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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    I read the first paragraph, and was agreeing….then, I remembered the electric, 4-door car…..called
    a Mustang. I hope someone, in Ford’s Marketing Dept, was fired

    The Getrag manual in the GT has always been and continues to be a dog. This forces you into the Dark Horse (read renamed Mach 1 since Ford botched that name up with the Mach E awful naming) in order to get the Tremec manual transmission. That’s for about a $15K premium over the GT. Finding a low mileage 2021-2022 Mach 1s with the performance pack is currently the best performance bang for the buck.

    The 2024 V6 Mustang only comes with an automatic. It seems the beancounters are betting on folks buying the GT to get the manual. For some reason, I prefer the 2005 through 2008 models.

    There are a number of styling elements that make a Mustang a Mustang. Those Camaro slab sides are not one of them. To add insult to injury it think that dash panel is hideous.

    I have owned 4 Mustangs in my life, a 1979 4-cylinder (horrible car that my ex-wife brought into the marriage), a 2006 convertible, a 2011 GT California Special Convertible and now a 2016 Roush Stage 3 Phase 2 convertible (727 hp).

    Aside from the 1979 I have enjoyed every one. I feel that the first generation 2005-2009 S197s did the best job of giving homage to the original. The 2011 GT/CS was the first model to have the Coyote and I enjoyed it immensely, but with the live axle it was still more of a straight-line car. The S550 was a big improvement both in interior fit and finish, but especially in handling with the IRS. That and the upgrades performed by Roush, especially the supercharger, that make the car pull like a scalded mule, eliminating the need to rev it to get the power.

    It is intoxicating to drive, if not a bit intimidating at times. It’s not quite, but close enough to a GT500 and it does command respect when you decide to get into it. I often joke that sometimes I feel it wants to kill me.

    I also own a 2012 CTS-V coupe and people always ask which car I like better. I always say it depends. The V is going fast in a tuxedo, the Roush is going fast in a muscle shirt and a mullet. It just depends on the mood you’re in. I love them both for different reasons.

    I do like the latest iteration, and I think the different colors make the car look better. While this new iteration doesn’t give me enough to want to trade in my 14K mile Roush, I am grateful that Ford is still keeping the spirit alive.

    To me, and I have owned at least one of each series of Mustang, they have become bloated and cartoonish. The biggest problem with a new Mustang is it’s equally bloated MSRP. It’s so hard to justify when you can find a superb 2001 or 08 Bullitt or 2003/04 Mach 1 and running down the road for under $15k. For $20k you can easily find a one owner low mileage 2011-2014 Mustang GT or a 2015 EcoBoost. Let someone else pay the depreciation.

    As porky as an EV. Gun slit windows. Gamer-boy dash. I’m a Ford guy but this rehashed replicar does not interest me. It’s nice that they make it stop and turn though.

    Is the automotive apocalypse coming to Flat Rock? I don’t think so. Just because Chevy & Chrysler bailed out on great muscle cars doesn’t mean that Ford will follow. Don’t forget both legacy manufacturers brought them back. As for the electric version cross over, I’ve only seen 2 on the road so far.

    I like my 2022 GT/CS version better than this. Replaced both tires and wheels with 20×10 and 20×11’s because only one tire and wheel was available for it. Not a fan of the front end at all and rear fenders seem to resemble a Camaro way too much. I’m sure it’s technically more advanced but I prefer the look of mine over this, and with no GT/CS, Mach1 or GT500 to spice up different looks I’m glad I purchased when I did.

    Always been a slightly bigger meatier guy chevelle, challenger, Cuda, 396/409/440 hemi
    Different strokes for different folks now I have real money and experience so I really drifted to the first “automobile” I have have ever truly enjoyed SL500 quality style speed and attracts the attention of women not other dudes lol

    I think recent Mustangs look cool, but 10 year olds just look old. So I’m weeks away from taking delivery of a Restomod ’67 GT Fastback with a Coyote engine, 6-speed Tremec manual, and a TCI suspension with coil-overs and Wilwood brakes. I guarantee in 10 years it will still look cool – assuming I don’t wrap it around a tree.

    Love my 2019 Mustang GT Convertible! 460hp is perfect. If I want more horsepower I drive my Jeep TrackHawk. If I want to stand out in a crowd I drive my C2 Corvette. Ford has always led the way in the pony car wars. Chevy & Dodge have out done it many times performance wise but look who is the survivor, yep Mustang! If ya wanna pick on a Mustang, pick on that ridiculous Mustang SUV EV. Great vehicle but it’s no mustang!

    You can count on a new Camaro coming soon after the old one is put out to pasture. It will most likely have an electric motor, and it will sound like your vacuum cleaner.

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