The Ford Mustang has set the bar for “pony” cars since its debut as a 1964 1/2 model. In fact, the term pony car wouldn’t exist without the Mustang.
We’re a long way from the mid–1960s though. Most people think of that as the classic muscle car era but there’s never been a hotter time for muscle and pony cars than right now.
Especially for Mustang fans.
Let’s look at the 2020 Ford Mustang lineup and you’ll see what we mean.
A (Very) Brief History of the Mustang
The first Mustang was considered a “1964 1/2” model, arriving mid-way through the model year. It was an immediate hit, both as a sporty but tame driver and as an all-out racer thanks to Carroll Shelby and his GT350 models.
The Mustang got more and more powerful through the late 1960s and early 1970s with models like the GT500, Boss 302, Boss 429, and Mach–1. Some of them, like the Boss series, were built to homologate them for track racing and the models sold in your local Ford dealers were barely disguised race cars.
The Mustang II series sold through the 70s, with more conservative setups to meet the tougher emissions laws. Then 1979 saw the “Fox bodied” Mustang’s introduction. That produced the iconic “5.0-liter” models and was the longest-running platform.
In 2005, Ford went retro with a complete redesign that harkened back to the 1960s heyday. Today’s Mustangs have seen many updates and improvements but they continue to bring those iconic originals to mind.
2020 Ford Mustang Lineup
There are several models in the 2020 Mustang lineup, ranging from the efficiency- and performance-minded EcoBoost series to the all-out power of the Shelby GT500.
EcoBoost Fastback and Convertible
The EcoBoost Mustang is the base model and comes in both fastback and convertible designs. It’s powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine designed for the best possible efficiency while still making you feel like you’re driving a Mustang.
It’s interesting to note that at 332 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, the entry-level 4 cylinder engine in the 2020 Mustang puts more power to the ground than all but the most powerful models from the 60s. Who says the 60s are the heyday of American muscle cars?
You can get the EcoBoost with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 10-speed SelectShift automatic and several different rear differential options. An optional Handling Package adds a stiffer suspension, bigger wheels and tires, and stronger brakes, making this the perfect Mustang for those winding mountain passes.
EcoBoost Premium Fastback and Convertible
The EcoBoost Premium models sport the same engine and transmission combo but add some creature comforts like an upgraded sound system, reverse sensing system, and the optional Blind Spot Information System (BLIS).
The Premium model also includes the upgraded SYNC 3 system, a technology that lets you wirelessly connect your smartphone and other devices to your car for playing music, making calls, and various other things.
The Mustang GT name is iconic, going back to those early days of the line. The 2020 GT comes with a 5.0-liter V–8 engine and can be outfitted with either the 6-speed manual transmission, with Rev Matching technology, or the 10-speed SelectShift automatic.
Similar to the EcoBoost, the GT has several drivetrain options for the rear differential, but even more than the lower model. The standard GT is only available in a fastback configuration. To get a convertible, you need to move up a step to the GT Premium.
GT Premium Fastback and Convertible
The GT Premium features the same engine, transmission, and drivetrain options as the base GT but again adds some extra creature comforts like the SYNC 3 system and an upgraded sound system.
The GT Premium also offers a convertible option for those of you who like to feel the wind in your hair and hear the growl of the exhaust when you hit the gas.
The Mustang has starred in a lot of movies over the years including the James Bond classic, Goldfinger, Gone in 60 Seconds (both the 1971 original and 1998 remake), and John Wick. But the one that is most famous of all is Steve McQueen’s green 1968 fastback in the movie Bullitt which has one of the best car chase scenes of all time.
The 2020 BULLITT Mustang has a retro design that is clearly based on the 1968 version but with all the modern trimmings. It’s painted the same dark green as the original and has a unique BULLITT gas cap reminiscent of the original car.
The 2020 BULLITT is powered by Ford’s 5.0-liter V–8 and includes an Active Valve Performance Exhaust System with quad tips for a higher power output than the GT. True to the original, the 2020 BULLITT is only available with the 6-speed manual transmission and it includes Launch Control, a feature that’s designed for track use.
Shelby GT Series
Carroll Shelby is a legend in the Mustang world, having built the original GT350 models back in 1965. The version built for racing, the GT350R, was one of the most successful track cars of the time.
Today’s Shelby GT series lives up to the legend, and then some.
The 2020 GT350 is powered by a 5.2-liter V–8 with a flat-plane crank that can rev to the moon and back. The 3.73 TORSEN rear axle and electronic line-lock help put all that power to the pavement.
Like the BULLITT model, you can outfit the GT350 with any transmission you want, as long as it’s the 6-speed manual. The “R” model is built for track use, with many of the components like the rear wing and wheels replaced with carbon fiber versions. It also leaves out the rear seat for even more weight savings.
The top dog in the Shelby lineup is the GT500 though. This is the ultimate muscle car, sporting a 760-horsepower supercharged V–8 engine and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with classic paddle shift.
The GT500 does 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and can traverse the quarter-mile in 10.6 seconds, all while feeling perfectly comfortable and manageable when driven around town.
Too Many Options to Choose From?
So how do you choose the 2020 Ford Mustang model that’s right for you? Steve Marsh Ford can help. We’ve got a wide selection of Mustangs on hand and our friendly sales staff are here to help you find the perfect Mustang.
We’re located in Milan, TN and serve the surrounding cities including Jackson, McKenzie, Trenton, and Humboldt. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you get behind the wheel of your dream Mustang.
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