A better GT
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.
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.”
Want EVEN MORE from 2018 Best Driver’s Car? See the cars in action right here.
More 2018 Best Driver’s Car Contenders:
- Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
- Lamborghini Huracan Performante
- Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
- Mazda MX-5 Miata
- Honda Civic Type R
- BMW M5
- Audi TT RS
- McLaren 720S
- Kia Stinger GT
- Aston Martin Vantage
- Porsche 911 GT2 RS
|2018 Ford Mustang GT (Performance Pack 2)|
|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|
|POWER (SAE NET)||460 hp @ 7,000 rpm*|
|TORQUE (SAE NET)||420 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm*|
|WEIGHT TO POWER||8.3 lb/hp|
|SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR||Struts, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, adj shocks, anti-roll bar|
|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|
|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%|
|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|
|ACCELERATION TO MPH|
|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|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$51,770|
|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|