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The best cars we’ve reviewed (so far) ranked!

Welcome to the start of our ever-expanding home base of car reviews, where we file the best cars we’ve driven so far in order. Don’t think of this as an outright competition to see what is the definitive best vehicle out of a few classes. We’ve got more than that, anyway. Best EVs, best sports cars, best compacts, best trucks, and more! Think of this as all our existing car reviews coming together to help you decide on what are some hot ticket choices to look out for on the new or used car market. 

Check out the linked subheadings for full reviews with specs and pricing, and check back occasionally as we continue to grow our portfolio of car reviews!

(Editor’s Note: Updated 3/1/2024 with pickup trucks and EVs category!)

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Best EVS

1. Audi Q8 e-tron – A proper take on urban luxury EVs, even if it’s not a spec sheet winner

What’s hot?

  • Proper luxury car interior with all the accouterments
  • Serene ride and NVH

What’s not?

  • Some minor Audi MMI glitches
  • A tough sell with a high price and okay-ish range

Is it too late for the legacy automakers to topple the startup giants? Will no one eclipse them in terms of price, production output, or range? Ah, screw it. Let ’em have it when automakers like Audi still know how to build a damn good car and damn good features. The Q8 e-tron may not take home any victories in Top Trumps or bar stool drag racing, but that doesn’t mean it should be dismissed, because what Audi has delivered is a sublime urban EV for those who’ll heed its offerings. Ride quality is plush, even on such big wheels, and the interior is well-built and well-equipped, with enough screen to satiate the especially tech-indulgent without appearing cheap or gaudy.

The Q8 e-tron is a fine automobile. We just wish it could be an easier sell so more folks can bask in what it gets right. But we get it. What it gets wrong are things that wouldn’t be the fault of any sensible buyer should they say turn the e-tron down. With a price that starts at $74,400, it’s already an uphill battle. And with a range of only 285 miles, it’s tough to convince folks to fork over the dough for one of these instead of the comparable Tesla or a cheaper Mach-E. But give it a chance and let it thrive in the urban environments it was made for, and you may see that the numbers game isn’t the point of the e-tron. The point is to just be a great product.

2. Chevrolet Blazer EV – That one SUV from the Barbie movie is actually quite a stunner

What’s hot?

  • Sharp and sporty like its looks
  • Quiet and refined

What’s not?

  • Range lags behind key rivals, including fellow Ultium-based EVs
  • Oh boy, yet another expensive electric SUV

Hey there, Barbie! Let’s go party! And party indeed, as the Blazer EV is actually quite the charming and likable EV, with polarizing styling that contrasts with the sea of egg-shaped lunchboxes that also occupy the pantheon of electric SUVs. But for that price, you get a highly configurable package, with trim levels to match anyone’s wants, and drivetrains that offer front, all, or rear-wheel drive. Can’t think of another vehicle where you can pick either three. The Blazer also matches its sharp looks with dynamics that don’t fall on its face in the twisties and acceleration that earn the top trim its SS badge. And if you like cockpit-like interiors, the Blazer certainly fits the bill with a digital dash and infotainment setup that vaguely reminds us of a C8 Corvette and Alpha-platform Camaro blended together.

If we had to complain, there’s that sorry excuse for a frunk that’s easily trumped by rivals in its class. Range is only okay and doesn’t set any new records, with the most frugal trims seeking out 324 miles. Oh, and there are the embarrassing software issues that plagued early cars enough to cause a stop-sale. Ironically, not long after winning a round of praise and awards from all who’ve driven it. Oh, Chevy.

3. Mercedes-Benz eSprinter – Electrified mobility for businesses and tradesmen

What’s hot?

  • Fairly quick and responsive at low speeds
  • Still perfectly capable of around-town work

What’s not?

  • Uncomfortable seats
  • No dual-motor variants as of yet

Not much to say here, is there? It’s an electric cargo van with plenty of space for products or tools, enough pep for stoplight drags, and just enough range to accomplish a day of work and still have some to spare. The Mercedes eSprinter is exactly as advertised: a nicely made, well-appointed, electrified take on work vans intended for urban environments. And you know what? That’s a-okay with us. The interior is standard Sprinter, with an attractively-designed and functional infotainment system and seats that are less than optimal but get the job done. Hey, you’re getting paid to work, not lounge!

Aside from wanting more comfortable seats, a 42-minute max charge speed to 80% is only okay, there are currently no dual-motor variants available as of yet, and the payload takes a significant hit versus any gas or diesel Sprinter. Gardeners and Geek Squad folks will be fine. But no trying to smuggle kei cars in the back, you hear me?

Best plug-in hybrids

1. Mazda CX-90 PHEV – Bridging the gap between family crossovers of the past and future

What’s hot?

  • Commendable EV range for such a massive thing
  • Mazda edges closer and closer to the luxury car kingdom

What’s not?

  • Not the most cavernous three-row SUV
  • Rotary dial infotainment controls only

Mazda has been on a not-so-secret upward spiral toward faux luxury car stardom for some time now. From smooth, sporty driving dynamics to interiors with actually pleasant build quality and aesthetic design, the Zoom-Zoom brand has been making quite the name for itself. The CX-90 three-row crossover cements its status as a serious brand worth more than just one mere damn, and the plug-in hybrid variant acts as a wonderfully executed bridge between family cars of the past and present. 26 miles of EV range? Not bad! 24 mpg in the city? Heck yeah! 369 pound-feet of yoinking power? Now, you got me flustered. And these are just the specs. We haven’t even started with the gorgeous, airy, wood-lined interior that can shame the Germans or the sporty dynamics that can actually put the “sports” in sports utility vehicle.

Okay, so a big lunk like this will never score the range or MPGe of smaller plug-in crossovers. And its towing capacity and average mpg took a hit versus the Bimmer-flattering inline-six. Oh, and touchscreens be damned because the Mazda’s infotainment is controlled via a rotary dial only, which will definitely not resonate with anyone who hasn’t come from an older BMW. But if you can live with those nitpicks, you’ll still be left with one of the most compelling products to come, not just from Mazda but from any automaker in recent memory.

2. Alfa Romeo Tonale – A commuter a way only the Italians can

What’s hot?

  • A family crossover that’s actually a drop-dead stunner
  • Commendable performance and handling

What’s not?

  • Dodge Hornets are cheaper if you don’t mind the styling differences
  • Dodge Hornets have an ICE-only powertrain if you don’t care for plug-ins

Nothing says car enthusiast like anything sporty from Italy. Nothing says drab and dreary appliance like a compact crossover. Combine the two, and you might just have the recipe for a fun little urban runabout, as Stellantis has proven with the Alfa Romeo Tonale. Although ICE variants exist elsewhere, we Yanks get a bold, powerful plug-in powertrain as our sole option. It pairs a spunky little 1.3-liter turbo four boosted to high hell with an electric motor to yield over 30 miles of handy EV range and produce 285 horsepower and 347 pound-feet, which, last time I checked, is a lot more than your average compact crossover.

Sadly, it also costs a lot more than most compact crossovers and is lined up squarely against competent, similarly powerful rivals like the RAV4 Prime. Those who are a fan of spunky Italian dynamics but are willing to forgo the spunky styling can also step down to the cheaper Hornet, which produces more torque, has a similar EV range, and offers a significantly cheaper ICE powertrain. Still, flawed or not, there’s a lot to love about the Alfa Toe Nail, and there’s something to be admired when offered a fun, stylish alternative to the usual crop of cookie-cutter family cars on the market.

3. Dodge Hornet R/T – I’m like the guy right above me but with less swagger

What’s hot?

  • Fun and fast for lil’ crossover!
  • Usable EV range

What’s not?

  • Why is there no Regular-Ass Prius mode?
  • Minor electronic annoyances

“I do everything the guy above does, but better,” says the Dodge Hornet R/T, probably. Psst, it’s not better, but it is just ever so slightly different.

Not much to say here that hasn’t already been said about the Tonale. I don’t think we can say anything until we score an all-ICE Hornet GT to sample. But here it is, the Americanized take on Italy’s dandy little compact crossover, complete with the same KONI two-valve shocks, vividly red Brembos, and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport All-Season 4 tires. The car receives the same plug-in powerplant in R/T trim, albeit with an extra motor to help it yield 288 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of faux hot hatch fury. It costs a few grand less for a comparable Hornet R/T versus a Tonale, too. What’s not to love?

Well, it’s still a Tonale. This means it still suffers from the typical Italian (or perhaps just Stellantis) electronic hiccups that make it difficult to recommend, from awkward lane centering and intermittently dysfunctional safety sensors. It may also be too small for some families, and asking for the R/T skyrockets the price tag fairly quickly. But if you can live with all of it, the Hornet is still a lovable, fun-to-drive alternative in an otherwise ho-hum segment of effective yet uninteresting cars.

Best hybrids

1. Toyota Prius – shockingly fun but still lovably practical

What’s hot?

  • New powertrains are punchy
  • Easiest 50-mpg solution on the new car market

What’s not?

  • Some interior ergonomic quirks
  • Still viable in today’s world of plug-ins, EVs, and upscale economy cars?

