Completely redesigned in 2005 as the sixth-generation model, the Mustang undergoes only minor trim changes for 2006. New 18-inch polished aluminum wheels are optional on the GT, while exterior colours Vista Blue Metallic and Tungsten Grey Metallic replace Sonic Blue Metallic and Mineral Grey Metallic. The locking glove box is now only available on convertible models, the hood insulator is gone, and carpeted mats with a brushed chrome Mustang badge are available.

There’s also a new V6 Pony Package, with a unique grille, fog lamps, rear spoiler, chrome-plated bezel, 17-inch aluminum wheels, Pony-specific badges, tape stripe and floor mats, anti-lock brakes and traction control. The package is not available on the convertible with manual transmission.

The Mustang comes as a coupe or convertible, with both models offered with 4.0-litre V6 or 4.6-litre V8, and each with a five-speed manual that can be optioned up to a five-speed automatic. Only one trim line is available in each.

The V6 features four-wheel disc brakes, electric mirrors, rear spoiler, 16-inch cast aluminum wheels, manual air conditioning, CD player, six-way power driver’s seat, cruise control, tilt wheel, power windows and locks with keyless entry, and on the convertible, a power top with tonneau cover and glass rear window with defogger.

The V8-powered GT adds anti-lock brakes with traction control, a limited-slip differential, stainless steel dual exhaust, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and Shaker 500 six-CD/MP3 player with eight speakers.

Throaty and powerful, but lithe on its feet, the Mustang is a joyous ride, especially if you opt for the drop-top version. The V8’s perfectly-tuned exhaust note sounds just like the car from the movie Bullitt, and the acceleration will throw you back in the seat, but don’t overlook the V6. It performs and sounds like many V8s, it’s got a lower buy-in, it gets better mileage, and that beautiful retro styling is there no matter what size engine you order. Only the five-speed’s shifter, which needs shorter throws and better-defined gates, prevents this from being absolute muscular Detroit perfection.