Ford Motor Company’s [NYSE:F] sixth-generation Mustang made waves when introduced for the 2015 model year. Finally, we were graced with a Mustang with independent rear suspension, which together with the steering and other chassis tweaks helped to deliver sports car-like handling.
Since then Ford has added the awesome Shelby GT350 and GT350R as well as a Performance Package for buyers of the standard models.
There aren’t many changes to report on for the 2017 model year, the most substantial being the expanded color palette which now includes Lightning Blue, Grabber Blue and White Platinum Metallic Tri-coat. (Part of the reason for the lack of updates is due to a facelifted model being introduced for 2018.)
The 2017 Mustang also features the latest Sync infotainment system which benefits from enhanced voice recognition as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. We’d also recommend upgrading to the car’s available 8.0-inch dash-mounted touchscreen which has swipe and pinch-to-zoom capabilities, just like a smartphone.
Buyers of the standard Mustang still have three powertrain choices to choose from. The base model is equipped with a 3.7-liter V-6 delivering 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Above this is the EcoBoost with a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-4 delivering 310 hp and 320 lb-ft and further up is the GT with its 5.0-liter V-8 delivering 435 hp and 400 lb-ft. Buyers also have the choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
Note, anyone looking for extra power can purchase some warranty-safe Ford Performance mods. The mods also include upgrades for the transmissions, with the manual transmission getting a special no-lift-shift feature that allows gears to be shifted without letting off the gas.
Also available is a Performance Package which adds a 3.55 limited-slip differential, increased-diameter antiroll bars, larger brake rotors, heavy-duty springs and unique chassis tuning. There’s also a Pony Package which adds 19-inch polished aluminum wheels, a unique upper grille with the classic tri-bar pony logo, and a set of side stripes.
Those upgrading to the Shelby GT350 and GT350R are in for a real treat. The cars come with a 5.2-liter V-8 featuring a flat-plane crank. This lends the engine an awesome sound and an amazing ability to rev. Peak output is 526 hp and 429 lb-ft and the rev limiter doesn’t cut in until 8,250 rpm. The sole transmission is a 6-speed manual.
For 2017, a previously available Track Package for the Shelby models has been made a standard feature. This adds items such as an aluminum tower brace, magnetic ride dampers, rear spoiler, and specific coolers for the engine oil, transmission and differential. Ford is also offering new Electronics and Convenience Packages, adding improved audio, electronic seat adjustment and various other upgrades. Finally, the Shelby models also get new colors, in this case Ruby Red Metallic, Lightning Blue and Grabber Blue.
For more on the Ford Mustang, read the in-depth reviews at The Car Connection.