A review of the 2015 GT Auto
Let me preface my post by stating that I have never owned a Mustang. In fact the last time I owned an American car was 30 years ago and it was a 1978 Camaro. My most recent sports cars were a Porsche Carerra 4 6 spd manual and a Porsche Carerra C4S auto. Both were 996 models. My current cars include a BMW 3 series coupe and a BWW 535 both are M Sport packaged cars and my 5 series has a third party engine tune. I rented a 5 litre GT auto on vacation and have driven it for about 800 miles.
From an external point of view I like the car very much. The evolution to the current body style and the slope of the C pillar to the rear trunk seems to me to have changed the car sufficiently enough to make it look new while maintaining its identity. One peculiar observation is that the front hood gives you the impression it slopes upward ever so slightly. You get the same impression when you sit in the car.
On the inside there is plenty of headroom and the standard GT seats are quite good. Decent lateral support and the lumbar is adjustable. My rental had manually adjustable rake which was a challenge at times. Fit and finish were goid, but the chrome over plastic accents weren't to my liking. I think Ford can move forward and just work with plastic. I don't know if the dash trim was really aluminum or paint, but whatever it was it didn't look convincing. Leather trim on the seats was excellent. I also found Ford's Sync system to be quite good. My Blackberry Passport connected effortlessly, and my wife's windows phone was recognized via USB and all media and playlists were identified. The. USB port did not recognize my Blacberry but I could easily listen to music from my Blacberry via Bluetooth. Call answering was excellent and text messages were automatically read. As long as you set your pre-sets for stations and such...you're set. I had the Shaker radio, not the Shaker Pro. Opt for the pro. The steering wheel controls aren't quite right.
First the shift paddles were small plastic things that barely peaked over the centre steering bar. I don't know who at Ford decided to save $3 to $4 but if you're reading, don't ruin the car's experience with those. If you run your fingers along the edge you can insert your fingernail in the middle giving you the sensation two pieces are snapped together. The phone controls on the steering wheel require you to lift your hand off the steering wheel to answer the phone unless your thumb extends like Spider-Man's. It doesn't work.
The car's performance was excellent. Prodigious torque particularly in Sports mode and a smooth acceleration curve will have the basic Porsce Carerra struggling to keep pace. When in S mode and the shift paddles are enabled, the shifts are adequately fast. Two taps on the left and you're in 4 th from 6 th fast enough to be effective on the track. It certainly was on the highway.The most unnerving thing about the paddles is that they are short and force you to adopt the newer 3 and 9 position. Personally if I was on a track this would drive my crazy as the best I've been able to do is 9:30 and 2:30. Ford if your listening make the paddles a little longer. Brakes were strong but I didn't get a chance to test for fade. First thing in the morning, the brakes squealed loudly for the first application, but then were normal.
Obviously I did not have the car on the track, but to me the suspension was just right for everyday driving. Porches have come a long way very recently but the are typically stiff riding. The mustang was not yet it seemed to maintain reasonably goid cornering stability without a lot of nose dive. The sports mode for steering feel was outstanding and the car tracked dead straight at highway speeds of 80 and 90 mph. It was very responsive in lane changes and I didn't notice a lot of body roll. My coupe was also very quiet at 80 mph.
So can this GT run with the exotics? In the engine department it can. In the handling department it feels close. This version is softer I know but that has its place. Few owners track cars. From the driver's perspective the steering wheel needs some work. Overall...good work Ford. This is a serious car, with a great exhaust note by the way and good outward visibility too.