The $50,000 Question: Is the 2024 Mustang GT No Longer the Everyman’s Performance Car?
The 2024 Mustang GT feels a bit like the last man standing.
With Dodge dropping the Challenger and Chevy soon putting an end to the Camaro, the Mustang GT is once again going to be the only V8-powered American muscle car (or pony car) you can buy.
And in a time when all the currents seem to be shifting away from cars like the Mustang GT and its naturally aspirated Coyote V8, Ford is to be commended for keeping the GT alive.
The Last of its Kind
But when it comes to affordability, the Mustang GT sadly isn’t quite the working class hero it once was.
For well over 50 years, a V8-powered Mustang has been a car that everyday people could aspire to own. It started in the ‘60s with 260 and 289 cubic inch V8s and went through the '80s with the 5.0 EFI Fox Body and into the 2000s with modular 4.6L V8 cars and the Coyote V8-powered GTs of the 2010s.
Even as recently as 2015, when the all-new S550 Mustang debuted — a base Mustang GT had an MSRP around $33,000 — and if you wanted all the extra high performance hardware of the Performance Package, Ford only asked for a modest $2,500 on top of that.
Pay Up for Performance
What about the 2024 Mustang GT? Which, though updated, isn’t a drastically different car from the old S550 in terms platform or mechanicals. You are looking at a base price of a little over $44,000 for manual transmission 5.0.
Add the $4,995 GT Performance Package which most enthusiasts will want, and you’ve got cloth interior Mustang GT with an MSRP brushing against $50,000.
Now there are two ways to look at this. Given the price of other cars on the market, $45,000-$50,000 for a 480 horsepower, V8-powered coupe naturally aspirated is an increasingly rare thing to find in any car at any price.
On the other hand, the new car is around $10-$15,000 more expensive than a comparable 2015 GT was less than 10 years ago. In fact, the current EcoBoost Mustang is priced almost identically to the 2015 Mustang GT.
Is this a conscious decision by Ford to take the Mustang GT up market? Probably not. Nearly every car has gotten more expensive in the last few years, so it’s not like the Mustang is the only one to experience ballooning MSRPs.
Though with the Camaro and Challenger exiting the market, there’s certainly less pressure to keep prices down. And the reality is soon going to be that if you want a new car with an American V8 engine that isn’t a Corvette or a Cadillac without a six-figure MSRP the Mustang is the only choice.
Ultimately, there probably isn’t an easy solution to this issue. And as we said a moment ago we commend Ford for sticking with the Mustang GT while GM and Stellantis bow out of the segment completely.
But it does hurt a little extra to see a car once known as the defacto choice for affordable fun getting more and more out of reach for young and entry level buyers.
And more importantly it’s hard to see the American V8 engine itself going from a ticket to cheap speed to an endangered and ever pricey option in today’s market.
But in the end I think we’d all rather have a $50,000 Mustang GT than no Mustang GT at all.
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