New Car Review
1994 FORD MUSTANG V-6 COUPE
by: BILL RUSS
SEE ALSO:Ford Buyer's Guide
Few automobiles in recent history have been as significant as the Ford Mustang. The original Mustang, introduced thirty years ago, in April 1963, was an innovation in automotive design and marketing. It started a whole new class of cars and lent its name to that class: the "pony car". A "pony car" was a relatively small, light, and reasonably-priced 2 + 2 with good power and handling and a traditional front-engine/rear-drive chassis. It was a car in tune with its era - the swinging sixties.
But times change. The Mustang has had its ups and downs over the past thirty years. With the recent changes in automotive technology and the advent of front-wheel-drive into the mainstream, there was a point in the not-too-distant past when the Mustang was considered a dinosaur and slated for extinction. It was to be replaced by a "modern" front-wheel-drive coupe! Mustang owners and fans launched a massive letter-writing campaign to Ford management and convinced them to save this really modern classic. Ford management not only listened, but even went so far as to form a special "skunk works" team to quickly update the aging Mustang platform with helpful input from the faithful. The result of this project is the mostly new and very improved 1994 Mustang.
The first Mustang of 1964 was powered by an inline six-cylinder engine of 170 cubic inches with 101 horsepower and a three-speed transmission. In honor of its 30th anniversary, our test 1994 Mustang is also powered by a six-cylinder engine, albeit a 230 cubic inch V6. It produces 145 horsepower and delivers it to the rear wheels via a four-speed transmission. It is a considerable improvement and it carries the Mustang tradition into the nineties.
APPEARANCE: Ford went to a lot of work to create a new Mustang that embodied the characteristics that made the original a classic. It retains the long hood, short rear deck design along with the side air intake and bright, bold prancing horse in the center of its grille. New is its transformation into an oval wedge with a low, wide nose and a high rear deck. It looks both aggressive and suave at the same time.
COMFORT: The new Mustang's double-cowl dashboard is reminiscent of sports cars of the sixties. However, its comfort and convenience appointments represent the nineties. The V-6 has comfortable bucket-style front seats covered with mohair-type upholstery. The drivers seat is four-way power adjustable, while the contoured rear seats fold down for extra storage area. The analog instruments are very visible, and all switches and controls are close at hand. The preferred equipment package provides remote lock/unlock, power windows, locks and mirrors, an effective air-conditioner and a trunk cargo net. The optional Mach 460 230 watt, multi-speaker sound system plus CD will satisfy the enthusiast.
SAFETY: Standard passive safety features for 1994 include dual front airbags and three-point outboard seat belts. Active safety devices consist of standard four-wheel disc brakes and optional anti-lock brakes.
ROADABILITY: The V-6 Mustang is a good road car and works well in real world driving situations. It is a fun-to-drive sporty car whose suspension geometry is engineered to make it nimble on the twisty back roads, and yet quite compliant on the highway and in town. A major factor in its improved handling is the Mustang's newly designed chassis. A lot of engineering and computer time was devoted to devise a proper new structure that would minimize noise, vibration and harshness, and provide a stable platform for both the suspension and body. Four-wheel disc brakes are standard, and on the V-6 anti-lock brakes are an option that should be seriously considered. Power assisted rack-and-pinion steering makes it easy to park in tight spaces and maneuver in traffic. On the road the new Mustang is quiet and vision is good.
PERFORMANCE: A 3.8 liter V-6 is the powerplant for the base Mustang. It gives it the boost in power and performance that was lacking in earlier models, and when united with Ford's electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission it can more than hold its own in traffic and on the interstate. This reliable overhead valve, fuel injected engine has been proven in the Taurus. It develops 145 horsepower and 215 foot pounds of torque with good fuel economy and a feeling of power.
CONCLUSION: The Mustang has reached its 30th birthday with its image intact and its style challenging.
1994 FORD MUSTANG V-6 COUPE
Base Price $ 13,365 Price As Tested $ 18,155 Engine Type V-6, ohv - pushrod, smpfi, Engine Size 3.8 liter/232 cid Horsepower 145 @ 4000 Torque (ft/lbs) 215 @ 2500 Wheelbase/Length 101"/182" Transmission four speed automatic w/od Curb Weight 3140 Pounds per Horsepower 22 Fuel Capacity 15 Fuel Requirement Unleaded regular (87 oct) Tire Goodyear Eagle GA 205/65TR15 Brake anti-lock optional disc/disc Drive Train front engine/rear drive PERFORMANCE EPA Economy - miles per gallon, city/highway/observed 20/30/26.1 0 to 60 mph 9.1 sec 1/4 mi (E.T.) 17.0 sec Coefficient of drag (Cd .32