The 2015 Ford Mustang GT
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Published on Wed, Oct 29, 2014
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
THE FIRST DRIVE
By Roy Nakano
The Rose Bowl Loop is the place where Pasadena’s walkers, joggers, skateboarders and cyclists converge to exercise their right to remain physically fit. The Pasadena police are there to make sure their rights aren’t violated by speeding motorists.
But the area surrounding the Rose Bowl Loop is also a beautiful place for a Sunday drive—any day of the week. With its winding roads and lush surroundings, the streets around Pasadena’s Rose Bowl are a favorite venue for the area’s Cars and Coffee crowd to engage in the occasional quality motoring.
This is the venue we were presented with when handed the keys to a pre-production prototype model of the new 2015 Ford Mustang GT. It turned out to be a great one for the new car.
Between the motorists and the non-motoring exercisers, the exercisers rule. Walkers and joggers cross streets without looking, unafraid of speeding traffics. That’s because the motorists virtually always yield. For the latter, it’s the price of tooling around the bends as one ascends The Loop to the woodsy hills.
Meanwhile, back on The Loop, the new Mustang GT commanded considerable attention for the seemingly otherwise non-attentive walkers and joggers in the area. If Ford’s goal was to create a head-turner in the new Mustang, they succeeded. It’s a sleeker car than the one it replaces. The roofline, in particular, has an Italian flare—not unlike the latest from Ferrari. This car puts smiles on people outside the car as well as inside.
Not all the credit goes to the way the car looks. Ford managed to make the sound coming from the 445-horsepower, 5.0 liter V8 Coyote motor more musical than ever. This is a great sounding car, one that invites keeping the windows down while going through the gears up the hills surrounding the Bowl.
As we made our way up the hills, we came to the quick conclusion that this is the best Mustang ever. The new, independent rear suspension imparts a sophistication to the ride unlike any live-axled Mustang from the past. No more hopping around as one encounters road imperfections. Ride quality is way up, even as handling is better than ever.
Matching the bar raised by the new car’s road-going manners are the interior appointments. While the overall look of the dash pays homage to the Mustang heritage, the fit and finish of the interior bears no resemblance to past Mustangs. The new interior imparts a sense of quality that is refreshing to find in an American muscle car.
By the way, we also drove Ford’s new Mustang EcoBoost, which utilizes the carmaker’s 2.3 liter turbo-charged, direct-injected four-in-line motor. The EcoBoost is slated to be close to $7,000 less than the GT with the V8 motor, with an estimated 6-7 miles per gallon savings in fuel consumption (highway). With a power output of 310, versus the V8’s 445 (and weighing less), the EcoBoost represents a helluva bargain.
Alas, the one thing the EcoBoost doesn’t have is the sound of the V8. It also doesn’t have the V8’s ultra smooth linear power band. On the other hand, the EcoBoost Mustang carries a weight savings of approximately 200 pounds, which translates to handling prowess more akin to a European sports car.
For the total package, however, my money is on the GT. It’s not just the best Mustang ever, it’s arguably the best all-around American muscle sporty car you can buy. It’s the bar that the next-generation Camaro and Challenger will be aiming for.
For more information about Ford products, go to www.ford.com
Name of vehicle:
2015 Ford Mustang
EPA mileage estimates (miles per gallon):
15 city/25 highway (GT manual)
16 city/25 highway (GT automatic)
5.0 liter DOHC, 32 valve, direct-injected V8 with variable valve timing (GT)
445 @ 6500 rpm
400 @ 4250 pound-feet
Drive configuration: Front-engined, rear-wheel drive Transmission: 6-speed manual (standard) 6-Speed SelectShift® Automatic with Paddle Shifters (optional) Steering: Selectable-Effort Electric Power Assisted (EPAS) Suspension Front: Double-ball-joint MacPherson strut with stabilizer bar Rear: Integral-link independent with coil springs and stabilizer bar Wheels and tires: 18 x 8 inch painted alloy wheels and 235/50R18 all-season tires (GT) Dimensions Overall length: 188.3 inches Overall width: 75.8 inches (excluding mirrors) Overall height: 54.4 inches Curb weight (lbs.): 3,705 pounds (GT)