5 of the Best Manual Ford Mustang Models of Recent Years Are V8 Fun Factories
While the Ford Mustang is surviving the in-progress muscle car extinction, it will lose a manual option for its EcoBoost trims. However, the dwindling number of row-your-own pony cars doesn’t mean fans can’t find a modern Mustang with six-speed manual transmission fun. Check out five of the best manual options from recent years, like the S550 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, the S197 Shelby GT500, and the latest Mach 1.
What Mustangs come in manual?
Ford has offered manual transmissions with nearly every engine option of the past few generations, including the 4.6L 3V, 3.7L V6, 2.3L EcoBoost, and 5.0L Coyote V8. Moreover, some fifth and sixth-generation models took full advantage of a six-speed manual.
- S550 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
- S197 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca
- S197 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
- S550 Ford Mustang Mach 1
- S550 Ford Mustang Bullitt
Still, only some Ford Mustang models on this list are manual only. For instance, the latest sixth-generation (S550) Ford Mustang Mach 1 offers a six-speed manual TREMEC transmission or a quick-shifting 10-speed automatic. However, the subtle Mustang Bullitt has just one option, a six-speed MT82 manual transmission.
Why is the GT350 manual-only?
The 2016-2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is one of the most unique Mustang models of modern times. The manual-only GT350 and GT350R produce 526 horsepower from a flat-plane crank 5.2L Voodoo V8. As a result, the Shelby model’s engine is unlike any other Mustang before.
Furthermore, the GT350 is the first naturally aspirated production Mustang with over 100 horsepower per liter. Of course, the upcoming Mustang Dark Horse will also cross the 100 horsepower per liter of displacement boundary. Moreover, the GT350’s flat-plane engine revs up to 8,250 rpm, higher than any other factory ‘Stang. Better yet, the GT350 channels its power through a six-speed TREMEC TR-3160 unit.
Which transmission does the Boss 302 Laguna Seca have?
The 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca from the S197 generation packs a six-speed manual transmission. Still, the Laguna Seca doesn’t stop at a notchy six-speed; the model’s 3.73 rear end, missing rear seats, and 7,500-rpm redline make for a theatrical pony car experience.
Moreover, the Boss 302’s 444-horsepower 5.0L V8 sends all its might to the rear wheels. Still, the Laguna Seca remains composed around a track. Specifically, Car and Driver says the Boss 302 model will return 0.96g of cornering force on a skid pad.
Is the 2014 GT500 only a manual?
The S197 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 from 2013 or 2014 offers just one transmission option: a TREMEC TR-6060 six-speed manual unit. However, the lack of a quick-shifting automatic doesn’t slow the GT500 down.
The S197 GT500 produces 662 horsepower from a supercharged 5.8L V8. Volcanic power like that is enough to launch the Shelby to 60 in just 3.5 seconds. Furthermore, the 200-mph ‘Stang is the last factory GT500 with a manual, as the S550 model offered a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic as its only option.
Does the Mach 1 have a manual transmission?
The S550 Ford Mustang Mach 1 (2021-2023) has two transmission options: a six-speed TREMEC TR-3160 manual and a 10-speed automatic. Of course, the 10-speed unit is quicker than the manual in nearly every metric, but the manual provides more of a cutting-edge driver’s car.
Moreover, the Mach 1’s Handling package equips the flamboyant pony car with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and downforce-multiplying bodywork. The result? The Mach 1 returned up to 1.06g in the corners of Car and Driver’s skidpad test.
Was the Bullitt Mustang an automatic?
The S550 Ford Mustang Bullitt takes the GT’s V8-powered formula to another level, but it does so without an automatic transmission option. Instead, the 480-horsepower, 5.0L Coyote V8-powered Bullitt channels its might through a six-speed Getrag-sourced MT82 transmission.
While that’s good news for fans of spirited driving, the Getrag unit has a reputation. Unfortunately, the MT82 has a history of premature wear and failures. Still, the Bullitt produces more power in a classier package than the comparable GT.
What is your favorite manual Mustang? Share your thoughts in the comments below!