Opinion/Editorials tesla-mustang

Published on June 20th, 2014 | by Christopher DeMorro

52

Op-Ed: Why I Now Want A Tesla Instead Of The 2015 Mustang

Tesla vs. Mustang

Last week, the 2015 Mustang configurator went live, giving a longtime Mustang fan like myself the opportunity to spec out the latest and greatest version of America’s pony car. And I did just that. Once. After 5 years of writing and wringing my hands over the 2015 Mustang, a car I had convinced myself I *must* have … I found myself rather ambivalent about the whole thing.

Why? The first car I tried to buy for myself was a Fox-body Mustang GT, an idea my mother quickly shot down (likely a wise move, as I still got in plenty of trouble with the Saab 900 Turbo I bought instead). I own a 1969 Mercury Cougar, a classier version of the Mustang that shares the same unibody and many other parts and features. I’ve always loved Mustangs, and the 2015 Mustang was supposed to be the car all my hard-earned savings would go towards.

But I no longer want to spend my money on a 2015 Mustang. Instead, I want the Tesla Model S, and the reason why has less to do with the cars as mechanical devices, and more to do with what both cars mean.

The 2015 Mustang packs a big tech punch, incorporating features like push-button start, the SYNC infotainment system, and performance-monitoring apps as standard features on the EcoBoost and GT models. But even with the addition of a 300 horsepower, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, the Mustang remains stuck in the hard-headed muscle car ideology of using a big V8 engine to make big power. 50 years ago, that was fine. 25 years ago, that was still fine. Heck, even ten years ago, nobody was predicting the end of big V8 muscle cars.

mustang-sales-chart-web

Mustang sales by year

But after an economy-crippling recession and stubbornly high gas prices that seem ready to spiral even higher, getting stuck for another decade with a Mustang that is still, at its core, the same vehicle it’s been for the past 50 years just seems…backwards. Worse still, Ford has remained stubbornly conservative with the Mustang’s drivetrain in an effort to hold on to a dwindling number of buyers. Mustang sales dropped off dramatically after the recession, and even with a brand new car, the appetite for thirsty V8s isn’t what it used to be.

Every time Ford redesigns the Mustang, it doubles down on the idea that the only way to make it is with a big V8 under the hood, which makes it harder and harder to change course. Even at 300 horsepower, the base V6 engine still feels barely adequate to move an increasingly heavy car, and the EcoBoost engine will be only mildly better even with the performance pack. There’s still going to be a more than 100 horsepower difference between the EcoBoost and GT models. But I’m willing to bet they’ll both require premium fuel, which is now nearing $5 a gallon in my neck of the woods. For the cost of a couple of gallons of gas though, I can top off a Tesla Model S and have up to 265 miles of “official” driving range, which is more than I need 95% of the time.

At this point, the idea of having a Mustang with a hybrid, electric, or diesel drivetrain is something that I don’t see happening until 2020 or beyond, if it ever happens. For all its new features, the 2015 Mustang is still stuck in a 20th century mindset. Remember, the first four-cylinder turbo Mustang came out in 1979; all Ford did has done is rehash an old idea for an audience that might be more accepting this time around. But for all the enthusiasm I’ve shown the four-banger Mustang,  I’m also willing to entertain the thought that the Mustang EcoBoost might just be a flop. Again.

I feel a little bad writing all of this if I’m honest, because it feels like I’ve turned my back on an old friend. My fleet of Fords was always good to me, and I still love the Mustang, what it was, and what it is …

2015 Ford Mustang Ecoboost

… but, in the past week, Tesla Motors has become my favorite automaker. It’s become the company I want to give my hard-earned cash to. During my test drive of the Tesla Model S, I found it a fast, fun, and responsive vehicle that truly felt like something from the future, and not just because it has an electric drivetrain. The huge touchscreen interface controls every aspect of the Model S, something no other automaker has yet done, not because they can’t, but because they think we aren’t ready for it. There’s also the nationwide network of free Tesla Superchargers, which can top off a depleted 85 kWh Model S in less than an hour.

Last week Elon Musk sealed the deal for me with his announcement that Tesla’s patents would be open for use by other automakers. In his blog post, Musk made it clear that his intentions are to speed up adoption of electric vehicles the world over. He acknowledges that Tesla can’t possibly build enough EVs to meet the worlds needs, so he invited automakers to partake in Tesla’s technology.

