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2010 Ford Mustang

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America continues its love affair with the Ford Mustang 45 years after the original pony car made its debut in 1964. The 2010 Mustang glides off the production line with fresh sheet metal and retro details, bearing a resemblance to the ‘69 model with its four-light grille and its kicked-up rear fender lines.

Other changes to the exterior include a new power-dome with a large functional air extractor, large mouth front-end with traces of the AC Cobra, new body stripes, new mirrors, hidden washer nozzles, a repositioned radio aerial, headlamps inspired by the ‘70 Mustang, a more creased body, and the first new Mustang emblem since 1964. LED tail lamps are proudly presented on a chamfered surface, which Ford engineered to fire sequentially when indicating a turn.

The 2010 is rear-wheel drive and benefits from new chassis braking and a recalibrated suspension that yields a more defined ride and gives it more stick in corners. The GT500’s 32-valve, dual-overhead-cam 5.4-liter engine gain 40 hp over the ‘09 model, with 540 and 30 lb-ft of torque to 510. The increase of power is partly contributed to a lower restriction exhaust system with 4” outlets and a new open-element cold-air intake ram air system. It also benefits from a higher numeric axle ratio, 3.55:1 versus 3.31:1. Power is transferred to the axle through a larger twin-disc clutch, 250 mm from 215 mm. In fact, Ford claims that the 2010 GT500 competes to match with the performance of the limited-production 2008 Shelby GT500, an $80k car, although the 2010 GT500 prices for much less.

The 2010 is available in two body styles: a 2+2 fastback coupe and a 2+2 power-folding soft-top convertible. (The coupe is also offered with a unique all-glass roof.)

The standard engine on the ‘10 Stang is a 210 hp 4.0-liter V-6. However, the V-8 models now get a higher output, kicking 315 hp. Both engines are available in manual or automatic. Pricing starts around $21,845.

Inside, pony lovers will enjoy additional insulation, which makes for a quiet and refined cabin, even with the optional glass roof. The 2010 Mustangs are outfitted with supple leather seats and door inserts, and real aluminum trim (not silver painted plastic wanna-be) is used on the GT model. Also included is the latest version of Ford SYNC and customizable ambient and instrument lighting which allows drivers to set the mood in a choice of 125 different colors.

Standard features include tilt-wheel, cruise control, AC, a CD audio system with MP3 compatibility, split-folding rear seat, and power windows. Content builds with the trim levels on the SE, Sport and SEL. The GT Premium model bears it all with the leather seats, power everything, and aluminum wheels ranging from a base of 17-inch to optional 19-inch.

While nostalgia is a large part of the appeal, the 2010 Ford Mustang is every bit of a modern, redefined muscle car.

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