Ford Mustang 10/24/14

The Ford Mustang is celebrating its big 5-0 birthday by introducing the all-new 2015 model. Consumer Reports tested the first Mustang 50 years ago and got to take the latest model for a first drive at its track.

Over a million Mustangs were sold in its first two years. It created a new car segment defined by an affordable entry price, a unique style with a long hood and a short deck rear drive, and the fact that you could equip it from mild to wild.

The 1965 Mustang that Consumer Reports tested 50 years ago was priced at less than $2,500. Equipped with a 101-hp six-cylinder, it took a very slow 16.8 seconds to get to 60 mph. The following year Consumer Reports tested a 289 cubic inch V8. Needless to say, that was much faster.

Not all 50 years were great for the Mustang. In the ’70s, after the oil embargo, the second generation was smaller and less powerful and didn’t go over well. But the car improved, and Consumer Reports has been recommending the Mustang every year since 2008.

Now Consumer Reports has taken the 2015 Mustang out on its test track. A lot has changed in 50 years, including a sleeker design, a more powerful V8 engine, and an optional turbocharged four-cylinder. Finally, there is an independent rear suspension. That was something that was conspicuously absent from the Mustang for quite a long time.

Once the 2015 Mustang goes on sale this fall, Consumer Reports engineers will conduct a full battery of tests.

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