NEW FOR 2008:

– Standard front seat side airbags
– Available ambient interior lighting
– Available 18-inch wheels on V6 coupe
– New Warriors in Pink package on V6 models

For 2008, the Mustang is largely unchanged from 2007; front seat side airbags have been added, and Canada will receive 200 copies of the Warriors in Pink package, a trim option for the V6-powered coupe and convertible that adds 17-inch premium painted wheels, pony grille, and pink accents reflecting the ribbon for breast cancer awareness. A portion of sales will be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Available as a coupe or convertible, the Mustang uses a 4.0-litre V6 with five-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed automatic; a 4.6-litre V8 in the GT, with heavier-duty five-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic; and a 5.4-litre supercharged V8 in the Shelby GT500, with six-speed manual transmission.

Features on the V6 models include 16-inch alloy wheels with chrome spinners, air conditioning, six-way driver’s seat, rear spoiler, 50/50 split-folding rear seat, tire pressure monitoring system, tilt wheel, cruise control, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, engine immobilizer, front stabilizer bar, and Shaker 500 audio system with SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The convertible includes a soft boot cover for the top. Anti-lock brakes can be added as an option.

The GT adds 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, limited-slip differential, stainless steel dual exhaust, anti-lock brakes, front and rear stabilizer bar, traction control, and fog lamps.

The Shelby GT500 adds 18-inch aluminum wheels, SVT-tuned suspension, aluminum hood, unique front and rear fascias and grille, leather seats, and unique steering wheel and shift knob.

Along with the Warriors in Pink package, the V6 can also be optioned with a Pony Package, which adds 17-inch wheels, Z-rated tires, chrome grille bezel with fog lamps, ABS, traction control and two stabilizer bars. Unique to Canada is the V6 Appearance package, which adds 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, racing stripes and metallic fuel door.

The V8 can be optioned with the California Special package, which adds 18-inch wheels, unique front fascia, side scoops, rolled exhaust tips, and charcoal leather-trimmed seats with light-coloured inserts; also available is a hood scoop.

Other available features, depending on the model, include performance tires, leather seats, navigation system, heated seats, colour-changing instrument cluster, and racing stripes.

Fans of Detroit muscle will love the Mustang: it’s throaty, powerful, nimble and reasonably priced, although the five-speed shifter would benefit from shorter throws and better-defined gates.

The V8 has a wonderful sound and powerful acceleration, but don’t overlook the V6: it sounds and performs like many V8s, costs less, gets better mileage, and looks as good as the one with two extra cylinders.

Convertible models need their latches manually unbuckled, and then a button puts the top up or down. The included convertible soft boot is time-consuming and annoying to put in place, but the top’s hard header panel forms a good-looking tonneau when the roof is down, with little need to add the boot. The roof collapses into a well behind the rear seat and does not intrude into the trunk.

The GT500, the successor to Carroll Shelby’s cars of the 1960s, dishes up 500 horsepower, and with the handling and brakes to back it up, including large stabilizer bars and Brembo brakes. Collectors will no doubt be hoarding them away, but that’s not the idea; take this thing out and have some serious fun with it.

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