Tracks are fine, but these cars are at their best when drag racing between the lights. Following the success of the Mustang came many other pony cars from almost every other American automobile manufacturer.
If you are looking for a pony car or even if you just want to learn the history of these cars check out this list and you won't be disappointed. The Mustang surpassed all expectations when over 400,000 were sold in its first year which set a record in the industry.
The Mercury Cougar was built on the same platform as the Ford Mustang but it never reached quite the same level of popularity. The Cougar moved away from performance and towards luxury but it did have an option for a larger engine making it a true muscle car.
The AMC Javelin came out in 1967 as the American Motors Corporation's answer to the Ford Mustang. The Javelin was a small car with a big, super-powerful engine which made it a force to be reckoned with.
The AMC Javelin went on to win multiple Trans-Am racing competitions which was no surprise to its devoted fans. It was a massive undertaking which took more than a dozen people two work weeks (and several weekends) to accomplish all the testing, driving, photo- and videography.
For the sake of efficiency, we executed both comparison tests at the same time, which meant corralling all seven of these modern day pony cars for hundreds of miles and several days on the road. We also pitted the V-8s and the V-6s against each other in separate quarter mile drag races (Click on the videos on each page to see who took home the titles).
NBS Ron King Edward Low Frank Markus Nate Martinez 1 Mustang GT Mustang GT 2 Genesis 3.8 Challenger SRT8 Genesis 3.8 Genesis 3.8 3 Mustang V-6 Genesis 3.8 Challenger SRT8 Camaro SS 4 Challenger SRT8 Mustang V-6 Mustang V-6 Challenger SRT8 5 Camaro RS Camaro SS Musing V-6 6 Challenger SE Camaro RS Camaro RS 7 Camaro SS Challenger SE Challenger SE NBS Scott Mortar Kim Reynolds Arthur St. Antoine Overall: 1 Mustang GT Mustang GT 2 Challenger SRT8 Genesis 3.8 Genesis 3.8 Genesis 3.8 3 Genesis 3.8 Mustang V-6 Mustang V-6 Challenger SRT8 4 Camaro SS Challenger SRT8 Mustang V-6 5 Mustang V6 Challenger SRT8 Camaro SS 6 Camaro RS Camaro RS 7 Challenger SE Challenger SE That the new Mustang 5.0 stands alone atop the leader board is no surprise -- not only was it the runaway winner of the V-8 class, it was the only consensus pick amongst all seven.
No less impressive is how high up the Hyundai Genesis 3.8 finished; it managed to beat the Challenger SRT8 on five of the seven judges scorecards, and soundly trounce everyone else for a solid second place. Rounding out the podium is the loud and lovable Challenger SRT8, which was the judges pick for second place in the V-8 comparison.
Then, if you're still not convinced, check out a few more of the notes from our drivers' log books left on the cutting room floor: “The SRT8's may be my favorite engine note of the bunch, if not in all of musclecardom.
“I enjoyed the SS's engine and suspension balance, but it's no match against the GT. Shoots out of corners like a rocket and gets to illegal speeds aggressively.
Interior looks cheap, and it has by far one of the worst steering wheels and shift knobs I have ever held; both feel terrible in your hands.” “The new 5.0-liter is a luscious V-8, with lovely sound, great power throughout, and torque down low.
Steering is light but linear and provides plenty of communication -- weights up nicely with speed. In 1964, Ford introduced the Mustang and changed the sports car world forever.
Following the success of the Mustang, other American automakers answered back with their own pony cars, like the Chevrolet Camaro, AMC Javelin and Plymouth Barracuda. Over the past five decades, pony cars have evolved dramatically and automakers from other continents have gotten into the game.
Hot on the heels of the American pony cars, Datsun (now known as Nissan) created the 240Z, which was an immediate hit. The Z car was so popular in fact, it was embraced by one of America’s biggest icons: Paul Newman.
Newman selected the Z has his race car of choice and in 1986 won the Lime Rock Trans Am with a showroom stock 300ZX. Starting at $31,910, the 370Z is the most expensive of the Asian Pony Cars, but also has the most prestigious, time-tested racing heritage of the group.
While the Nissan Z has been ripping around the roads in one form or another for more than four decades, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe is fairly new to the scene. In 2009, rally driver Rays Miller, in a mostly stock Genesis Coupe, set a new record for two-wheel drive production-based cars at Pikes Peak in Colorado.
