by Clint Burgess

It may seem like Ford just released a new Mustang a few years ago, but that previous "New" Mustang doesn't come anywhere near the 2005 model the manufacturer rolled out recently. An impressively redesigned body style and more bells and whistles than the average consumer may know what do with make this time around a whole new experience.

Ford is rolling back the clock with this Mustang. The design gives the feel of the Mustang's past while allowing for some striking modern curves and lines. Ford is tugging at the nostalgia strings of classic Mustang owners and muscle car enthusiasts in general with this one. The kickoff ad campaign for this model featured a digitally resurrected Steve McQueen tearing through some Midwestern farm country in a gorgeous silver bullet. This might be the hook that gets the hot rod guy on board, but there are more than just gear heads on the prowl for this hot new ticket to ride.

As much as this hot rod depends on looks and styling, there are a few more tricks in the trunk when it comes to the new and improved Mustang. The interior space has been increased, allowing for a more comfortable ride for driver and passenger. The dash display is decked out with chrome trimming and calls on past Mustangs for vintage inspired gauges and dials. Jim Lyle of Gus Johnson Ford says the new model is just that - new. "Ford has made a lot of improvements to this car. It is a totally redesigned vehicle from the ground up," says Lyle. Advancements in automotive technology have made this car far superior to the last Mustang and the consumer is the beneficiary. The base model, six-cylinder 2005 Mustang is tagged at $19,995 MSRP. A price tag that reasonable means only one thing for Ford dealerships: sold-out inventory on the Mustang.

The situation is no different locally. "We can't keep these cars on the lot," Lyle says. "You can't even order a GT model right now -- Ford doesn't have any." Gus Johnson does have six-cylinder models on hand, but they don't stick around for long. Mechanically the car is extremely sound -- and it doesn't hurt to look good while cruising I-90. It doesn't matter who you are either -- this Mustang just might be the one for you. "The demographics are all over on this thing," Lyle says. "You've got younger people looking into it because it's fast and then you have baby boomer customers who like them because it reminds them of their first Mustang."

With many cars on the market today, there are only a few criteria that differentiate makes and models. Some consumers are faithful to brands, some are looking for the best bargain and others go on looks alone. In the last category, the Mustang is victorious. Then you add in all the options like a 300-horsepower V8 on the GT model and a price tag of $29,995 for the standard GT and this car becomes even more attractive. And don't forget the convertible models have just been released, so there's one more reason to buy one. Lyle offers some sound advice to potential buyers: "This is the kind of car you just have to get in and drive."

Publication date: 03/03/05

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