Yesterday, the BB collectively lit up the Buy/Drive/Burn article regarding $45,000 coupes in praise of the V8-powered 2018 Mustang GT. While munching on all the delicious clicks, I thought about the QOTDÂ published back in December 2017. In that post, I asked you, our dear readers, to rank all seven generations of the Chevrolet Corvette. See where this is going?
Today we want to know where you rank all six generations of the Ford Mustang. Line up your ponies!
Rule: Your ranking must include the entire generation as a whole, without distinction of design refreshes as separate items.
First shown to the public at the New York World’s Fair in 1964, the Mustang project was the result of just 18 months of work at Ford. Donald Frey engineered the new Mustang after it was conceived by a Ford brand manager, one Lee Iacocca. Inline-six and V8 engines were available from the get-go, and the model started at under $2,500.
The first generation suffered some serious size and brougham bloat over its tenure, growing from 181.6″ to 189.5″ in length, and increasing in width from 68.2″ to a chubby 74.1″. Ford sought to fix this with the Mustang II. Running on a shorter wheelbase and with a body shorter than the original model by six inches, the second Mustang shared a platform with the subcompact Pinto. Four cylinder engines were introduced in this generation, along with the Cologne 2.8-liter V6 and a Windsor V8.
After the Mustang II, consumers were ready for some serious change. So Ford blessed them with the long-lived Fox body. Larger than the Mustang II, the third generation returned to very similar dimensions as the original. Success returned to Mustang in this generation, and a variety of engines fit under the hood â€” including, of course, the 5.0.
By the time the early ’90s rolled around, the square styling of the Fox body was looking a bit tired. Not wanting to jump ship entirely, the new Mustang for 1994 was based on a revised Fox platform called SN-95.Â “Aero is in!” said the new, rounded shape of the Mustang. Eight different engines were available in V6 or V8 guise. The SN-95 was the only model since the first generation to receive considerable styling changes during the run. A major refresh in 1999 turned on the New Edge charm, or what I’d call “Taco Bell parking lot styling.”
The return to retro. Ford had been developing the fifth-generation Mustang since the New Edge version hit the scene in 1999, and finalized its design in 2002. Sweeping edges were replaced by blocky styling harking back to the ’60s. The size, however, was closer to a late first-gen Mustang. Very popular and refreshed for the 2010 model year, later S-197s have no trouble looking modern today.
In a travesty to some, the inline-four engine returned in 2015. Sticking with the retro theme established in 2005, the 2015 Mustang brought with it the fastback profile lost at the end of the Fox body in 1993. The V6 option went away after the 2017 model year; now it’s four or eight cylinders, and nothing between.
Where do you rank these six raging ponies?
[Images: Ford, Wikipedia, Carsindepth]