Anyone Else Sick of Muscle Cars?

April 23rd, 2014
Who does this impress?

Who does this impress?

I’m going out on a limb here and risking the complete revocation of my man card. I’m also risking the wrath of millions of Mustang and Camaro fanatics everywhere.

I’m sick of muscle cars.

The Mustang came out 50 years ago and captured the hearts of Americans. As a teenager in the 1990s, a ’65 Mustang was my dream car. I wanted a red convertible with the 289-cubic-inch V8 engine so badly that I worked two part-time jobs to save for one. I had dreams about that car and would have done anything to get one. Instead I met a girl and spent all the saved money on her, then settled for a black 1994 V6 Mustang.

Not the same, I know.

Today, a full 20 years after that ’94 was new, Mustang sales are still raging and building a new generation of fans. But aren’t 50 years of high-horsepower brute strength enough?

Maybe I’m just getting too old to appreciate the teenage, testosterone-filled obsession with muscle cars. Now that I’m well into my 30s, I gravitate toward the refined precision of cars like Porsche, Aston Martin, Tesla, Jaguar, Audi and BMW. I dream of the cars that cater to a slightly more grown-up audience.

2012-tesla-model-s

It seems like carmakers are thinking in the same direction. The new Mustang, rather than a retro copy of the 1960s versions, has more of a sports car look to it than the drag-strip brute it’s always been.

The Dodge Charger, once a formidable and intimidating piece of burning metal, is now a family sedan. The Challenger and Camaro are the only two hunks of muscle history that remain.

With a new age of sports cars, and blistering performance that can come from turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, it’s not cool anymore to be the guy in the Mustang who opens up his V8 and drag races when the stop light turns green. Who’s that guy trying to impress?

I think the days of overpowered pony cars are nearing an end and will give way to the new generation of dream car: potent electric power and turbocharged small-displacement engines that use precision and grace to deliver driving thrills, rather than gobs of unneeded horsepower.

Which car best fits your tastes: Ford Mustang or Tesla Model S?

-tgriffith

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