THE BIG FIVE 0
2015 Ford Mustang GT 50 Year Edition
Published on Sat, Apr 18, 2015
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Story and pictures by Harvey Schwartz
The all-new 2015 Ford Mustang GT 50 Year Edition that I am testing is amazing—inside and out. America’s original Pony car celebrates 50 years of continuous production with more passion, performance, a familiar but modern and aggressive styling, and the latest in connectivity and safety systems.
There are two Mustang GTs to choose from: The standard Mustang GT, and the Mustang GT with the Performance Package that features 15-inch vented discs with six-piston Brembo brakes up front, a giant front strut tower brace and riding on 19x9 inch front and 19x9.5 inch rear wheels and tires. The Year Edition, which is the subject of this review, has plenty of performance to keep any high performance enthusiast satiated. Both variations come equipped with the sleek new exterior styling, the 5.0 liter V8, a six-speed manual or automatic, variable ratio power steering, and sport suspension settings. The really big news for the 2015 Mustang is the first time use of an independent rear suspension (IRS) across the entire line. The new suspension gives the GT more control in the curves, on changing road surfaces, riding over poorly paved roads and a smoother ride at speed on the highways. This new IRS system really brings the Mustang into the modern age of automotive technology.
The new styling is both familiar and very fresh, with a lower, wider stance, a reduction in roof height and wider rear fenders and track. The highlights of the new more aggressive ‘shark-bite’ front fascia and trapezoidal honeycomb grille include a sharply scalloped aluminum hood with dual heat extractors, HID headlights, LED fog lamps, vertical slots in the outer edge of fog lamps that channels air from the front of the car to openings in the wheel wells directing it across the outer surface of the wheel and tire as the wall of high-speed air works much like a skirt to reduce drag while still leaving the stunning alloy wheels fully exposed.
A front splitter and lower air dam keep the front solidly planted and move air more smoothly out the back. Standard LED daytime running lamps enhance both day and night safety. The new look also features a return to Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile enabled by a more steeply raked windshield and rear glass. The side view also features new aluminum front fenders, new aerodynamic power-remote/heated side view mirrors, body color pull-out door handles, black aerodynamic side body kit to enhance down force, thrust-up rear fenders and deeper lower side extensions. The rear features an integrated spoiler, three-dimensional tri-bar taillights with sequential turn signals and chrome bezes. Down below the new molded bumper are large, round, polished dual exhaust outlets and a functional diffuser in between to help better manage air exiting the car. Gone are the faux side vents and it now includes flush side glass.
Power to quickly move the new Mustang GT forward comes from the upgraded 5.0 liter, DOHC, all-aluminum V8 engine. Getting air into the cylinders and exhaust out is key to generating more power and torque from any engine, and that has been the focus in the development of this V8. The upgrades have boosted output to 435 horsepower at 6500 rpm and torque to a ground shaking 400 pound-feet at 4,250rpm. This results are better optimized control of the valve timing over a broader range of engine speeds and improved fuel economy and emissions. It translates to power on demand—quicker acceleration from a stop light, power to pass slow moving city traffic, and power to zoom into the fast lane on the highway. The response is instantaneous all the way up to the 6,500 rpm redline. Oh what fun to feel the acceleration forces and the growl that the V8 engine makes coming through the dual exhaust system!
Our test vehicle was mated to the new six-speed manual transmission. I just loved using it, and it’s perfectly placed for easy grabbing. The manual has a new shift linkage design for easier engagement, improved precision thus quicker shifts. Just one-click moves the gears up or down as commanded. It’s the only way to go with the original muscle Pony car, just like old times. The combination of the 435 horsepower V8 and six-speed manual rockets the all-new GT out to 60 mph from a standstill in a back-wrenching 4.5 seconds. I’m not complaining about the backslap, as it is definitely worth it and I wouldn’t expect anything less from the new GT’s 400 pound-feet of torque. Putting all of the power down on the pavement is a standard limited-slip differential.
Besides the rocket-sled acceleration, handling is another hallmark of the all-new Mustang GT. To give me razor-sharp handling and a smooth ride at speed, the new platform and fully independent suspension sets a new handling benchmark for the brand. In order to develop precise and predictable handling characteristics, the car needed a solid platform where the suspension mounts don’t move relative to one another. Ford claims the structure of the all-new GT is much more rigid, with 28 percent more torsional stiffness. Despite being so much stronger, the car is also lighter than before. Aluminum is used for the hood and front fenders to help reduce body mass and improve the weight balance.