Not only has Elon Musk done what other automakers said was impossible (make a profit on electric cars), but he’s now opened up his game-changing technology to all.

My choice between the Mustang and the Model S is a simple choice between the past and the future. Do I want to drive around in an iconic muscle car and pretend we’re still living in the gilded age of America? Or do I acknowledge that we live in a changing world where traditional energy sources are dwindling, and that the old ways of doing things just aren’t good enough anymore?

tesla-test-6

Some people don’t think the car they drive means anything, but I disagree, These days more than ever, the only power people have is the power to vote with their wallets. And while I think Ford has done an amazing job these past few years, turning around their business and fully-embracing new technologies and social media, when it came to their most iconic car, the one Ford everyone in America knows, they stopped short.

Tesla, meanwhile, is charging forward into the future, and it’s not like I have to sacrifice performance. The fastest P85 Model S sprints from 0 to 60 MPH in 4.2 seconds, while the outgoing 2014 Mustang GT did it in 4.4 seconds. The 2015 Mustang uses an improved version of the 5.0 V8, so it should be faster, but not by enough to matter to most people. The center console is not step forward either; it’s like Ford doesn’t feel we’re ready for too drastic a change to a car whose cultural relevance is firmly rooted in nostalgia, not progress.

Alas, because even the cheapest Tesla Model S is about twice the price of a well-equipped 2015 Mustang GT, that means I won’t be buying a piece of the future anytime soon, or probably ever. Instead, I’ll wait for the Tesla Model E (or whatever it’s called), which Elon has promised will cost around $35,000 and will debut in the next couple of years. It probably won’t offer the same level of performance as the Model S either, but I don’t think Elon Musk has any interest in building slow or boring EVs.

I still love you Ford, and you almost had me. But when I sat down and really thought about it, I will sit, and I will wait, and when the time comes I’ll happily hand over my down payment for a set of keys with the Tesla logo, knowing my money is an investment in the future, rather than a testament to the past.

 




Tags: , , , , , , ,


About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or esle, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.



  • alex

    wow your not a real car guy then you have 69 and your mad about mpg . and I know that 69 doesint great gas mileage . I have had many cars for a guy in his late 30s. 78 trans am rebuilt 400. got 8 miles per gallon. 88 iroc Camaro 5.7 worked with the tpi got 12 mpg. a 98 mustang gt 4.6 with boltons got 21 mpg a 2004 mustang gt boltons got 19 mpg now a 2014 gtcs with bolt ons getting 17mpg putting down 398 hp! you do not buy a sports car for gas mileage. for the price under 40gs you cant beat the mustang gt. and the new gt will be even better. go fix electric car when it brakes and see how much. im sure in the future they will be just as fast as a gas motor but for now. you cant beat power and price for a gas motor!

    • Boosh Woggle

      wow, 8mpg O_O. That means every 800 miles you drive, you just spent 400 dollars. I can’t even wrap my head around that.

    • Lance Miller

      Gas was $.50 a gallon in 1978

      • Boosh Woggle

        yes, but people still drive these muscle cars around today. I don’t know how they cope! Case in point, some guy on imgur just bought a muscle car from the 1960s for $1500 with all the money he had. Now he’s going to have to buy the car 3 times over just to drive it for a few years!

      • Guest

        Here is a chart of gas prices adjusted for inflation. Gas (adjusted for inflation) has always been higher than you remember because we just remember the nominal price and not the real price in today’s dollars.

    • Tesla driver

      If you include the price of gas and electricity alone then Tesla will beat any of those in both cost and power, with a smile and no grunting. As for fixing cars – Tesla has 10% of the moving parts a normal car has. Thus less things to break. Brakes last much much longer due to regen braking. Yes there are things that can brake and would be expensive but they also bring new lease on life for this car. There isn’t anything that you can compare – everything is different. If you want to talk about the traditional experience then talk about horses and carriages. Not about transitional vehicle kind that leaves a trail of stink and grease behind.

      • Sel

        Don’t leading environmentalist say the only to save the Earth is to pare down the world’s to 300 to 500 million and abandon all large cities. Think about it. And don’t forget if the power comes from a coal-fired plant, you achieve very little.
        I like the 2015 Ford Mustang and I find the the Tesla Model S upcoming Model E to be an interesting propositionsS. Is it a domestic car? If it is, I might be interested in 10 or 15 years when I might be able to afford a nice used one.
        Also if electric cars are that means one day I may be driving a 550 hp all-electric Ford Mustang GT. Now that’s something to look forward to.

