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Celebrating 60 Years of Mustang: Top 5 Mustangs of All Time

The Ford Mustang is a legendary sports car, captivating enthusiasts for over six decades. Its legacy transcends national borders, solidifying the Mustang as a symbol of American muscle in over 140 countries, despite its primary American market.

India has also felt the allure of the Mustang, with official sales exceeding 450 units, along with a handful of imported classics like the 1964-1971 Mach 1. If you are lucky you could own one of these around 60 lakhs and those lakhs are well spent in return of a V8 muscle car. 

As Ford celebrates the Mustang's 60th anniversary with a special edition model only produced with a V8, here's our list of the top 5 Mustangs ever made. Hey, we could be still friends, we know you might have your own favourites to add!

5. 1965 Shelby GT350: A Racing Legend

This iconic car, born from the collaboration between Ford and Carroll Shelby, took the 1960s by storm. Based on the Mustang Fastback, the Shelby GT350 received a performance boost under Shelby's guidance. Packing a 4.7L V8 producing 306 hp and 446 Nm of torque, it could reach speeds of 222 kmph and boasted exceptional stopping power thanks to its racing brakes.

The Shelby GT350 embraced racing heritage. Ford removed the rear seats to accommodate a full-sized spare tyre (meeting SCCA regulations) and incorporated a larger intake with a hood scoop, roll cages, and more responsive steering. This thoroughbred was mated to a 4-speed manual transmission.

4. 2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R: Track-Focused Terror

This Mustang marked a significant shift in design philosophy. Unlike the classic muscle car silhouette, the 2000 SVT Cobra R aimed to be a true, no-nonsense sports car. With only 300 units produced, it was the closest a civilian could get to owning a street-legal race car. The "R" in its name signified weight reduction compared to the standard Cobra.

This aggressive look was complemented by a large wing and side exhaust. The naturally aspirated 5.4L V8 pumped out 385 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque, making it the wildest of the "Terminator" generation Mustangs.

3. 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca: Taming the Straights

While Mustangs were known for their dominance in straight-line races, the Boss 302 Laguna Seca addressed the desire for superior track performance. This wasn't just a cosmetic package; it was a genuine upgrade.

Under the hood, a muscular 5.0L Coyote V8 unleashed 444 hp and 515 Nm of torque. To heighten the driving experience, Ford also positioned the exhaust exits directly beneath the driver, ensuring a thrilling roar. The Laguna Seca sacrificed its rear seats for weight reduction and gained performance tyres, brakes, Recaro seats, and a top speed of 250 kmph.

2. 2016 Shelby GT350: A Modern Classic

Launched in 2015, the Shelby GT350 embodied the Mustang's spirit with a modern twist. It captured the essence of its heritage while offering cutting-edge performance. The 5.2L V8 engine surprised enthusiasts by opting for a high-revving, naturally aspirated setup rather than a supercharger.

This unconventional choice resulted in a redline of 8250 rpm, delivering a visceral experience akin to high-performance V8 Ferraris. The engine churned out 526 hp and 582 Nm of torque, propelling the car to a top speed of 282 kmph.

1. 2020 Shelby GT500: Unleashing the Beast

The arrival of the 2020 Shelby GT500 perfectly soothed the pain of the GT350's discontinuation. Mustangs have continuously evolved, and this top contender exemplifies that beautifully. Limited to only 5,000 units worldwide, the GT500 prioritized exceptional handling and driver confidence. This generation shed the traditional live rear axle for the same. 

The heart of this beast lies in a whining (but in a good way) supercharged 5.2L V8 generating a monstrous 760 hp and 850 Nm of torque. Hold on tight, because this monster can reach speeds of up to 290 kmph.

TopGear Magazine July 2024