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Classic Reviews: 2014 Ford Mustang GT

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by Brian Medford  More from Author

A fitting end to the S-197 Mustang era.

It is said that when a swan is about to die it sings the most beautiful song of its life. The Mustang is no swan, it is a phoenix destined to be born again next year. But until then we have what is quite possibly the best version of the modern Mustang ever built.

While there is a considerable amount of hype and speculation surrounding what the 2015 Mustang will bring, let's not forget that the 2014 model is still here. Starting in 2005 with the "retro" body styling Ford began refining the Mustang package. Around 2011 things really solidified with the base model V6 offering 300+ horsepower and a tighter overall experience. But the GT really came into its own once the mighty 5.0L returned offering 400+ horsepower on tap. In its final iteration in this body style the V8 puts out 420 horsepower and 390 lb/ft of torque. That is a ton of power no matter how you look at it. Coupled with a solid shifting six-speed manual transmission this is a great drivetrain combination. The docile 3.31:1 rear axle ratio (M/T) is matched nicely to the transmission and delivers a nice low cruising RPM when using the 0.65:1 sixth gear overdrive. A simple rear gear swap to something more aggressive (like a 4:10:1 ratio) would make this car a real street beast while not making it unlivable on the highway.

But how is it to drive? I may catch a lot of flack for saying it but in this iteration the Mustang has become a grand touring car. It is comfortable on the highway and eats up miles nicely. Dare I say this would make a great long distance salesperson car? Sure it is no Lincoln Town Car, but there is plenty of space up front, the seats are comfortable, and there are plenty of amenities to keep you content. The Mustang has come a long way from being a brutish "bull in a china shop" to drive. It has matured but the heart of the beast is still there. Don't be misled, even with traction control activated there is plenty to get you in trouble if you don't respect the car. And thanks to a little plumbing trickery the marvelous sounds of the V8 are piped straight into the passenger compartment to add a little ambiance to the party.

The 2014 Mustang GT signals the end of an era in some ways. If rumors are correct the 2015 model will be smaller, lighter and more "world friendly" than the current "retro styled" model. Ford knows their market is changing and the baby boomers that drove Mustang sales over the last few decades will no longer be in the equation. Thus the 2014 model is a fantastic last hurrah and a fitting sendoff to the era that brought us the muscle and pony car wars. But it is time to pass that mantle to a new generation and for them to make the Mustang their own. Until then though Ford has given us a wonderful parting gift.


2014 Mustang GT Vehicle Highlights
Max Seating Capacity: 4
Drive Type: Rear Wheel Drive
Engine Type: 5.0L
Horsepower: 420 @ 6,500 rpm (5.0L V8 premium fuel)
Torque: 390 @ 4,250 rpm (5.0L V8 premium fuel)
Transmissions: 6-Speed Manual, standard on Mustang V6, GT
EPA-Estimated Ratings (Actual mileage will vary): 15 city / 26 hwy (manual), 18 city / 25 hwy (automatic)

Warranty
Bumper to Bumper: 3 years / 36,000 miles
Powertrain: 5 years / 60,000 miles
Safety Restraint System: 5 years / 60,000 miles
Corrosion (Perforation only): 5 years / Unlimited miles
Roadside Assistance Program: 5 years / 60,000 miles

Exterior Dimensions (Coupe)
Wheelbase [in]: 107.1
Length [in]: 188.5
Height [in]: 55.8
Width - Excluding Mirrors [in]: 73.9
Width - Including Mirrors [in]: 80.1
Front Track [in]: 62.3
Rear Track [in]: 62.9

Interior Dimensions (Coupe)
Head Room - Front [in]: 38.5
Head Room - Rear [in]: 34.7
Leg Room - Front [in]: 42.4
Leg Room - Rear [in]: 29.8
Hip Room - Front [in]: 53.4
Hip Room - Rear [in]: 46.8
Shoulder Room - Front [in]: 55.3
Shoulder Room - Rear [in]: 47.8

Capacities (Coupe)
Passenger Volume [cu. ft.]: 81
Luggage Capacity [cu. ft.]: 13.4

Engine Specifications (GT)
Engine Type: 5.0L Ti-VCT V-8 Engine
Engine Electronics: PCM
Displacement: 5.0L (302 cu. In.)
Horsepower (SAE net @ rpm): Premium Fuel: 420 @ 6,500
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): Premium Fuel: 390 @ 4,250
Compression Ratio: 11.0:1
Bore and Stroke: 92.2 x 92.7
Main Bearings: 5
Valve Lifters: Roller Finger Followers
Fuel Delivery: Sequential Multi-port Electronic Fuel Injection
Recommended Fuel: Unleaded Premium
Exhaust: Dual, Stainless Steel exhaust with bright rolled tips
Engine block material: Aluminum
Cylinder head material: Aluminum

Chassis Specifications (GT)
Front Suspension: Independent MacPherson Struts with Reverse-L Lower Control Arm, Stabilizer Bar
Rear Suspension: Constant-Rate Coil Springs, 3-Link Design with Panhard Rod and Stabilizer Bar
Shocks Absorbers: Hydraulic Gas-Pressurized, Outboard-Mounted
Brakes: Power 4-Wheel Disc; Anti-Lock System with Traction Control
Stability Control: Electronic Stability Control
Steering: Selectable Electric Power Assisted (EPAS)

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