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The All New 2018 Ford Mustang GT

Bench Racing

by Ryan King

There I was, cruising the supermarket isles when I came across the magazine section and spied the latest Motor Trend.

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Being the avid car junkie that I am, I picked it up to flip through the pages and saw that there's finally a test of the all new 2018 Mustang GT and they've pitted it immediately against the Camaro. And not just any Camaro, but the SS 1LE. That caused me to think, "this doesn't necessarily seem fair, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt." It turns out that they pitted the Mustang GT with the optional Performance Pack 1 against the 1LE and I thought, "okay, sure, I see the relationship. They're both chassis upgrades from the base models. Let's see how it did."

I've been waiting months to finally see some hard data on the newest Mustang after Ford was touting the Mustang's improvements, I was hoping that they were taking the Pony Car Wars seriously.

I was right about the match up, it wasn't fair. And I don't know what the purpose for the match up was, but upon further reading, it was pretty obvious to me that while it may seem like they were appropriate rivals, they weren't.

After making numerous improvements to the Mustang, the upgraded GT with the Performance Pack 1 option is finally adequate to go head to head against the base model Camaro SS, not the 1LE.

It would be like placing the base model SS in a competition with the GT-350R, the two cars don't have the same purpose.

Upon first blush, this article makes the Camaro appear to continue outclassing the Mustang, but I think when you put the "natural rivals" together, it doesn't.

After all, even the base model Camaro SS has a suspension handling package option that isn't the track-star 1LE.

So how does that match up stack up?

Pretty darned close – at least when looking at the numbers.

For comparison purposes I've pitted the new 2018 Mustang with the PP1 suspension package against the 2016 Camaro with the handling package because that is still the current model, technically (mechanically?) speaking. I've drawn the performance numbers from the Motor Trend articles 2016 Camaro SS vs. 2016 Mustang GT and 2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE vs. 2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack, respectively.

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

  • Body: 2-door coupe, 188.3" L x 74.7" W x 53.1" H, 110.7" WB
  • Interior: 4-passenger
  • Powertrain: Front-engine, RWD
  • Curb Weight: 3,672 lbs, 54%/46% F/R
  • Engine: 6.2L/376 cid V8, OHV
  • Horsepower: 455 @ 6000
  • Torque: 455 @ 4400
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Rear End: 3.73:1, limited-slip w/traction control
  • Suspension: Independent w/stability control
  • Brakes: 13.6"/13.3" Disc, ABS
  • Wheels & Tires: Aluminum 20"x8.5"/20"x9.5", Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 Runonflat 245/40ZR20 & 275/35ZR20
  • 0-60: 4.0 sec
  • Quarter Mile: 12.4 @ 114
  • Skid Pad: 1.00 g
  • Figure 8 (no slalom): 24.1 sec @ .85 g avg
  • 60-0: 104 ft

2018 Ford Mustang GT

  • Body: 2-door coupe, 188.5" L x 75.4" W x 54.3" H, 107.1" WB
  • Interior: 4-passenger
  • Powertrain: Front-engine, RWD
  • Curb Weight: 3863 lbs, 54%/46% F/R
  • Engine: 5.0L/307 cid V8, DOHC
  • Horsepower: 460 @ 7000
  • Torque: 420 @ 4600
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Rear End: 3.73:1, limited slip w/traction control
  • Suspension: Independent w/stability control
  • Brakes: 15"/13" Disc, ABS
  • Wheels & Tires: Aluminum 19"x9"/19"x9.5", Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S 255/40R19 & 275/40R19
  • 0-60: 4.4 sec
  • Quarter Mile: 12.6 @ 115
  • Skid Pad: 1.00 g
  • Figure 8 (no slalom): 24.0 sec @ .83 g avg
  • 60-0: 104 ft

There you have it, a real (data) comparison between the new Mustang and the 6th gen Camaro.

I'm not yet sold on the Mustang's new front end, but it's growing on me. Otherwise, it appears Team Mustang has finally brought the original Pony Car up to snuff and ready to compete with the amazing Camaro.

As I've mentioned in the past, the current iteration of the Camaro is my favorite, and although I'm a life-long Mustang fan, for the first time, I'm finding it a struggle to choose between the two.

I'm not sure you can go wrong either way at this point.

I think the real winners here are the owners and the fans.

Ryan

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