Go ahead. Laugh. But you won’t be laughing for long when a $30 or $40 fill-up nowadays buys you well over 500 miles of range, not including the short bits of EV cruising you can manage behind the wheel of the current-gen Toyota Prius. Did I make fun of Priuses before? Of course! Do I still do? On occasion. Do I love them, though? You bet your ass.

City slickers, you can’t beat 50-plus mpg and all-electric parking lot creeping in a car with the forward and side visibility of a fishbowl (the rear is a different story) and a footprint small enough to fit in nearly any parking space. There’s an abundance of nifty safety and convenience tech to make you feel as though you’re in a more substantial vehicle, and the new chassis and powertrain result in a Prius that’s a bit of a hoot to fling around.

The question remains if the Prius is still the obvious solution when compact family sedans and crossovers are now as efficient as ever while sitting at a slightly lower price point and offering comparable, if not better, practicality and ergonomics. Not to mention the growing waves of affordable EVs and plug-ins if efficiency is really your absolute top priority. But if a middle ground between them all is what you’re eyeing, then the new Prius remains a fantastic, well-rounded entry, even if it’s not necessarily the best.

Best luxury sports sedans

1. Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance – A final bastion for V8 sports sedans

What’s hot?

  • N/A V8 rear-drive sports sedan? For real?
  • Typical Lexus premium vibes, inside and out

What’s not?

  • Not a true IS F replacement
  • Could go for more low-end torque

If you can’t find an ounce of love for something like this, you’re either not human or one of those stereotypical Tesla fans we were warned about on social media. The Lexus IS 500 was a last hurrah we didn’t expect, but we couldn’t be happier it exists, even if it’s for a moment. Lexus delivers a compact executive sedan with rear-drive, go-fast suspension and braking hardware, and a monstrous, free-breathing V8 pushing 472 ponies! What a day to be alive! And in typical Lexus fashion, it oozes style and quality inside and out, from the way it drives and handles to the materials and tech. 

Sure. It’s not a true IS F successor in the same vein as the RC F coupe. The platform is quite old, dated, and small by car industry standards. But perhaps we shouldn’t complain about its age and shortcomings. For less money than a BMW M3, here’s a final bastion for naturally-aspirated V8 sport sedans with more charm and character than a current M3 will ever have.

2. Genesis G70 – A bonafide sports sedan to challenge the Germans

What’s hot?

  • Actually fast, fun, and engaging across all trim levels
  • Oozes style and quality at a strong price point

What’s not?

  • Fuel economy pales in comparison to German I4 and I6 engines
  • No hotted-up M, AMG, or F rival (yet)

I’ve driven and ridden in a small handful of Korean cars over the years, each getting more and more alluring the newer they got. Now, the icing on the cake, the Genesis G70 cements a notion in my head that’s been parroted by auto journalists since the Sonata got good: South Korea will take over the world. Good. Let them. Because they can build a damn fine sports sedan.

The latest G70, the only Genesis product I’ve yet to sample, sports a buttery smooth 8-speed auto directing power from either a 300-horsepower, 2.5-liter turbo four, or a 365-horsepower, 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6. You can get it dipped in rear-drive or all-wheel-drive sauce, and V6 cars can be sprinkled with a serving of electronic suspension and limited-slip diff. Sounds like a good time, yeah? But thankfully, Genesis knew not to sully the car’s luxury mission with an overly “sporty” setup, so it remains posh, refined, and quiet, perfectly balanced for wannabe touring car champs and yuppies alike.

No, there’s no super-hot M3 killer yet. And no, the fuel economy is good but not great, as BMW’s crop of turbo engines beg to differ. By like, a lot. Backseat space can be a bit tight, and interior design, while impeccably well-built, may not offer enough flair and pizazz as one might like. But these minor nitpicks shouldn’t stop you from considering the G70, especially when you get the chance to experience all that it gets oh-so right.

Best luxury SUVs/crossovers

1. Acura MDX Type S – Quick and cushy

What’s hot?

  • Genuinely fun to drive
  • A cushy, coddling cruiser for the whole family

What’s not?

  • Not as sporty as it could be, especially in the face of German rivals
  • Curse these touchpad infotainment controllers

We love a good, unsensible dose of automotive debauchery. Manic vehicles with fire-breathing engines or cyberpunk-esque EVs with more gimmicks than goodwill. Are they useful? Not always. But they sure are fun. Yet, here stands the Acura MDX Type S as the near-perfect Goldilocks’ choice of crossovers. A cavernous interior invites occupants to revel in plush leather seating accented with real wood and metal accouterments, controlled via logically arranged hard buttons to show that physical switchgear ain’t going out of style just yet! And once you take control, you’re rewarded with a lovably pleasant driving experience, defined by a powerful and silky V6, well-tuned automatic transmission, and supple suspension that’s still competent in the canyons and freeway on-ramps. Sometimes, it’s good to enjoy the middle ground.

Of course, it’s not without faults. The most glaring of which is that infernal touchpad infotainment controller, which will apparently bow out in favor of a better system in future Acuras. Good riddance. And of course, people eying the Type S badge hoping for a true M or AMG fighter may be disappointed. It’s not that car. It’s fun and engaging. Really fun, actually. But it’s not that car. In a day where clout-chasing is king, the MDX Type S reigns itself in and stays true to its family crossover roots without being afraid to have just a little senseless fun every once in a while.

Best hot hatches and sports compacts

1. Acura Integra Type S – The surprise knockout

What’s hot?

  • Chassis, brakes, engine, and pretty much everything else by the gods
  • Easily daily-drivable for thousands of miles on end

What’s not?

  • Exhaust is too quiet for how raucous it can be
  • Expensive for its class

Oh, Integra Type S, my beloved. How incredible you are clubbing GR Corollas and Golf Rs over the head with the sheer force of your awesomeness. The gods bestowed upon you suspension soft enough for tattered highway commutes yet taught enough for unflappable canyon cornering prowess. You’ve been granted a rev-happy powerhouse of a turbo four-banger with a Bimmer-rivaling 320 ponies channeled through a manual whose shifts hit crisp like ice water with a mint. And you carry yourself with civility and politeness when it’s time to calm down for the long journeys home. 

Could you tell I’m obsessed? The Acura Integra Type S is an easy winner and a rockstar in its segment, delivering Civic Type R attitude in a slightly more comfortable and mature package. Perhaps the only reason we leave here at Number 1 is because we haven’t yet tested a real Type R, which sports more supportive bucket seats and a whimsically cool wing for several thousand dollars less, trumping any value proposition the Acura had. Until then, the Acura will stay our king of the sport compact hill. 

2. Hyundai Elantra N – Shattering Korean car stereotypes

What’s hot?

  • Rip-snorting lil’ WTCC car for the road, even with the dual-clutch
  • Premium interior and performance at a stellar price point

What’s not?

  • Bucket seats are a pain on road trips
  • Ugly duckling

“Am I the only one who understands the complexity of this ambitious automotive masterpiece? This car isn’t stupid! You’re stupid!” – Billy, probably.

Hyundai’s N division has proven to be a massive disruptor in the performance car world, building comparison test winners and headline stealers since the Veloster N in 2019. The Elantra N carries forward much of the same spirit and hardware, routing 276 horsepower from its 2.0-liter turbo-four through your choice of a good ol’ six-speed stick or a snappy 8-speed dual-clutch. 

Brakes rock. Adaptive suspension rocks. The selection of drive modes that all make a meaningful difference rock. Everything rocks. And, best of all, the Elantra N goes about its performance biz with genuine chassis feel and an eager, soulful playfulness seldom found in European sports sedans. Couple that with its strong value proposition, and you have an affordable halo car that poses a serious threat to our current sports compact king. 

3. Volkswagen Golf R – The mature grown-up’s hot hatch

What’s hot?

  • Sports sedan performance with all-wheel-drive versatility 
  • Mature, elegant bodywork with hatchback practicality

What’s not?

  • Controversial infotainment system is a tad bit of a learning curve
  • On the steeper side of the pricing fence

The Mk8 Volkswagen Golf R is a divisive product, as praiseworthy as it was a source of ire among auto journos for a variety of reasons. But one thing is for certain, and it’s that no one can really hate on the fiery powerhouse that is the EA888 four-cylinder, pushing 315 ponies in Golf R trim, a sliver more than its Audi S3 cousin. It also features a trick Haldex all-wheel-drive system with Drift Mode for sideways action and Volkswagen’s baby-PDK DSG dual-clutch. 

That said, the mighty Golf R has some Achilles heels. It’s not the fiercest, most playful thing in the toybox, trading the antics of something like a Focus RS or Type R for a more upscale and serious demeanor befitting its German heritage, which may or may not resonate more with certain buyers. Its heftier price tag may also push some buyers away, as well, sitting comfortably above the likes of Elantra Ns, GR Corollas, and its not-too-dissimilar, front-drive GTI sibling. Oh, and that love-it-or-hate-it infotainment. Sheesh. At least they’re bringing buttons back.

Best affordable sports cars

1. Subaru BRZ – Jack of all trades, master of many

What’s hot?

  • A palette-cleansing trendsetter of what proper driver feedback should be
  • 2.4-liter engine staves off most desires for extra power… most

What’s not?

