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Most automotive purists fear change, but not without reason. Change, after all, did kill big-block V8s, along with most station wagons and manual transmissions. But change has also brought with it far more performance, safety and fuel economy – not to mention ridding the world of shag carpet interiors, bias-ply tires and those horrible motorized seatbelts of the early '90s.

By this time next year, the Chevy Corvette, Jeep Cherokee and next-generation Ford Mustang will all be on sale and will all, in some way, have angered or offended purists. To those critics, Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press is preemptively telling them to stop complaining – at least until they've all been driven. From the Corvette's square taillights and the Cherokee's radical nose to whatever pony car purists will harp on the 2015 Mustang for, Phelan's column points out the positives of automotive evolution and the negatives of staying the course for too long. That's fair enough, but do you think Phelan is on point, or all wet? Head on over to the Detroit Free Press to read his words, then have your say in Comments.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 106 Comments
      Number23
      • 1 Year Ago
      People who want a retro mustang have 50 years of cars to choose from.
      carnut0913
      • 1 Year Ago
      1) Most people do not like change, so the auto world will pick on Cherokee, Mustang, and Corvette fans while the fact is everybody has some aspect they don't want changed. You could lump 911, Corolla, and 3-series fans if their designers ever changed the look more than a smidge. 2) Change is necessary, and you can go the way of Vettes and mustangs or the way of 911s and 3-series. Personally, I'm glad that Corvette and Mustang designers push the envelope. Otherwise, we would have a modern interpretation of the 53 vette- IF it could attract enough viewers. Sure the C4 was ho hum and you had to wedge yourself in a C3 but we wouldn't have had the C2 or the C5 either, both I love. On the Mustang, no we wouldn't have the Mustang II, but I like the variety of a 65', a '71, or an '87 fox body. I don't want to imagine the boring life of a 911 fan- look the parking signal moved this year!!! ( I kid- sort of), or the Corolla- Did it change? Yes, No I don't know? Thank the Lord for those designers looking for new ways to embrace the ethos of a Mustang or Vette or Cherokee
        carnut0913
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carnut0913
        All hail the glorious and wondrous Corolla. If it wasn't for the nameplate on the butt I would never know they were all Corollas!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carnut0913
        [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carnut0913
        [blocked]
          Papi L-Gee
          • 1 Year Ago
          Car people, we know that. Non-car people likely wouldn't know the difference. Same with the 2nd- and 3rd-gen Prius.
          ابوذر ڀرڳڙي
          That was meant for carnut.
          ابوذر ڀرڳڙي
          Do you really think people can't tell the difference between a 1993 and a 2007 Corolla? How stupid can you be? I was going to link to pictures but... no. You're just an idiot.
      Snark
      • 1 Year Ago
      Most automotive purists complain because they need to have something to complain about. They're grumpy, they're stuck on their notion of what's a "proper" [whatever] and they haven't gotten over themselves yet.
      PICKLEBOY
      • 1 Year Ago
      I agree with what he's saying, except when it comes to the Cherokee... Granted I don't like Jeeps, but at least the old "Boxy" ones not only actually look like SUV, but they are more off-road worthy. The modern one is more of a large street car for soccer moms to tote their children around.
      Azaghal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mark Phelan is spot on with his commentary on how these "purists" act. Because of the changes to the new Corvette I am now a potential buyer for this car. I liked the C6 (however not enough to buy one), but the C7 is just a step up in all categories, and the new exterior design makes me want to open my wallet.
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I like the vette
      Spiny Norman
      • 1 Year Ago
      I suspect that most \'purists\' have never been behind the wheel, let alone owned, a C6 Corvette or current gen Mustang.
      v6sonoma
      • 1 Year Ago
      Change in styling design is one thing. Change to power train is another altogether. V8 RWD Manual please. I'm fine with them offering options outside those bounds to other people that would prefer them but just give me what I want. Sure a turbo V6 with a dual clutch auto and AWD can be super fast but it's just not the same as a wild V8 roaring at full clip as you bag through the gears. =)
      icemilkcoffee
      • 1 Year Ago
      if we really want to stick to tradition, then both the Vette and Mustang would have 6 cylinder engines like the first Vettes and Mustangs did.
        Rick C.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Some people like to exist under an umbrella of historical forgetfulness.
        Hazdaz
        • 1 Year Ago
        @icemilkcoffee
        Exactly. What people should be looking at, is that cars like the Corvette and Mustang were designed for varying levels of "cheap thrills". It just happened to be that at the time, the easiest way to get cheap power was through a V8 (and not even at these car's launch).... that doesn't mean that that type of engine configuration is the ONLY way to make cheap power these days. Also what constitutes for power is dramatically different now.
      Scooter
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ignorance, fear of change, and obsession with dead eras, all the pitfalls new models face. Many enthusiasts cling to past notions of V8s and stick shifters. Cars are getting faster and more nimble under pressure like never before. Then of course there's this silly obsession with 0-60. Even though most modern cars are as fast or faster than sports cars decades ago. Besides, many trucks are able to out accelerate many "sporty" cars. Four cylinders are doing things like never before. V8s are fast becoming obsolete for the tasks of "sport inspired" daily drivers. Many of the top-dollar sport cars are ditching manual sticks in favor of paddle shifters. Of course with these changes will always come controversy stirred up by those obsessed with the past or totally averted to change of any kind. The point is, technology is evolving, and automotive technology is no exception. Sure there are some guys that think evolution should've stopped at 1970, but fan-ship over some era long past shouldn't be a factor in modern day evolution. Its expected for people to be against change, but whether or not you like it. Change is coming.
      Arturo Rios Jr.
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a current owner of a 2004 Mustang GT, I got my 04 because I preferred the lines in that year model than the retro look in the 05-09 car. Currently I am waiting for a smaller, lighter mustang. I am not really that worried about the looks department as long as it comes with the 5.0 liter engine. If the totally do ruin the mustang in terms of aesthetics I will go for a 11-13 Mustang GT.
        ngiotta
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Arturo Rios Jr.
        I'd stay away from the '13 and newer Mustangs (unless you're talking about the GT500). '12 was the last year before they went to the elongated, droopy noses on the front. As far as the S197's go, the '10-'12 have the best looking front ends, while '05-'09 have the best looking back ends.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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