      • paganpink

        How much to install a charger in your home? That isn’t thousands of dollars or anything is it? Why isn’t that cost figured in? And do you really reduce your range by as MORE then HALF on a common 5 or 10 degree Chicago day with a little freezing rain? Do you want to be stranded on a day like that, or do you have a second car as a backup vehicle like the solar and wind generators that also have to have backups for their inability to work under all conditions? OOPS! BINGO

  • Weud

    I’m 70 years old and lust after a Model S like no car in my many years and many models. Bring on the future Elon. I hope it gets here in time…

  • Nick

    You call yourself a mustang fan and want it not to have a v8 and suggested a mustang hybrid? I am disgusted after reading this especially because you consider yourself a car guy.

    • topkill

      I respect your opinion and your love of the tradition of what is a Mustang. However, you’re part of such a small minority at this point that while Ford is busy trying to cater to you, they’re losing the race to keep the Mustang alive…much less relevant.

      • Dmitriy Shkolnik

        Sometimes I would rather let things be what they were until they die , instead of making it into something completely different and calling it the same thing. Also how come there was no direct price comparison? Like the fact that you can buy almsot 3 mustangs for what the model S costs? (Especially in how you spec’d it for 0-60mph)

        They are like comparing apples and pomegranates. (Tried to be different ;)

        • Tesla driver

          You think you understand this but you got it backwards. I never wanted a Mustang, but I can’t afford it’s total cost either. I do drive my own Tesla. When you add up all the costs including fuel/energu, oil, timing belts, exhaust crap, etc. Mustang starts costing same or more than Tesla that it can’t beat.

          • paganpink

            It would be a rare vehicle that needs anything more then a couple of oil changes and a set of tires for 100,000 miles nowadays. Your Tesla, however, is too new for me to believe it will be that trouble free. it will need software upgrades as well I understand and on a cold morning I will have to turn the heater down or off to keep the range from decreasing by 50% or more d stranding me at a distance it can handle on a warm day. You mean I have to spend hours and hours recharging it but may still not be able to complete a simple commute. And there AREN’T ENOUGH OF THE HIGH POWERED CHARGERS TO GO HARDLY ANYWHERE OFF OF HIGHWAYS AND BIG CITIES. Keep it till better people and better batteries come out. Lastly, it does not make money. Without various government subsidies and tax incentives it is as bankrupt as Solyndra.

        • topkill

          Dmitriy, It’s actually about 2x more expensive if you add all the options that the Model S has. But clearly that is still a big difference, right? Actually…not so much. As “Tesla Driver” points out there are so many other expenses for the Mustang that you simply don’t have on the Tesla. You spend about $2,000/year on gas for the Mustang as long as you own it where the Model S will cost about $350 in electricity per year.
          Maintenance will also be much higher every year too. There just is not as much stuff to break on an EV.

          But most importantly, the Model S competes with the BMW 7 Series and the Mercedes S class. It’s a big 4 door sedan with HUGE space in side compared to the Mustang and yet is still has performance numbers up there with the top end Mustang.

          You’re right, it’s apples and pomegranates or maybe even oranges…but the Model S comes out pretty well in that comparison unless you just LIKE v8 muscle cars…which some people still do and there is nothing wrong with that either :)

          • Tesla driver

            Yep. It is a bit like buying a printer. You can buy a cheap one – then they get you on ink/toner. And vice versa…

      • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

        That’s just it – the sales figures don’t lie: the Mustang hasn’t been hugely relevant for years. Its market share has plummeted. All it’s got left is nostalgia, and the people who remember theirs fondly (like I remember my ’87 5.0) are getting too old to want one at all.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      Ri-iiight, because only people who want inefficient, antiquated V8s driving their wagon-axle coupes are “real” car guys.

  • ricksanchez1

    I agree with your perception of the mustang still trying to appear “vintage”. In this iteration, it’s finally crossed from the 70’s and into the 80’s with an independent rear suspension. Hopefully that helps take it from the dragstrip to the racetrack.

    Money aside though, it’s hard to beat the freight train pulling instant torque, stealthy quiet, sleeper that the tesla is. While the mustang announces its presence at every stoplight, the Tesla just remains completely serene and subtle until that light turns green. The look on faces after that is worth every penny of the Model S.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      The 80s? The Corvette had an IRS in 1963! Mercedes had an independent suspension in 1955!

