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Fast forward a to now and boom...a Mustang with an IRS. Ford's global platforms finally reached the coveted Mustang. I love that the Mustang is turning into a global sports car platform. It means that the car won't die in a new age of low displacement turbos. With this global platform it seems our friends in Europe will start seeing more ponies on their roads as well. So now with this global platform status comes another big change. A real Mustang with a V6, and more importantly one that I won't just write off as a rental mustang.
Right or wrong, my whole life I have always viewed V6 Mustangs as "fake" Mustangs. Those were the cars that were brought on by the bean counters and might have made the V8 variations a little more financially feasible. Whatever the reasons were, I just got into the habit of not giving them a second glance. In fact, when I first saw a mustang my eyes always go to the couple of visual cues that are a dead giveaway that car is missing a couple cylinders. At the same time, I loved the Nissan Z's, loved my Civic Si, and all the other cars that had smaller engines than the V6 pony. In my mind the Z was designed to take the VQ, and the Civic was designed for the KA20. You just get the feeling that the mustang was never designed for the V6 variant..
So after driving a V6 version of the newest Mustang with an IRS, I might be a believer. We are finally at the age where the relevance of the Mustang platform as a pure sports car is a reality. This car was sporty. The transmission let it down a bit, but most automatics usually do in this application. I had the "rental" mustang for about a week, and it came with the standard fleet equipment. Nothing special. It was dynamic. It stuck to the road. It handled every apex I could throw at it. It had a little punch as well. The motor is actually not that bad. I never felt as if there was a missing link in the car. With the older generations, there was always that feeling you got that the balance of the car was slightly off because the chassis was not designed for that motor. I could even see the V6 as being a good platform for a track car. As I write this, I am not exactly sure what the weight distribution on one of those is, but with a little bit of wrench time you can probably pull a few more horses out of that motor while keeping the chassis balanced with the lighter motor.
The only thing I really am having trouble with is calling it a "Mustang". It is an awesome car, but I am still a little old school. Mustangs need V8's. That being said, I am all for the evolution of the auto industry, and if this car is the one that will carry the Mustang name into the future....I can live with that.