2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 gets aero and chassis upgrades

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The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is already one of the best track-ready sportscars for sale in America, and for 2019, it gets even better. Ford Performance focused all of its efforts on the standard GT350 — the GT350R carries over unchanged. The 2019 model gets updated aero, suspension and a bespoke set of Michelin summer tires.

The new rear wing has an optional Gurney flap, helping downforce without adding too much drag. The other aero update is out front. The standard model now gets the grille from the GT350R. It has fewer openings, creating less front-end drag. The wing, grille and new wheels are the only visual tells that separate the current car from the 2019 model. Ford says that customers were happy with the current model’s appearance.

In order to improve corner grip and braking, Ford commissioned a custom set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that have a model-specific tread pattern and compound. They’re 295/35-19 section up front and 305/35-19 section in the rear, the same as the current car. The springs and shocks have been revised — 10 percent softer in the rear and 10 percent firmer in the front. The tuning for the Magneride system, ABS and electronic power steering system have also been revised.

Ford also gave the GT350 some attention on the comfort front. Power adjustable seats with faux suede inserts are available, along with faux suede inserts on the doors. An optional 12-speaker B&O Play sound system is also available. But even without springing for the added niceties, all GT350s now come standard with the 8-inch SYNC 3 touchscreen infotainment and dual-zone climate control. Also of note are two newly available colors, Velocity Blue and Ford Performance Blue. Unfortunately, Ford’s trick digital instrument cluster will not be available.

The updated 2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 goes on sale in early 2019. Pricing has yet to be announced for the new model and its optional features.

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2018 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Review | We love the 5.0L V8

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The naturally aspirated 5.0-Liter Coyote V8 in the 2018 Ford Mustang may seem like an already familiar engine, but Ford has improved upon it for the current model year. The cylinders have been bored out to 93.0 mm, up from 92.2 mm., The V8 now combines low-pressure port and high-pressure direct injection, has two new anti-knock sensors, redesigned cylinder heads and new crankshaft and connecting rod bearings. It revs higher — up to 7,500 rpm — and it’s more powerful than before, providing up to a peak 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, up from the previous 435 hp and 400 lb-ft.

That extra power comes without sacrificing fuel economy. The 2017 Mustang GT saw fuel economy figures of 15 city/25 highway/18 combined with the manual transmission, and 15/24/18 with the automatic. For 2018, the manual-equipped Mustang GT remains the same, while the automatic is slightly more efficient than the model it replaces at 16 city/25 highway/19 combined.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V8 engine when you fire it up is the sound. It’s loud and proud. It’s got a smoother, more breathy and organic note than the mechanical roar of a Hemi. At cruising speed, the Ford motor does an uncanny impression of a huge dog’s growl, the kind you’ll know if you’ve ever played tug with a Great Dane. It only gets better from there, which helps to make the Mustang GT a sonically rousing car to drive at any speed.

Ford really wants you to appreciate the sound of this engine, too. For 2018, the Mustang GT is equipped with Ford’s available “Active Valve Performance Exhaust System,” an $895 option. This allows you to dial up or tone down the sound through various mode settings: normal, sport, track and quiet. If you don’t want to piss off your neighbors, it also has a time-configurable “Quiet Start” function, so those early morning ignitions won’t wake the baby.

That extra torque really makes a difference at the low end, giving the V8 a broad rev range in which it always feels punchy and potent. There’s an impressive amount of grunt below 3,000 rpm. You can really wring this engine out, too, as it’ll happily scream and pull its way up to the red line. Across the rev range, power delivery is urgent, but it’s really smooth, too. The 5.0-liter V8 is just one part of an all-around solid package, and it means that the power is not just available, but predictable and well managed all the way from the cylinder to the point of contact between rubber and asphalt.

The interesting thing is, the 10-speed automatic transmission began to sour on me over time. With such broadly available power, the Mustang’s V8 just doesn’t need all those gears, and I found it hunting around a lot, especially in hard driving situations. With only six gears in our manual-equipped version, it was easier to really appreciate the strengths of this engine — to feel the power and work with it. As I’ve gained experience, I’ve come to appreciate automatics more and more, but this one doesn’t feel like the right fit for this car. Paired with the Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter, a 10-speed autobox just doesn’t quite dance as well. (You can read more about the differences between the transmissions in our earlier review, here.) If you really want to appreciate the amazing engine Ford has built, stick to the stick.

The V8 in the Ford Mustang GT never disappoints. Every time we get behind the wheel of one, it’s as though we’re taken to some sort of magical land of enchantment for the senses: sound and feel. The fact that Ford has made that world even better for 2018 is really impressive. This V8 really stands out not just for performance, but for the good it can do for the human soul.

[Source: Autoblog]

2018 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Review: Trying Drag Mode at the drag strip

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When I learned that we were getting an automatic Mustang, I’ve got to admit I was disappointed by the choice of transmission. While I’ve learned to appreciate automatics from time to time, given a choice I’ll almost always pick the stick. It’s not always the fastest way to go, but it’s usually the most fun. Still, the 10-speed had me curious, being a new transmission, and even more than that, the “Drag Mode” that comes with the automatic and Performance Pack-equipped car (i.e. ours).