  • Rob Nugent

    I greatly admire what Elon Musk has done here, but I think the ecological benefits of an electric or hybrid car is dubious. When you look closely at the cost, you see that there’s a reason for a Model S being 3x as expensive as a top of the line Mustang while performing similarly. That’s because it’s expensive to mine lithium and make batteries. It’s not just expensive in dollars, but in energy use as well. When you look at the lifetime cost of something like a Mustang, it will be similar to or maybe less than the Model S, especially if you get the Ecoboost 2.3 and don’t mod it at all.
    That said, if I had money to burn, a Model S would be sitting in my garage right now. It’s everything I could want in a car, except that I don’t have 100 G’s to drop on one. I want an electric car that has a 300 mile range, that costs the same as a regular gasoline powered car, unsubsidized, and is generally as easy to deal with. Until then, I won’t be the sacrificial lamb on the altar of eco-friendliness. Some day they’ll be there, but right now they’re just not.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      You’ve made a big miscalculation: the cars perform similarly, but the Tesla is moving much more mass, more efficiently. That said, the studies fro several years ago about Prius batteries making them less green than SUVs were widely debunked … except, maybe, on Fox News, which still puts people on the TV who say the Earth is 6000 years old without throwing rotten vegetables at them.

      Make of that what you will.

      • Rob Nugent

        I wouldn’t say less green than SUVs, but probably less green than your typical 4 cylinder compact car today. There are a lot of variables, so it’s an apples to oranges comparison, I get that. That cost however, unless it’s specifically because of exclusivity and branding, is a reflection of the amount of energy expended in its manufacture. That takes a long time and a lot of miles to recoup, even with a 100+ mpge.
        The reason the Model S moves so much more mass is because it has to. All that battery weight is an integral part of its functionality. I don’t see how it’s a miscalculation, because the car wouldn’t exist weighing less than it does.
        Don’t get me wrong, I think the Model S is a technological miracle, but it’s not going to be the breakthrough technology a la Model T unless it can overcome cost and manufacturing efficiency to make them price competitive with entry-level commuter cars that run on gasoline. Until then, they’ll do just fine as a premium niche brand. I’m just not wealthy enough to jump on the bandwagon until then. I also don’t think the taxpayers should be on the hook for this stuff either. If it can’t survive on its own merits, it’s probably not a very good product idea to begin with, or its time has yet to come.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          Right, but if Tesla drivers were content with, say, a 10 second 0-60 time, it could weigh less, also.

          • paganpink

            But then they would sell even less of them and it would go from boutique car to never seen at all.

  • Leo S.

    Tesla is building Supercharging Stations in the US, Europe and Asia and providing many jobs worldwide in the process and also providing renewable energy for cars and enough excess energy to be put into the grid for other people to use where electricity is needed, even for people who don’t drive or are not old enough to drive. The are many electronic devices that also need energy. The amount of air pollution that will be reduced in the coming years and improvement in climate change will be welcomed by people throughout the world, especially in China. Superhighways suffering from gridlock will not produce pollution as drivers wait for traffic to move again. Their electric drive trains will not be emitting pollution to foul the atmosphere and/or make people feel ill. Have you ever been stuck on a road where there were eight lines of traffic on each side? There is pollution when the cars are moving or when they are stopped, unless they are EVs, Many people are still not familiar with hybrids or EVs and therefore are not aware of the advantages. People with short commutes can save money and gas with cars offered today. Jay Leno’s VOLT used only 4.6 gallons of gas in 11,000 miles traveled and averaged 2391 MPG. Others could do the same or better depending on their needs. A person with an EV wouldn’t have to buy gas at all if its range was adequate for their daily trips. It’s been about six years since Tesla introduced the Roadster. Can you imagine what the next six years might bring, especially since there are so many more companies building hybrids and EVs? We all have something to look forward to and may be pleasantly surprised.

  • Joe

    Electric cars are all a joke. Great for treehuggers and that’s it. Do not listen to the MSM who want to destroy our way of life.

    • Tesla driver

      They were. Not any more. This one makes most other cars of any kind look like a joke.

    • Boosh Woggle

      “our way of life” also used to include polio, tuberculosis, and corsets.

      • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

        You don’t wear corsets anymore?

