Poor mans Austin Martin.
I would have to say the old adage, "Poor man's XXXX" doesn't apply anymore. Cars have become disposable commodities - the technologies they now incorporate becomes more intrusive to the core of the vehicle, and much harder to upgrade to keep up with day to day needs of real people who rely on such technologies to conduct business. Only the super-cheap cars are not on the scale. Remember, you can now buy a $50,000k + Hyundai. When they first came out, I believe they were priced under $5k. Cars these days only have to meet people's needs and not break (too soon). Typically, ultra-high performance cars are piloted (around these parts) by tools who have no business driving them, but are self-compensating for their ill-gotten gains - I'm thinking of K Street here, Wall Street in Manhattan and just about any professional athletic organization. Around here, it's especially amusing to watch these people inch these things along as they sit festering in two hour traffic jams while pedestrians pass on the pavement. Occasionally, they get pissed off and pilot their penis mobiles at warp speed into a jersey barrier, light post, whatever - last one I saw do that was an Audi R8. I almost peed myself. I've got a picture on my old cell phone of a Hummer upside down, and another of a Hummer on what have to be 36" wheels.
These days, I, like most, am merely looking for a commuter podule with decent space and looks, nice leather seats, some level of luxury accoutrements, good stereo and great connectivity. I no longer need to be devastated when some mentally handicapped soccer mom slams the door of her school-bus-nee-Suburban-whatever into my driver. Or when I hand the keys to the monkey dressed as a valet in a parking garage downtown and pay him $30 a day for the privilege of parking my car by the braille method. My current Audi's rear bumper has been repainted three times at the expense of these morons.
Bottom line - I applaud the hell out of Ford for their forward thinking - the new Mustang is an awesome (if not impractical for most) car at an unbelievably affordable price point and moving away from purely retro styling is a timely and highly cogent move.
For the record, my current and past daily driver list consists of 5 Audis, 3 Lincolns (I LOVED my Mark VIII - but it was awful in snow), 2 LTD LXs (one of which is in my sig and the other was my daily driver when I was in college twenty years ago), and my first car, a Pontiac POS. Worst. Car. Ever.
Oh, yeah - the new Mustangs look fantastic. More of an homage than retro. I like that.
Well, I wrote it, so I'm gonna post it. Forgive my didactic monologue.