Future Curbside Classic: 2015 Ford Mustang GT – Four Hundred Thirty Five Horsepower?!

Yes. Four Hundred Thirty Five horsepower. Wow. That is only 15 horses shy of the 2001 Dodge Viper my mother once owned. And, I mean, it was a VIPER. This is a Mustang–yes, a GT model, but still attainable for most folks who really want one. It really is amazing how the horsepower race has been racing sky-high over the last decade, has it not? Oh, and the 2015 Mustang itself? Well, I like it!

For those of you just joining in, I once sold cars at Dahl Ford. That did not work out, but the dealership has a great group of people, and its GM, KV Dahl, is a genuine car guy. So I do have to drop in every once in a while.

A couple months ago I stopped in and asked Tim O’Leary when the new Mustangs would be in (that’s actually him in the background!) and he told me November. So on November 8, a brisk but sunny day, I had to pop in and see the new Mustang.

And now, for a little plug for Dahl Ford. When I walked in, a salesman asked if he could help me. He was polite and not high-pressure at all, and was more than happy to show me the bright red GT sitting in the showroom. No plaid-sportcoated hucksters at this place! And the new Mustang is a beautiful automobile.

He invited me to hop in and check everything out, and I took the man at his word. I did not beep the horn, but did play with the HVAC controls. Dual-zone A/C in a Mustang? Pretty ritzy! I also liked those toggle switches a great deal.

The interior was pleasant and the seats comfy. It’s nice to see some flair in a modern car, rather than the bland beigeness seen on way too many new cars. But then, this IS a Mustang.

I liked the Mustang logo and “50 Years” embossed into the seat backs too. Nice touch!

So, I got my pictures and my brochure, and was about to pack up, when I saw my old boss, Gary Mendoza. As it was a Saturday and the dealership was rather humming along, I didn’t want to bother him, but he waved me into his office. I told him about CC and that I intended to write up the ’15 model. He then said, “Well, then you need to drive one!” I responded, “Well, you could probably twist my arm.”

So, I got into the bright red (Race Red in Ford-speak) GT and looked for the ignition. Nope, no ignition, but a start-stop button. It illuminated red when off and green when on. There was a lovely va-room sound when it started! I put the key (well, lock/unlock fob I guess) into the illuminated cup holder, guided it out the front row (where it was sitting next to a black GT coupe) and was off.

As you would perhaps expect with 435 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, the GT moved with authority through its SelectShift six-speed automatic. And despite its performance, the fuel economy is not bad, considering this is a performance car: 16 city, 25 highway, and 19 combined. No, not a fuel sipper, but pretty good for such a fun, sporty car! The days of 8-9 mpg are over–unless you drive a dump truck.

I really like the nose on these. The grille and its shape, with the chrome spears on either side of the “corral,” remind me of the 1967-68 model, while the LED running lights evoke the 1965-66. But the whole car still remains modern, yet unmistakably a Mustang.

And as previously mentioned, the interior is quite nice. While black would not be my first choice, other, more interesting interior colors are available, including dark brown, red and, yes folks, even white leather (“Ceramic” in Ford-speak).

It does have the TV screen touchscreen common to pretty much all new cars, but I was heartened to see actual volume and tuning knobs for the radio–just as it should be!

This GT had the 50 Years Appearance Package, which includes a special grille with chrome surround, 19″ alloys,  aluminum dash trim and plaque above the glove box, and a 50th Anniversary logo on the rear deck, and special upholstery recalling the Comfortweave vinyl seats of the late ’60s Mustangs.

image: corporate.ford.com

In addition to the 50 Years Appearance Package, there is also a 50th Anniversary Model, available in Wimbledon White with black and white interior. Kona Blue is also available, but I would have to have Wimbledon White–an original 1965 Mustang color.

image: corporate.ford.com

Yes, white interiors are back. I want one.

While I didn’t try it out, rear seat space appeared a bit tight. But come on, it’s a Mustang! If you want space, get a Fusion. And at least there’s a decent-sized window to look out of. The Camaro looks to have a reasonably-sized quarter window, but the section that is not blacked out is about the size of a Chiclet. I should know, as I’ve sat in a couple! But on the Mustang, over the shoulder visibility is acceptable when merging onto the Interstate.

The 2015 Mustang is a big deal, the first all-new model since the “heritage” 2005 model debuted a decade ago. Not only is the car leaner and meaner, it has at long last gained an independent rear suspension across the line. It will also be available in Europe.

While I was driving the full-zoot 5.0 GT, the other Mustang members are not exactly slouches either. The standard Mustang comes with a 300-hp Ti-VCT V6 with 300 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. A Turbo (ahem, Eco-Boost, sorry) 2.3L four is also available, with 310 hp and 320 lb-ft.

There is something almost Italianate in the lines. Mustang Ghia, perhaps?

While the nose reminds me of a 1967-68, the back reminds me of a 1969 model, center-mounted back-up lamp notwithstanding.

No, that is not a fuel cap, but it is meant to recall the real deal seen on 1965-73 models. Note the backup camera above the badge.

I love those taillights!

While I didn’t really “get on it” (I treat cars I am entrusted with as if they were my own), I did step on it a couple of times and the car was loads of fun! I think Ford has a winner. Isn’t it great there are still cars like the Mustang?