Okay, Really? You can't tell a GT500 that says GT500 all over it, and has spoilers and scoops and huge wheels on it from a base V6 Mustang? And you are a Mustang fan? Really?
No one has ever said you should feel inferior. Just buy what you like and enjoy it. What the issue is here is that you claim it is a waste of money to go the extra and get a GT. You claim a $6K to $8K difference. You also probably have a loaded up V6, and then you probably bolted on aftermarket extras for looks, and even some performance upgrades like most V6 owners do (of course HP means nothing to you). By the time you get done loading up a V6 and adding aftermarket extras to it, the cost difference is very minimal to the base GT.
Plus, maybe your circle of friends all just want a car they can look cool in. I don't know you or your friends. My friends and family can easily spot a GT over a base Mustang. If nothing else, the sound will tell you what is under the hood... especially on the new 5.0 Mustang! And definitely the drive will tell you which car you are in!
I remember even back to the Fox body Mustang days. You could spot a 5.0 instantly even without the badging on it, because the tires were much wider and the stainless pipes sticking straight out the back were present only on the V8 cars. That is how I could tell the hordes of people that stuck "5.0's" on their 4 cylinder cars from the real 5.0 Mustangs. The same is true today. The only V6 cars that are hard to identify are the ones with the extras on them making them look like Bosses or Mach's. Many V6 owners even go for the dual exhaust conversion to make their cars look like a GT more or to add more HP... neither of which they care about, so I am not sure why they are spending the extra money on this. Yeah, right...
After all is said and done, I could care less if you can tell one from another. People concerned with only this part of owning a Mustang miss the point of owning a sports car to me. I could care less if anyone is gawking at my car when I go by. The only thing that I invest in is my own enjoyment, and that comes down to driving experience and nothing else. I don't need my ego stoked by having a tricked out Mustang. I am married, so I don't need to pick girls up with my car... nor did I ever, now that I think about it! I buy cars to drive them. From the drivers seat, you see none of your bolt on crap except maybe a hood scoop, which looks horrendous on the newest Mustang anyway. A GT is just a better drivers car, plain and simple. It offers much more over the base car. Using its full potential isn't the purpose. You can't drive a Focus to its full potential either without breaking the law, so this argument really doesn't make sense. You are claiming to have the authority on how much is too much here, as you are okay with your V6, but the GT is too much power to use legally. Sorry, not your decision, and your opinion is just that... yours and yours alone.
I guess I just don't understand why you think it is your place to tell others what is too much for them to spend on a car, insurance, gas, etc. etc. Do you go on Corvette threads or Ferrari threads and tell them they spent too much on their cars too? This is why people tell you to stick with the Fusion. Based on your logic, you yourself overpaid for your car and could be driving something more economical that is cheaper to insure and has less "unusable" HP. And how do you justify putting $thousand of useless bolt on parts onto a perfectly good car that needs none of them. Isn't that wasted money too? Maybe you need to stop wasting effort on what everyone else is buying. You're definitely not swaying any GT owners into trading in for a V6 here.
The 4.0 Cologne is a dreadful motor. It is almost 40 years old, and it has more use as a boat anchor than as an internal combustion engine. However I think the 4.0 is a good engine that needs to see a doctor.
If you nor your friends can't tell the difference between a Mustang GT and a V6 Mustang, maybe an eye checkup is in order.
You should also consult a reputable publication and check up on your facts. If the V6 Mustang outsells the Mustang GT, it is because car rental companies have them in their fleet.
Every Mustang V6 owner wishes their car was a Mustang GT, for performance, power, handling, and pride of ownership. I have NOT met one single Mustang GT owner that said he wished he had a V6 Mustang instead.
If you are really buying a V6 Mustang for looks and not performance, why do you have the need to add aftermarket parts to make your V6 Mustang faster, why the need for the dual exhaust, why the larger wheels. I can tell you why. You want people to think you actually have a Mustang GT.
Then you have those that go as far as having dual exhaust installed. Let me tell you, it sounds horrible. Do you honestly think it resembles the throaty rumble of a V8?
I can tell the difference a mile away.
This same argument could have transpired in the 60s era with Mustangs as well. Then it was why didn't you at least get a 289 V8?
Not in my case. I had a totally stock bare-ones GT automatic before getting my 4.0 V-6. I DID NOT wish for another V-8. I WANTED a 6 because I could get a smoother ride, lower insurance, better gas mileage and every option offered for less than a base GT. Yes, the 4.0 accelerates a tiny bit slower (to me 1.5 seconds difference 0-60 is NOT worth sacrificing looks and amenities). I could care less. It is no one's business but mine... PERIOD. My GT had a very nice exhaust note and not a single person every noticed. My 4.0 sounds like a 6, so what?? My 4.0 is much sharper in every way than my GT, and everywhere I go, I get compliments on it. I just went through the drive-through at my bank and the teller said "WOW!! That's an incredible car!!" I drove my drab, totally stock GT through that same drive-through hundreds of times with never a comment.
And as far as feeling INFERIOR?? Give me a BREAK!! I could drive a Mercedes or a BMW if I chose to. In fact we have a Lincoln MKZ. I make no apologies or "excuses" for ANY car I drive. I don't have to.
And as for pretending to have a GT?? Hardly. I have V-6 emblems proudly adorning both sides of my 4.0. When my wife and I drive the car in parades and to car shows, it is received far better than a plain-jane GT. In fact we never took our GT to shows or parades because it looked just like every other Mustang on the Ford lot. In the time we owned it, not one single person ever once complimented the car. One business associate said "Gee, this car is fast".
Since buying and customizing my V-6, I get compliments every time I take it out. I prefer that kind of attention to being pulled over for doing burn-outs in a plain-looking car that my grandmother might drive. Yes, as a young kid I DID love to waste money burning up tires and showing off. As a responsible adult, I greatly prefer just sitting back and letting the car get the attention, without all the dangerous theatrics.