You shouldn’t have this car. Nobody should have this car. That’s obvious from what happens to people when they are exposed to it. On the freeway, fellow motorists tuck into your blind spot, watching from where they can’t be seen, all expression shocked right off their faces, powerless to do anything but stare. It’s the same slack-jawed gape you’d get walking down Fifth Avenue with Pia Zadora, were she all dressed up in about eight yards of Saran Wrap. You wouldn’t be the focus of attention by any means, but the straights would all be wondering what, exactly, kind of bad boy you are, anyway.
This is a bad boy’s car, and everybody knows it. When you surface from the depths of its cockpit and put two feet on the earth’s crust, folks with any sense back off a couple paces. They don’t know what you might pull next, but, as far as they’re concerned, just being seen at the wheel of such a thing is prima facie evidence that you’re a regular traveler beyond the borders of good judgment, good sense, and good taste. Nobody on a mission from God would arrive in such a conveyance. It’s too much: too low, too flat, too many slots and scoops, too much power in the engine, and too much rubber on the road. Wretched excess is what it is, and God would never commit such an affront—which leaves only one other guy, the big bad boy himself. So hide the women and the kids. There’s a Lamborghini Countach 5000S on the loose, looking for heads to turn… (more)
While the current Mustang is slavishly, unimaginatively retro, Ford has pretty much mined out its glory days, the as-yet unrealized Mustang II redux notwithstanding. So the next car will be fearlessly modern. Many Mustang faithful are up in arms at the prospect of Ford’s next hot rod looking too much like the 2011 Evos concept car, but we have confidence. Between the Focus and the Fusion, Ford’s styling department is on a hot streak.
The current S197 Mustang has been a wild success for Ford, recalling, and sometimes relentlessly aping the styling of late 1966-1970 Mustangs. This latest rendering of the 2015 Ford Mustang by Car and Driver switches the derivative look from its own storied history to its Ford stablemates, particularly the Fusion, and to would-be competitors like the Hyundai Genesis Coupe (and maybe even the Nissan 370Z).
A bit surprisingly, this freshening is meeting with some trepidation by the faithful. On Mustangs Daily, for example, the faithful are wary.
Looks too much like a Genesis, Ford could be making a mistake straying away from the classic Mustang look. Certainly not for us older Pony Guys! – user “The Night”
This comment about “older Pony Guys”raised eyebrows here.
Dear handwringing Mustang fans:
Take a deep breath about 2015. Haven’t we been been down this road many times before? Let’s remember when the Mustang decided it could be a pony and a racehorse: Boss 429, Boss 302, Mach 1. Those were no “secretary cars.” I suffered the ignominy of 1971-73, when the Mustang seemed to switch its diet from protein to Dunkin Donuts. the looks were still kind of zoomy, but the waistline was moving in the wrong direction.
Then came the dark(er) ages: the Mustang II. All that had in common with the glory days was a few styling cues. The highest compliment I remember reading was that Consumer Reports was impressed by its monstrous
wartsbumpers. Then came the Fox bodied Mustang – a shortened Fairmont. Plastic end caps and a different greenhouse on the outside, similar terrible seats and the same basic dash. But we loved it:
- it was not called “Mustang III.”
- It was no longer anything like the Mustang II
In year 1, you could get a normally aspirated 4, a turbo 4 or a V6 or a 302. Yes, the engine choices got worse before they got better. Still, the wholesale rewrite portended great things. The basic body styles carried over, and a couple of engines, but otherwise, it was like Ford woke up from a bad dream and started making real Mustangs again, with only the barest homage to the past.
In 1987, the model range took on a new, modern face, which evoked only the 1986 SVO. We survived. In 1994, the Fox remained under the skin, but the sheetmetal was all new. It wasn’t a retro car any more than the Mustang II was retro: three section taillights, side scallops and a big horse in the middle of the grille. After a few years of a refreshed version, we got the current car.
The history of Mustang, viewed through a 50-year-old lens, is reflected in this car, as much as we can tell from renderings. If the reports are to be believed, you will get speed, even better handling, adult-sized seating for 4 wrapped in a good-looking package. The history of Mustang is not slavish devotion to past styling: it is just simple respect for it. Designs evolve. Sometimes, it’s steady and gradual, like 2005-2014. Sometimes it’s punctuated, like the threshold changes of 1974, 1979, 1994, 2005. The only constant is that it is aways changing, and, except for the early 1970s and the 80-81 Mustangs, always improving.
Mustang will be fine, even if the changes are drastic. You’ll be fine too.
A fellow fan
It was 300 people having simultaneous aneurysms. Then, an instant later, the excitement became a roaring wave of frantic communal lust moving through Studio 33 at CBS Television City in Los Angeles. From the audience, it crashed up onto the stage and crested behind the set. There’s never been a moment quite like that split second on March 19 when the door on the set of The Price Is Right swept open and announcer George Gray belted out that the next contestant would be playing for . . . “a new Ferrari!”
Best of all, it wasn’t even on fire!
The Aventador LP720-4 50 Anniversario also is equipped with a more powerful engine: The 6.5-liter, naturally aspirated V-12 now makes 710 horsepower, up from the standard Aventador’s 691. Performance remains unchanged, however, according to Lambo. So you can expect the same 3.0-second sprint to 60 we recorded in our test of the regular car, as well as a top speed of 217 mph. According to the folks in Sant’Agata, the extra power is unearthed through “special engine calibration.”
We agree. Turning 50 should totally be celebrated with an outlandish sports cars, felony speeding tickets, and a 90(ish) minute drive with Lurlene from Phoenix to San Francisco. Or Chicago. Or Manhattan
He said the A-bodies would be the most successful GM cars ever. Why was he wrong?
- No v. 1.0 models exist any longer. There are plenty of 1.5s like this – well, more than zero – and you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a 2.0. Still, Cadillac Escalade. Boom, roasted.
- This? AYFKM? Yellow on the outside, brown on the inside? Bizarro world dog turd is what that color combination is.
- Nevermind that Papa Don drove one like this – he got the employee discount, or, more likely, they paid him to take this shitbox.
- Nevermind too, that Phid introduced me to the song Delirious in the 1982 version of this car.
They were handy for CMU road trips. I’ll give them that.
P. J. O’Rourke takes the decline of the American car personally. And not just because his family has sold Buicks for three generations. In his latest book Driving Like Crazy, O’Rourke sees the very story of our nation written in the crazy, chrome-clad arc of American automobilia. From “the sheer genius that transformed the 1908 Model T into the 1965 Shelby Cobra GT500 in a single human lifetime of speeding tickets” to the industry’s decades-long “sayonara,” O’Rourke reflects on where we’ve been and what we drove to get there. But he also knows that cars are about more important things than mere cultural and political commentary. They’re about fun. Fast fun. Busting axles in Baja fun. Pointing a big, noisy car at the horizon and burying the gas pedal fun. And what’s more American than that?