Ford Mustang GT - Our thoughts on the legend of performance

Ford Mustang GT - Our thoughts on the legend of performance

There are few legendary names in the field of automobiles. Some stay etched on for generations of fans to be enthralled in, while others are there because the respective manufacturers are still in the middle of flogging a dead horse. Well, the galloping horse is a sign of vigour and energy. Something which the Ford Mustang stands for. Millenials too recognise this car and that’s a good sign. They may not remember the Ford Model T. Unless someone in history class askes it and good old Google helps out. But the Mustang soldiers on in one’s memory as a living legend. Which is why we decided to pay an ode to this warrior, marking its performance and changes over the years.

Ford Mustang 2018

The first one

This will easily be the Ford Mustang Convertible which came out in 1964 and was there till next year. At that point in time, Ford used to share bits and parts with other vehicles in its portfolio. This helped manufacturing costs be kept low and the job was easier for the suppliers too. It had a commercial trim too - for racing that is. One could have ordered the car with options of four engines, two drive shafts, seven transmissions, three clutches as well as steering types. There were four brake options as well. Phew. It did 0-100 kmph in 8.2 seconds.

Next one

The 1967 model is supposed to be an improvement and is in every way the same design that you will see on the 2018 car. The Ford Mustang GT was the first Ford car to have a 60:40 weight balance front-rear. This was to ensure that it handles better and while the critics scoffed at the initial idea, the Mustang engineers made sure they had the last laugh. The engine made 390 PS of power and enabled the car to race to 100 kmph in just 7.3 seconds.

Mustang 1967 model

Power rage

In 1968, Chevrolet upped the power stakes with 400 PS on tap from the Camaro. Ford took the challenge and the updated Mustang had a couple of PS more. The engine had a 7,000 rpm redline and had a paper filter feeding it fresh air through two Hoffeys carburettor. The result was a 0-100 kmph dash in a stunning 5.4 seconds.

Mach One era

Ford decided that they had enough of power on tap with the 400 PS editions but the styling had to be a bit more, erm, outrageous. In comes the Mach 1 edition, that got a longer hood and trunk. It was a mix of a trans-am car as well as a drag racer. The 428 Cobra Jet motor could make only 333 PS of power and as a result, performance was down to 5.7 seconds. It didn’t cast a big impression when it came to the handling stakes too.

Ford Mudstang Boss

The Boss is here

The Ford Mustang Boss was born in 1971 when the Detroit carmaker decided to leave racing to others. It was not because they grew a conscience or something but more to do with environmentalists hounding them. Ford offered the Boss to privateers who wanted to race though. The worst part of the Boss was that there was no proper visibility, be it at the front, rear or even sides. The ORVMs too were shaped in a thin fashion and were practically useless. The car was heavier too and that explains the 5.8 seconds time to do 100 kmph.

Mach maker

The Ford Mustang II Mach I in 1974 then was the answer or rather a proper reply to all those environmentalists. Ford crammed all their fuel saving techniques into this one and tried to make it as economy conscious as possible. A hell lot of suspension, as well as engine packages, could be ordered with this one. Some as ridiculous as a 101 PS motor mated to a 3-speed manual or a 289 PS to a 4-speed manual. The result was a yawn-inducing time of 12.2 seconds.

Ford Mustang II Cobra II

The snake

The Ford Mustang II Cobra II was fettled by Carroll Shelby and was adorned with all sorts of livery one will expect. It too was handed down numerous engine and suspension packages. Imagine a 3.2-litre engine making 135 PS now. It however, was lighter and the 1976 model could easily do a 100 kmph run in 9 seconds.

Cobra sting

The Ford Mustang Cobra from 1980 was what the doctor ordered in terms of downsizing. Gone was the 3.2-litre V8 motor and in came a 2.5-litre V8 that made 130 PS of power. The weight too was down by around 40 kgs. The result was a car that looked at its end abruptly. It, however, was a gutsy performer with a 10.8 seconds run to the dash.

The quickest

Well, the 1982 model reached 100 kmph in 8.1 seconds. Yes, people had forgotten that the Mustangs could do 100 kmph in less than eight seconds. The power to weight was so good that at some point even the Japanese had to no answer to Ford. The GT moniker was dropped though.

Ford Mustang side

Change is here

A good 16 years, Ford ran the same car and then they decided to go for an overhaul. What they did shocked the way and in a rude fashion. Long gone were those squared haunches and in comes a rounded profile. Ford was back to making 300+ PS with the Mustang and also dropped the tardy 4.9-litre motor. Remember the Daewoo Cielo. Yes, it was inspired from the ‘96 Mustang. Ford claimed that the GT did the run in 6.6 seconds.

Cobra modified

The 1999 Mustang Cobra SVT made 320 PS from its 4.8-litre V8 heart and also got an independent rear suspension (a novelty at that time). With this, Ford was back into the sub-6 seconds game as well, with the Mustang doing the run in 5.5 seconds. It looked hot and harked back to the 80’s car.

Tyre smoker

Yes, the 2003 Ford Mustang Mach I was nicknamed thus and aptly so. Fourth gear in this one lets one hit 200 kmph and that’s a lot considering there was an overdrive to contend with too. In fact, floor the accelerator and the car used to shift to the right. Primarily because of the weedy tyres it sported. 5.2 seconds is all it took to hit 100 kmph.

Modern era

This is and will remain the design of the pony car for a few more years to come. 10+ if you ask us. There was an updated 4.6-litre V8 that helped Ford engineers to massage out 40 PS more than before and allow the 2005 Mustang GT to hit the ton in 5.2 seconds.

Shell ‘em

The Shelby GT 500 from 2010 was a quick car. It featured Carroll’s signature stripes, the blue paint scheme and 540 massive horse. The car was cheaper than its competition and was properly quick with a 0-100 kmph time of 4.4 seconds.

2011 Ford Mustang GT

Hang on

This 2011 Ford Mustang GT shattered the Camaro SS’ numbers in stock form. It made 412 PS of power but the way it laid down all that power in a silky smooth manner could even put German cars to shame. There was no change in the 0-100 kmph time from the 2010 car.

Tyre chirp

This is what the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 used to do. It used to lunch on its tyres and was notorious for making owners to replace rubber every 15k kms. The fettled motor ensured that the Mustang hit the 0-100 kmph in just 3.5 seconds.

The last one

Well, not technically. Unless Ford decides to end production and put the Mustang nameplate to rest. This was also the first time Ford was doing right-hand drive versions of the car. There were new Ecoboost engines to the mix as well as in a lower state of tune depending on the region where the car will be sent. The 2018 version still manages to do a 4.6 seconds time to do 100 kmph.

There you have it. Our ode to the Ford Mustang. Do let us know how you feel about this story in the comments.

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