The report is that Mustang owners PREFER the feel of the live axle, and
perhaps the feeling of security that the axle can withstand high torque. My
wife has a 2000 4.6 GT Mustang 5 speed, and frankly, it's a lot of fun to
drive thanks to that short wheel base and live solid rear axle.
On the other hand, the Cobra, and other upmarket Mustangs reportedly have
independent rear suspension.
What the heck, as long as it's fun.
(yup we've got a Mustang, and a 96 Dodge Viper)
former C5 owner (and delighted with that car as well)
Excuses excuses. How can anyone defend Ford on this one. That is there
flag-ship performance vehicle. They are a company of compromises. They
did this to make money. Perhaps they'll have a "enhanced performance
model" for 5 grand more... This is exactly why I switched, to many
Well.... even if you don't like the answers, you have to admit that the
Mustang, with its live axle, outlasted the production run of its GMC rival
Camaro. They must have been doing something right.
96 Dodge Viper RT/10
(also wife's Mustang GT, and my very good former C5 Vette <lease return>)
I can't help it, I love them all!!
It depends on what "special" means to you.
My wife would rather drive her 2000 Mustang 4.6 liter GT 5 speed
Convertible than either of my "special" cars.
The exhaust on her Mustang is tuned to sound great. The short wheelbase
and live rear axle makes the V-8 a truly fun experience. The top goes up
and down by motor, good for both sudden sunshine and sudden rain. The car
cost little enough that she owns it free and clear, no payments makes for
some nice grins. Maintenance and parts aren't horribly expensive, and at
least so far, it's been pretty reliable. With the rear seats, she can
get at least two, and maybe three people in the car for short distances, if
she needs to. And there's enough space in the trunk and rear seats to do a
major food shopping for teenagers, on a regular basis. Fun, affordable,
wind in your hair, stereo on, top down, V-8 stick shift motoring for a very
That seems pretty "special" to me. And I've owned C5 Vettes, Porsches,
and so on. If I needed to save some money, I could certainly be happy
driving the Mustang GT Convertible.
96 Dodge Viper
99 Mercedes S420
Yes, that was truly an embarrassment for Mustang. But those were the
"embargo" years, and the entire car industry suffered. Remember the Ford
Granada, and so on. Awful time in Ford's history. That was clearly an
era that if you could afford a Corvette, you were WAY ahead. I drove
Porsche 911s back then, and was glad for it. Great fuel economy, tight
build, good handling to the limit, and then "bye-bye back end". Fun cars.
96 Dodge Viper (currently)
The obvious is still not stated, IRS is better. How often does anyone
drive in a straight line exclusively? Ford offers nothing exciting to
the average American enthusiasts. (Focus)? Now the Auzzies get rear
wheel drive v8 Fords with IRS. I guess they have too because of the
competition. BTW, Chrysler and GM have other performance alternatives
and I would never compare a Camaro or Firebird to a mustang. I have
allways preferd the Ford. Now that the others are gone Ford has even
less reason to make a descent Mustang GT. I drive a Vette now. You
will never here about the General threatening to make their flagship
performer a front wheel drive wheeze box! (remember the Probe?)
Unless you are world class driver, or spending a lot of time on the track,
you'll never notice the difference. My experience on the curves, both with
motorcycles and cars, is that it is primarily about the skill level of the
I can get around corners marginally better in my Viper than I did in my C5
Vette, which is marginally faster than I can do in the live axle Mustang.
And depending on conditions, wet or dry, my former Porsche 911s could get
around corners faster than any of the others, except maybe the Viper, if you
have the guts to hang the rear out. But the differences are negligible.
On motorcycles my speed changed dramatically based on the number of track
classes I took. I believe this to be true in cars as well. The
differences in rear suspensions will be more than offset by decent driving
skills. A good driver in a Mustang GT can still outrun me in a car that
should leave it for dead. And at about 1/3 the entry price. But if you
DO want a Mustange with IRS, you can buy one, for what is still a very
reasonable entry price. And next year, the combination of styling and
upcoming IRS at the Cobra level should make for a very entertaining vehicle
at a very reasonable price.
The C6 Vette, which also looks more than terrific, will still be $15,000
more than a Mustang Cobra, so if you are buying with price in mind, that's a
lot of money for marginal increase in results.
If you are not worried about money, why not just get a Ferrari 360 Modena,
or Porsche GT3, and blow everyone away?
Well, maybe not a WELL DRIVEN Viper, but that's hard to do.
Current family car 2000 Ford Mustang 4.6 GT 5 Speed Convertible (wife's
1996 Dodge Viper
1999 Mercedes S 420
Former 1999 C5 Corvette
And so on...
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