serve just fine in those rare times you may need them. I also found the trunk space adequate for everyday use and for the odd suitcase from time to time.
Under the hood is a 5.0L V8 that kicks out 435 HP. The selectable drive modes allow you to harness and explore that power any way you like. That power can seem a little soft initially but comes on strong once you’re rolling. It doesn’t have the punch that would allow you to sit and smoke those wheels, though, unless you’re in your high school parking lot around a bunch of buddies you need to impress, why would you? And for that particular brand of thrill seeker, there is the “Line Lock” feature in the “Track Apps” menu; it’s meant to help racers at drag strips by making it easier to perform burnouts and to warm up the tires. I have a slight feeling, however, that some parking lots and public streets will see more use of this feature than drag strips.
At highway speeds, the acceleration is beyond impressive and the power response is, to put it bluntly, insane. No worries here when it comes to merging onto highway speeds or even passing.
Although I was super impressed with its handling and breaking abilities, I still see the Mustang as a straight line exhilaration producer. It’s definitely a car with dazzling style, noteworthy technology, and exciting performance, as well as that unmistakable, throaty exhaust sound so symbolic of the classic American Muscle car.