“It’s just a V6 Mustang.” That phrase, so often spoken with derision and disdain, has haunted owners of Ford’s more affordable and economical pony car since roughly April of 1964. Even after Dearborn finally paid some attention to its entry-level muscle car by eliminating telltale V6 features – the company fit dual exhausts in place of the single-exit pipe in 2011, negating the budget offering’s biggest visual giveaway – the car was still hard pressed to shake its reputation as a hairdresser’s car and rental fleet queen.
For the Mustang’s 50th year in service, Ford went back to the drawing board, we think with the distinct goal of eliminating the stigma of the non-V8 Mustang. While the V6 is still being offered (your local Avis and Enterprise lots wouldn’t be the same without them), it’s best to think of the new, four-cylinder, turbocharged Mustang EcoBoost as the entry-level model.
But will the addition of forced induction – from an engine that will see action in the upcoming, enthusiast-centric Focus RS, no less – be enough to appease those pony car fans that believe that only Mustangs with eight cylinders are worthy of the galloping stallion badge? After a week at the helm, we certainly think it is. Full review here.