        • Boosh Woggle

          Only in situations that also require a safety word ;)

      • paganpink

        On the border all three are present amongst alien children, including Scabies and excluding the stupid remark about corsets. Yet the CFDC isn’t allowed to speak about it according to doctors who are whistleblower’s there. How transparent they are under Obama now! Children’s lives in danger? Who cares! We have Democratic policies to push to help us get votes from Hispanics! To hell with the cost, the disease. the danger to the children being raped, injured falling off trains, or killed by cartels, the lack of legal basis to ignore our nations immigration laws. or the insult and disregard for the 1.5 million LEGAL aliens patiently waiting in line and filling out all the forms the incompetent Obama beauracracy comes up with. But “it’s for the children” as they are lucky to get here alive with his illegal promises and his cynical use of them as political pawns.

    • Ex-msft

      That’s right joe. And the ruskies are coming to get your precious bodily fluids, so watch out for that too.

      • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

        They seek the life essence.

      • paganpink

        as they attack country after country does that seem like a valid way to try and mock someone? Or are you just a fool that know neither science OR foreign policy, but spouts off with statements as wrong headed as your Presidents have proven to be.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      What way of life is that?

      That’s a serious question, by the way. Your comment is so paranoid and nonsensical that I actually have to take a step back, assume English is a third or fourth language for you, and ask you to give it a shot and ask again.

      Come on, champ. Use your words. :)

    • topkill

      “…who want to destroy our way of life”. Are you retarded or just a troll?

  • Fred

    You think that the V-8 is killing the mustang but you think that an electric or hybrid mustang would be a good idea. If you had an electric or hybrid mustang no one would buy one because it would be to expensive. The mustang is all about affordable performance for the average person and not an expensive hybrid or electric car. You think that the people that want a V-8 are just a small percentage but I would have to believe that the people that want an electric or hybrid mustang would be far less.

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      I disagree with Chris about the V8 killing the Mustang. What’s killing the Mustang is that, back in the 1980s, the 5.0 V8 put out 205 HP … and we all thought it was fast. Today, minivans put out more. My wife’s Volvo wagon would crush a 90s Mustang.

      What’s killing the Mustang is that it doesn’t offer performance that’s usably above and beyond the mainstream, while asking its buyers to make a significant sacrifice in terms of practicality.

      • Mike

        I dont see how a mustang from 20+ years ago is even relevant to todays mustang sales. The current mustang gt offers the best performance for the buck out there for a new car so I dont know how thats mainstream. The mustang isnt really supposed to be a practical car just like most other sports cars are not. People buy mustangs because they want a cool car that has good performance for a fairly affordable price and not because they want an extremely fuel efficient and practical car.

        • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

          That’s just it: people don’t really buy Mustangs. When the total new car market in the US was 4 or 5 million cars, Ford sold about 300,000 Mustangs. Today, the new car market is 3x as big, and Ford would be lucky to sell 100,000.

          In case you missed that day in math that we all learned percentages, Mustang sales are only about 1/9th what they used to be in the 70s, in terms of market share. Meanwhile, Camrys, SUVs, crossovers, minivans (which didn’t exist in the 70s, by the way) all sell several hundred thousand units a year … because: practical.

          I don’t mean to be a dick and s*** all over your worldview, but you’re just factually, 100% wrong.

          • Rob Nugent

            Well, if we’re talking about the Mustang II, even people in the 70s didn’t consider it to be a fast car. There’s a reason nobody wants them now, and it’s because they were crap. They’re widely regarded by experts to be some of the worst-performing “sports cars” of all time. Those sales were based off of the brand equity that was created by the performance of the original.
            The current line-up is a completely different story. The entry level Mustang is faster to 60 and out-handles $250k exotics made in the 70s, so performance isn’t the issue. And your wife’s Volvo would look stupid in any performance competition with it. Mike’s point is completely factual and valid, and you are just making irrelevant comparisons to 30 year old cars.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            Once you wrap your head around the fact that 90+ % of US drivers consider 200-220 hp to be “plenty” in real-world driving, you’ll start to understand why cars like the Mustang are dying: they don’t offer anything that people who actually buy NEW cars (and they are the only people who matter to car companies) actually want.

