Two days into driving the 2021 Mustang GT Convertible, in Caribbean-ocean blue (called “Velocity Blue”), with the top down, the reality of the New Age came crashing home.
I have driven many luxury cars over the years, steeped in charisma-factor. I once drove a 2016 BMW M6 into Manhattan on a beautiful July day, stopped on a side street to take a pic of my wife next to the car. Within 15 minutes I had 20 New Yorkers gathered around, pedestrians, blue-collar workers from nearby work sites, cyclists. All circled the scene, loving the car, asking questions about it.
Soon several of the amateur photographers among the group were directing the photo shoot, barking orders on where my wife should stand. And there were countless other similar situations during that ten-day drive to Cape Cod and back, perfect strangers walking up to the car, even while we were parked, isolated, next to sand dunes and Cape Cod Bay, sorting out directions. Other honked their horns, flashing thumbs-up signs, down various Interstates.
But that was seemingly a lifetime ago. Long before electric vehicles rose up like a Phoenix, with an eclipse of the internal combustion engine car now well under way. The Gen Z or Millennial generation, if they end up buying cars at all, will be buying electric cars. My email gets bombarded regularly with news releases talking about the latest rollouts from manufacturers. Blowhard politicians preening for votes and a living will have no impact at all. The market is sorting out where the car industry is heading.
Charisma-factor with that bright blue, Mustang GT Convertible was scant. One incident, actually. I was sitting in traffic on Lakeshore Blvd., in Toronto, felt someone looking at me, so I turned to my right. There was a north-of-middle-aged guy, perhaps on his way home from a Guns ‘n Roses cover band show, hanging out of his driver car window. He shouting over, telling me how cool the car was. Nice fella. But I felt like a dinosaur. I felt that maybe I should have taken the first exit, and headed straight for Flamborough, checking the Mustang into the next classic car show. Is the car world really changing this fast?
Sedans: Soon-to-be dinosaurs
This article talks about how gas-powered sedans are being pushed off a cliff. Americans in particular love their sporty SUVs. That’s one reason for the decline of sedans. The other reason is the rise of electric cars. Sedans are not selling as well now, so bye-bye sedans. Car manufacturers aren’t interested in making statements. They are interested in making money.
Sure, we’re going through a transition period with EVs – if you’re a Gen Xer or Boomer. Or Gen Xers or Boomers writing about electric vehicles and where the car industry is going. Government policy and Big Auto industry-wide pushes to better the technology and driving experience will put a big, fat sentence period on any debates. And look at the facts, articulated in this report: the global electric powertrain market is expected to top $654 billion USD by 2028, a 33.5 per cent CAGR over the forecast period. That’s spurred by the growth in popularity of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Governments in various countries are taking initiatives to promote the development of electric vehicles. For instance, in 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy announced a public investment of $400 billion USD in clean energy. The investment would help develop 500,000 charging outlets for electric vehicles by the end of 2030.
But the Mustang GT Convertible was still a great driving experience
The sales of sports cars are also in decline, according to that ABC News story. Too bad about all of this because there were some joyful moments driving the Mustang GT Convertible. It all starts with the start-up, as you crank up the 5.0L V8 engine. Then there’s the power of the Mustang GT when you pull out of the parking lot – 460 horsepower. I love the Mustang MACH-E electric vehicle, which we wrote on here. But it feels like you’re driving a computer.
The Mustang GT and its six-speed manual transmission is for drivers who love driving. There’s a difference. And if that generation of drivers are fading into history books and classic car shows, then we aren’t going down quietly. Revving that beautiful engine in my underground condo parking spot made a pretty clear statement about that.
Premium features on the car include Ford’s Safe & Smart Package, adaptive cruise control, and voice-activated touch-screen navigation system. Loved the driver’s cockpit with the cool illuminated entry, power driver with lumbar support seating, in heated leather, and a long list of vehicle control buttons on the steering wheel. Plus there’s a great sound system: Bang & Olufsen, with 12 speakers.
And if we’re talking fuel consumption, the Mustang GT performs okay: around 21 miles to the gallon, combined city and highway driving, an estimated annual fuel cost of $3,350 driving 12,420 miles (20,000 kilometres).
Then there’s the value of what you get for your buck: total MSRP of $63,590 CDN.