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MUSCLE UNDER GLASS

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Aug 23, 2009

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

© All photos by Harvey Schwartz

MUSCLE UNDER GLASS By Harvey Schwartz

Ahhh, it's a wonderful day when Ford delivers an all-new Mustang GT. This all-new 2010 Mustang GT is more contemporarily styled, more powerful, with better handling, and a completely redesigned high-quality interior that can stand up against any sporty coupe on the market for a base price of just $27,995.00. The Mustang is the industry's first sporty coupe to have an available 'glass roof' that runs from the top of the windshield to the front of the rear glass.

It is indeed a wonderful day as Mustang muscle goes modern for 2010.America's favorite muscle car for 45 years straight hits the streets with a new sculpted exterior design, a new interior design featuring world-class craftsmanship and materials, new technology, and performance improvements such as larger wheels, forced air induction, and a retuned suspension taken from the Mustang Bullitt. This car is so much fun to drive, even in traffic with all eyes centered on the taut lines and new Yellow Jacket custom paint. Out on the open road the retuned suspension holds fast and straight, just like a race car. And just like a race car, it cuts through the corners with the greatest of ease. The retuned front and rear setups, power assisted rack & pinion steering system and 19X9.5in. Pirelli P-Zero Nero tires give you tremendous grip and contact to push on the throttle on exit and lay out the rear while maintaining control. In true Mustang tradition, there is a 'steed for every need'. Customers can choose from a V-6 or V-8 with their choice of coupe, convertible or the innovative glass roof, plus several new options and features delivering the opportunity for customers to personalize their cleaner, meaner-looking Mustang.

It all starts with the more aggressive grille, punctuated with the first new Mustang emblem since the car's introduction in 1964. Both V-6 and GT have brand-new sculpted front-end designs unique to each. The headlamps and turn indicators, now integrated into one unit, are modern interpretations inspired by the 1970 Mustang. On the V-6, the fog lamps are located on the lower fascia, while on the GT, the fog lamps are again located in the upper grille-but are smaller than before, similar to the original lamps of the 1967-68 models. The new look is truly unique and symbolic of Mustang's heritage and the iconic status it has in the world and as a symbol of Americana. The exterior sheet metal, except for the fast-back roofline, is all new for 2010. At the front; the new headlamps, lower fascias, fenders and grill are capped by a new powerdome hood that adds to the muscular appearance while functionally allowing for enhanced air cooling of the engine. Mustang's washer-fluid nozzles are tucked into the cowl, while the antenna has been moved to the rear, both of which create a cleaner look while reducing wind noise. The front and rear fenders feature taut, sculpted wheel flares, like a tight skin stretched over the wheels. A classic spear character line on the doors leads to a modern indication of 'hip' rear fenders. It helps give the car an aggressive, forward direction, like it's ready to jump forward.

The rear end design features aggressively angled rear corners, a sculpted decklid with a full perimeter integrated spoiler, wide polished stainless steel exhaust tips, and a prominent rear GT badge. A rearview camera incorporated into the spoiler is optional on select models. Also notable is the new black front and rear aero kit with matching black lower side extensions. This new design not only increases downforce up front, and front to rear underside airflow, but it gives the styling a more aggressive lower stance. A lower center of gravity increases stability. A notable new tail lamp design features three LED bulbs firing sequentially from the inside for turn indication. The sequential bulbs were a distinct Mustang feature in the '60's and comeback in the 2010 model for the first time since then. Locating the reverse lamps vertically creates a modern version of the Ford classic three-lens tail lamp. Cleverly combining modern technology with Mustang heritage is a signature of the 2010 model, in terms of design and engineering. All of the special edition Mustang Bullitt engine and chassis elements are the base foundation of the GT, including some improvements gained from Mustang racing. The GT's 4.6 liter three-valve, SOHC, all-aluminum V8 is fitted with the Bullitt's cold air induction system that increases horsepower to 315 at 6,000rpm and 325lb.ft. of torque at 4,250rpm. This proven V8 engine is mated to a smooth shifting Tremec 5-speed manual transmission, or an optional 5-speed automatic overdrive with a button to turn off the overdrive feature to increase rpms for quicker acceleration.

