A review of the 2014 GT/Track Pack
I took delivery of this black 2014 with 7 miles on the clock about a week ago and have spent some fairly significant time with it. I wanted to leave this information here for the people that follow behind me whom are contemplating this purchase at some point. Iíll try my best to keep emotion and romance out of what follows, but I canít guarantee that I will succeed. This may be rather lengthy, as I will break this review down by dividing this car into sections. My car is optioned as GT Prem with Comfort, Electronics, and TP with leather Recaros @ 100 miles.
My first experience with this particular revision occurred last year in the form of a 2013 California Special (CS) GT Auto that I rented for an 800 mile roundtrip hike to and from Las Vegas. The car left me with the impression that the suspension was far too soft to be taken seriously for my taste. Stabbing the brakes or punching the throttle produced massive pitching and squatting. I had no confidence in this car around corners and tight traffic; the car felt as though it was riding on marshmallows. Still, I knew there was potential.
The quality of fit and finish was vastly improved over previous iterations; gone were the squeaks, creaks, and rattles. The Shaker 500 was actually decent and the selection of interior materials wasnít bad at all. This solidified my resolve to have this car in manual trim, so I began the hunt for further reviews and options for the build. All of my internet research led me to believe that the Track Pack (TP) was a non negotiable and even having opted for it, Iíd have to invest another couple grand into aftermarket suspension pieces such as UCA, LCAs, PB, shocks/Struts, Springs, and HD strut mounts. This was my expectation, and having no TP to actually test locally, I was prepared to make the leap of faith.
Letís start at the front end. The fit of the bumper, hood, and fenders is near perfect. The Brembo wheels are nicer in person than in pictures, so Iím no longer motivated to change them. The HID lamps are just as nice as those on my S2000 and provide me with great visibility, both laterally and out front. The cutoff is very clean. Iíd like to raise them a few degrees, however. The LED whiskers and integrated fogs look very cutting edge and really pull the entire front end together, producing a menacing appearance.
Moving to the middle of the car, Iím quite pleased with the way Ford designed the rearview mirrors, which is usually an eyesore on these cars. Still, I wish Ford would progress into the 21st century by giving us folding mirrors. I also love the door handles on this car. They are subtly designed and are cleanly integrated into the doors. The doors also close with a solid ďthunkĒ. The windows lower about a quarter of an inch as you open them, rising fully after closing the door. This is likely a feature to accommodate the convertible models.
The rear quarter and trunk seamlessly flow from the doors; this car looks great from every angle. And by great, I mean muscular and aggressive Ė but not at the expense of style and good taste. The rear tails are just gorgeous; thereís *just enough* tech to stay cutting edge without going Autozone . The sequential turn signals make you want to use them, something that people here in CA could benefit from. I find myself giving people about 700 yards of advanced notice to let them know that I might be turning at some point. One last thing about the trunk - the interior is cavernous, but could be a little nicer. Ford still doesn't care about the trunk carpeting. Please take a cue from Honda and attach it to a rigid and form fitting backing material.
The lower fascia is gorgeous. It would appear as though Ford learned that the less plastic, the better. I could do without the large license plate enclosure, but itís not bad Ė and the exhaust is just about right. The tips are nice rolled pieces that could stand to be increased in diameter to about 3.5Ē Ė 4.0Ē. Iíd rather not see all that muffler. Iíd prefer it painted black, with just the tips chromed; just the tip...to see how it feels.
The interior is really nice. The Recaros are perfect and are very easy to adjust. I hope they hold up, though. Iím concerned that the lower bolsters will start creasing prematurely. I canít validate this, but Iím keeping a watchful eye out. Keep people with bedazzled jeans out! Pack a towel in your trunk in the event your girl wants to wear her Hundson jeans with those ridiculously large buttons on the rear. They will only tear and stretch your leather.
The shifter falls to my hand and Iím one of the lucky people whose elbow doesnít always engage the center console door release. The shifter feels over insulated, but engages gears well; you wonít be getting any sort of feedback as to what the motor and tranny are up to through this one. I havenít had any problems, but then again, Iím not power shifting this thing [ever]. I do plan on using the Steeda bracket with black bushing, but Iím in no rush. Iíd also like to install the Boss Shift knob and boot, as I tend to like cue ball shifters. The stock piece is good enough for now. The best advice I can give is to learn how to shift this thing slowly before trying to row this thing like a fool. Once you get a feel for the way the gate is set up, you will begin to shift instinctively.
