Oh and by the way, 1/4 mile times sell cars in the U.S. No one will give a damn if the car stops 25% better if its .2 slower in the 1/4 mile.
No, they don't.
Quarter mile times don't sell ****, they're just bragging rights for retards on forums. Pick up a car brochure in a showroom and show me where they list the 1/4 mile times.
Here's your issue; you're caught up in the "tyranny of the forums" and think that forums, members, and their posts somehow represent average American people buying cars, which is a perceptual problem. You spend too much time on forums like this and think they represent reality.
Mustangs are small volume niche cars, as are Camaros and Challengers. The reality is that they appeal to a very small number of people, and most of those are pubescent boys that can't buy them.
So, when car magazines (which reach and influence 1,000,000 times more people than any forums) do tests of Mustangs against BMWs, Porsches and such, and the Mustang equals or betters such exotica, this creates a shift in what Mustangs are. They never have been muscle cars, and "Pony cars" was a made-up marketing term from the 1960s to pit Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds, etc. against one another, and sell units. But in reality Mustangs are just sports cars with tiny back seats......like a 911s, DB9s, M3s, and many other sports cars that have small, useless rear seats.
Unless, you know, you think 911s, M3s and DB9s are "pony cars".
You think that no one gives a damn about handling and braking? Son, the entire reason why the 2011-2014 Mustang was successful, was due to magazine article back in 2010 in Road & Track where a Brembo PP Mustang was as good as a BMW M3 on a track. And I mean a real, actual track, with turns and everything. This was the article that caused Mustangs to be taken seriously, to be looked at as a genuine performance car, and not some rednecks straight-line stormer. 2011 BMW M3 Coupe vs. 2011 Ford Mustang GT Comparison - Motor Trend
So, once again. The biggest issue with Mustangs is their owners, who are stuck in the 1960s and 70s, and think Mustangs are muscle cars and are only good for going fast in a straight line, or think that "pony cars" is a real thing.
ETA: I will agree that Mustangs can be many different things to many different people, but from 2005 on Mustangs have been GT/Sports cars, and from 2011 on they're properly compared to M3s and 911s, not Challengers.
Still not convinced Mustangs are sports cars. How about a direct quote from Ford's brochure for the 1965 Mustang?; "You can choose from over 70 options, and design your Mustang as a hot blooded sports car....."