When it comes down to new thrill-of-the-drive driver’s cars, the Ford Mustang doesn’t typically enter the conversations. Instead, you might think of budget Subaru BRZs or the new Toyota GR Supra battling the Nissan Z. You might even think of the little BMW M2 Competition, marrying the gap between performance and practicality in a manner befitting a great little driver’s car. This time, though, Car and Driver chose the sharpened Ford Mustang Mach 1 over the competition.
A Ford Mustang Mach 1, Nissan Z Performance, Toyota GR Supra 3.0, and BMW M240i walk into a bar
While photos of the Mach 1, Z Performance, Supra, and BMW M240i competing are a treat, they are very different animals. The Nissan Z Performance and Toyota GR Supra 3.0 are taut, focused two-seater sports cars. However, the Mustang and BMW are rear-seat equipped and heavier, with the Mach 1 tipping the scale at 3,793 lbs. That makes the pony car more than 400 lbs heavier than the Toyota Supra.
Car and Driver pitted the four driver’s cars against each other by comparing categories like comfort, ergonomics, quarter mile time, handling, and driving experience. While there was a definitive winner, the competition was very close. In fact, the winner took the crown by a mere one point on a 240-point scale.
Which car did Car and Driver like the most?
Despite its comparative girth, Car and Driver chose the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1 over the rest. The reviewers applauded the Mach 1 for its 480 horsepower 5.0L V8 soundtrack, sharpened handling characteristics, and revised transmission choice. Specifically, the Mustang they tested came equipped with a Tremec TR-3160 six-speed manual instead of the GT’s usual setup. The result is a car with serious circuit credentials and endless enthusiasm.
Moreover, the second place car, the 2022 Toyota GR Supra 3.0, was faulted for its lack of manual transmission. There is a GR Supra with a three-pedal setup on the way, but not in time for this driver’s car showdown. Pair this folly with the BMW’s lack of a manual and the Z’s lack of sticky, capable tires, and the Mustang stole the “chassis” category in its entirety, including performance, steering, and braking.
Which car was the fastest?
Although the Ford Mustang Mach 1 stole the win, the big pony car tied for the slowest 0-60 mph time in the competition. Both manual-equipped vehicles, the Nissan Z Performance and Ford Mustang Mach 1, posted a time of 4.5 seconds to sixty. However, the cars with the BMW-derived inline six-cylinder powerplant posted sub-four-second times. Still, the BMW M240i took Car and Driver’s test by 0.1 seconds, putting down a time of 3.6 seconds to the Toyota’s 3.7 seconds.
Should you buy a Ford Mustang Mach 1 over a Nissan Z Performance, Toyota GR Supra 3.0, and BMW M240i?
If you want a manual-equipped, corner-carving do-it-all car, it is difficult to upstage the Ford Mustang Mach 1. However, it’s not a cheap maneuver with a starting price of $54,595 and a thirsty V8 up front. Still, with the manual Toyota GR Supra on the way, the retro visage of the Z, and the overall excellence of the BMW, you can’t go wrong.
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