  • GR86 is more playful for slightly less money
  • Lame engine and exhaust sounds

Here comes the little Subaru BRZ trying to prove it has everything you need and nothing you don’t. 228 horsepower and 184 pound-feet from its 2.4-liter flat-four quells most complaints about the last car being gutless, bolstered by short gears and a svelte 2,800-pound weight. There’s a supple ride, CarPlay, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate, and options for banging sound system and scalding heated seats. 

Sure, it’s not perfect. Far from it, actually. The flat-four in stock form makes some pretty gruff, uninspired engine and exhaust noises. Space and practicality will never rival that of a hot hatch. And then there are those pesky RTV shards and daunting oiling pressure woes that have forums in a frenzy for permanent fixes. Still, if you want a track-capable, confidence-inspiring, infinitely tunable plaything that’s at home on the daily drive as it is high up in the canyons, few cars come close.

Best luxury sports cars

1. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray – “Budget supercar” is no hyperbole

Black Corvette C8 at Joshua Tree National Park
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

What’s hot?

  • Faux supercar performance for a fraction of the price
  • Impressively practical

What’s not?

  • The usual supercar headaches in traffic and urban settings
  • Some stylistic quirks and nitpicks

Value is important when choosing a car. And I don’t think the value gets much stronger than the C8 Corvette Stingray. You’re telling me I can snag a base one for between $60,000 to $70,000 and still have the time of my life? Hell. Yeah. And before you snark at me and say no one gets the base model, know that me and Gabe’s tester absolutely was. No Nappa leather. No Z51 pack. No aero kit. Just the C8 ‘Vette in its most pure form.

Even with none of the extra fancy thingamajigs like MagneRide, auxiliary coolers, and Pilot Sport 4S tires, which I’m sure would have been transformative in the LA canyons and on SoCal freeways where we tested, we were still blown away at the base Corvette’s unfathomably serene ride and handling balance. It can haul all our camera gear for the LA Auto Show in the frunk, stow a body, uh, extra luggage in the rear, comfortably soak up all the expansion joints and potholes California had to throw at us, and still be an engaging ripper in the canyons.

Sure, it could be a little sharper. It could be a little lighter. It could be a little more connected. My advice? Don’t drive a 718 Cayman GTS before this. But I suppose for the money, this thing is a tough act to follow. A really tough act to follow.

2. Lotus Emira – A driving enthusiast’s dream come true

What’s hot?

  • Shocking ride and handling balance, even with Sports suspension setup
  • One helluva’ V6

What’s not?

  • Somewhat baulky manual shifter when cold
  • Not long for this cruel world

I can’t say it any better than Peter, so I’ll slip in a little excerpt.

“The 2024 Lotus Emira First Edition is a very special sports car for this day and age. It one-ups everyone else by making the most of old steering technology. This blissful steering then combines with a wonderfully communicative chassis, manual gear shift, rousing supercharged engine, and overall brilliant driving dynamics to make it a true top-level driver’s car.”

The Emira looks like so many other sports cars and supercars out there, but beneath the skin, it’s a rare breed like few others, if any at all. So it’s not the most practical or efficient thing on this list, nor is it that strong of a value in the presence of Porsche. It’s not even long for this world, slated for replacement by 2027. But when it comes to a pure driving experience, you can’t argue with some good ol’ analog fun, or as Rob Crespo and I call it, “oldfashionedasfuck.” And you know what? That’s exactly how the fanboys want it. And it’s how Colin Chapman would want it.

3. Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo – A true grand tourer with sports car chops

What’s hot?

  • Near supercar fast!
  • Sports car reflexes don’t hurt its cross-country comfort

What’s not?

  • Annoyingly long in parking situations
  • Priced smack dab in the middle of some serious rivals

God, no one does a driver’s car like the Italians. And yes, this portly, (possibly) two-ton, leather-clad, land yacht is a driver’s car. From its hellaciously fun Nettuno twin-turbo V6 to the trick Skyhook adaptive suspension with air springs. I didn’t quite know what to expect with the GranTurismo Trofeo. I kind of expected it to be a bulky, lazy touring car with tons of cross-country cred, as a car of its class should have. But I’m happy to report it can also straddle the line between touring car and sports car shockingly well, with quick, intuitive steering and a well-tuned all-wheel drive system that never lets the threat of understeer rear its ugly head in the tightest of Malibu canyons.

Sadly, its occasional electronic quirks, which range from meh to motherfu-, ahem, excuse me. It’s Stellantis-ness makes itself apparent. Not that it feels cheap. It sure as hell does not! It just has hiccups. And it better not feel cheap, not at nearly $230,000 as-tested! That’s a touch cheaper than GTs from more prestigious nameplates, but it places the GranTurmismo right in the middle of key rivals like the Mercedes SL, Porsche 911 Turbo, and even Maserati’s own MC20 supercar.

Best pickup trucks

1. Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison – A serious contender in factory-fresh prerunners

What’s hot?

  • A bonafide adventurer with otherworldly suspension!
  • Plush, well-appointed interior

What’s not?

  • Steeply priced
  • Limited to crew cab with short bed only

Huzzah! Chevy’s baby Ford Raptor before Ford brought their own baby Raptor stateside. The ZR2 Bison is a phenomenally capable, lovably riotous off-roader that defies the weak and feeble stereotypes of smaller mid-size trucks. Not that today’s crop of mid-sizers are what anyone would call small, especially the Bison and its hulking 35-inch rubber. Like the new batch of Colorados, the interior is reasonably spacious, modern, and well-appointed, even including ventilated seats, which is a thoughtful addition for desert rats on Chevy’s behalf. The turbo four-banger plucked and retuned from base-model Silverados proves strong and more than up to the task of rocketing this Tonka truck cosplayer down sand dunes with ease, and the Multimatic suspension is every bit as capable and impressive as you’d expect from this company.

If you can live with the presumably abysmal fuel economy and the questionable styling, then this is a worthy rival to any fast Ford on the trail or in the open desert. Just mind the steep price tag, because ticking the Bison box on your build sheet will skyrocket the already pricey ZR2 to right around $60,000. You could buy Raptors for not that much more not long ago.

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News

The Dodge Charger EV will be unveiled on March 5—fake engine sounds and all

Dodge debuted the electric Charger Daytona concept quite a while ago, and in the time since, it has discontinued its long-running muscle cars, the Charger and Challenger. The lack of performance cars won’t last long, however, as the automaker recently told reporters that it would reveal a production version of the Charger Daytona on March 5.

Dodge is expected to offer three power levels and more through upgrades later on. The STLA Large platform will underpin the cars, and the automaker can offer performance options via over-the-air updates. The platform can support large battery packs with a range of up to 500 miles of range, but Dodge said it’s not focused on aerodynamics or efficiency with the new cars

Dodge being Dodge, the electric Charger won’t be a by-the-books EV. The company revealed a controversial Fratzonic Chambered Exhaust with the concept car, which for the production car will generate a surprising 126 decibels of artificial exhaust sound. That’s as loud as a gas Hellcat, but simulated engine noises aren’t for everyone.

We can debate the “coolness” of this car until the cows come home, but there’s nothing about this car that looks surprising when taken in context with the rest of the Dodge lineup. The automaker’s loud, somewhat obnoxious vehicles are far from understated, so an EV just as loud by every definition should not raise any eyebrows. 

That said, the jury’s out as to whether the average Dodge customer will warm to the electric muscle car, even if it blows the Hellcats out of the water. It’s hard to imagine that customers previously attracted to rowdy, supercharged V8-powered cars would jump at the chance to exchange their gas guzzlers for an emissions-free muscle car, loud exhaust or not.

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2024 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
FeaturesNew Car Reviews

The 2024 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is the purveyor of modern luxury muscle

Twenty-five years ago, I bet if you asked the average new car buyer looking for a luxury four-seater what their top choices were, what they’d say would be quite different from today. These days, the general populace seems to lean more and more towards crossovers and full-size SUVs for one reason or another, which is a far cry from two decades back when sedans ruled this space. By that same token, for those who wanted a top-performing, naturally aspirated V8 powertrain with some sporty chassis tuning thrown in, even that wasn’t as particular of an ask as it is today. And it really is quite a particular ask now, because only one brand offers such a thing in the compact (or what we’d call a midsize back then) executive class: The 2024 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance.

The Lexus IS 500 is a rare bird in our modern era. Prevalence of crossovers aside—the Nagoya, Japan brand has plenty of those, too—there is truly nothing else on the market with this flavor of power plant. A quarter-decade back, I’m not sure people would think of Lexus as the last bastion of rear-wheel drive V8 enthusiasm with four doors, but it is. 

And It’s also quite good at it: Here’s why the IS 500 is not only a well-appointed everyday luxury sedan for the price but amply fun to drive as well.

2024 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
Image credit: Peter Nelson

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Price and specs

Securing the highest spec costs just $65,670. Not bad for potentially the last naturally aspirated V8-powered sedan ever made, that’s also loaded to the gills with amenities. However, if you’re more keen on getting in as cheaply as possible, all it takes is $61,170, including Lexus’ $1,150 delivery fee. By comparison, the 2024 BMW M340i—a ravenously fun sedan in its own right—starts at $59,590, though doesn’t possess as entertaining of an engine.