For those who may have forgotten, or simply haven’t heard of it, Ford announced the Mustang’s new Drag Mode when it revealed the 0-60 mph time for the 2018 Mustang GT. It touted it as being the way to get the fastest shifts and most torque to the pavement. It sounded like fun, and there was only one appropriate place to test it.

So we went to Milan Dragway, a countryside drag strip near Milan, Michigan. Among the trees and farm fields is a quarter-mile plus of sticky tarmac for hustling hot rods down. I took our Orange Fury Mustang GT there during a test and tune night when people come out just to do practice runs with their cars, not as much for racing. I was hoping to get in as many runs in as possible and to see if Drag Mode would have much of an effect on my times as a pretty amateur drag racer. And by amateur, I mean, I’ve taken my personal cars to drag strips a few times for fun, but I’m not an expert at nailing launches, doing burnouts to heat the tires, and I don’t have the timing on the lights down.

After paying my entry fee of $30 and a quick check over at the tech inspection station, I rolled on over to the staging lanes to wait my turn at the lights. Around me were a variety of racers running everything from a V8-swapped Suzuki Sidekick to modified Hayabusas. I decided I would do my first base run in Sport mode. I sidestepped the water box because I wasn’t going to do a burnout, but I wanted to actually still have traction leaving the start line. I pulled up to activate both staging lights, and let the lights drop. At green, I stepped off the brake and jammed down the gas, letting the 10-speed automatic sort itself out as the speeds climbed. After getting back on the brakes past the finish line, I looped around to pick up my time slip which said I tripped the lights in 12.849 seconds at 111.68 mph. Not bad for a bone-stock car that wasn’t even in hardcore Drag Mode.

So I line up again and waited for my next run. Since there are only two lanes and lots of drivers, it takes quite a while. This second time, I activate Drag Mode, expecting to see a noticeable change in time. I line up at the lights, go from the brake to the gas on green just like last time. This time, it feels like the car launches harder, and each subsequent shift is fast and hard. The tires chirp each time, and you can really feel every shift. It’s definitely more exciting than in Sport mode. I slow down past the finish line and swing around for my time slip. The result: 12.979 at 112.63 mph. “Huh,” I thought to myself, “That’s not what I was expecting.”

At this point, I paused to go grab some B-roll, but I knew I had to do at least one more run before leaving. Especially since I was wondering if maybe I got a little water on the tires or something that made my run a tad slower. The sun was setting and I hopped back in line for one more run before the track shut down. Once again, I put it in Drag Mode, and launched it like I had the last couple times. The launch and the feel felt just as rough and exciting as the last Drag Mode run. At the timing booth, I got my slip, and saw I managed my best time of 12.828 at 112.10 mph. And, yes, that’s only about .02 of a second faster than the Sport mode run.

Now, of course this isn’t the most scientific test, since that would require far more test runs in many more modes, but that’s not necessarily possible at a public test and tune, and certainly won’t be the experience for the average Mustang owner. And it’s possible that someone with more drag racing experience could manage a better launch and find a way to get a little advantage with Drag Mode. But if you’re an amateur just looking for some fun, like myself, Drag Mode isn’t going to help you much. But on a subjective basis, Drag Mode sure made those 12 seconds a lot more exhilarating, so it’s still worth playing with if you get the automatic. And if you ever want to get into bracket drag racing, which is about getting as close to the same time over and over, not outright speed, this transmission proved to be astonishingly consistent.

It’s definitely worth trying it out at the drag strip. I had a great time with the Mustang there. Besides it being a fun car to run, it’s a blast to see so many other interesting cars. I saw everything from a show-ready custom C7 Corvette convertible to a V8-swapped Geo Tracker two-door. The air is full of rumbling exhaust, screeching tires and the distinct, sweet smell of high-octane fuel. It’s a little slice of car guy heaven.

So to recap, the Mustang, regardless of transmission, is a hoot at the drag strip, capable of quick times even in the hands of an amateur. Drag Mode doesn’t really do any good for an amateur, but man does it make the experience more visceral and fun. And perhaps more important is that going to the drag strip is fun, regardless of the car you’re in, so try it out some time. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to be checking Milan’s schedule for upcoming events.

[Source: Autoblog]

2019 Mustang GT500: Forum offers clues about engine, brakes

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Seems like there’s an intriguing leak per day over at the Mustang6G forum, which on Monday had posted a photo that seemed to pretty much cinch the existence of a 2018 Bullitt Mustang. Now, the forum has posted what it says are Ford documents and pictures that seem to confirm a supercharged 5.2-liter engine is headed for the 2019 GT500 — no mere Coyote, but the one they call the “Predator.”

Forum member Super Werty posted the first images of this engine, showing the supercharger nestled below the intercooler of the intake manifold.

A document titled “2020 MY North America Vehicle Program – Engine Oil Requirements” has a footnote that indicates the next GT500 engine gets the Eaton-supercharged cross plane version of Ford’s 5.2L engine. We know this because the chart says it will require 5W50 oil.

