In 1964 Ford introduced the first Mustang. A desirable coupe for everyone. I mean really everyone.
Back in the 60’s the retail value of a brand new Mustang was 2,400US$. Considering inflation in 2018 it would be somewhere around 19,000US$. For comparison a Jaguar E-Type was sold for the equivalent of 60,000US$. That’s three times more than the Mustang.
54 years went by. The Mustang still exists and its stronger than ever.
But the real question is : how is it today ? Is it still a boat with way too soft suspensions and huge body-roll ? And most importantly is it really fun to drive ?
Let’s find out.
Before starting this review we have to confess. Having been raised in France, American cars are not our favorites. The fact that our dad sold his BMW M3 E30 to buy a Pontiac Transport when we were kids has probably been a trauma.
Mustang Gt 2018: outside design
First thing first, on an aesthetic point of view the 2018 Ford Mustang is super sexy. We have to admit that we absolutely love its classic while modern fastback shape. The all front fascia has been redesigned to become more agressive. It features a all new hood, new front fenders and bumper as well as new LED lights. At the rear, the changes are quite noticeable too thanks to the new quad-tip exhaust (we will come back to this later).
Fine, the car looks great but how does it drive ?
Under the hood
Well… the beast is animated by a naturally aspirated 5.0L V8 delivering 460hp to the rear wheels. Oh yeah, and, did we mention that it comes with a manual gearbox? In those times where the trend is to put double clutch paddle shifters in sport cars Ford decided to stick to the tradition and it’s just awesome. The 2018 Mustang can come with an optional 10 speed automatic transmission which is surely great but it would be a crime not to choose the manual one.
Remember I told you that the 2018 model features a new exhaust system ? The result is that it’s one of the best sounding car I’ve heard in a very long time.
Just step into the car and push the start and stop button to awake the beast.
The V8 roars. No music needed, I can’t even tell you how the sound system is. However I did try all the exhaust modes and this is how it works.
Basically on the steering wheel you have a mustang button which allows you to enter the performance options of the car. You can then select the exhaust mode which range from quiet to track, thanks to the new all digital cockpit. The quiet mode makes it a “normal car” and it’s actually perfect to come back home late in the night without waking-up your all neighbourhood. Then there is the normal mode which is not normal in the sense that it’s already quite loud, but, to be honest you’re not buying a Mustang to be normal so let’s jump to the track exhaust mode. It is absolutely glorious.
The V8 screams and express itself until 7,500rpm printing your ribs in the stunning Recaro seats.
The interior is not the definition of luxury but we don’t ask for it. We’re just looking for performance and perhaps a touch of polyvalence. The leather on the Recaro and the steering wheel is beautiful. Some plastics on the door handles and the central tunnel are hard but we can accept these little cheap details in a 40,000$ car. Overall the cabins is beautiful for the money. Clearly we can affirm that Ford came a long way for the finishes.
The first feeling is really good, the steering wheel is quite heavy which is expected considering that the V8 is on the front axle. The direction seems precise and the car stable. Above everything you quickly find yourself enchanted by the sound of the beast.
It’s been a long time we didn’t test a sport car with a manual gearbox. It literally transforms the car. Surely, it’s less efficient. It costs you half a second on a 0-100 but who really cares? It’s all about the driving experience. This car is quick. Actually it is as quick as a 911 for less than one third of the price. With a astonishing 4.5 seconds for the 0-100 it’s probably the quickest car you can get for the money.
Push it a bit more and it responds immediately, at any rpm in a tremendous melody. The torque is really impressive and the engine is pushing hard all the way until 7,500 rpm.
As per usual, we got the car on monday and we had the chance to spend a wonderful week with it. As a daily car it feels great, it’s really confortable for commuting. On the highway even at “high” speed the suspension are not too hard and the sound level is not abusive, in the city the car is agile and park quite easily. Another advantage? No one can pretends he doesn’t see or hear you coming because of the terrific exhaust!
On the road
After 5 days with the car and a lot of work done we had already realized that the car is incredibly polyvalent (and quick). But how is it on winding roads ?
To find out we decided to meet with Guillaume from Longtin Autosports a young Mustang specialist restoring classic Mustangs before selling them . His daily car? A stunning 2017 Shelby GT350. The tone is set. After spending an hour and half contemplating his amazing workshop in Laval and talking about the 4 fastbacks he’s working on (they are available for sale if anyone is interested) we decided to go on a special ride with both the 2018 Mustang GT and his Shelby.
What a great idea! Forget the city and the busy highway we just wanted to drive and enjoy these unique cars. And here’s the big surprise. The car handling is awesome (remember that we are not fan of American cars). The more you push it the more it asks to be pushed. The accelerations are never ending and the whole driving experience is great. The car feels safe and stick to the road as soon as you get flat out in the middle of the curves.
Only complain, we could have ask for a bit more of road informations in the steering wheel as in the Shelby for example, but, lets not forget that a Mustang GT is price under 40,000CAD$ (40,000€ in France)… we do have to make concessions.
This car is the definition of fun to drive, the sound, the handling, the power, the manual stick… everything is here to make your ride a special one! The car is engaging to drive because of the his tendency to slightly oversteer in turn exits in 2nd gear.
However, the car feels always predictable and this add to the overall safety feeling. No need to add that the gearbox is a blast, the stick feels quite similar to a Porsche 911 with a short demultiplication which makes it precise and lively. The curves are literally jumping to your face and the Mustang swallows them without any hesitation.
How does it compare to the 2017 Shelby GT350?
During our day with Guillaume we did had the chance to switch cars in order to compare the GT and his Shelby. The chassis of both cars seems really similar. The comportment is excellent for both sisters. The gearboxes too are quite similar. The main difference? The engines. The Shelby’s V8 developing 526hp is roaring until 8,250rpm in a “metallic” sound. The Shelby does push harder but it has less power at low rpm than the GT. The steering is more communicative in the Shelby too which makes it a real track killer. Well done Ford.
Which one to choose then? If you’re planning to go on the track quite often the Shelby is for you, if you want to enjoy it everyday, drive it and sometimes (often) beat it choose the GT for its polyvalence. Only matter, in 2018 there is no Shelby. Then if you want a brand new car the GT is for you. For a new Shelby we will have to wait until 2019.
We have to admit, doing cars from a Fiesta to the Mustang sounds like an extraordinary technical feat. Surely its a success, both the 2018 Mustang GT and the 2017 Shelby respect and perpetuate the tradition of the Mustang in an amazing way.
So is it a supercar killer?
Yes it is. For a fraction of the price you can get a great car capable of setting reference time on the track and take you to work without anyone judging you. Is it perfect yet? No it is not, but who can pretend to be perfect? At the end of the day its small defaults makes it incredibly charming.
#FunToDrive score : 93/100
This car is a real surprise for us. It’s not a dragster car but an incredibly polyvalent car. Actually, it’s the essence of fun to drive. It’s powerful, makes a great sound, it has a manual gearbox and it’s affordable. What else can you ask for? Who would have thought one day read that from us? It is a miracle! Why not 100/100? Perfection is hard to reach.
It’s now time for you to discover our “Mustang” story at the top of our Instagram profile.
Most importantly keep it #FunToDrive.