When we last drove the 2015 Ford Mustang—actually two Mustangs, both coupes, one a V-8-powered Mustang GT and the other powered by Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost i-4—it was in December, and in December it’s cold enough for the local ski resorts in our test venue to be making snow. So although we definitely enjoyed the Mustangs, we knew that they would be better in the summer.
Indeed, the Mustang GT, equipped in summer treads in winter temperatures, might have well been shod with wood instead of rubber. There was no slower car—not even a base Fiesta—because everything had more traction. Four hundred something horses? Pshaw. It doesn’t mean anything if they can’t dig their hooves into the turf.
But then, yes, summer. It’s like kids running out of school at the start of summer vacation. The frustration of looking outside where there’s as much fun to be had but being able to go out and enjoy it? Over and gone.
There’s something about 435 horsepower in a pony car that’s a real daystarter, especially when you can grab some Gaia and go.
But summer brings with it summer temperatures, which at least in more temperate climes, means it’s not unreasonable to put the windows down not only to enjoy the warmth of the sun, as the Beach Boys put it, but also the rumble and roar emanating those two large tailpipes. The whir of self-driving electric cars may be our future, but for now, there’s nothing like finding a building, or two building, or Lord willing, a tunnel and just revving the engine. It’s like Caruso singing in the shower.
And that, of course, is before the clutch pedal comes off the floor. Do that quickly enough and well, you know the rest.
The 2015 Mustang with the 1-4 EcoBoost engine was a lot happier critter in the summer as well. With 310 horsepower, it’s faster than a car that big should be with a 2.3-liter engine. Turbocharging and direct injection aside, it lacks the basso profundo of the V-8, of course, but the four has its own sounds of power, just not, well, a V-8, if that’s what you want. (At least it’s not the synthesized sounds of power provided through the audio system’s speakers of the base V-6 Mustang).
But perhaps the best part of putting the windows down is putting the windows down. Here’s hoping that the designers and engineers did it on purpose, and that it’s not just a happy accident, but unlike many—if not most—modern cars, the 2015 Ford Mustang can be driven at speed with the windows open without buffeting or blasting wind against the B-pillar and then against the driver’s and front passenger’s heads. At 70 mph with the windows down, you can still have a conversation without shouting. The more aerodynamic cars have become with the windows up, the worse they have become to drive with the windows down. No so the Mustang.
And that, of course makes the Mustang all the better to drive in the summer. That, and of course, traction.
Next time, a convertible?