Guiding the all-new 2015 Mustang GT is a new electric power-assisted rack and pinion system with three choices of how quickly and how weighted one wants the steering of the car to feel and react. The choices of Normal, Sport or Comfort are available by pushing a toggle switch on the lower center stack. Next to this toggle is a mode toggle for the suspension settings, which also tailors engine response, transmission, electronic stability control and steering effort in Normal, Sport+, Track or Snow-Wet conditions. This line of chrome toggles also engages the emergency flashers or turns off the traction control. When it is time to blast some rubber off the tires, the GT includes standard launch control with the manual transmission for smooth, consistent starts every time.
Quickly and precisely bringing all of this high-performance speed to a halt are powerful four-wheel, power-assisted steel disc brakes that are vented all-around. Up front are 13.9 inch rotors clamped with 4-fixed pistons in aluminum housing and 13 inch rotors clamped with single-sliding floating iron calipers. These are the same brakes found in last year’s GT500. Linear-braking forces come quickly—the harder I push the pedal the faster it slows down to a controlled stop.
Ford designers didn’t miss a beat on the interior. The doors open wide to reveal an all-new design with real leather on the doors, dash brow, and center console. An aluminum plate is laid out along the entire dashboard. A ball-mounted aluminum shifter stick, and chrome highlights for the shifter bezel, radio and dual climate controls, around the instrument cluster, door pulls, door handles, air vents and dual cupholders add the finishing touch. The leather-wrapped sport bucket seats are comfortable and deeply cut to keep the driver and front seat passenger snug during spirited driving. The seats feature a four-way power seat bottom with a driver’s side power lumbar support. The leather-wrapped tilt-telescopic steering wheel fits perfectly in one’s hands, plus it features more aluminum plate trim and redundant buttons for the audio system, Bluetooth, reconfigurable settings and Cruise Control. The instrument cluster is straight-forward, easy to see and understand. The center of the cluster is reconfigurable to see vital information about the car and trip computer. All controls, switches and dials are perfectly placed and full illuminated for safe nighttime driving.
The all-new 2015 Mustang GT is the best ever! So much fun to drive and sit in the cockpit to control one of the world’s most iconic sports cars. Loaded with innovative technologies and delivering high levels of performance and aggressive looks, this new GT is at the top of sports cars priced under $45,000.00 loaded!
Story and pictures © Harvey Schwartz
For more information about Ford products, go to ford.com
Name of vehicle:
2015 Ford Mustang GT 50 Year Edition
$42,665.00 (as tested 50 Year Edition)
Standard equipment in the 50 Year Edition includes heated/cooled front seats, power express up/down windows, power door locks, dual zone electronic climate control, ambient lighting with several configurable colors, split fold rear seat, front floor mats, remote trunk release with light, capless fuel filler, deep center storage box with padded armrest/light, push button start/stop, intelligent access, automatic headlamps, self-dimming rearview mirror, Track Apps, rearview camera/rear cross traffic alert, premium sound system, 2-power points/iPod/USB connectivity, engine oil cooler, universal garage door opener, dual map lights, and dual lighted vanity mirrors. Debuting in the 2015 Mustang are enhancements to the SYNC 911 Assist that will give dispatchers with additional information beyond available GPS coordinates including a crash description and safety belt usage. SYNC and MyKey are communications apps for my smartphone, voice recognition, etc.
Options that came with the 50 Year Edition include triple yellow tricoat, voice-activated navigation system, Shaker Audio system with XM satellite radio, trunk mounted subwoofer/12 speakers, enhanced security package, active anti-theft system, wheel locking kit, adaptive cruise control, reverse park assist/rear cross traffic alert, Blind Spot Monitor and the 50 Year Edition package that features the tires, wheels, 50 Year dash plaque and embossed seatbacks.
Standard safety systems include 4-3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, AdvanceTrac with ESC/ABS, dual front & side airbags, driver-side knee airbag, side curtain airbags, perimeter alarm, tire pressure monitor, MyKey, LATCH system for child seats, front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door.
EPA mileage estimates (miles per gallon):
15 city/25 highway (GT manual)
16 city/25 highway (GT automatic)
Engine type: 5.0 liter DOHC, 32 valve, direct-injected V8 with variable valve timing (GT) Horsepower: 445 @ 6500 rpm Torque: 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)