With both Ford Motor Company and General Motors pulling the plug on Australian manufacturing in the coming years, we’ve been seeing a lot of match-ups between the country’s outgoing native muscle cars and the new, right-hand drive Ford Mustang GT. We suspect Australia simply wants to reassure itself that affordable performance will continue to be available for the foreseeable future, even if it doesn’t originate in the Land Down Under.
Australia’s Drive recently pitted the 2016 Ford Mustang GT against an all-Australian classic: the Holden HSV Maloo R8. From the get-go, the Holden is at a bit of a disadvantage, with a hefty (as-tested) price tag of $74,290 Australian. Compare that to the much more affordable Ford Mustang GT, with its $60,115 price.
Granted, as Drive notes, you are getting something in return for the price premium. Among these things are 20-inch alloy wheels, an interior oozing with leather and faux suede, and active safety features not available on the Mustang like forward collision alert, rear traffic alert, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring. The story gets even more compelling for the Holden once you’ve lifted the hood; it’s powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V8, offering up 535 horsepower and 495 lb-ft of torque.
The Ford Mustang GT hardly comes close, peaking at 410 horsepower and 390 lb-ft with its 5.0-liter V8.
Nonetheless, the Ford Mustang GT nearly ties with the HSV Maloo R8 in the handling department, and wins overall thanks to its undefinable “X factor” and, more importantly, its value. At more than $14,000 less than the HSV Maloo R8 (as-tested), it can afford to concede defeat in a few areas, and still remain the smarter choice.
Just so long as it looks good, revs loud, and takes off fast like a muscle car is supposed to.