An image posted in the thread by Mustang6G member dwalker might show the GT500’s brakes, which the forum has previously reported will be massive true two-piece rotors that are larger than those on the GT350. Spy photos have shown 20-inch wheels and massive tires (315s at the rear).

The GT500 could have output in Dodge Demon territory, with potentially over 800 horsepower, and may have a dual clutch transmission derived from the Ford GT’s seven-speed.

[Source: Autoblog]

Howling Coyote: Ford Mustang, F-150 getting 700-hp supercharger

Mustang and F-150 owners: How does 640 to 700 horsepower sound? Watch this video.

Ford Performance and Roush announced at SEMA that they have developed a supercharger kit for the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine in the 2018 Mustang and F-150. For the Mustang, the setup is rated at 700 peak horsepower and 610 pound-feet of torque. That’s a boost of 240 hp over a stock Mustang GT, and an additional 190 pound-feet of torque — and it’s far above the Shelby ratings, too.

For the pickup, it’s 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet — a boost of 245 horsepower and 200 pound-feet over stock.

The blower is designed to work with the 5.0-liter V8’s new port- and direct-injection fuel system. The kit comes with everything needed for installation, including custom performance calibration. It carries a 3-year, 36,000-mile warranty when installed by a Ford dealer or authorized technician. Better yet, it doesn’t void the vehicle warranty.

Boost pressure is 12 psi, and the setup requires 93 octane fuel.

“Ford and Roush have teamed up on performance for years on and off the track,” said Doug White, Ford’s global performance-parts manager. “This new supercharger is another great example of our innovation in performance, greatly improving horsepower and torque so people can enjoy two of our most iconic vehicles even more.”

The supercharger kit will be available in early 2018 through Ford dealers, Ford Performance Warehouse Distributors and Roush Performance dealers. Additional information can be found at the Ford Performance website.

Cost was not mentioned in Ford’s announcement, but by comparison a Ford Performance 670-horsepower supercharger kit for 2015-17 Mustangs lists for $7,100.

[Source: Autoblog]

Ford Mustang may soon have Chevy Camaro 1LE-like performance pack

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Few automotive rivalries are as heated as the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro. For decades, the two cars have faced off, constantly fighting tooth and nail for bragging rights and customer attention. Factory performance packs are nothing new, but the Camaro’s 1LE variants have garnered a lot of praise, more than the basic performance pack on the Ford Mustang. Now, Road & Track is reporting that an even more extensive performance pack may be in the works for the refreshed 2018 Ford Mustang.

Road & Track compiled a list of evidence that points toward a more robust performance option. The current Mustang GT Performance Pack includes things like staggered wheels and tires, six-piston Brembo brakes, new front springs, a larger radiator, a limited-slip differential and more. The upgrades to the Camaro 1LE are roughly the same, but somehow Chevyseems to eek out more performance from its parts than Ford has with the Camaro, especially with a car like the ZL1 1LE (internal option codes are sexy).

A new Mustang was spotted wearing a new set of wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, some of the stickiest street tires available. There have also been some leaked order guides that hint at an even greater performance pack. Still, we’ve been burned by leaks before. There’s no comment from Ford on the matter, so we’ll have to wait for the Mustang to hit showrooms before we know any more.

2019 Mustang Bullitt orders open as Ford reveals price and horsepower

Ford has opened order books for the 2019 Mustang Bullitt and confirmed final output for the commemorative-edition GT fastback at 480 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Ford also confirms starting pricing, which is $47,495, including a $900 destination and delivery fee. Deliveries are expected in late summer.

Ford had previously said the 5.0-liter V8 would make “at least” 475 hp, so the final figure makes good on that and offers 20 more ponies than the 2018 Mustang GT, thanks to a Shelby GT350 intake manifold, 87-mm throttle body and engine tuning. It also boasts a top speed of 163 miles per hour, unchanged from previous projections but an 8 mph improvement over the standard Mustang GT.

Image Credit: Drew Phillips
By now, you probably are well-versed in the background story behind this car, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1968 film “Bullitt” and the battered 1968 Mustang GT that Steve McQueen drove in it. And you probably recall that Ford showed the 2019 version and the 1968 stunt car from the film side-by-side at the Detroit Auto Show in January. It’s basically impossible to top the coolness of the original, but the 2019 version did make Autoblog’s list of NAIAS faves.

It adds several features that were previously options on the Mustang GT, including active exhaust, a performance package that includes red Brembo front brakes, suspension and chassis upgrades and a limited-slip differential, and 19-inch aluminum wheels. It even gets an increasingly rare manual transmission (there’s no automatic option), complete with a white cueball knob shifter. A black NitroPlate quad-tip exhaust is standard.

Customers will be able to choose between shadow black and the classic dark highland green, as shown in Detroit. Badging is limited to the faux gas-cap Bullitt logo centered on the rear. The starting price compares with a $35,190 starting MSRP for the 2018 Mustang GT.

[Source: Autoblog]