My neighbor, nice guy without the typical asshat stereotypes, owns an M 135i. The little BMW has a lot in to it, as well. My neighbor, he's a car guy and since the "split" he's been able to treat himself to some of the toys he's always wanted without needing to get approval first. It's a very nice car and I don't begrudge him one bit.

Why?

Because I love my car.

Having said that, it's a Mustang and they're pretty far from perfect. (Fingers crossed for the S550!) And that gets me wondering; what if the Mustang were as good as it looks? Specifically, the S197. I think it's a bang on looking car. It's the one place it wins points among my friends, all of whom have their own opinions about Mustangs in general some of which are fairly reserved while others are not. There's that solid rear axle. There's that modular V8 and the old Cologne built 4.0L. Yadda, yadda. I don't tend to fight back. My two standard arguments are based on the longevity of the name and the price. Those, alongside the way it looks, are about my only strategies and using them in a fight, like the car on the road, means finding a straight and running headlong into the enemy front.

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My friends understand my inexplicable love. I had a Fox as my first. And with the right mods, bolt on's and build, the Mustang can really be a force to contend with in the right element.

But what if, as we might find with the new car, the old car had bitten as loud as it barked? If you'd have been able to buy the car, off the lot, with independent rear suspension (yes, Cobra, calm down) a better engine line up, and an interior that made you want to touch it, not just look at it... from a distance if possible? For one, the car would have been more expensive - or at least that's the argument from Ford - and the new car looks like it'll be a good step ahead of the current base 6 and 8. Secondly, I have to wonder if it would have sold better? It wasn't until the facelift and the switch to the Duratec 3.7/Coyote 5.0 that the journalists started to publish positive reviews, having taken exception to the old engines on offer and as we all know, having the endorsement of the journalistic community helps when it comes to sales.

I own an 06, and having driven the recent cars (both v6 and v8) can say that they're quite a bit better than my own, but still fall short in key areas - interior quality, LRA, etc. These shortcomings left the Mustang mid-field in most shootouts and comparisons. But, and this goes to what's coming in 2015, what if the Mustang were as good as it looks?

Because, to be honest, I'd love to have some of that BMW under my Ford.