Base price:$61,170
As-tested price:$63,600
Engine:5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8
Transmission:8-speed automatic
Drivetrain:Rear-wheel drive
Power:472 hp @ 7,100 rpm
Torque:395 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
Redline:7,100 rpm
Weight:3,891 lbs
0-60 mph:4.4 seconds
MPG:17 city, 25 highway, 20 combined
Observed MPG:19.3 mpg
Fuel capacity:17.4 gallons
Acceleration figures published by Lexus

The base 500 isn’t a bad place to be, either: the F Sport Performance possesses 19-inch Enkei wheels, dual-stacked exhaust pipes (a nod to the IS F and RC F), unique F Sport exterior badging and accouterments, F Sport suspension tuning, and a Torsen limited-slip differential. LED headlights and exterior lighting are present, as is a push button start/stop, an extensive list of tech and safety amenities (more on that later), a comfortable NuLuxe leather interior with a 10-way power adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Moving up to the F Sport Performance Premium swaps the Enkeis for beautiful 19-inch forged BBS wheels (optional on F Sport Performance), and tacks on a handful of exterior upgrades like upgraded headlights, dark chrome window trim, and some neat/unique paint choices. Inside, it gets a Mark Levinson 17-speaker 1800-watt stereo, plus a handful of finer luxury details mixed in. If it were my money, I’d save a couple grand and do the F Sport Performance with those BBS wheels added on.

Design, interior, and infotainment

As far as modern four-door luxury goes, the Lexus IS 500 is certainly a looker. It’s got an overall muscular shape, particularly in its hips, and my tester’s bright and gorgeous Blue Vector paint is contrasted by dark F Sport exterior trim accents and satin black BBS wheels made for one sharp package. The cherry on top are LED headlights, aggressive front fascia, and staggered wheels wrapped in 235-front and 265-rear Summer rubber—these help it pass the Look Back After Parking Test for sure.

Opening the front driver door reveals a spacious environment filled with clean design and all the airiness. It’s a very pleasant place to be. The soft yet nicely bolstered NuLuxe sport seats are quite comfortable and supportive and possess both heating and cooling. The center console and dash area are nicely appointed with real, physical toggles and buttons, and in spite of some piano black plastic here and there, it all feels very solid to the touch. Dual-zone climate control is standard, as is a big sunroof for increasing airiness even further.

Space-wise, my six-foot-three stature had plenty of leg and headroom, and ingress and egress were easy with its big front doors, though I wish I could’ve telescoped the wheel a tad closer to my torso. Rear seat room was great below the waist, though a little tight for someone of my height.

2024 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
Image credit: Peter Nelson

With plenty of physical buttons and a very nice, logical layout, Lexus’ infotainment is one of the better systems I’ve operated in recent years. While the love-it-or-hate-it touchpad is still present (personally, I don’t mind it, and it’s far easier to work than Acura’s), the standard eight-inch touchscreen responded quite well to inputs, and Lexus’ software was generally easy to navigate, save for making a few minor customization changes like touchpad sensitivity, as well as connecting Apple CarPlay. Unfortunately, the latter isn’t wireless.

When it comes to advanced driver assistance technology, a lot is standard for the price. Lexus Safety System+ 2.5’s features begin with frontal collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, automatic high beams, as well as pedestrian and bicyclist detection. Additionally, dynamic radar cruise control is in the mix, which operates in a smooth and predictable fashion, and will even stop and crawl along in traffic. Lane tracing assist works generally well, though has some trouble maintaining the center of the lane on the highway, especially if markers are a bit worn.

What’s hot?– Excellent overall power
– Makes an excellent noise
– Great looks
– Solid ride quality
– Confident well-planted handling
– Good steering
– A comfortable and relaxing place to hang out in
2024 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
Image credit: Peter Nelson

Japan’s manic muscle car in a tidy tuxedo

The main draw for the IS’ 500 designation is its engine: Lexus’ 5.0-liter 2UR-GSE. Producing 472 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque, this mighty IS will hit the 60 mph mark from zero in a reported 4.4 seconds. Not bad for a 3,891-pound sedan. Fun fact: It’s the same basic engine found in Lexus’ RC F GT3 race car, just with a few tweaks and displacement bumped up to 5.4 liters. This mighty beast helped Vasser Sullivan Racing win the driver’s, team’s, and manufacturer’s championship in IMSA’s 2023 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD Pro class.

Unlike other modern V8-equipped hardware, the IS 500 is a little down on low-end torque. It’ll move along just fine below 4,000 RPM, but to get the full experience of all five liters, you have to make sure it’s revved out—I doubt most folks in the market would complain about this, though, as it’s an overall smooth engine at any rpm.

2024 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
Image credit: Peter Nelson

Then, when it comes to any situation that requires wide open throttle, the symphony of induction and exhaust is nothing short of brilliant. While this all-aluminum unit has a faintly lumpy, conventional-sounding V8 burble at idle and lower revs while cruising around town, it perks up nicely in the mid-range and doesn’t stop roaring until its 7,100-rpm redline. An actuator in the intake system opens up around 4,000 rpm to let in even more bass-filled induction roar, too, and it’s a very welcome addition to the overall experience.

It may be a little slow down low in the tachometer, but it more than makes up for it up top. In addition to its beautiful five-liter soundtrack, its linear power curve gets a tad steeper past 4,500 rpm. For reference, it’s like a cross between Ford’s 5.0-liter Coyote and BMW’s legendary 4.0-liter S65—some American flavor in the way it burbles in the low and midrange, yet it spins up quite smoothly and quickly up high like the near-race-level Bavarian creation. Additionally, the torque shove never gets old, so it’s quite difficult to drive with optimal fuel economy in mind.

Image credit: Peter Nelson

F Sport Performance = An F-Lite for the day-to-day grind

When the IS 500 first came out a few years ago, the talk of the town was whether it was the successor to Lexus’ M3 fighter from ten-or-so years ago, the beloved IS F sport sedan. Also known as the luxury sport sedan for folks who don’t want to deal with moody European reliability. Having driven both on very fun SoCal roads, I must affirm that it’s not, but it’s still quite good for what it is.

Think of it as an F-lite: The F Sport Performance’s modus operandi is solid overall handling and steering. 

Around town, Lexus’ adaptive variable dampers’ sportiest Sport S+ mode, the 500 was quite compliant and daily-able. By that same token, its steering was comfortably light and easy to spin around in easy-going day-in, day-out driving. The package dealt with Los Angeles’ roughest surfaces quite well. In fact, I didn’t notice much of a difference between Sport S+ and the supposed-to-be-softer Sport S, although there was some definite softening up in Normal. I could feel its Summer tires’ thinner/harder sidewall over particularly brutal roadway imperfections, but it was still quite solid and well-damped across all modes.

Then, the 500’s eight-speed conventional automatic transmission shifts smoothly and often enough to help offset its thirsty powerplant—no complaints there. Again, top marks for daily-bility.

Then, to bolster its one-car-to-do-it-all appeal further: This thing is so much fun on twisty roads.

2024 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
Image credit: Peter Nelson

A fun sedan that can dance with the best of ’em

Those aforementioned adaptive dampers are wrapped in double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension that keeps the IS 500 F Sport’s body roll well contained in twisty, mountain-top sweepers. There’s still some lean to it—it’s a big, comfortable sedan, after all—but not to the point of easily upsetting the tires’ contact patch. Grip levels felt ample and hard to shake while sailing this 3,900-pound Japanese sedan through the San Gabriel Mountains’ famous sweepers at speed. The front end was vague, as was turn-in a few degrees off-center. But the steering loaded up nicely off-center in the corners, which, combined with a pretty quick steering ratio, made for an engaging experience. 

People often point to older BMWs and Mercedes as having a certain bank vault feel to them while rolling down the road—the IS 500 is the modern iteration of this, and especially when it comes to staying composed in the twisties.

2024 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
Image credit: Peter Nelson

Then, if you’re ever in a situation where traction control happens to be off, and you need to make an especially tight U-turn, or you’re inclined to expedite warming up the rear tires with some playful opposite lock through a wide-open intersection, the 500 has you covered. Oversteer is wonderfully controllable thanks to the Torsen limited-slip differential at the rear axle, especially with a committed right foot to dispatch as much of that 395 pound-feet of torque as possible.

Finally, keeping a handle on all that power and grip are two-piece 14-inch front and 12.7-inch rear brake rotors. The initial bite was soft, and they were a bit vague to modulate, though that’s to be expected for something with daily versatility in mind. The pads held up reasonably well at a quick pace in the twisties and only started to overheat and fade after 20 or so minutes of harder driving. But I bet this could be easily resolved with some better aftermarket pads.

2024 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
Image credit: Peter Nelson
What’s not?– Infotainment can be a tad confusing
– Slightly lacking in low-end torque
– Little communication from the front end in corners at high speed
– Brakes are a little soft and lacking in modulation

A final bastion for V8 sport sedans

In spite of its appealing specs that make for one entertaining and versatile driving experience, it’s still a little surprising that Lexus is the last operation on the block to offer a rear-wheel drive luxury sedan with a revvy and ever-entertaining V8. It’s actually utilized this formula for decades in one way or another, but seems to always be overshadowed by the likes of BMW or Mercedes-Benz, which definitely adds to the appeal.

Good on Lexus for sticking to its guns. 

