2024 Ford Mustang GT Review: V-8 standard-bearer gets even better


The Ford Mustang was the very first V-8 pony car, and the 2024 Mustang GT is looking like it will be the last, what with the exit of the Challenger and the Camaro this year, perhaps to be replaced by electric facsimiles. Whether you’re gaga over Mustangs or just “meh,” you have to respect Ford’s loyalty to the model and its millions of fans. It is now Ford’s oldest nameplate, having been in continuous production since 1964—unlike all of its competitors, which came and went… and then came and went again.

And except for a brief period during the Mustang II years, the model has always featured an optional V-8. Every red-blooded American—and especially the haters—should probably own a Mustang at least once in their lives. Otherwise, you just don’t know the joy of it all, of roaring at the horizon as if you can outrun age and responsibility, of squirming out of a corner with the rear tires aflame and the engine bawling at the heavens, of being 19 again if only for an hour or two on a Saturday.

2024 Ford Mustang GT Red side profile

We all know Mustangs can do respectable quarter miles; over the years they’ve become ever more competent at turning, and the 2024 model (the S650, in Ford-speak) continues the trend with a slightly quicker steering ratio (15.5:1 vs 16.0) and even better suspension composure. The helm response is gratifyingly quick for a four-seater with a 107-inch wheelbase—ten inches longer than a Toyota Supra’s—and a curb weight licking at two tons. The Performance Pack ($4995) fitted to our sampler includes 19-inch wheels on Pirelli PZero summer rubber surrounding huge six-piston Brembo front calipers and four-pot Brembo rears. That’s fairly serious performance kit, and even on a car this size and this heavy, the stopping power was enough to impress even the smack-talkers in their Porsches.

So, it’s hardly a street-racer one-note. Yes, it has the optional Drift Brake for sideways hoonery, and you can rev the engine with the key fob for some juvenile curbside theater. But aside from that, this is a Mustang that has gone to college, has become exactly what its GT badge says it should be: a comfortable, fast grand turismo capable in all situations. As a low-4s-to-60 adrenaline shot goes, it’s a pretty cheap one for the amount of juice it supplies.

We’re not surprised. Ford has made continuous improvements to the car nearly every year it has been in production. Some big. Some small. All for the good of the car and its buyers. For 2024, the Mustang isn’t exactly “all new” as claimed in the press bumf (see our companion story on the 2024 Mustang EcoBoost for details), but plenty of this GT is.

Specs: 2024 Ford Mustang GT

Price: Coupe $44,090 / Convertible: $53,110
Powertrain: 5.0-liter V-8, 6-speed manual; 10-speed automatic
Horsepower: 480; 486
Torque: 415; 418 lb-ft
Layout: Rear-drive, two-door, four-passenger coupe or convertible
EPA-rated fuel economy: 14–15 city/23–24 highway
0–60 mph: 4.3-sec (est)
Competitors: Toyota GR Supra, BMW M240i, Nissan Z, (the last) Chevrolet Camaro SS

First, the prices: The base 2024 GT commands an $11,575 premium over the base EcoBoost, for a starting price of $44,090, representing a big bump of around $4000 over the base 2023 GT. Inflation, baby! You do get some extra features in the deal, including all those digital screens, but you are also paying a lot for the privilege of a V-8. Even so, we’re told that 2024 preorders are heavily favoring the GT, by a ratio of 68 percent to 32 percent for the EcoBoost. No doubt that will adjust in favor of the EcoBoost as time marches on and the first-in-line enthusiasts all get their cars. The GT convertible starts at $53,110.

We talked about the new in-car screens in our companion story, so let’s flesh out some of the exterior styling changes. The grille grows larger and taller visually. In GTs, two pronounced bars separate the grille into distinct quadrants. The GT’s cheek nostrils get snarlier, too, and the GT hood sprouts black extractor vents to further separate it from the EcoBoost. “I like cars that look menacing,” explained exterior design manager Chris Walter. “I don’t like friendly cars.” To be sure, the 2024 Mustang face won’t be mistaken for Thomas the Tank Engine’s, but it’s the rear where the new styling seems most successful.

Below the rear bumper, designers have increased the blackout panel/faux undertray/decorative cladding—call it what you will—to visually pinch the rear end and make the Mustang look wider and lower. They’ve also ditched the plain flat panel that last year separated the taillights, instead shaping what designers call “a deep break,” or an inward slanting concavity, that helps make the rear end look like it’s squatting provocatively.

Down the sides, they’ve smoothed the flanks, shaving down some of the pronounced streamer lines of the previous model, and re-cut the break between the plastic rear bumper and steel quarter-panel. Now the break is one continuous straight line angled down at the rear wheel to, we’re told, accentuate where the Mustang puts its power to the road. “It’s more broad, more brazen—I’m gonna say a little more American,” said Walter.

A little less American is the Gen-4 Coyote V-8. Well, of course this 5.0-liter V-8 is all-American by definition (except that it’s made just across the river from Detroit, in Canada). But by that we mean that this four-cam, 32-valve wailer feels even a little more Italian, sounding like a ripping Maserati at full revs—if you select full-loud in the menus; you can pick from four levels of tailpipe blast, which also vary depending on which drive mode you’re in.