Hyundai has added hood vents, and opened the front air intake, making the Genesis Coupe look more ferocious. Though the Genesis Coupe may not have the pedigree of the Nissan Z, it seems poised to become a formidable adversary to any pony car, Asian or otherwise.
Last on the list, we have the newest of the Asian pony cars: the brand new 2013 Subaru BRZ. Built as a joint venture between Subaru and Toyota, the BRZ is a return to pure sports car design with low weight and rear-wheel drive.
Under the hood of the BRZ is Subaru’s all new normally aspirated 2.0-liter “Boxer” 4-cylinder engine fitted with Toyota’s direct-injection technology. For those of you wondering why Subaru and Toyota teamed up to make a small rear-wheel-drive sports car, the answer is simple.
For many years, Toyota captured the hearts and minds of the motoring world with nimble rear-wheel drive cars like the Corolla AE-86. Eager to recapture some of that former glory, Toyota sent Subaru to the design board with a bag full of money.
There was a time when Asian pony cars reigned supreme over their under powered, cumbersome American counterparts. Over the last few years, however, American automakers have reinvigorated the pony car class with the re-launch of the Chevy Camaro and the latest Ford Mustang.
When someone buys a Mustang, in coupe or convertible form, they’re participating in a glorious American heritage while also driving the name into a thrilling future. No longer a one-trick pony, the newest Mustang offers power, handling, comfort and style all in a package the average American can easily afford.
Ford Expedition Max in Seattle, WA 69 for sale starting at $59,555 Today’s best convertibles with manual transmissions are all about choice and driving pleasure.
The high performance versions of Audi’s A5 Convertible offer seven-speed automated manual transmissions and all-wheel drive. Other Audi convertibles offering manual transmissions include the A3, TT, TTS, and R8. This engine is teamed with a seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission.
Of course the BMW M4 Convertible offers a manual transmission option. Other BMW convertible models offing manual transmissions include the M6, Z4 and M235i.
So serious is BMW about the performance of the M4 Convertible, the seven-speed is configured with what the company’s spokespeople refer to as the Smoky Burnout function. A variety of engine offerings and suspension configurations means you can order your Camaro as mild or as wild as your proclivities dictate.
The pint-sized FIAT 500 offers gallons of personality, and in the process manages to stand out nicely form the crowd. Quintessentially Italian, the quirky little Fiat offers style in abundance, along with driving fun, and a convertible roof.
Two engine offerings imbue the little Fiat with horsepower ranging from 101 to 160 (for the high performance Abarth version of the 500). Standard features include heated mirrors, Bluetooth, cruise control, and full power accessories.
Options include navigation, fog lights, automatic climate control, a rear parking sensor array, and leather upholstery. Convertible roofs and manual transmissions have been listed among Mustang’s features from the very beginning.
For the 2015 model year, an all- new Mustang has been issued featuring a new independent rear suspension system and three engine offerings. The one attracting the most attention is the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder making 310 horsepower and 320 ft-lbs of torque.
Mazda’s Dodo styling language gave the car a serious countenance, particularly in the glower of the headlights. With quick acceleration, sharp handling, and miserly fuel economy already in place, the only thing left for Mini to do to improve upon their dynamic little bulldog-looking car was to give it a folding roof.
And so two iterations of the Mini Cooper can be had with convertible roofs and manual transmissions. Looking for all the world like a slightly smaller version of the highly coveted Mercedes-Benz SL models, the Mercedes-Benz Silk has a lot of going for it right off the bat.
Its folding hardtop frees buyers from choosing between a convertible and Coupe ; they get both in the same car. If Porsche’s engineering team were to ever endow Booster with the same amount of power routinely lavished upon the flagship 911 models, the mid-engined Porsche roadster would run off and leave its storied sibling without so much as a glance.
For this reason, racing along a twisting mountain road in a Booster is an experience more akin to riding a magic carpet than driving a car. Other Porsche models featuring a convertible roof and manual transmissions of course include the highly regarded 911 series.
The Beetle TDI comes to market with a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel making 150 horsepower and 236 ft-lbs of torque. Volkswagen also offers a manual transmission with its EOS folding hardtop convertible.