EVs, PHEVs, and standard hybrids are great, as is lively turbocharged fare, but the versatility and potency of a V8 will always be music to enthusiasts’ ears (pun intended). And with everything else around it, like nicely tuned suspension and solid luxury chops, it’s an especially compelling final iteration. It’s all but certain that another all-motor V8 four-door luxury sedan will never come along, but luckily, the IS 500 F Sport is a solid overall last chapter that’d put a smile on any enthusiasts’ face day in and day out.

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Mustang Kentucky State Trooper
News

Kentucky State Troopers spied with a new Ford Mustang GT police car

Hey, uh. So remember that news bite I did a little while ago about Idaho doing this sort of thing? Well, Kentucky is on it now too. As reported by MSN and making waves throughout the Mustang community, Kentucky State Troopers have been spied with a brand new toy in the form of a 2024 Ford Mustang GT. Such a move comes not long after the car’s arrival at dealerships just earlier this year, with Idaho State Troopers spotted rocking a similar interceptor in their black-and-white police livery.

Mustang Kentucky State Trooper
Image credit: Twitter, AdkisonUSMC

The car has been spied rocking Kentucky’s own gray-and-blue livery but with no visible exterior lightbar or bullbar. However, there are hidden lightbars behind the front and rear windshields. Other than its livery, it looks mostly stock. Which isn’t a bad thing, given the current S650 Mustang GT’s healthy 480-horsepower output, six-piston Brembos, and revised chassis. While available pics are scarce, the Mustang also seems to be lacking any sort of interior hardware for mounting radios, guns, or computers, or perhaps that’s to come at a later date.

Cough, no one tell them about the Steeda packages they can get, cough.

Street racers and takeover lame-O’s, beware, as it seems state law enforcement is preparing to fight fire with fire. Or just toy around with excess taxpayer money. It’s clear that law enforcement agencies across the country have a keen interest in fast, agile pony cars, which would make for great publicity tools and highway interceptors on these states’ vast expanses of asphalt. The adoption of such vehicles continues to harken back to the days of the Mustang SSP police car, which was adopted by agencies all across the country in the days of the Fox Body ‘Stang, from California to Florida. And while this is no official Ford police car, it’s still a kickass treat nonetheless and even potentially a threat to would-be road delinquents.

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News

Leaked images of new Charger leave a lot of unanswered questions

The year was 2005, I was a junior in high school and going through my American V8 phase of automotive enthusiasm. And what a time it was. GM’s LS engines were proving to everyone that push rods were still relevant, Ford was tinkering with its Mustang to try and make it faster than a 3-year-old Camaro, and Chrysler took to the stage to give the world the new Dodge Charger

Fast forward to today, the Camaro is on the outs again, and the Dodge Charger we all know and love, based loosely on some old Mercedes architecture, is ending production as well. And before announcing the end of the Charger, Stellantis, the faceless conglomerate that owns Dodge, announced its replacement: a two-door coupe with long sweeping lines and a wide, low stance. A callback to the Charger from the late 1960s, an icon of the American muscle car and Dominic Taretto’s daily driver. But it’s electric, which is great for some people. Many enthusiasts weren’t so thrilled about it, however.

For a while now, all the Mopar enthusiasts had to go on was the Daytona EV concept from 2022. And when it comes to Dodge and their concept cars, you can’t take anything to heart. But people had a lot of questions and received no answers. Dodge even came out to SEMA only to show off the new Fratzonic chambered exhaust designed to mimic the sound of a V8. Mopar fans were left a bit disappointed. 

New insider photos give a few clues about what Stellantis has planned for its production version of the Dodge Daytona EV concept.
Image credit: LX & Beyond Nationals

On Tuesday, some wonderful person who we can assume works at a Stellantis assembly plant leaked three photos of what everyone is assuming is the new Charger. Obviously, we don’t have any information on who leaked the photos, probably because they want to keep their job. The photos don’t tell us too much. They are just the main bodies of the cars, a cryptic image that has left the internet rife with speculation about what it could mean.

Image credit: LX & Beyond Nationals

The biggest takeaway from the images is the front portion of the unibody looks wide enough to accommodate an engine assembly. Backing that up is what appears to be a transmission tunnel, though, in my eyes, it looks a bit shallow. This leaves a lot open to assumption. Stellantis does have the Hurricane inline six, and there have been videos of what looks and sounds like a TRX testing with said Hurricane engine. Maybe, with the recent cooling trend of the EV market, Stellantis is planning on releasing the Charger as an ICE-powered vehicle before going full EV. Or there will be multiple options available as far as the powertrain goes. 

Image credit: LX & Beyond Nationals

Again, this is purely speculation, and Stellantis hasn’t released any kind of statement about the images.

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Idaho state trooper Ford Mustang GT
News

Ford Mustang GT rocking Idaho State Trooper livery could be a new Mustang SSP

Well, isn’t this bad news for punks in the Gem State who might be thinking of tearing up the highways? Courtesy of reputable Mustang forum, Mustang7G, and user, br_an, we have a good look at what’s very much an S650-generation Ford Mustang GT dressed up in Idaho State Trooper attire. From the blacked-out paint to the decals, it’s all there.

Note that there’s currently no public statement or press release from the Idaho state troopers regarding the car, nor is there any follow-up in the forum about its authenticity. So we can’t even guarantee this is a real in-service police car. But it’d be hard to believe someone would blow all that money on a new Mustang plus the convincing livery to risk getting nabbed for impersonating law enforcement.

Idaho state trooper Ford Mustang GT
Image: Mustang7G

With mostly flat lands and occasionally cascading hills, it’d make sense to demo the return of any sort of Mustang police interceptors on Idaho highways. Given the storied history of the Mustang SSP, which saw widespread use across the country in the ’80s and ’90s, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time. Nowadays, the idea of a bespoke highway patrol interceptor built from a repurposed sports car isn’t totally alien. But it’s indeed uncommon for a department to shell out the money on a new one rather than pluck one from a crime scene or auction. A few tuners even offer packages to police departments that source vehicles that will “chase Porsches for a living.

Does this mark the return of a Mustang SSP model or the widespread use of Mustangs in law enforcement? Nah. Most definitely not. But it sure is a badass way to rile up the children and blow through your local government’s taxpayer dollars.

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RTR Mustang REALLY drifting
FeaturesNews

Witness the RTR Mustang as it finishes suspension testing

We’re Ford Mustang fans here at Acceleramota. I’ve long been a die-hard fanboy, and our founder and CEO claims to have converted after witnessing them in the flesh in Detroit. So of course we’re excited to see more of the inner workings behind one of the most intriguing and exciting tuner ponies, the RTR Mustang, which had recently completed suspension testing and validation. And thanks to their press release shared with reputable forum, Mustang7G, we have the scoop on everything that goes into making a fast Ford go faster.

Following months of exciting launch events, photos, and a dealership tour, the RTR Ford Mustang officially completed suspension testing at the North Carolina Center for Automotive Research or NCCAR. At the helm and relaying feedback to the development team was IMSA driver, Billy Johnson. The young driver recently championed the Ford GT GTE cars during their stint and previously helped develop the Ford GT supercar, the Shelby GT350 and GT500 sports cars, and the Mustang GT4 and FP350S race cars.

Under Johnson’s guidance, the RTR team could fine-tune every aspect of the dynamics, both on track and over 20,000 claimed street miles, to pursue confidence-inspiring neutrality with plenty of room for adjustability. To achieve this goal, it meant fiddling with the adjustable dampers, sway bars, and different tire packages.

Different sizes for the Nitto NT555 G2 tire packages and adjustable suspension will allow customers to skew grip levels to their liking and induce traits such as under or oversteer. RTR intends to offer a squared set of 275-wide tires and a staggered set of 305-wide front and 315-wide rear tires, mimicking packages found on the Dark Horse and previous Mustang Mach 1 and Shelby GT350.

According to their test results, the RTR Mustang lapped NCCAR two seconds quicker than a stock Mustang GT Performance Package. Even cooler, a stickier tire setup on top of their suspension package shaved another 1.2 seconds, widening the gap between a modified and unmodified Mustang GT to a lifetime in motorsports. Mind you, this is merely their “mid-tier” Spec 2 model, which still leaves room for a supercharged Spec 3 and (fingers crossed) a widebody Spec 5.

In a separate walk-around video, two-time Formula D champion and RTR founder, Vaughn Gittin Jr., expresses transparency regarding the current RTR’s base setup. It reportedly won’t strive to be the winner at any given driving discipline, but it will ship with a neutral chassis setup that’s still potent on track out of the box but easy to tune for customers wanting more.

Founded in 2011, RTR Vehicles – Ready To Rock – has been acclaimed for what are perceived as the most youthful Ford Mustangs, forgoing the alleged “Boomer” status of legacy tuners like Roush or Shelby American, for slightly less money. And while its eccentric identity may deter some would-be buyers, there’s no denying the individuality and tunability rarely seen from rival tuners or factory cars. Or at least not for the same money. 

So yeah. We’re Mustang fans here at Acceleramota. And the RTR Mustang might just tickle our fancy a little bit more.

