From the driver's perspective, the 2010 Ford Mustang is a tale of two engines. The base Mustang with its aged V6 is a truck in sport-coupe clothing, a debatable 20-dollar upgrade at the Hertz counter. The Mustang V8, on the other hand, is a barrel-chested beast that lives to make stoplight mincemeat of similarly priced import sport coupes. But even the base Mustang V6 benefits from the numerous exterior and interior styling updates for 2010, and new optional features like Ford Sync are undeniably alluring. On this view, the 2010 Ford Mustang actually offers something for everyone: a rowdy V8-powered performance car for enthusiasts and a distinctively styled six-cylinder coupe for those whose tire-squealing days are behind them.
Let's start with the Mustang GT, a rambunctious purveyor of burbling exhaust pipes and smoking tires that can nonetheless tackle a twisting mountain road with admirable poise. Its non-independent rear suspension might not be the most technologically advanced design on the planet, but the GT makes up for it with a combination of a sweet 4.6-liter V8 and shrewd suspension tuning, both of which have benefited from a raid on the discontinued Mustang Bullitt's parts bin. The V8 gains 15 horsepower and 5 pound-feet of torque this year, thanks in large part to the Bullitt's cold-air induction system, and the springs and shocks have also been dialed up to Bullitt levels of stiffness. For those who aren't sufficiently impressed by the GT's improvements, the TrackPack option package tightens up the suspension even further.