2001 Mustang New Car Test Drive
The Ford Mustang has remained true to the traits that made an instant classic of the 1964-1/2 original, even as it is entering the third year of its fifth generation. It's still relatively big for a sporty car, with plenty of available options, and small-block V8 power.
With the latter, there's plenty of torque. The engine sounds great at full song, urging you to keep your foot in it, yet it burbles along when cruising, attracting lots of attention from those around you. Excellent handling response keeps you involved.
But no matter the model, the Mustang boasts distinctive styling. It won't be mistaken for anything else. It makes a statement. The Mustang has only two true competitors, the Chevrolet Camaro and the Pontiac Firebird. There are imported coupes that compete with the Mustang on price, but they don't offer the same V8 pony car experience.
An abundance of choice was part of the original Mustang recipe and today's Mustang carries on that tradition. Today's Mustang comes with V6 and V8 power, each in coupe and convertible body styles. Each of these four variants is available in Deluxe or Premium trim. For 2001, the Ford has added a value-leader V6 coupe in Standard ($16,805) trim. That makes nine different price points, and we haven't even mentioned the super high-performance Cobra; the Cobra is again offered in coupe and convertible styles, in one trim level.
The Mustang V6 is a 3.8-lliter overhead-valve unit producing 190 horsepower. The 4.6-liter overhead-cam V8 produces 260 horsepower, and Mustangs that have it are called GTs. The Cobra, which competes against the Camaro SS and the Firebird Ram Air, is powered by a 32-valve dual overhead-cam V8 making 320 horsepower.
With most of these variants, you have the further choice of a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. Exceptions are the premium V6 convertible, which comes with the automatic only; and the Cobras, which require the five-speed.