RTR Mustang apexing corner
Image: RTR Vehicles

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2025 Mustang GTD reveal crowd perspective
Features

The Detroit Auto Show cements the Ford Mustang as America’s sports car

The Ford Mustang, America’s athletic, boorish, and rowdy son since 1964. A frequent patron of the Woodward Dream Cruise and GRIDLIFE time attack. Your neighbor has one. Your classmate has one. Your cool relative has one. The 83,195 hypebeast high schoolers at the local nighttime car meet each have one. The Mustang is as synonymous with Americarna as Route 66, Smokey and the Bandit, or the Rascal Flatts cover of “Life is a Highway.” There’s a Mustang on every block. And no matter your taste, there’s certainly a Mustang for you.

Six decades and countless revisions, engine changes, and suspension overhauls later, we arrive at the new 2024 Ford Mustang – the S650 generation, an evolution in Ford’s muscle car-turned-sports car. From a glance, not much has changed from the S550 generation that ran from 2015 to 2023, but this new Mustang takes pride in all the minute changes Ford made. A little more power here. A bit more chassis composure there. Ford’s definitely taken a “don’t mess with success” stance. That is, unless you have supercar money to blow.

2025 Mustang GTD full driver side profile lower rear angle
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

Following a virtual announcement on August 17, 2023, the Mustang GTD made its public debut at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car show in California the next day. The carbon-bodied beast sits on an eight-speed transaxle, giving it a nearly 50:50 weight distribution. A few weeks later, we had the chance to see the ‘Stang for ourselves at the Detroit Auto Show. With a price tag well into the six figures, however, most people will never see a Mustang GTD in real life, let alone afford one themselves.

As for the rest of us, does the 2024 Mustang work? Or has Ford’s march of modernity muddied its latest pony car? Let’s take a look.

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2024 Ford Mustang price and trim levels

2024 Mustang Dark Horse front fascia
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

When Ford says there’s a Mustang for everyone, that’s no exaggeration. This unwavering truth is evident in everything from the options packages to the engine choices and that eye-popping disparity in pricing between the least and most expensive models.

Mustang EcoBoost

  • Starting Price: $30,920 (Fastback), $39,020 (Convertible)
  • EcoBoost Standard Features:
    • 2.3L EcoBoost I4
    • 10-speed automatic
    • 3.15 final drive ratio
    • Split-screen interior dash design
    • 12.4-inch LCD cluster
    • 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment w/ SYNC 4
    • Ford Co-Pilot 360 Technology w/ lane keep assist, lane keep alert, and blind-spot monitoring
    • Rearview camera w/ parking sensors
    • Rain-sensing wipers
    • Auto high-beams
    • Pre-collision warning w/ auto braking
    • 6-speaker stereo

Mustang EcoBoost Premium

  • Starting Price: $36,445 (Fastback), $41,945 (Convertible)
  • EcoBoost Standard Features (on top of base):
    • Connected single-screen dash design
    • Heated/cooled leather seats
    • Heated leather steering wheel w/ chrome bezel
    • Multi-color ambient lighting
    • Remote start for 10-speed auto transmission
    • Dual-zone climate control
    • 9-speaker stereo system
    • Wireless charging pad
    • Aluminum pedals
    • Universal garage opener

Mustang GT

  • Starting Price: $42,495
  • GT Standard Features:
    • 5.0L Coyote V8
    • Getrag 6-speed manual
    • 3.55 final drive ratio
    • Split-screen interior dash design
    • 12.4-inch LCD cluster
    • 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment w/ SYNC 4
    • Ford Co-Pilot 360 Technology w/ lane keep assist, lane keep alert, and blind-spot monitoring
    • Rearview camera w/ parking sensors
    • Rain-sensing wipers
    • Auto high-beams
    • Pre-collision warning w/ auto braking
    • 6-speaker stereo

Mustang GT Premium

  • Starting Price: $47,015 (Fastback), $52,515 (Convertible)
  • Premium Standard Features (on top of base):
    • Connected single-screen dash design
    • Heated/cooled leather seats
    • Heated leather steering wheel w/ chrome bezel
    • Multi-color ambient lighting
    • Remote start for 10-speed auto transmission
    • Dual-zone climate control
    • 9-speaker stereo system
    • Wireless charging pad
    • Aluminum pedals
    • Universal garage opener

Mustang Dark Horse

  • Starting Price: $59,270
  • Dark Horse Standard Features:
    • 5.0L Coyote V8 w/ revised manifold
    • Tremec 6-speed manual w/ titanium shift knob
    • Engine oil, transmission, and differential coolers
    • Torsen rear differential w/ 3.73 final drive ratio
    • Revised suspension and electronic assist tuning
    • 12.4-inch LCD cluster
    • 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment w/ SYNC 4
    • Ford Co-Pilot 360 Technology w/ lane keep assist, lane keep alert, and blind-spot monitoring
    • Rearview camera w/ parking sensors
    • Rain-sensing wipers
    • Auto high-beams
    • Pre-collision warning w/ auto braking
    • Vinyl/cloth seats
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Multi-color ambient lighting
    • Remote start for 10-speed auto transmission
    • Dual-zone climate control
    • 9-speaker stereo system
    • Wireless charging pad
    • Universal garage opener

Mustang Dark Horse Premium

  • Starting Price: $63,265
  • Premium Standard Features (on top of base):
    • Heated/cooled leather seats
    • Aluminum pedals
    • Universal garage opener

Mustang GTD

  • Starting Price: TBA; approx. $300,000
  • GTD Standard Features:
    • 5.2L supercharged V8
    • 8-speed dual-clutch transaxle
    • Multimatic DSSV dampers
    • Pushrod rear suspension
    • Active aerodynamics
    • Carbon fiber bodywork inspired by Mustang GT3

2024 Ford Mustang exterior color options

Mustang EcoBoost/GT

  • Shadow Black
  • Oxford White
  • Iconic Silver
  • Race Red
  • Rapid Red Metallic (+495)
  • Atlas Blue Metallic
  • Grabber Blue Metallic
  • Dark Matter Gray Metallic
  • Vapor Blue Metallic
  • Carbonized Gray Metallic
  • Yellow Splash Metallic (+995)

Mustang Dark Horse

  • Shadow Black
  • Oxford White
  • Race Red
  • Atlas Blue Metallic
  • Grabber Blue Metallic
  • Dark Matter Gray Metallic
  • Vapor Blue Metallic
  • Carbonized Gray Metallic
  • Blue Ember Metallic (+1,500, Dark Horse Premium only)

Mustang GTD

  • TBA; possibly paint-to-sample

2024 Ford Mustang interior color options

Mustang non-Premium

  • Black Onyx
  • Space Gray

Mustang Premium

  • Black Onyx
  • Space Gray
  • Emerglo
  • Carmine Red

Mustang Dark Horse/Dark Horse Premium

  • Deep Indigo

Mustang GTD

  • TBA

Interior and tech

Through interior comfort and technology, the Mustang asserts itself as the do-everything sports car for the masses. Carry luggage? There’s a cavernous trunk with split-folding rear seats for that. Or, if you wish, you can use the rear seats to transport real, breathing adult humans – kind of important, that breathing part – in a pinch. The fastback roofline may not permit above-average-height people, but two or two-and-a-half Kevin Harts will do. The current crop of Mustangs sports plenty of cabin space for, uh, let’s say big-boned Americans, meaning taking a GT on an actual grand tour won’t be an exercise in keeping your claustrophobia under wraps. As a fun touch, the steering wheel now rocks a sleek flat-bottom design with pronounced thumb bolsters.

2024 Ford Mustang front cabin
Image credit: Ford

As you can see, tech is where the S650 Mustang sees the most transformative revolution. Whereas the exterior appears to be an alternate facelift of the first 2015 cars, the interior could pass as something from BMW. Or Hyundai. Or Kia. Or Honda.

Huh. I’m starting to see a pattern with these present-day cars.

Okay, so it’s a little derivative, and perhaps that’ll date it heavily in the future unlike limited runs crafted from the ground up to be timeless, like the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale. But unlike an exotic supercar, the Mustang is here and now. It’s meant to be driven. Not only to cars and coffee or the track, but to the supermarket, doctor’s appointments, and long road trips with the fam. In keeping with modern trends, its clean, efficient, and upscale appearance is warranted.

2024 Ford Mustang steering wheel and instrument cluster
Image credit: Ford

Whether you embrace it or condemn it to burn at the stake, the high-mounted display-centric dashboard is here to stay for the S650 Mustang. That move appreciably elevates lower-trim cars to new heights, no longer forcing buyers to cope with the Texas Instruments calculators that adorned the prior-gen base models. The new screen location brings information closer to your sightlines, meaning less looking down at the center stack, and enables wannabe racers to run those badass billet short shifters without obstructing the screen. SYNC 4 is standard across the board, as is CarPlay, Android Auto, Ford safety assists, a rearview camera with parking sensors, and digital gauges.

Speaking of, yes, that oh-so goofy Fox Body gauge mode for the digital gauges is very much real and available across all models, Premium or not. It’s a touching bit of nostalgia for the younger hoonigans who know Fox Bodies from Need For Speed or elder millennials finally admitting their mid-life crisis. More new cars need harmless gimmicks like this. 

2024 Ford Mustang instrumental cluster
Image credit: Ford

Adjustable drive modes are now available to all, whereas prior models only featured them on Premium trims. New for the S650 is the addition of individual presets for tailoring the steering, throttle, brakes-by-wire feel, and, if equipped, MagneRide and active exhaust.

