by Byron Hurd. Photographs courtesy of Volkswagen. *This article has been corrected. See note above feature list.*
A few months ago, while reading one of my favorite Web comics, I came across a bit of a gem. While commenting on the endless debate between competing game console services Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, Penny Arcade‘s Jerry “Tycho” Holkins wrote something that every auto journalist knows, whether they’ve consciously considered it or not.
“In order to appear reasonable it is sometimes necessary to say things which are untrue.”
Such profundity and brevity rarely coexist.
When I was about 12 years old I had a couple of neighborly brothers who used to tinker with the most ludicrous little contraptions. From their shed placed in the back yard of their home I witnessed many marvelous inventions come to life, including a 600cc ATV-engine powered go-kart, a backwoods tree-destorying Ford LTD with full bush bars, and a three-wheeled ATV that had seen more abuse than Whitney Houston. Sure, these toys were interesting, hillbilly gas burners meant to either get you in a lot of trouble or a lot of hurt, but it was what was in their driveway that mesmerized me for years. Read More
by Byron Hurd. Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company.
Price as tested: $28,480 (Incl. $850 destination charge).
Major equipment: Premium trim level (Base price: $26,845), 6-Speed Automatic Transmission ($995), 3.31 Rear Axle Ratio ($395), Security Package ($395).
In the fleet: May 2010
~300 horsepower. ~3500lbs. High 13s in the 1/4 mile. Sound familiar? They probably did to the Z28 owner sitting next to me at the stop light.
What didn’t sound familiar to my newfound neighbor was the bark of the 3.7L VVT Duratec V6 coming from a chromed dual exhaust treatment. While a 2011 Mustang V6 is virtually indistinguishable from a 2010 from the front (a view I saw him evaluating in his side-view mirror as I rolled to a stop in the left lane), the rear end gives the only two reliable hints as to what rests between the front strut towers.
And what lay there gave my fourth-gen friend quite a scare.
In front of us, our three-lane surface street narrowed into a two-lane, limited-access highway. It was me, the Z, and some anonymous import to his right. Three cars. Two lanes. One sick game of musical chairs.
When the light turned green, the tachs turned red; our import companion quickly removed himself from the equation as two American motoring icons reared back on their live axles and tore after the fast-approaching merge zone in a shameless display of society-shattering, testosterone-fueled misbehavior.