2024 Ford Mustang GT Blue engine bay

For 2024, Ford has split the intake with twin induction tubes and two separate 80-mm throttle bodies, the plastic pipes angled off the front of the engine like two fearsome ram’s horns. One reason may have been to upsize the throttle body volume and enable a 500-horse rating for the Dark Horse without major production variation among the models. Another is to give the engine computer some flexibility; it can open one throttle body in low-power situations and then bring the second one online, first in phases, then synced with the other throttle, when the driver calls for higher power. The benefit is better breathing and lower emissions.

Another change to the V-8 is a new steel oil pan that supposedly cuts the oil sump by half a quart to make internal engine breathing easier. We’ve seen a shift toward less oil used more efficiently in other cars, including the Corvette Z06. As it was, the sump of the previous Coyote held a sloshy 10 quarts.

The base 2024 GT now out-gooses 2023’s top-of-the-line 470-hp Mach 1. The new GT gets 480 horses at a very Italian 7150 rpm—or 486 horsepower with the new active valve exhaust system, a $1225 stand-alone noise-making option. The torque figure of 415 pound-feet, or 418 with the fancy exhaust, is almost unchanged from last year. No doubt, a lot of the Coyote’s revisions, including new camshafts, are for the Dark Horse, or for tightening emissions standards. Or for other horsepower upgrades planned but as-yet unannounced.

2024 Ford Mustang GT Blue interior

Both the standard Getrag MT-82 six-speed manual and $1595 10-speed automatic are carryover, though the $60,865 Dark Horse performance model will have a Tremec TR-3160 six-speed manual along with an automatic (watch for a Dark Horse writeup in the coming weeks).

The Getrag probably isn’t quite as buttery as the Tremec, but it’s still a willing partner in making good go-fast, with notchy throws and an organic clutch heft and take-up. We found the 10-speed is mostly well calibrated and delivers seamless upshifts but could knock your head forward with the occasional rough downshift. A blip in the software, perhaps.

Manual-shift paddles are fitted standard to the GT’s steering wheel (you must pay extra for them in the EcoBoost), though paddling among ten ratios is not exactly fun. The 10-speed has three—three!—overdrive ratios, and above fourth gear you pretty much lose interest.

By the way, that racy flat-bottomed steering wheel, fitted to both EcoBoost and GT Mustangs for 2024, is a change of which the Mustang’s creators are inordinately proud. We’re told that they have been pushing for such a flat-bottom wheel for years, but the suits were reluctant to tool up a unique internal ring, a part that is common across a lot of Ford products. Well, for 2024 the factory, ahem, ponied up and you get a flat-bottomed steering wheel.

2024 Ford Mustang GT Blue front ends

Nobody including Ford knows how long cars such as the Mustang GT—expect a frightful 17 to 18 average mpg—have before encroaching technology, or regulation, or both, drive them to extinction. In the meantime, the 2024 Mustang GT proves that it’s going to keep doing what it’s always been doing, getting better with each passing year.


2024 Ford Mustang GT

Highs: A Ford with the heart of a Maserati; turns and stops as well as it quarter-miles; tons of options to make one all your own.
Lows: Fuel goes whoosh; two tons of fun; the V-8 price premium is growing; the back seat did not grow at all.

Takeaway: American as all hell, the Mustang GT takes another step forward. Get one while you still can.




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    Exactly right Jeff. I thought the same exact thing, and those headlights are uglier then 10 days of rain. No thanks. Back to the drawing board for the ‘Stang. And this time, try to keep it a Ford guys, huh? Geez…

    Its the Camaro that copied the Mustang namely the 67,68 fastback rear haunches. It amazes me how car loves forget the oldies you can’t copy someone if you did it before anyone else in Fords case it was done on 67,68 fastback Mustangs first. The mustang is just finally taken back it design that GM stole.

    End of the Camaro….Mustang is still being produced.
    No NASCAR vehicle?
    That’s Chevy’s problem

    Mark, Nascar will still have their Toyota’s, and maybe Honda will jump on the highbanks. By the way you could get a v-8 in a Mustang II.

    If I did not have a bias against mustang owners, I would say it looks like a great deal. And I have to admit that I am impressed that Ford is willing to keep making muscle cars when the other manufacturers are bowing to Greta Thunberg. But, Mustang owners, and Harley Davidson owners both need a way to enjoy the engine sounds without forcing the rest of us to listen to it. Seeing the noisemaking as a menu item on a display screen in the car just makes me cringe, anticipating more fart noises around me as I’m trying to enjoy a drive in my convertible Miata.

    You’re looking at this the wrong way. The variable exhaust allows Mustang owners to be more polite. The default sound level of a fixed-volume exhaust would always be on the louder side. Ford even nick-named a mode “neighbor mode” or “good neighbor” mode in a prior version (GT350).

    Also, V8’s don’t make fart noises. 🙃

    Hey Paul, The fart noises are coming from either your Miata or YOU.
    V8 Mustangs don’t make ‘fart noises’.

