The Mustang has always embodied “Americaness”. It is a renowned brand with such an emotional feeling attached to it.
Each generation of the Mustang, and the powerplants that it comes with has been a reflection of American culture, economics and taste.
The Mustang II and the Fox Body Mustang both strongly reflect the times and markets that they were born into. More recently, the Ecoboost Mustang and transition to an IRS setup show how the car has evolved.
My hot take? Americans are getting older, bigger and can’t drive stick. General society no longer cares about performance other than a torquey feeling occasionally when they stomp on the pedal. People are obsessed with technology and prioritize having a massive touchscreen. This is a Mustang because it reflects those desires. Same with the ST brand being 100% SUVs.
Our time is coming to an end, there is no doubt about it. Wasting ink stating “this isn’t a Mustang” is just auto-journos lying to themselves and us. The automotive version of a political bubble.