          • Rob Nugent

            I have to concede that you’re probably right. I guess I just personally never thought 200 hp was very fast, even in the relatively lighter fox body. The original Mustangs had about that much power with the 289, and they were about 5-600 lbs lighter than a 1990s Fox with the 5.0. I have no idea why anyone wanted to own a mid-70’s all the way up to the 2004 Mustang (except some of the later Cobras). They just weren’t that impressive, neither in a straight line nor in cornering.

          • Rob Nugent

            Also, considering that the US market is actually smaller than in the 1970s by about 2 million units a year (1975 compared with 2013 is what I’m basing that off of, since we’re talking about the Mustang II), and that the Mustang’s not available overseas until 2015, your 1/9th number doesn’t work out so tidily, does it? On top of that, in 1975, Ford also only sold about 200,000 Mustang IIs, so minus the 12% total market shrinkage in 2013, that would bring it down to about 176,000 total units if they had the same market share today.
            Now compound that with the huge increase in performance vehicle competition from Asia and Europe that didn’t really exist in its price segment in the 70s US market, your whole story falls apart completely, and the Mustang’s current sales numbers actually start to look pretty good considering. After a few years of availability overseas if sales don’t jump by several multiples, I will agree that it’s a product that people just don’t want any more. My guess is that it will do just fine in those markets though. In fact, the vehicle is so iconic, there’s likely a huge pent-up demand for it where it formerly couldn’t be purchased.
            Regardless, this comparison with the Tesla is kind of ludicrous anyway. Very few people are going to cross shop these cars just based on the fact that the Model S is a sedan and that it costs 4x as much as a base Mustang. It would be better to compare it to a CTS, 5-Series BMW or MB S-Class because of its price.

          • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

            I’m looking at 1979, when about 1/10 of all Ford sales were Mustangs (total Ford sales were about 2.1 million, and they dropped through 1982). Last year, Ford sold about 2.4 million cars in the US, and sold about 1/3 of that number.

            That means fewer people (by % of market share) are buying Fords, and even fewer people are buying Mustangs. In the US. Ignoring Europe.

            As for cross-shopping, that has not a thing to do with what people “want”. No one needs either a Mustang or a Tesla, making both pretty irrational purchases to begin with.

  • Dave

    You disgust me. Talk about a car you can’t afford! Its better than a Mustang ! The problem is , you have a job that a monkey can do! Let me give you a tip, you never will !

    • http://www.insteading.com/ Jo Borras

      I’m not even sure where to start with you. Should I start with the bad grammar? The nonsensical nature of your rant? The fact that what people can afford has nothing to do with what they want?

      Let’s go with the monkey thing:

      ===

      Dave, after reviewing your submission, I’ve come to the conclusion that you are not qualified to be a blogger. By your own estimation, that would make you dumber than the monkeys at the zoo.

      NOTE: whoever reads things to Dave (since, judging by his “punctuation”, he doesn’t read much), please put your fingers to your forehead in the shape of an “L” as you read this to him. Also, do the voices. He likes that. ;)

  • Mike

    Wow, I can’t believe this article or the comments people are leaving. I am sorry but I agree with Nick! I can’t believe Chris calls himself a car enthusiast!

    It seems no one remembers what an amazing feat Ford accomplished back in 2011 with the coyote V8. A V8 producing 412 hp (420 hp now, I know, but Ford underrates their engine anyway, go look up dynos) and still achieving 25 mpg highway and has since been raised to 26 and will be at least that if not higher for 2015. The 2011 Mustang GT competes with the E92 BMW M3, a car costing twice as much. The Mustang GT broke 400 horsepower, what used to be supercar territory, for around 30k. I am not sure of many cars of the time (or even today) that can make such a claim.

    I also find it laughable comparing maintenance costs of the vehicles and this is why –
    (http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/annual-maintenance-costs), not to mention ford has a 5 year/60000 mile powertrain warranty. Also what about insurance costs and depreciation? I know there is no magic ball to look in the future, but there will be depreciation on a Tesla. And to those that will point to Telsa’s buy back guarantee, that is only 50% after 3 years. Even if your optimistic, a car of that cost will have a substantial amount of depreciation – it has an odometer after all. And to comment saying the Tesla has less moving parts, so it’s basically immune to breaking – my TV burnt out last week, it doesn’t have many if any moving parts and guess what it still broke.

