One more model year before a complete makeover to celebrate its 50th anniversary: That’s the story for the 2014 Ford Mustang. Almost nothing changes this year for the original ponycar, that iconic symbol of affordable performance that blends modern efficiency with a strong 1960s-America vibe. New technology that includes track-specific software and mobile apps helps keep this muscle car modern, while four seats and a tolerable ride make it worthy of being a daily driver. The 2014 Mustang coupe andconvertible are available in a wide range of forms, from a low-$20,000 V6 rear-drive sporty-car bargain to the $55,000-plus Shelby GT500 that packs a 662-horsepower monster motor. What a country.
In anticipation of a major redesign next year, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the iconic model, the 2014 Ford Mustang gets only some different paint colors and package contents. The Boss 302 model is dropped and the Shelby GT500’s horsepower rating climbs to 662 (previously the temporary “over-rev” spec).
Though it still uses an old-fashioned solid rear axle, the 2014 Mustang performs well on twisty roads and on open highways. As always, you don’t have to spend a bundle on a Mustang to have fun. Even a base coupe with the 3.7-liter V6 gives you 305 horsepower to play with. The standard 6-speed manual transmission feels satisfying, and the hill-start control works well in preventing the car from rolling backward when you let off the brake and engage the clutch. A 6-speed automatic is optional except in the fire-breathing Shelby GT500. Road noise is plenty apparent on rougher roads. Steering effort and feel can be set to sport, comfort and standard modes, a nifty trick. Rear visibility in coupe models isn’t great, but it’s better than that of the Chevy Camaro.
LCD PRODUCTIVITY SCREEN
This 4.2-inch color screen in premium models sits directly in front of the driver, between the retro-style circular speedometer and tachometer. The screen works in tandem with the Track Apps software to measure performance, and displays useful information including fuel economy.
5.8-LITER SUPERCHARGED V8
The Shelby GT500’s engine is a monster, the most powerful production V8 in the world, Ford says. Its 662 horsepower gives the car massive acceleration, of course, but also a menacing attitude even when flowing smoothly with traffic.