With all this head-spinning adjustment and an expansive safety net of nannies, the S650 Mustang can easily make itself at home on the commute as it can on the circuit. Set everything to full-kill Track Mode and let those rear tires howl. Or slap everything in Slippery or Normal and let it transform from a steroidal sports coupe to a lazy boulevard cruiser at the tap of a screen. Perhaps the only criticism one can have of all this control is most of it is accessible only through the screen, including climate controls, which are thankfully always visible on a strip located at the bottom of the screen display. 

Oh, and if you’re an especially childish goober with more whimsy than a McDonald’s PlayPlace, 10-speed auto cars feature a Remote Rev function. Yes, this is exactly as it sounds. You can remotely rev your Mustang while parked via the key fob up to 5,000 rpm. A neat party trick for the next family reunion or Oakland sideshow.

2024 Ford Mustang dashboard
Image credit: Ford

Dimensions

Exterior dimensions:

  • Length: 189.4 inches
  • Width: 75.4 inches
  • Width w/ mirrors: 81.9 inches
  • Wheelbase: 107 inches

Interior space:

  • Passenger volume: 79.2 cu. ft. (convertible), 82.8 cu. ft. (fastback)
  • Seating: 4
  • Front headroom: 37.6 inches
  • Rear headroom: 34.8 inches
  • Front shoulder room: 56.3 inches
  • Rear shoulder room: 52.2 inches
  • Front legroom: 44.5 inches
  • Rear legroom: 29.0 inches
  • Cargo volume: 11.4 cu. Ft. (convertible), 13.5 cu. ft. (fastback)
2024 Ford Mustang black Recaro seats with blue accents
Image credit: Ford
2024 Ford Mustang white Recaro seats with blue accents
Image credit: Ford

Fuel economy and range

Economy, eh? On a Mustang? Alrighty, then. 

Paired with the sole choice, the 10-speed auto, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost returns a solid 22 mpg city, 33 highway, and 26 combined. That equates to a total highway range of 528 miles. Interestingly, opting for the Performance Package EcoBoost drops the ratings to 21 city, 29 highway, and 24 combined, likely due to the stickier summer tires and shorter final drive. But who needs fuel economy when you have faster lap times? No? Okay, fine.

GTs, at best with the 10-speed, manage 15 city, 24 highway, and 18 combined. Six-speed manuals drop each figure by one across the board, meaning the most miserly Mustangs barely eke out 384 miles on the interstate. Due to their slightly more aggressive aero and stickier rubber options, Dark Horses with either transmission manage one less mile per gallon on the highway, earning a rating of 22 mpg and dropping range to 352 miles. The lead-footed will likely not come close to any of these numbers.

The ultra-rare and ultra-violent GTD and its supercharged V8 are too far out to receive any fuel economy information. If the GT500 is anything to go off of, it’ll most likely be abysmal. Let’s just say it will at least get one mpg. Not certain, but maybe. 

  • City Economy: 21 to 22 mpg (EcoBoost), 14 to 15 mpg (GT, Dark Horse), TBA (GTD)
  • Highway Economy: 29 to 33 mpg (EcoBoost), 23 to 24 mpg (GT), 22 mpg (Dark Horse), TBA (GTD)
  • Combined Economy: 24 to 26 mpg (EcoBoost), 17 to 18 mpg (GT), 17 mpg (Dark Horse), TBA (GTD)
  • Maximum Range: 464 to 528 miles (EcoBoost), 368 to 384 miles (GT), 352 miles (Dark Horse), TBA (GTD)
  • Fuel Capacity: 16.0 gallons

Engines, transmissions, and performance

Ah, yes. The section for spec sheet drag racers and couch potato canyon carvers. Performance is why buyers choose Mustangs and other pony cars over Nissan Zs or Subaru BRZs. Asphalt-shredding performance and thundering engines are the soul of the Mustang lineage, and the S650 generation carries that torch with pride and faithfulness. 

2024 Mustang Dark Horse rear exhaust and diffuser
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

The Little Four-Banger That Could flexes a healthy 315 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, the same torque level but up five horses over the old car. While no outlet has launched any instrumented tests at the time of writing, I imagine that’ll yield straight-line acceleration on par with the outgoing model. However, GTs and Dark Horses are a different story, now wielding the fourth generation of the acclaimed free-breathing, high-revving 5.0-liter Coyote V8. Now, with a wee bit more displacement and a dual intake system, the mighty Coyote belches out a healthy 480 horsepower or 486 with the freer-flowing active exhaust and 418 pound-feet. Dark Horses use strengthened internals and revised tuning to generate 500 horses.

All “plebeian” spec Mustangs can mate powertrains to the now-famed 10-speed automatic, acclaimed for its snappy gearing, effectiveness in drag racing, and clever programming but sometimes knocked for iffy paddle shifter response at anything but full-tilt. However, the brawny V8s receive offers to join the Save The Manuals club, as the embarrassingly low take rate for manual EcoBoosts killed that powertrain combo entirely. GTs work with the controversial Getrag MT-82 six-speed manual, which is now as slick and accurate as ever, but pundits and Mustang fans alike have expressed concerns over longevity and how this new iteration will fair compared to older ones. Dark Horses rock the even-slicker and far more stout Tremec six-speed, previously featured in the Mach 1 and Shelby GT350 and now topped with an almost JDM tuner-like titanium knob.

2024 Ford Mustang manual gear shift
Image credit: Ford

Acceleration from the few outlets who ran the new GT and Dark Horse against the clock is only marginally quicker than the cars they replace, despite the notable increase in power. But that still equates to being faster than you’ll ever need on the street and most tracks. Handling Package-equipped Dark Horses manage to out-handle their forebearers, thanks to specially formulated 180-treadwear semi-slicks. However, the GT’s handling, while reportedly sharper than ever, also trails slightly in grip. This mild step down is likely due to their Premium test cars weighing roughly 100 pounds heavier than non-Premium trims and the outgoing generation GTs, as well as Ford’s odd decision to move away from their well-received Michelin tires to Pirellis PZeros. 

Or, as my generation loves to say to write off flukes: “Ha, skill issue.”

2024 Mustang GT3 livery front driver side profile
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

Stats

  • Engine: 2.3L EcoBoost I4 (EcoBoost), 5.0L Coyote V8 (GT, Dark Horse), 5.2L supercharged V8 (GTD)
  • Transmission: 10-speed automatic, Getrag 6-speed manual (GT), Tremec 6-speed manual (Dark Horse), 8-speed dual-clutch transaxle (GTD)
  • Drivetrain: rear-wheel drive
  • HP: 315 horsepower (EcoBoost), 480 horsepower (GT), 486 horsepower (GT w/ active exhaust), 500 horsepower (Dark Horse), approx. 800 horsepower (GTD)
  • Torque: 350 lb-ft (EcoBoost), 418 lb-ft (GT, Dark Horse), 730 lb-ft (GTD)
  • Redline: 6,400 rpm (EcoBoost), 7,500 rpm (GT, Dark Horse), TBA; approx. 7,400 rpm (GTD)
  • Weight: approx. 3,600 pounds (EcoBoost), approx. 3,820 pounds (non-Premium GT/Dark Horse), approx. 3,920 (Premium GT, Dark Horse), TBA; approx. 3,400 pounds (GTD)
  • 0 – 60 mph: approx. 5.0 seconds (EcoBoost), approx. 3.8 to 4.1 seconds (GT), approx. 3.7 to 4.0 (Dark Horse), approx. 3.2 (GTD)
  • ¼-mile: approx. 13.5 seconds (EcoBoost), approx. 12.0 to 12.5 seconds (GT), approx. 11.8 to 12.3 seconds (Dark Horse), approx. 10.8 seconds (GTD)

Note that our figures are mere approximations based on existing instrumented tests of current and prior Mustangs, as you’ll see in our review round-up. Not all variants of the new S650 Mustang have been running against the clock, but their similarities with their forebearers lay a fairly trustworthy groundwork off which we can estimate. 

2024 Mustang Dark Horse Brembo brake and wheel
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

2024 Ford Mustang review round-up

Sadly, no one on the Acceleramota payroll has been graced by the Blue Oval’s generosity with a seat in an S650… Yet. But! There are plenty of legacy mags and veteran journos who have, and they sure as hell have had plenty to say!

From traffic-packed commuting to canyon ripping, the optional MagneRide suspension dampers cover ground with a synthesis of plushness and stability. In their firmest setting, undulating pavement can agitate the car, but not in an overly stiff or punishing way. Comfort pervades in the softest mode, without ceding poise for cutting a corner off the boulevard. Long highway cruises prove their touring aptitude, and on twisting two-lanes they return a sophisticated connection with the pavement. These are key to the 2024 Mustang’s great breadth of capability.

Alex Leanse, Motor Trend

First and foremost, the top-tier Mustang [Dark Horse] may weigh nearly 4,000 pounds, but it wears its weight well. Instead of attempting to squeeze into whatever’s on the rack at H&M, it’s comfortably slipping into athletic-cut threads at the big and tall store. This was especially true of its brakes; they never softened up or lost bite. Every time I’d dive into an incredibly late apex to enter the track’s infield, the brakes felt amply powerful and had no indication of ever fading away. Their ease of modulation and excellent pedal feel made slicing through a smorgasbord of early, late, and double-apexes both fun and trivial for any driver, no matter the skill level.

