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Ford Mustang GT: 2018 Motor Trend Best Driver's Car Contender

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/19/2018 Motor Trend Staff
2018-Ford-Mustang-GT-front-in-motion-3.jpg

Although our Best Driver's Car competition is by no means a numbers game, the 2018 Mustang GT Perf Pack 2 really needed to smack down its archnemesis, the Camaro SS 1LE that finished fourth here in 2016. The Mustang, unfortunately, missed that bogey, subjectively and objectively.

First the objective: A lap-time gap of 0.65 second at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is a lifetime. It even trails the Chevy by 0.3 second on our tiny figure-eight course. Time lost between the corners as a result of the Mustang's 35-lb-ft torque deficit is easily forgiven for its fabulous soundtrack.

Randy Pobst felt the 'Stang is "not balanced like the Camaro. There's a little too much oversteer in the entry phase and when I go to power. I would put a little more front anti-roll bar in it." He was also vexed by the stability control, which, although disabled, seemed to resurrect after a lap or two.

a red car parked in a parking lot© Motor Trend Staff

In the braking department, however, Kim Reynolds gushed, "When did the Mustang get such great brakes?"—a sentiment backed up by a Camaro-matching 94-foot stop from 60 mph. But Pobst and Chris Walton wished for initial bite that was a bit less abrupt.

Subjectively, Pobst loved the Mustang on the smooth track—but was surprised to learn the Audi TT RS ran quicker.

On our bumpy Route 198 hill climb, the rest of the jury was underwhelmed by the Ford. A balky high-friction shifter and too-roomy seat drew near universal disdain, as did the front end's propensity to follow ruts.

The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 steamrollers are immensely sticky, good for 1.06 g on our skidpad, but they send vague, confidence-sapping messages to the helm—especially when transitioning into a curve, before the chassis settles into the corner. Many drivers reported making constant midcorner course corrections—especially in corners that provoked bump steer.

Scott Evans summarized the staff's sentiments: "I was hoping for a budget Shelby, and what I got was a better GT."

More 2018 Best Driver's Car Contenders:

• Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
• Audi TT RS
• Aston Martin Vantage
• BMW M5
• Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
• Honda Civic Type R
• Kia Stinger GT
• Lamborghini Huracan Performante
• Mazda MX-5 Miata
• McLaren 720S
• Porsche 911 GT2 RS

a car driving down a dirt road© Motor Trend Staffa screenshot of a cell phone© Motor Trend Staff

2018 Ford Mustang GT (Performance Pack 2)
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD
ENGINE TYPE 90-deg V-8, alum block/heads
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 307.4 cu in/5,038 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 12.0:1
POWER (SAE NET) 460 hp @ 7,000 rpm*
TORQUE (SAE NET) 420 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm*
REDLINE 7,400 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 8.3 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 3.73:1/2.32:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 16.0:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.3
BRAKES, F; R 15.0-in vented disc; 13.0-in vented disc, ABS
WHEELS 10.5 x 19-in; 11.0 x 19-in, forged aluminum
TIRES 305/30R19 98Y Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 107.1 in
TRACK, F/R 62.4/65.1 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 188.5 x 75.4 x 53.9 in
TURNING CIRCLE 41.7 ft
CURB WEIGHT 3,829 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 55/45%
SEATING CAPACITY 4
HEADROOM, F/R 37.6/34.8 in
LEGROOM, F/R 45.1/29.0 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 56.3/52.2 in
CARGO VOLUME 13.5 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 1.8 sec
0-40 2.4
0-50 3.4
0-60 4.3
0-70 5.3
0-80 6.8
0-90 8.1
0-100 9.6
0-100-0 13.3
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.0
QUARTER MILE 12.6 sec @ 113.5 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 94 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.06 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.6 sec @ 0.86 g (avg)
2.2-MI ROAD COURSE LAP 1:38.42 sec
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,750 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $44,685
PRICE AS TESTED $51,770
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/Yes
AIRBAGS 8: Dual front, front side, f/r curtain, front knee
BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 miles
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 miles
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 5 yrs/60,000 miles
FUEL CAPACITY 16.0 gal
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB ECON* 15/25/18 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 225/135 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 1.06 lb/mile
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded regular
* Horsepower/torque ratings with Premium fuel; EPA ratings with Regular

Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver's Car? See the cars in action right here.


2018 Ford Mustang GT front three quarter in motion 3© Motor Trend Staff 2018 Ford Mustang GT front three quarter in motion 3

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