    I stand corrected on the farts. The Mustang has an obnoxious exhaust when in the wrong mode in public, or when the exhaust has been deliberately opened. But “farts” come from Japanese cars with weird mufflers. Consider me corrected. lol

    Butt ugly atrocity… and who wants a Maserati Mustang… sad to think that it will go out of production looking like this abomination or something worse…

    I have been lead to believe the Barracuda was a V-8 pony car that came out 16 days before the stang but only sold roughly 1/10th as many units.

    Glad to see your correct comment. Ignoring this fact should be grounds for dismissing anyone as an automobile journalist/historian.

    There are other incontrovertible facts that are ignored as well, but the popular “version” gets played and played again so often that the fact is “lost”.

    Was the ’64 GTO the first postwar muscle car by most definitions? No. Was it the car that “lit the fuse” for postwar muscle cars? Yes. Was the ’58 T-Bird the first postwar personal car by most definitions? No. Was it the car that lit that fuse? Very possibly.

    Barracuda’s a fish. How could it be a pony car before there was a pony?
    Yes, the ‘cuda came out of the closet two weeks before the Mushtang BUT the Mushtang was actually popular, sold by the herd and coined the term… pony car.

    I have owned both Fords and Maseratis and I for one would have loved to have a Maserati that the Ford dealer could easily repair! That’s why I’ve been daily driving Ford/Lincoln products for 30 years and BMW products for 20 years while my exotic toys sat in the garage or the exotic dealer’s shop.
    The Fords can be fixed if broken and managed easily if acting up.
    The new Mustang front end looks just fine ….just like my Grand Turismo.
    PS Confucius say- The purchase of a second exotic car is a definite sign of a learning disability…🤑

    You don´t seem to know the fact that Maseratis are the world´s best cars. But you have to own two. One is always in the repair shop.

    That may be correct, but your BMW was over $60k in 2008, which would equate to about $85k now. To be fair, you would have to compare it to a Shelby GT500, which would outperform your car for less money.

    I have always thought the Mustang looked nice, well maybe not the Mustang II, but I have never had a desire to own or drive one. Mustang owners tend to fall into two categories, those that think it is pretty and drive like normal people, and guys that have always got something to prove and would put a 600 Cubic inch engine with open exhaust in the car if they could, and wonder why people get annoyed with them when their car sounds great to them. That said I always liked the 2 seat T-Birds way more, and I am not a Ford person at all.

    So not mentioned here is that some reviewers like the youtubers Throttle House say the steering is more boosted and has almost no feel. The steering doesn’t load up so they felt uncomfortable with where the limits were because the steering said nothing. The tires started making noise while the steering said nothing. Also the base screens are two poorly mounted mini tablets not the one mega screen of the premium models. Basically this car is better only if a little more horsepower is all you need to say better. BYW the Mach 1 had 480hp before the detune the following year to 470hp so basically they equaled a first year Mach 1. We will have to see if the stupidly named “Dark Horse” is the real drivers car or not.

    So glad to hear it will stay in production!!
    I think it looks fantastic! Ford did a super job with the 2024 Mustang!

    Wow! So happy to hear from all the angry butt hurt, mullet sporting Camaro lovers. Tell you what….run on down to your nearest Bow Tie dealer and plunk down $150K to get the “last of the Camaros w/ ZL1, RS/SS, Z06, LMNOP” optioned crap wagons. I’ll stick with the original pony car that still looks great, turns and stops great, AND is still produced!

    I had a 1985 Mustang GT, and yes I had a mullet at the time. Today I have two Camaros, no mullet. In fact most people that can actually afford to own a new Mustang GT today may have or not have much hair left at all, so not sure how your market segment profile equates, Bill. The current Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers are are awesome in their own way IMO, mullets or not. Kudos to Ford for keeping the 5.0 V8 alive.

    I’ll start by saying I am a Camaro guy, Ive owned a fox body and always thought the latest generation Mustangs were a good looking car. That being said this latest one looks like a KIA to me. I’ve always thought KIA took the best looking bits and pieces of different manufacturers cars and crammed them into one. That is what this reminds me of. Definitely hints of Camaro and that front on shot gave me thoughts of a Charger. I will commend Ford for keeping the muscle car alive though.

    Thanks Ford, like 08, this Mustang may keep you out of the BigBankruptcy that is coming for several manufacturers.

    I really liked it when they started making the newer Mustangs look like the original. The 2024 GT’s front doesn’t look much like the original. The side looks somewhat like my 2000 S2000. I learned to drive my dad’s 1965 Mustang with white exterior and black interior and a 289 4bbl in 1967. My Dad approached me one day and said ” WE’ need to take it easy on the Firestone Wide Ovals”. He knew what I was doing.

    Too bad it looks like a late model Mustang that was rear ended by a Camaro.

    Ford…go back to the drawing board.

    Styling preferences aside, with additional suspension modifications, akin to the six generation GT 350R with camber plates, my 2017 Premium/ PP is so much fun on winding back roads and no slouch on track days either! I don’t think with the modes I’ve made, that the 2024 would be worth trading for. Having said this, if you haven’t driven a Mustang lately, give one a whirl.

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