Peter Nelson, The Drive

While the Mustang EcoBoost doesn’t exactly feel at home on tight twisty roads, it’s not a sloppy mess, either. The electronically assisted steering is lacking feel but a quicker ratio over the last-gen car means hand-shuffling happens far less. The chassis is set up for safety, so the front wheels will always give up before the rear. You can make it rotate with enough patience, but just under 3,600 pounds to lug around means cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata or Toyota GR86 are far better choices if your commute has a bunch of fun corners. The payoff is, of course, a set of semi-usable back seats and a decently-sized trunk. If twisties are your thing and you absolutely must have a four-cylinder Mustang, we recommend opting for the Performance Package, as it gets you a Torsen limited-slip differential, 19-inch wheels with summer tires, bigger Brembo brakes, and a strut tower brace.

Brian Silvestro, Road & Track

Run ragged on some of the best canyon roads Los Angeles County has to offer, the new Mustang GT is shockingly poised and well balanced. Instead of bucking through bends, the new Mustang dives in and carves through, with speeds and confidence previously only exhibited by Shelby-badged cars. Although we wish a touch more road chatter was transmitted through the new steering rack, its effort and weighting are bang on, as is the suspension tuning. As to the latter, Sport and Track noticeably stiffen things up while still allowing enough compliance to avoid upsetting the car over midcorner impacts.

Christian Seabaugh, Motor Trend

In short, it’s more of the same, but that’s a good thing if nothing groundbreaking. A better Mustang than ever before while being notably sharper and a smidge quicker, yes. Unsurprising, as reporters spout those same words with every new iteration of Mustang, but it’s a breath of fresh air nonetheless to have a car that breathes without an inhaler, shifts by your command, and sings to the high heavens with a voice unmuffled by turbo or electrified nonsense.

Well, you know. At least that’s the case for the naturally aspirated V8. Hey, nothing wrong with a Mach-E or the EcoBoost either!

2025 Mustang GTD reveal crowd perspective
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

The fresh interior tech works quite well, even if it raised a few eyebrows. The revised steering rack may have taken two steps forward and two steps back, trading weight and feedback for speed and accuracy. However, some journos do enjoy the lighter weighting. Driving experiences are highly subjective matters to discuss, after all. But most agree the Mustang is a worthy successor, a perfect homage to Mustangs of the past, and a decent enough improvement in most aspects of driving dynamics.

Could it be even faster? Even sharper? Of course it can! It’s a Mustang, duh! Ford knows that, and the aftermarket knows that, and the latter has already been foaming at the mouth with what they can do. Skeptics should stay tuned for that.

Race cars galore!

Nuh-uh. You aren’t leaving this page without me shoving this down your throat. 

Since the days of the S197-generation Boss 302, Ford has doubled down on its efforts positioning the Mustang to challenge the world. And what better place to do that than the circuit? The last generation saw variants based heavily upon the Shelby GT350, but now Ford aims to expand even further beyond with increasingly manic race trims of the famed nameplate. 

2024 Mustang GT3 livery front driver side profile
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

At the bottom rung sit the Dark Horse S and the Dark Horse R, stripped-down and relatively tame track-only editions of the Dark Horse road car. Little is known about the S other than being the less aggressive stablemate to the R. The latter comes ready to race out of the box, with road car-based aero, a traditional six-speed stick, and a virtually unchanged 5.0-liter Coyote V8, which even uses the same factory airboxes. It appears like a lightly modified Dark Horse road car from a distance – psst, if you really want the wheels, they’ll soon be a Ford Performance catalog part. A neat party piece to the R is the shim-based camber plates, which adjust by removing or adding shims to tweak the camber to the driver’s liking while being far less likely to come out of alignment than tightening down some bolts. Get ready to see these tear it up at advanced track days, club racing events, and the soon-to-launch Mustang Challenge series.

Mustang Dark Horse R Ford Performance livery with Mustang sculpture in background
Image credit: Gabe Carey (Acceleramota)

The Mustang GT4 ups the game with a legit wing setup pulled straight from Forza Motorsport and a more hardcore sequential gearbox. Like the Dark Horse R, there’s no Looney Toons widebody or ultra-bespoke motor. It’s still built to be a close representation of the street car, even sporting the same 5.0-liter V8. Except now, the transmission is a pneumatic dog-ring unit, and the suspension rocks dynamic spool-valve dampers by renowned builder, Multimatic, the same folks behind the dampers of the Camaro Z/28 and ZL1 1LE who helped bring the most recent Ford GT supercar to life.

Now we’re getting somewhere with the Mustang V8 Supercar built for, you guessed it, the Australian V8 Supercars series. It’s like NASCAR… But Aussie. The body is wider. The engine is horsepower-er. And the car is right-hand-drive-er. Yes, these are words now. Not much is known other than its speculated 600 horsepower output from a Coyote-based 5.4-liter V8 that breathes through a single throttle body instead of the dual design. Interestingly, it seems to be the only Ford Performance racing effort not to have any relation to the Dark Horse or Mustang road cars in general and is the only one to feature styling cues from the GT instead. Not a bad looker, either, as the last iteration was, uh, pretty damn hideous.

Atop the food chain sits the king, the one to lead the Mustang name into international motorsports stardom. The Mustang GT3 garnered acclaim and excitement for enabling the Mustang name to take on the world’s fastest, succeeding the venerable Ford GT LM GTE-Pro. There’s a carbon fiber widebody dotted with enough slots and holes to be mistaken for a Jack The Ripper victim, with the C-pillar-mounted swan neck wing acting as the cherry on top. Beneath the hood sits a unique 5.4-liter V8 co-developed with M-Sport, which, along with the V8 Supercar’s mill, are the first 5.4-liter V8s in any Mustang, race or street, since the 2012 Shelby GT500. Best of all, the groundwork set by Multimatic and the GT3 will give way to a monstrous storm brewing in the Blue Oval’s street car department.

The GTD: The storm that is approaching

Ah, lastly, we can’t forget about this. I can see it now. 

“Hey, I like your c-”

“More than you can afford, pal.”

“Huh?”

Ford.”

“Dude, what?”

“Forget about it, cuh.”

Following much hype surrounding a possible GT3 road car, Ford debuted the flagship GTD track special, a limited-edition supercar among pony cars built in conjunction with Multimatic. And you thought all those stats I threw earlier were nonsense filler.

The Mustang GTD exercises the full brunt of what Ford can do with the S650 Mustang platform, starting by sending a body-in-white to Multimatic to receive goodies such as the stunning carbon fiber GT3-inspired widebody. However, being a road car, gave Ford and Multimatic greater liberty to exercise more high-performance muscles in their pursuit of taking on the world’s fastest. This Mustang utilizes electronically height-adjustable suspension with pushrod rear suspension, active aerodynamics, serving platter-sized carbon ceramic brakes, and tires wide enough to fluster drag racers. All this supercar mumbo jumbo works to reign in a beastly supercharged 5.2-liter V8 targeting 800 horsepower and breathing through a titanium Akrapovic exhaust. Someone’s clearly a Euro fanboy on the engineering team.

Yes. It will be fast. No, you probably can’t have one, as Ford plans to implement an application process akin to the Ford GT to allocate the 1,000 to 2,000 cars they intend to build. That is if you can swing the $300,000 expected price. That’s 911 GT3 RS money, yes, but Ford has its hopes up that it can take the RS’ lunch money while making a hell of a lot more noise. 

FAQs

Can I take a 2024 Mustang to the race track?

Of course you can. It’s America’s sports car, and part of being the car to do everything for everyone means being capable when hunting apexes or chasing the end of drag strips. Base Mustangs are competent enough for the casual driver, but the GT and EcoBoost Performance Package adds larger brakes, retuned suspensions and electronic assists, bigger wheels with wider summer tires, and additional cooling to better withstand prolonged spirited driving. For real hardcore track rats, I’d consider the sharper Dark Horse, the successor to the GT350, Mach 1, and Boss 302.

How is the aftermarket support for the 2024 Mustang?

Scarce as of now, as the new Mustang has only recently come on sale. But expect support to ramp up rapidly and spread like wildfire as R&D gets underway with popular aftermarket brands. Some companies were quick to snag up test cars to begin dyno runs and wheel fitment checks, and Ford Performance’s new best bud, RTR, has already unveiled a complete upgrade package. For now, expect the only major challenge to be tuning, as the locked ECU and the dual intake’s dual MAF sensors pose quite a hurdle for tuners. The workarounds won’t be impossible. Tuners have long proven that many “untunable” platforms. But they won’t come soon.

Can I daily a 2024 Mustang?

Ford Mustangs are splendid everyday sports cars. In their softest settings, they’re tame, relaxed pussycats with unobtrusive road noise and suspension that can be firm but never harsh, even in the most hardcore models. Expect the 2024 cars to be quite familiar, albeit with maybe a hint more compliance from the new generation of (optional) MagneRide shocks. The new level of tech in the S650 will make it far more appealing to use as a single car and in heavy traffic. While derivative, the screen-centric dash design enables drivers to see whatever they need to see without looking low down on the center stack like older Mustangs.

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