Back to the Drawing Board

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

For a long time the Mustang held the flame in the Mustang vs. Camaro war.

In 1987, the notchback was even harder accelerating than Ferrari's offering in the United States.

Today, the Mustang GT's performance is truly astounding. We are talking near '65 Shelby Cobra 427 S/C numbers. That is, if you purchase it with the optional GT performance package. Otherwise, not so much.

And what does all that performance get you in the heavily contested pony car wars? Second place. To the base-model SS. No special option package required to trounce the Mustang handily in every single performance category.

Ford, I am a big Mustang fan. Obviously, I own four of them right now, and I've owned more. But this is sad.

I'm really pleased with the GT-350R, really. The problem is, in order to have a Camaro defeating Mustang, you have to have an SCCA license and there are only a handful made.

The GT-350R should just be the standard GT-350.

The standard GT-350 should be the standard GT.

Let me rephrase that, this new GT-350 I'm proposing, should have more engine. Let's be serious.

The standard GT-350, which has the same engine as the R, is just enough to be in the GT. The GT-350 needs more.

Don't get me wrong, the current Mustang GT with the Performance Package is an excellent car (the GT without the Performance Package should be tossed in a dumpster). It is totally worthy of being the base-model, non-GT Mustang, like the old LX, or my base-model '66 289 2-barrel. You can offer a 6-banger entry model if you really feel the need. But, that's just a fake Mustang no matter how you try to sell it. And the 4-banger should just stay in the Focus.

You might even consider bringing back the Boss Laguna Seca as an option on the base-model as a performance/racing focused upgrade for the budget conscious – but just call it the Boss and don't offer it with a rear seat or the amenities. It simply needs to be all nasty, all the time.

There should be a GT-500 as well. An absolutely awesome, GT-350R crushing, not beating, crushing, GT-500. It should also crush the new ZL1. Not beat, crush. We are talking 750+ horsepower and unreal handling. I know not everyone can drive it, but I can. And it needs to exist.

Let me re-iterate, we are literally talking a super car, as in a Lamborghini-eating super car – in a Mustang body. It can be done. It's ok if it has to cost more to do it.

Oh, and what the hell is up with a 6-banger in the new GT? Seriously. That's just a giant no. It should have 1000+ horsepower (1200-1500 would be great) and be able to munch a Bugatti Veyron.

Just go back to the drawing board and do a better job.

Thank you – a concerned Mustang fan.

Ryan