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Car Reviews

Comparing the 2016 Ford Mustang to other muscle cars

The sixth-generation Ford Mustang has been in the market for just under two years and it’s still as eye-catching as ever. Having the chance to take it out for a week-long spin, it was strange to see most people staring at it, as if they’re seeing one for the first time.

With a rich history, Ford has managed to creatively modernize this Mustang inside and out. By its sleek and futuristic look it may appear foreign to its retro-looking predecessor, but after closer inspection, you'll clearly see that this new Mustang retains its iconic history.

Among the big three muscle cars: the Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger; it's the Mustang that's the least brawny of the bunch. Recently redesigned, the Camaro maintains its hefty profile; while the Challenger offers the most interior space in the category.

When taking a full walkaround, the headlights are slimmer and wider than the outgoing iteration, while the grille is embossed a few inches ahead of its headlights giving the front a more rounded appearance. Its hood features elegant lines that add dimension to the front, while flared fenders enhance and add width to its overall profile.

Checking it out from the back side, the roof gets more narrow as it slopes into the trunk. The taillights feature all red elements sitting atop a glossy black panel with the Mustang emblem positioned in the middle. Except for the shape of the taillights, the shiny black rear can be reminiscent of the previous decades' Ferrari 360 Modena.

Engine offerings start with a turbocharged, 2.3-litre four-cylinder that puts out 310 hp @ 5,500RPM and 320 lb.-ft. of torque; an upgrade over the 3.7-litre six-cylinder. If performance is your thing, Ford alternatively offers up V8 excitement in the form of a 5.0-litre GT or the 5.2-litre Shelby GT350 – both putting out 435 hp and 526 hp, respectively.

The four-cylinder turbo and six-cylinder deliver similar performance, which begs the question why Ford doesn’t just get rid older less-efficient V6 engine? It could be because the V6 is one of the main qualities that allows Ford to actively market this as a muscle car. In a category where size matters, getting rid of the V6 might alienate the car from its muscle car fan base. On the flip side, Chevrolet scrapped its V6 in the Camaro, replacing it with a turbo, 2.0-litre 4-cylinder, similar to the one on the Cadillac ATS.

On paper, the four-cylinder Mustang is more powerful than the 275 hp Camaro and the 305 hp Challenger equipped with a V6. The six-speed manual is still the base transmission choice on both the Camaro and Mustang, while the Challenger only offers a manual option with their V8 engines.

What Ford offers in the Mustang is a great looking performance coupe that proves you can get class-leading power and technology without having to break the bank. The fact that it’s a Mustang, is just a bonus.

With amazing innovations such as its efficient four-cylinder turbo engine and SYNC 3 touchscreen technology and connectivity, the 2016 Ford Mustang should be on the shopping list of anyone looking for a performance-oriented sports coupe.

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