1.) A Stock 1992 Tempo GLS V6 will NOT beat a 5.0 Mustang. The only excepetion is if the driver of the mustang doesn't know how to race OR there is something VERY wrong with the Mustang.
However, the GLS will beat a stock pre-fox-body 6-Cyl mustang in the 1/4 mile. This is because the older 6-cyls just weren't as powerful. They had about 120hp. The Tempo has between 130-140. Ford says it's 130, but tests done by auto-magazines got 140.
I can't say for sure how the Tempo would fair against the Fox-Body mustangs. However, Post-Fox-body 6-cyl mustangs have a higher gear ratio than the Tempo. Meaning the tempo will beat these mustangs in the quarter mile as well. However, after that 1/4 mile mark, the Mustang is gonna catch up real quick a blow by you.
The tempo, I'm sorry to say, has nothing on the V8 Mustangs. I raced a 5.0 in my Tempo just for the honor of doing so and he just whipped right by me. The slowest GT 5.0 runs 15.50s. The Tempo GLS on it's BEST day runs 16.1.
2.) The GLS DOES come with a 5-speed manual. I have one.
3.) The Tempo has a severely bad wrap because of the 4-cyl engine in the leseer models. The V6 Vulcan motor in the GLS is VERY reliable. I have NEVER had a problem with the engine. I've had a few sensors go up, but the car is 15 years old, the problems it's having are expected. A lot of people don't even know the GLS exists. I've had people ask me if I've modified my car with some kind of body kit. No, it's all stock. People who don't believe me when I tell them I have a V6. I have to open the hood just to prove it.
4.) People need to get their facts straight.
This is the "Car and Driver" report on the 1992 Tempo GLS.
183 cubic inches
HP : 130 @ 4800 RPM
Torque : 150 lb-ft @ 3000 RPM.
0-60 time : 7.8 seconds
1/4 mile : 16.1 sec @ 85 MPH.
0-60 time is NOT 9 sec or more.
You also need to understand that there is a BIG difference between every other tempo model and the GLS.
The GLS has some awesome handling. "Sports Suspension." It can handle as well as most if not all cars in it's class.
It's also extremely fuel efficient. If you change the oil like you're supposed to and you keep up with maintenance.
The Tempo GLS is some kind of freak accident of Ford. It deserves so much more respect than it gets. You also need to keep in mind that even the last year of the Tempo is still an old car. If you have a Tempo now, of course it's going to be having problems. If you leave a chunk of metal outside for 15 years, it's gonna rust. Paint fades. Things break. There is no car that is invincible to the effects of aging.
The Tempo GLS is a good car. It's reliable. When it was in production; it was probably one of the best small-mid-size class cars out there. However, as I said, even the newest Tempo is going to be 12 years old. So I don't reccomend going out and getting a Tempo GLS unless you want to put the time and money into fixing it, or if by some freakish chance it is still in pristine condition. If you want a car to play with and fix up, get a Tempo GLS.
The GLS is best used for whooping up on cavaliers and base-stock civics. The 92 Z24 Cav was the prime competition for the 92 GLS Tempo. The two cars pitted head to head, who wins is really left up to the skill of the driver. And THAT is what racing is about.