2016 Ford Mustang GT Lots Of Fun Review
2016 Ford Mustang GT
Lots of fun and freedom!
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
“Ford’s commitment to performance leadership continues, with Ford on track to deliver 12 new performance vehicles promised by the end of the decade,” said Dave Pericak, Global Director, Ford Performance.
Ford say its lineup of performance cars – including Mustang, Focus RS, Focus ST and Fiesta ST – has caught the eye of younger and more affluent buyers across the globe. This year Ford says it will sell more than 200,000 performance cars globally, nearly double the volume from just three years ago. Ford Performance will have 12 all-new models by end of the decade, as promised, including two to be delivered later this year: F-150 Raptor and Ford GT.
So there you have it. All is not lost to EVs and autonomous cars. The driving enthusiast will be able to continue to have fun and enjoy the freedom of the open road.
And the open road is what the 2016 Mustang GT is all about. With its 435HP V8 under the hood and the shifter for a 6-speed manual transmission in my right hand all I wanted to do is hit the open road and carve miles of twisty back roads.
Ford’s redo of the iconic Mustang was introduced to the market in Spring of 2014. A big change on the new Mustang is independent rear suspension. Ride and handling are markedly improved. The front suspension has been improved too, for more precise steering control.
The refined chassis accommodates a 300HP 3.7-liter V6 or a 310HP 2.3-liter EcoBoost along with the choice of the 435HP 5.0-liter V8. Fastback or convertible, manual or automatic, the Mustang offers something for every driving enthusiast.
My week of driving around in the Mustang GT turned many heads, young and old alike, and of both genders. It’s Triple Yellow Tri-coat exterior on its own got lots of attention. While stopped at a traffic light, a trio of ladies debated the color. I wasn’t quite sure if it got a thumbs up or thumbs down.
The powerful V8 is plenty noticeable by its exhaust note. From the rear, the dual exhaust outlets bordering the rear underbody aero diffuser rumble with authority. Step deep into the throttle and the Mustang immediately makes its presence known in the landscape.
Selectable drive modes allow the driver to choose between Wet/Snow, Normal, Sport and Track with the system adjusting the stability control, traction control, and throttle response. Zero to 60 mph can be done in around 4.3 seconds, according to independent tests run by various auto publications.
Updates for 2016 are the addition of Ford’s much-improved Sync 3 infotainment system on Premium models and secondary turn signals integrated into the GT’s hood vents. News for 2017 is not yet out.
So how is it to live with a 2-door coupe? And what do you do with all that power? For two people the Mustang is just fine. It’s a four-seater, but realistically a 2+2. I
like the front high-bolstered sport seats. They work fine for my girth but could be confining if you are in the extra-large segment. The rear seats are confining and getting in and out is best left to the young ones. The trunk is functional with 13.5 cu.ft. of space and handles groceries, small packages as well as weekend suitcases.
If you keep stomping the throttle and wringing out the engine no doubt fuel consumption will be higher. Driving moderately should get you somewhere in the high-teens or low twenties for fuel economy.
The Mustang is big, but not that big. Sight lines are good and a rear view camera helps out when backing or parking. The Mustang maneuvers well in tight big-city spaces.
The 40-series summer tires are great for carving the back roads or perhaps driving on the track at you favorite car enthusiast country club. The 40s can be a bit harsh on bad roads and when winter weather comes along best would be to mount a set of four winter tires.
If you want more info and specs on the Mustang GT take a look at www.Ford.com. Check out other sport coupes right here at The Auto Channel.
And, if the Mustang GT is not quite enough, check out the Shelby GT350 Mustang powered by a unique, high-revving flat-plane crankshaft 5.2-liter V8 engine, which produces 526 horsepower. This will rock your world. I track drove the GT350 last year on the invite from Ford. Check that out right here.
I recently joined, along with many other auto writers from across the globe, Ford’s 2016 Future Trends Conference at their World Headquarters. Ford’s data says that 76 percent of new car buyers intend to keep their purchase for at least 10 years. And today, 40 percent of Americans see themselves buying a self-driving car in the future. So, that leaves 60 percent who are out there to help keep the enthusiasm in driving.
The Ford Mustang GT fits that bill. It’s a great performer and will get your adrenaline pumping. It’s also quite flexible as sports cars go. Opt for the non-GT and it’s a good deal.
© 2016 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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