The wheel and tire combinations are 1 inch bigger across the board, ranging from 17X8 inches to 19X9.5 inches, which improves handling and braking. Mustang engineers adjusted the front and proven live-axle rear suspension to better balance the ride, steering and handling for all models. Each model feels more controlled for steering and handling, yet retains a good ride balance. Further enhancing the suspension on the GT model is a strong strut tower brace that adds torsional rigidity and stiffness to the front. The GT goes where you point it to go with quick reaction to your inputs. Going even further in helping you control the direction of the new GT during severe maneuvers or when driving on slick road surfaces is AdvanceTrac Electronic Stability Control that is now standard and complements Mustang's all-speed traction control and ABS brakes. You can of course shut down the traction and stability control systems to more easily smoke the rear wheels and let the rear end hang out during high-speed cornering. ISafety has not been forgotten in the new Mustang. Standard safety equipment includes dual-stage front driver and passenger airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, Ford's Personal Safety System, 3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, front/rear crush zones, tire-pressure monitoring system, capless fuel-filler for better and safer sealing of the fuel tank, and steel beams in each door. Like the exterior, the interior design is all new with world-class materials and execution. I felt like I was home, playing my favorite auto racing video game, comfortable with an instrument cluster and dashboard taken from the future, and clean visibility in front and all around me. The doors open wide and the aluminum plated and lighted Mustang scripted door entry plates are inviting.

Mustang's chromed-ringed gauges are easy to see and understand, and the dual-vane air registers are precisely crafted and positioned. The instrument panel and console flow as one shape, another strong connection to Mustang heritage. The new seats add better side-bolstering, while the armrests have softer materials with high-quality stitching. My test Premium GT model came with white contrasting stitching against the charcoal back interior, leather seats, and new leather-wrapped/tilting steering wheel that adds thicker aluminum trim and buttons to operate the audio/Bluetooth/cruise-control systems. The new center stack design adds the latest version of Ford SYNC, with new features like 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report. The audio and climate control buttons and knobs are integrated into the finished panel. All are easy to reach and use. You can also customize the ambient and instrument lighting through MyColor system, another industry-first, which features 125 color combinations.

Interior noise has been greatly reduced by Ford engineers. That makes hearing that famous Mustang roar cleaner and more 'music to your ears'. Options include Shaker 500 or Shaker 1000 audio systems, leather-trimmed seats with driver/passenger power adjustments including lumbar, power-remote/heated/self-dimming side-view mirrors, SIRUIS satellite radio, HID headlamps, heated seats, dual-zone electronic climate control, and Ford's Next Generation Navigation System. With a completely redone exterior that echoes the classic Mustang designs of the past, an interior featuring world-class materials, numerous technology upgrades and an improved driving experience, the all-new 2010 Mustang is poised to become the latest classic in the proud iconic American muscle car. © Harvey Schwartz (all comments supra)

SIDEBAR COMMENT Some cars are designed for exceptional performance, while others clearly focus on comfort or eye appeal. In this case, all three have been perfectly blended to create the 2010 Ford Mustang GT. One look at the bold styling speaks volumes about the driving experience ahead. With an MSRP of just under $28,000, this is a lot of car - and looks from passing drivers - for the money. Yes, I realize that in recent years some drivers have been less than thrilled with the Mustang's handling and I am fully aware that others were a bit disappointed by an unattractive interior. Ford seems to have worked out the bugs for 2010. This car is a performer, taking sharp corners with ease and, with a big 4.6-liter V8, giving you more than enough power to do some serious driving. The metal interior accents give the car a clean, sporty look and the stitched leather seats are as comfortable as the La-Z-Boy recliner in my living room. There's a lot to like about this car, from the great looking round chromed gauges on the dash to the distinctive fender flares. And, while you will get the most out of this car with higher-octane fuel, it performs beautifully on regular 87-octane gas. The 2010 Mustang GT, available as a fastback coupe or convertible, clearly takes us back to what a Mustang should be - a head-turning muscle car with exceptional performance. - Reed Berry

SUMMARY JUDGMENT The best Mustang GT ever. For more information about Ford products, go to www.fordvehicles.com More photos from Harvey Schwartz can be found at www.autofotos.com

SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2010 Ford Mustang GT Glassback Coupe Price: $27,995 $30,995 (Premium) EPA mileage: GT with a 5-speed automatic-17mpg/city, 23mpg/highway Engine: 4.6 liter 3-valve SOHC, all-aluminum V8 with cold-air induction Horsepower: 315 at 6,000 rpm Torque: 325 at 4,250 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine/rear-wheel-drive Transmission: 5-speed manual, optional 5-speed automatic Front suspension: Independent, reverse-L links, MacPherson struts, 34 mm tubular stabilizer bar Rear: 3-link solid axle with coil springs, Panhard rod, gas-charged shocks, 20 mm solid stabilizer bar. Wheels/tires: 19X9.5 in. painted aluminum wheels/245/45ZR19 in. Pirelli P Zero Nero Brakes: Front: 12.4 inch vented discs/dual piston, 43mm aluminum calipers Rear-11.8 inch vented discs/single piston, 43mm floating iron calipers ABS Total length: 188.1 in. Total width: 73.9 in. Total height: 56.1 in. Curb weight: 3,454 lbs. Performance 0-60 mph: 4.9 seconds Quarter-mile: 13.6 seconds at 105 mph

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