I think it's only normal that when the latest and greatest performance car comes out, you expect it to leave the old model in the dust. By and large, this is essentially what happened with successive generations of mustang. The problem with the "few minor mods" approach is that you can do the same thing with the previous gen car as well. Which, frankly, I think is awesome. I'm not enamored with the new mustang and it's good to know that at least acceleration wise, it's going to be drivers race. But I can see people who plan on dumping a bunch of cash on the new car to be underwhelmed.
People at ford were also saying that the new mustang would be lighter and smaller than the previous car. Didn't happen. So yeah, I don't really put a lot of credence into manufacturer claims. I'll wait to see the results of more independent organizations before I agree with you.
But I think the one thing that everyone can agree on is the greater level of refinement with the new car. Ride smoothness isn't very sexy, but it is very important for bringing the car up to modern standards and frankly, ensures that the car stays relevant. What I find funny is that talking to mustang guys in my area, many felt that the previous car rode wonderfully. WTF? My 2012 GT rides horribly compared to pretty much any modern car > $25k. So I think in some ways, the reaction from mustang guys could be one based on a feeling of abandonment from Ford. The car is more liveable and modern, but to many people who didn't feel there was a problem with the old car, the new car didn't really take a step forward in the all important area of performance numbers.
I would like to think, however, that Ford A) will sell many more '15+ cars than they sold '11-'14 cars and B) they will offer a performance-centric version in the future that will blow people away---and really show what the new platform is capable of, regardless of weight. Look at what the current camaro is capable of with the right parts and calibration. It's a heavy pig that can really dance in z/28 guise. I don't see why the s550 should be any different.
Weight, IMO, isn't really a huge problem at the moment. It's that Ford is likely saving a few performance tricks for the upcoming performance versions of the S550.
To be fair, when the 05's came out vs the 04's, there wasn't a huge performance gap either in those years. Maybe a few tenth's of a second or so. I think you're right though, with the Camaro and Challenger out now, people were expecting this to blow the doors off everything, especially as how well the 11+ GT did.
I think the biggest disappointment is Mustang fans overhyping the performance numbers itself. I went into it knowing the performance would be the same and I was right, so I don't feel too let down in that aspect very much.
But no, the main thing I'm glad they did was finally bring the car into the 21st century. Comfort wise, the 2010+ was starting to finally get there, but before that, the car suffered from an awful interior and so so performance. The fact that the car ITSELF is much improved on makes it more of a win than a lose in my book. Though, I still don't have an interest in getting an S550 for a few years down the road. 2015 is going to be the guinea pig year.
2012 Mustang GT Premium
BLACK on BLACK 401A. A6, HIDs, Security, Rear Camera+Reverse Sensing, Remote Start, Comfort.
(Planning on CAI/Tune then I'll be good)