You’ve probably heard some of what the outside world has to say about the new 2015 Mustang, now here it from the very people who build, race and drive America’s ponycar every day. AmericanMuscle brings you a through overview of the 2015 Ford Mustang GT.
A Global Ponycar
It’s been known for some time now that with the release of the S550 comes the first ever global Mustang. Now people from California to Berlin can enjoy all the emotions and inspiring creations the Mustang has brought us over the last 50 years. The Ford Mustang will surely continue being enjoyed by enthusiasts through its 6th rendition and there’s plenty of New with this car to be excited about.
Very few cars in history have received so much publicity and attention leading up to their release as did the S550 Mustang, and as such, it’s easy to overlook the more impressive features and improvements over the last version and focus solely on the visuals. So before we begin dissecting, keep in mind that nearly every aspect of this car has been completely rethought and tinkered with in some way–this simply is not a re-skinned S197 Chassis!
Little needs to be said here. It’s a reworked 5.0L Coyote motor with many of the forged internals from the previous Boss 302. Horsepower can be expected to look something like this:
93 Octane Stock RWHP/RWTQ: 381/359
93 Octane Bama Tuned RWHP/RWTQ: 402/382
93 Bama Tune w/JLT Intake RWHP/RWTQ: 412/382
Yep, that’s more than enough HP/TQ to melt those factory-fresh tires. Moving on…
Before you pull out the Fusion pitchforks and lambaste this car as “not being Mustang enough” just follow Justin as he takes you over each exterior aspect. When you break it down, it’s hard to argue this car doesn’t fall right in line with previous generations. It’s arguable that the S550 actually has taken more of its looks from a wider variety of past Mustangs than any other generation before it. You have the expected styling of the S197 and 1960s Mustangs seen in the car’s front grille, as well as plenty more 60s cosmetics like gill-shaped daytime running lights and the fastback rear. Some also say the car has a New Edge feel to it with its sharp, tight-skinned body lines and heat extracting hood that closely mimics that found on stock 2003-2004 Cobras.
One of the tougher to swallow visual aspects brought on by the 2015 is the color matched rear valance. While some enthusiasts are fans, many more have voiced a level of disapproval that ranges from being mildly unsatisfied with the look to placing a plasti-dip or repaint at the top of their mod list. With so many aftermarket options for the 2015 Mustang set to hit shelves, it’s hard to not wonder why Ford didn’t leave the color matching to owners instead of making it a factory option.
The 2015 Mustang’s cockpit is a fully refined version of the S197. Many of the quirks–like the cup holders preventing you from shifting and enjoying a Big Gulp during the same road trip–found in the previous GT have been eliminated. What you’re left with is less cheap feeling plastic, more billet interior pieces that are actually forged out of metal and a steering wheel that begs to be thrashed back and forth throughout windy back roads or smoky doughnuts. This car hugs the road, and the steering wheel delivers all the car touches without the harshness found in solid rear axle Mustangs of the past.
The 2015 Mustang now comes with selectable driving modes–a different setting for different road conditions and performance levels. Steering, engine performance and stability control are all custom-tailored based on which setting you tell the computer to obey. If you’re a person who tracks the car often or burnout junkie, Ford has something special for you folks. Built-in Line Lock and Launch Control features come standard on the GT, so no more brake stands in the burnout box or less than optimal launching rpms. Less stress on your braking system equals less broken and replaced parts down the line.
Key-less entry is another breath of fresh air for the Ford Mustang. You no longer need to insert a key or even use an unlock button, simply carry the fob in your pocket and you’ll still have full access to locking and unlocking the car, as well as starting the motor. Automatics receive the added benefit of remote start–a very undervalued feature for those of us in the cold states.
Everything else aside, this is still a Mustang with a 5.0L V8–of course it’s awesome! As anyone who has had the pleasure of driving a 11-14 GT knows, the Coyote motor shreds tires and blurs the road in front of you each and every time you stab the gas pedal. But we’re not here to tell you what you already know–what makes you want to experience the 2015 Mustang over the 2014 model is simply drive-ability and road feel.
The MT-82 has a new clutch and new syncros for better shifting, though you’ll probably still want to keep a new short throw shifter on your mod list.
The new Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) let’s the 2015 Mustang GT beat the 2012-2013 Boss 302 around a track–no lie. Not only does it beat the Boss, it handles much better and the ride quality difference is equivalent to making the switch from Analog to HDTV. The IRS gives you a ride that is clearer, more defined and void of the harshness you’ve come to expect from the Mustang’s traditional solid rear axle. It’s one of those situations where you’ll have had no idea how good it could get until making the switch. Test drive one and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
However, the IRS does come with one major downside and that’s wheel-hop. As you may have seen in our 2015 Mustang burnout video or during our track time with the 2015 GT, wheel hop is still a major issue, much as it was with the 2003-2004 Cobra. If you’re a straight-line kinda guy or gal, you’ll want to upgrade your drivetrain to help deal with wheel-hop issues at it will be you 60-ft time’s biggest enemy.
This is the first rendition of a new era of American muscle cars–a hybrid of the completely raw, untamed American V8s of the past and the smooth driving, feature-heavy sports cars pioneered by European manufacturers. The traditional understanding of a muscle car or ponypar has evolved, and with it the Mustang as well. Now you have a 400+ horsepower V8 capable of a 12 second quarter mile that’s also comfortable and capable enough to drive across the country as soon as you leave the track. No longer do you need to install hot rod mods like Line Lock or swap in an IRS if you’re road coursing, Ford accomplished this before the car ever left the factory. You don’t need to choose between a quarter mile monster or daily driver worthy of more than a few extra looks. Technology has brought the automobile a long way since the 1960s, and we’re now entering a time when we can have our cake and eat it, too.