Does a petrol head need a reason to love the physical manifestation of the wide open roads? The OG muscle car? The throaty roar of a big engine? The Ford Mustang? No. But until 2016, you couldn’t have one in right-hand-drive (i.e. markets like India), so now it’s a possibility worth considering.

I was only fond of the classic ones like the fastbacks, but lately, I have become infatuated with the current version of the legend and here are the 5 main reasons why:

1) Powerrrrrr

Under that big, long bonnet lies a 5.0-litre V8 and it sounds exactly like a muscle car should. I’ve been fortunate enough to be around one on a shoot and a colleague of mine was gracious enough to make the engine roar. That sound is something I absolutely want to have in my life at some point. I might never drive it around fast on Indian roads but I’d just go into the garage, start it up, rev it hard and I’d be able to deal with anything.

Unfortunately, Ford doesn’t sell the Mustang in India with a manual gearbox and the 395bhp is sent to the rear wheels via a not-as-exciting 6-speed automatic transmission. But I suppose that would be better to not ruin the clutch in regular road traffic and just use the paddles when needed.

2) Handsome looks

More than 50 years since the first one, the sixth generation Mustang introduced in 2015 is still a very handsome muscle car with its haunches, fastback styling, three-bar taillamps, the rear-deck spoiler, the beefy curves and the imposing grille sporting the pony. However, the second, third, fourth and fifth generations of the Mustang were never appealing to me and probably why I was not a fan until now.

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On 19-inch alloys with wider rubber at the back, the Ford Mustang has immense road presence even without a GT aero kit and while riding on an Indian suspension setup that gives it 137mm of ground clearance. I love it in Triple Yellow and Race Red too but I’d probably get it in white or black and then get it wrapped in a custom colour. Plus, it’s always a head-turner even with the V8 off.

3) Nice to be in

The Mustang never was and still isn’t a luxury car and as such the interiors are not exactly plush for the price tag, but they are quite nice. It has 2+2 cabin layout with the rear seats quite unusable for fitting adults but definitely handy for keeping more stuff. The 2018 version gets a nice update but even the current one sold in India has a decent number of features and comforts while the finish of the interiors is quite satisfying.

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There are a lot of buttons, even on the steering wheel which I’m not a fan of in modern cars but that’s all for functionality. The analogue dials on the instrument cluster with the central LCD multifunction display add to the sense of the occasion that is driving a Mustang. When I was in the driver’s seat and put my hands on that three-spoke steering wheel with the iconic pony emblem, I felt a connection that I didn’t get from the Audi R8 even. It’s not the best interior, but it’s nice enough to use it as a grand tourer.

4) A cheaper alternative

Now, I use the term ‘cheaper’ in a relative manner, keeping in mind the price of the Mustang in India as compared to some of the other cars I wish to own. To talk numbers, the Audi RS6 Avant starts at INR 1.4 crore, the Nissan GT-R costs around INR 2 crore and the AMG GT starts way over that. A desirable Porsche 911 would start around the same price while a Ferrari GTC4Lusso starts at over INR 4 crore and all of these prices are ex-showroom. Yes, those cars are a lot more capable but they also have a level of desirability and are part of many petrolheads dream garages.

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The Mustang is an icon like that and yet it costs somewhere between INR 72 lakh to INR 76 lakh on-road. That’s still cheaper than a Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG by the way. So, the Mustang is definitely a cheaper alternative to own an icon as compared to some of the other cars on my wish list.

5) Part of something bigger

When a name, a car name, sticks around for as long as the Mustang, there is a community around it. From Porsche 911s to Aston Martin’s with the initials of David Brown, there is a sense of belonging when you buy a car like that. You become part of the name’s history and with the Mustang, the history is pretty cool. From being the most iconic car in Hollywood chases to representing the free spirit on an open road, having a Mustang makes one part of something bigger. You’d finally have something in common with Steve McQueen as Bullitt, with John Wick and with James Bond too. Also, there’s been over 10 million of them in the world now if you want a number for that community.

10 Millionth Mustang formation
10 Millionth Mustang formation at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.

Do you agree with the reasons listed above? What are your reasons for liking/disliking the Ford Mustang? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe for plenty more automotive content to come.

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