As others fall, the Ford Mustang carries on. The redesigned Coyote 5.0-liter V8 delivers more power and a rocking sound track. You get crisp handling, sharp looks, and new tech too.
Soul lifting soundtrack from the V8. Big power! Not to mention massive digital screens inside. And a few neat tricks too. Drifting anyone?
|What Could Improve
Convertible structure is noticeably weaker than the coupe’s. You lose more performance and driving feel. For best driving, stick with the coupe.
The Ford Mustang still delivers the visceral sensations of classic Detroit muscle. But with touchscreens and other tech to adapt to the modern world.
The Ford Mustang turns 59 this year. And to celebrate, Ford introduced the seventh generation model: the 2024 Ford Mustang. You choose between a coupe and convertible, and between a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder and 5.0-liter V-8. If you choose the V-8, you also choose between a six-speed manual and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Choose the V-8.
The biggest single change this time around comes from the interior, now awash with digital screens. The instrument cluster, now a 12.4-inch widescreen with several optional screen, my personal favorite being the 87-93 Fox body screen. And right next to it a 13.2-inch center console touchscreen with tons of tricks up its sleeve.
For a more in-depth review, please read my story on Gear Patrol
High Revving Big Power
Ford calls the latest 5.0 under the Mustang GT’s hood the fourth-generation Coyote. It uses twin air intakes and throttle bodies to suck air on either side and channel air to meet next to each other in the center, just ahead of the intake manifold. This monster motor eagerly spins up to 7500 rpm in thunderous harmony and delivers 480 horsepower and 416 lb.-ft of torque along the way. If you willing to part with an additional $1225 for the active-valve exhaust, peak outputs jump to 486 HP and 418 lb.-ft.
WIth the GT, you choose between a six-speed manual and 10-speed automatic. Yes. The manual is better. It’s also good, light feel and minimal friction allow fast shifts and general smooth operation. Ford did a good job in gear selection, to have strong thrust off the line, a nice wheel-spinning one-two shift and good canyon driving. But also reasonably low interstate cruising speeds.
But, even for driving enthusiasts, the 10-speed automatic is quite good. Seriously! You get fast shifts and generally nice gear selection. Ford also appropriately changes the shift pattern in the different drive modes. In track mode, you pretty much constantly stay above 5000 rpm. It’s glorious! This box will also allow some wheel spin just with a simple brake torque. It’s playful.
Oh, and you can use Remote Rev with the automatic. One of the parlor tricks that Ford added to the 2024 Mustang. After remote starting the car, if you hit the unlock and lock button one after the other, the engine will rev a bit. Do it again, and it will rev three times, with the last one bouncing off the limiter. Do it again, and it will repeat the sequence. And it will do it as many times as you desire. Fun!
DRIFT BRAKE AND OTHER SHENANIGANS
But the big news, and the neatest of neat tricks, is the Performance Electronic Park Brake or Drift Brake as everyone calls it. Developed with Vaughn Gittin Jr and RTR, the drift brake takes place of a standard cable actuated hand brake and will electronically lock the rear brakes and send the rear axle sliding, but with a bit modulation to not make it an instant spin fest.
To have legit drifting capability—from the factory—is something to applaud. And it works…with practice. Getting the timing right of when and how much throttle to add after initiating the slide takes a bit of finesse. But once you’re honed in, it’s fantastic fun.
But you don’t need the drift brake to have a good time. It’s clear Ford is getting comfortable with an independent rear axle and turned the Mustang into a true, full fledged sports car. Especially with the performance pack, which includes adaptive shocks, a Torsen limited-slip differential, staggered wheels, and performance tires among other things.
With it, you get lots of grip and chassis balance that leans lightly on understeer, but is easy to balance through a corner with the throttle. Chuck it in to a corner and you get good turn-in response and reasonable feel of the road underneath you. And that V-8! Liberally applying throttle at corner exit brings literal music to your ears and strong pull towards the next corner. Brilliant fun.
Base price for a Ford Mustang GT now nears $45k. But, for the money, you get a rare combination of athleticism, modern technology, and old-school Detroit muscle. It will play among the Toyota Supras and Nissan Z’s of the world. It will also give a Dodge Challenger Scat Pack a hard time. In a quickly transforming world, Ford is sticking to the classic Mustang recipe, and just added a modern twist. And I’m here to tell you. It’s Delicious!
2024 Ford Mustang GT: 2-door, 4-seat, coupe
Base price: $44,090
Price as Tested: NA
Engine: 5.0-liter V-8 (with active valve exhaust)
Power: 486 horsepower at 7250 rpm
Torque: 418 lb-ft at 4900 rpm
Transmissions: six-speed manual, 10-speed automatic
Fuel Economy (man/auto)
14/15 mpg City
23/24 mpg Highway
17/18 mpg Combined
Length: 189.4 inches
Width: 75.4 inches
Height: 55.0 inches
Wheelbase: 107.0 inches
Weights and Capacities
Curb weight: 3827-3832 lbs.
Interior volume: 83 cu ft
Cargo volume: 13 cu ft
Government classified size: Subcompact car
Calculated weight to power (lbs./HP): 7.9:1 – 8.0:1
Mfr’s claimed 0-60 mph: NA seconds
Mfr’s claimed Top Speed: NA mph
Test Car Options: NA
If you have more money, like a lot more, this is an even better way to go fast: Porsche 911 GT3 RS sets lap record.