I suspect it's because you first started to drive about the time the New Edge was the "new Mustang".
The S197 is built on a much longer chassis - 107" wheelbase vs 101" (to the nearest whole inch). That means it can be made a bit 'sleeker' (I like that better than "less boxy"). The S197's C-pillar is much better integrated with the rest of the bodywork; to me the New Edge greenhouse looks almost like an afterthought with its sharp break.
I actually started driving in '07, so the S197 had been out for a few years. I liked them at the time, but I dont think the front end has aged well. Even on the GT it's not very aggressive looking in stock form. I actually was pretty indifferent toward the New Edge style before I got one. I thought they looked nice, but they weren't at the top of my list at all. They've grown on me alot since I got it though.
Getting rid of the triangulated 4-link (with or without the quad-shocks) and going to the 3-link/PHB arrangement was a huge step in the right direction as far as handling composure is concerned. It's arguably at the top of the heap as far as "simple" stick-axle suspensions are concerned.
Definitely. The 3-link is one of the main reasons I was looking into one of these. I had to deal with one of the upper torque boxes coming off the '01. Nice peace of mind know I won't have to deal with that here.
If your '07 hasn't had its shocks and struts replaced with something better than OE (or worse, mass-market OE-replacement), you'll want to budget for those as well. Springs with increased stiffness need better damping to properly control them, else the ride gets bouncey or floaty.
I'll keep that in mind. I'm not putting the springs on till I get an adjustable panhard bar anyway, so it might be a while. The car rides great so they must've been replaced at some point, but I'm sure they were just OEM or some other stock equivalents.
I don't think the OE shifter is all that bad when new, but it does seem that wear and tear over time and miles introduce some sloppiness. Not all of it is in the shifter proper - there's a separate link between the shifter and the transmission's internal shift rail that develops play over time. Even the better aftermarket shifters (MGW, Barton) can't eliminate this source of sloppiness.
Keep in mind that short-throw shifting typically brings increased notchiness along with it. I fabbed a short shift lever extension to "de-notchy" the MGW I installed in my '08 a while back. I find it much easier to deal with a little more throw than a lot more notchiness. That's in normal street driving, autocross, or higher speed road course driving. A 100% straightline-oriented street/strip driver might not mind notchy and hate the longer throw.
I just noticed that after driving my '01 around the block the other day. That has a Steeda tri-ax, and I immediately noticed how much shorter the throw was and how much more pronounced the 'notches' were compared to the '07. I actually preferred that. Guess I didn't realize the difference before because I never used the stock shifter in the NE so had nothing to compare to, until I drove both of these back to back. It's actually crazy how different they feel.
I thought about fabbing up a custom shift handle after I get a short-throw, but mostly to offset the shift-knob to the left a little bit, since I'm fairly tall and have the seat back a fair bit, so it can be a bit of a stretch to 5th gear sometimes, and would also help getting it out of the way of the cup holders. Might have to play around with different lengths and offsets to see what works. I'm not sure if this would cause some weird stress issues in the shifter though.
2007 Mustang GT - 5-Speed, Airaid CAI, 4.10s
2001 Mustang GT "Mock 1" - 5-Speed, 03 Mach 1 Swap, 98 Cobra Intake Cam Swap, BBK CAI & Longtube Headers w/ H-Pipe, 4.10s 302 rwhp / 310 ft-lbs
2015 Ford Fiesta - Wifes
1981-82 Mustang Cobra/GT T-Top
1984 Mustang GT T-Top - Bare Chassis
1984 Mustang GT350 - 302 / 5-Speed
1984 Mustang LX - 302 / 5-Speed