    Now comes the driver enjoyment of the car. Can I get a Telsa model S with a manual transmission? I know I am a dying breed, but there are few things in life as satisfying (to me) as driving a manual transmission car with an ample engine (and rear-wheel drive). Yes, I know the Tesla has some 442 lb-ft of torque that probably snaps your neck if you so choose and the acceleration will be instantaneous when you hit the accelerator. I bet it is amazing handling and driving, but I still can’t heal-toe downshift. Also what if I want more performance? I can’t strap a supercharger to the Tesla, change the brakes or go around trying to subtract weight (4500lbs+ driver’s car?). Also I am pretty sure the mustang, while maybe not the fastest to 60, has a faster quarter mile and better lateral acceleration.

    All of this is to illustrate a point – these cars are in completely different segments and have completely different purposes. You might think I dislike Tesla – which is not the case. I would be very giddy if you gave me one today and maybe it would change my mind, but there is and will be a place for the V8 mustang. Is the mustang GT a practical daily driver? Probably not, the Tesla is a better choice.

    However, lets point to the reason everyone isn’t buying Tesla’s like hotcakes – the price. My solution for Chris here – buy a 2015 mustang GT for your weekend/fun car and then buy a used Prius as your daily driver – that will be cheaper than your Tesla model S. If that isn’t an option, I think you are very much underestimating the the new ecoboost engine they will be dropping in the 2015 mustang. Yes it only makes an unofficial 305 hp, but what you want to focus on the 300 ft lbs of torque which will be available at low rpm and a good amount of the tachometer. Not to mention it will have an acceptable mpg. And Chris I think (though I could be wrong) the new mustang will actually be lighter than the previous model (how much does the Tesla weigh again?).

    The Tesla model S is an amazing feat and I am not trying to take anything away from it, but it’s priced at a luxury level. If you are in the market for a Tesla model S, you are not pinching pennies by any standard. If you told me I had $65-75k to just spend on a car (meaning I wouldn’t do the smart thing and buy a car half the value and keep the rest) I would probably be looking at the new M3, but I’d give the Tesla S a drive for sure. Also pointing to the “future” of Tesla with their new models as being reasonably priced at 35K base – I remember when I was hearing about the Model S and it was supposed to have a “reasonable” base price of 50K, but it just didn’t happen.

    So I really love (sarcasm) that you “sat down and really thought about it,” because obviously if you did you would have considered these things. You just got upset because the car that you customized costs more than you thought it would. Not to mention, yeah you might spend $2000 more on fuel each year for that car, but if you keep the car five years that’s still only $10000, which much less than the price gap between these cars. Yes, I do hope things move more electric and cars like the model S become common and we have electric filling stations everywhere, but we live in the today, not the future.

    And to the comment that mustang is only for those “nostalgic” people… please, that new mustang is super attractive and will be a hit with the younger crowd. I remember talking with my father about the 2015 mustang after seeing the preliminary drawings and he liked it more than me! He also said, if Ford made a car that looks like that, they will sell a ton of them. Ford did a great job. And referring to the sales numbers saying that it’s not relevant – look at the time frame that the mustang started to slump – 2008 basically the start of the recession.

    And the comment that Ford is losing by catering to people who actually car about performance…the mustang is not the only car Ford makes, they have a ton of others that fit into many other segments and they have done, in my opinion, a very good job of catering to what people want. Just look at the new taurus and fusion, even the focus are all excellent entries to their segment.

    If you want to “invest” in the future so much, why don’t you buy stock
    in Tesla then. Although that seems like a bad idea considering they are
    giving away all their information in hopes that the electronic car boom
    takes off. Ever seen “Who Killed the Electric Car”?

  • Stan

    Ah mike, people are buying Teslas like hotcakes. Their sales can’t get any higher because they are supply constrained. They are making them as fast as they can and selling all of them. Can’t get a stick shift? The Model T didn’t need buggy whips either. Your vision of a car guy is your own. I enjoy driving cars including with a stick, but my ideal car drives itself.

  • Stan

    I should add that the cost of a car is not equal to their purchase price. The total cost of ownership includes fuel, insurance, tax. Teslas have a much lower total cost of ownership than the cars it is competing with and depending on annual miles driven, it is probably not far off from a loaded Mustang. While maintenance costs are generally unknown for any new vehicle, EVs as a rule are expected to have much lower maintenance costs due to their mechanical simplicity.

  • Gmr

    Are people SERIOUSLY trying to say that the mustang will need 50k in maintenance?

    Wow. That’s beyond stupid. Maybe 50k over the course of a few decades…

Back to Top ↑