2020 Ford Mustang vs. the competition: Your other local sports car options

Powerful, and highly customizable, and relatively affordable—there’s very little doubt why the Ford Mustang is the world’s bestselling sports car of the last 50 years, the world's bestselling sports car for five consecutive years, and the most popular car model on Facebook, with almost 8.5 million likes to its name.


Locally, the Ford Mustang comes in four different trims with two engine options—a 5.0-liter V8 for the GT variants (460hp, 569Nm) and a 2.3-liter Ecoboost for the Fastback (310hp, 434Nm), priced from PHP2,585,000 to PHP3,718,000. Both engines are mated to a 10-speed SelectShift automatic, but the convertible variant comes with the option for a 6-speed manual transmission.


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The Ford Mustang cabin welcomes drivers to a 12-inch LCD instrument cluster—the first all-digital display ever offered for the model. What’s nifty about it is that it allows users to customize colors, gauge layout, selectable drive modes, and more. A MyMode system lets drivers set their drive settings and remembers them for the next use. That even includes steering and suspension preferences.


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The onboard SYNC 3 infotainment system is as advanced as these systems can get, allowing for voice activated responses along with the capacitive touchscreen with impressive responsiveness. The intuitive and user-friendly system lets users connect to and control their smartphone, while also providing real-time navigation. The audio system includes Shaker Pro Audio with HD Radio Technology providing AM/FM stereo, single-CD/MP3 player functionalities and 12 speakers – one of which is an eight-inch trunk-mounted subwoofer. Thanks to HD Radio Technology, reception is crystal clear, with no audio distortion, buzz, popping or static.


All of these goodies combine to make the 2020 Ford Mustang the high-performance car to beat. But if you would still like to shop around, here are some of your best alternatives available locally.


The Honda Civic Type R sure is pretty, especially when compared to its fellow Japanese make listed above. Recently refreshed, the Type R’s new grille design serves more than just aesthetic purposes, as it also allows for better engine cooling under high demand.


For power, the Type R relies on a 2.0-liter direct-injected and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with VTEC valvetrain dishing out a peak 306hp and 400Nm of torque, with power to the front wheels delivered through a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential. This powertrain helps the Type R deliver a 0 to 100kmph acceleration of 5.7secs.


Like before, drivers have three driving modes to choose from: Comfort, Sport and +R modes. Depending on mode, Type R drivers can choose suspension firmness, steering and throttle response to suit personal driving tastes as well as on-road driving conditions. Handling is improved by revised dampers, stiffer rear bushings, and updates to the front suspension and steering systems. The brake system also receives an update via new two-piece brake rotors and brake pads designed to reduce fade and improve high-speed braking efficiency.


Inside, drivers can now enjoy a new Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, as well as a new shifter with a restyled knob and shorter shift throws. Further, every 2020 Civic Type R comes with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, making the Honda Sensing suite standard equipment on all Civic models and trims. New for 2020 is the Active Sound Control feature, which adapts the interior sound in accordance with the selected drive mode.


The fifth generation Toyota GR Supra boasts a precise and agile rear-wheel-drive configuration that pays a respectful tribute to Toyota's rich racing heritage. Its design is directly informed by vintage Supras of the past, as well as the highly popular 1967 2000 GT. Retro design elements abound, seamlessly intertwined with some sleek contemporary aesthetic cues.


The all-new Supra engine bay houses a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that produces 335hp and 500Nm. This links to an 8-speed automatic transmission controlled by paddle shifters that come with manual control option. Two driving modes--Normal and Sport--allow the driver to modify throttle response steering weight and transmission shifting to enhance performance. It’s the quickest Toyota-branded production vehicle yet, with its 0-100kmph acceleration of 4.2 seconds.


Inside the Toyota GR Supra, infotainment is housed in an 8.8-inch Widescreen TFT LCD with USB and Bluetooth, linked to a 12-speaker JBL HiFi Surround Sound System.


Though relatively an infant in its segment, the Kia Stinger has managed to kick up a buzzing storm since its introduction in 2017. Now practically three years old, the sporty fastback finally receives some smart revisions that further exude its gran turismo character while boosting comfort and convenience inside the cabin.


The locally available Stinger is driven by a 3.3-liter V6 direct-injection twin-turbo engine outputting 365hp and 510Nm. The powerful engine links to an 8-speed auto transmission controlled by paddle shifters. A limited-slip differential keeps responses quick and energetic. As a rear-wheel drive, the Stinger powers to a 0-100kmph acceleration time of 4.9secs.


