The last V6-engined Mustang offered all the heart-racing performance and driving excitement of a Toro ride-on mower.
It delivered a meager 210-horsepower, which is roughly the kind of raw power you expect from a salon-quality hairdryer.
Yet it sold like glazed doughnuts at a police convention because the Mustang looked cool and was cheaper than dirt.
But for 2011, forget everything you know about six-pot Mustangs. This latest car comes with a brand new 3.7-liter V6 packing 305 galloping ponies and the kind of performance that will have you squealing "Ride 'em cowboy."
And here's what really sets the car apart - even with all this new Rambo-esque muscle, it can average a very impressive 31 to the gallon on the highway.
So with this new engine and two new six-speed transmissions, revised suspension and improved braking, the sticker-price has gone through the roof, right?
Wrong. A nicely equipped base 305-horse V6 coupe with six-on-the-floor will set you back a mere $22,145. Heck, Simon Cowell spends more than that on teeth-whitener.
Even the loaded Premium version with power-everything, leather seats and a killer stereo will cost you just $25,845.
And the car is an absolute joy to drive. Hit the gas from standstill and it'll giddy-up to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds, and burn rubber till your face aches from grinning.
Whereas the old 4.0-liter V6 had all the smoothness and refinement of a rusty chain saw, this new, all-aluminum 3.7 revs as smoothly as a Singer sewing machine lubed with Teflon.
And show it a curve and it'll sweep round like it's running on tracks, thanks to new laser-precise electric steering and tighter suspension.
We've waited a long time for a base V6 Mustang that's this much fun. I loved it.
This is one pony that's blossomed into a thoroughbred.
Tampa-based auto writer Howard Walker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.