The gauges are gorgeous and highly legible. I keep the halos off, as they cast reflections onto the windshield. Many people think that the display between the gauges is crooked, but it isnít. Itís an optical illusion created by the dashboard cover; both halves of the dashboard angle up towards the center. The gauges and whatís between them are perfectly level. The discrepancy between them creates this illusion. If you keep the ďMiles to EmptyĒ screen off, you wonít even notice the horse galloping downhill.
The steering wheel is leather wrapped and feels nice enough, but oddly hollow or light weight. I wish it had a textured surface, though, as itís quite powdery in feel. The remote control buttons are very easy to access and manipulate. Iím not a fan of where the spokes are placed, but again, it works and Iím getting used to it. The feel of it in ďSportĒ mode is very nice, albeit a bit light for my taste Ė a possible reason for the hollow feel. Still, itís really nice.
The spacing and relative heights of the accelerator, brake, and clutch pedals is just about perfect for me. Having a shorter throw clutch pedal would be nice. Itís almost deceiving; the clutch pedal has consistent weight throughout its entire range and there is neither groan nor sigh when actuating it. The brake pedal is firm and feels great Ė nice initial bite without being grabby. The accelerator is very dynamic, but I reckon we can attribute this to the beastly motor.
Letís get into the neety greety. The first drive home with it was quite the experience. Turning the ignition to ďonĒ elicited a smooth starter engagement [take notes, GM] and healthy rumble from the exhaust on cold startup. Forget what I said about leaving emotions out of this review, because by this point I was absolutely giddy! Heads were turning, glances cast, and the primal and indescribable substance of pure manhood burbled forth like lava from the mighty depth of Vesuvius herself! Every man, woman, and child within earshot experienced spontaneous chest hair growth.
I had to use a 2 point maneuver to back out of my parking space. Sweet mercy, Ford, why did you locate reverse beside first gear? Iím used to it now, but in a tight space, you WILL have your foot perched upon the brake pedal just in case.
I eased out of the dealership and onto the surface street. I actually stalled it. The same faces which beamed with delight and masculine satisfaction now contorted into grimaces. Chests deflated and hands were thrown into the air, some flapping over gaping mouths shod in utter disbelief. After understanding how the clutch and gas play together on this car, I managed to make my exit with finesse.
The imperfections in the straight road gave way to taught suspension movements and mild blips of the throttle yielded the sweet and musical harmony of induction growl, engine noise, and exhaust tone. My pulse increased and my hands started sweating. Is this love?
I made my way to the freeway onramp, greeted by a nice sweeping right-hander. Leaning into the throttle, the car surged forward and pressed me into the seat. First gear was gone in a flash and the longer legs of second and third gear along with the smooth roar of the motor and exhaust had me laughing out loud in sheer amazement, as all of the suspension pieces that I had planned on replacing worked in unison, keeping the car glued to the pavement and with minimal body roll. I rifled into the flow of traffic from the merging lane torque drunk in sheer and utter disbelief. This cannot be a FORD. This cannot be a MUSTANG. This car feels weightless when accelerating. It actually drives much smaller than it really is thanks to the seating position, brakes, suspension, and amount of available power.
A week later, Iím still not convinced that this GT is even remotely related to the rental I drove. I still donít believe that this is a Ford product. Hey! I just noticed the radio! You will not care about the radio when you are driving this car. Oh - as others have noted, you will believe your car is on fire for the first thousand miles or so as things break in. Do not be alarmed. When I come inside after driving with the windows down, people ask me if I escaped a burning building. Me, I love it. Itís that same effect that gets me when I leave a BBQ. You smell that? Thatís man, baby.
I noticed that the tranny and gears tend to whine a bit, but itís nothing like my S2000. I donít mind it. You will also hear little clunks as you depress and engage the clutch. This also appears to be normal and is a result of the individualís driving style and the two piece drive shaft. Again, you probably wonít care.
All in all, this carís amazing and I have no regrets. At some point in time, Iíll probably start tweaking the suspension and exhaust, but honestly this car is satisfying right out of the box. If you are considering one, then press ahead.
"Ruining good moments since 1975"
Black 2014 GT Prem/Track Pack | 6MT | Recaros | Electronics & Comfort Packages | Whiteline: PB + Brace + LCAs + UCA