Inside, there’s plenty of leather upholstery to impress. The low-slung driver's seat further lends credence to the car's sporty flair, while numerous design and technical refinements that scream upscale elegance. The aircraft-inspired vents serve as a nice homage to the classic sports sedans of decades past, before digital infotainment systems came along.


Though design cues are steeped deep in sports car tradition, they nevertheless manage to be highly contemporary, starting with the instrument panel that consists of a seven-inch multi-function display, to the Integrated Memory System lets you store seat and side mirror settings, and on to the ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, and ultra-cool triple-zone climate control. There's also a 15-speaker Harman/Kardon premium sound system to ensure high quality audio accompanies the engine’s mammoth revs.


The Nissan GT-R runs on a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that can dish out a jaw-dropping 565hp and 637Nm.  Shifting is handled by a 6-speed dual clutch transmission with three driver-selectable modes, fully automatic shifting or sequential manual control via steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The Nismo version can reportedly accelerate to 100kmph from a standstill in under 3secs.


For its interior, the Nissan GT-R exudes a driver-centric design with its push start and stop button, sports pedals, triple meter, and four-way power adjustable seats. Infotainment is as high-tech as can be, with an 8-inch touchscreen that permits Bluetooth connections and hands-free calling. In addition to touch functionality, the screen can be controlled using the Display Commander that allows users to toggle up and down, side-to-side, rotate, scroll through, and control the infotainment system, doing away with the need to look at or touch the display screen.


Other upmarket additions include active sound enhancement, active noise cancellation, and an exclusively designed 11-speaker Boss audio system with dual subwoofers. The car is also imbued with the Nissan Intelligent Mobility suite, making the GT-R Premium one of the safest sports cars available in the market today.


The recent version of the Ford Mustang’s fellow American make was launched locally in last year’s MIAS, ushering the car’s return after a brief hiatus in the PH market. The latest Camaro offering from Chevrolet Philippines is powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC VVT direct injection turbo engine mated to an 8-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission, delivering 275hp and 398Nm of torque. This much power launches the Camaro from 0 to 100kmph in 5.4 seconds.


The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro muscle car features a custom leather-trimmed dashboard and console, leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, and black leather interior panel. Driver comfort is further enhanced by sport buckets memory seat with eight-way power adjust and ventilated with cooling and heating. Shotgun riders also get their share of the creature comforts via sport buckets seat features a six-way power adjust with cooling and heating ventilation.


Complementing the car’s performance-focused nature is an RS package that lends the Camaro plenty of sporty refinements, including a polished honeycomb grille, LED tail lamps, decklid spoiler, illuminated Camaro sill plates, five-spoke 20-inch machined wheels, black front and rear Chevrolet bowtie emblems, and RS badging.


The BMW Z4 is actually just a Toyota GR Supra underneath. Both cars share the same platform and powertrain built by BMW. However, that’s where the similarities begin and end.


Unlike the GR Supra which only comes with one engine option,  BMW’s version comes with two power mill choices—a 3.0-liter in-line six with M Performance TwinPower Turbo for the top spec M40i and a 2.0-liter four for the sDrive20i. Regarding power, the former delivers 340hp and 500Nm while the latter manages 197hp and 320Nm. Top speed is 250kmph for the M40i and 240kmph for the sDrive 20i.


The design of the latest Z4 is largely mirrors the Z4 Concept BMW unveiled in 2017. Among the cars prominent design features, there’s the mesh-style BMW kidney grille, vertically-aligned adaptive LED headlights with matrix function for the high beam, air extractors on the front wheel arches, and the rear deck-integrated spoiler. Inside,


Lushly furnished in Magma Red Vernasca leather, the BMW Z4's cabin looks and feels far more luxurious than its Japanese counterpart. The all-new Z4 interior also boasts driver-oriented cockpit with the center stack angled toward the driver. A BMW Head-Up Display (HUD) is also featured for the first time. That said, in terms of overall design, the German make is comparatively a lot more conservative. So if you think the GT Supra is too eye-catching, then the BMW Z4 will be more suited to your taste.


Photo/s from Ford, Chevrolet, Honda, Toyota, Kia, BMW, Nissan

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