Test Driving 2018s

Test Driving 2018s

Postby SonicVenum » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:30 am

So, I've been kicking around the idea of a 2015-17 or 2018 Mustang GT PP for a while. I thought long and hard about the PP2, but it's just too track specific for my real world wants. Most of the ones I've seen on forums have had their OEM Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires replaced IMMEDIATELY. Some of these guys go as far as arriving at the dealership for pick-up with a new set of tires for the dealer to swap for them before leaving. The Cup 2 tires are just too sticky, and too expensive for street use. My thought was that I'd want to buy another set of wheels/tires for street use, and save the OEM PP2 wheels/tires for track days. Well, that's $1800 right off the bat for a car that was already going to be $45k, IF you could find one. Long story short, no PP2 for me.

I went and checked out a couple other PP1 models, both Premium and base GT. I must say, I really like the Premium Plus digital gauge cluster, and the heated/cooled seats that comes with the Premium package. The Sync 3 is also a nice feature that is pretty much a must have for me at this point. I test drove a regular PP1 and Magneride PP1 back to back, and it was hard to tell the difference on the street. Maybe the track would be different. One thing I confirmed is just how terrible the clutch feel is in stock configuration. The OEM return spring is just far too heavy, causing the all clutch engagement to be in, what seems, the top 1" of pedal travel. Worst stock clutch feel I've ever felt. A lot of owners are swapping out the clutch pedal return spring for a significantly lighter replacement. Otherwise, the new manual trans felt pretty nice, and I love how the car felt, and pulled. I was lucky to test drive at a dealer right next to a freeway so I could do a hard pull up to 80+ on the on-ramp.

Last night, I found a used 2018 at a local dealer, but it had the new 10-speed auto. I've heard great things about it. I can confirm. That auto is pretty sweet. It may make drag racing a little boring, but putting it into Sport+ mode on the street immediately showed me some new tricks. It downshifts for you as you brake, and upshifs are more aggressive, matching how buried the pedal is. I'm convinced. The A10 is a worthwhile addition. I never thought I'd want an auto Mustang, but that one test drive sold me. Now, I just have to wait for next year when there are a lot more used 2018s available. Anyone interested in picking up a 2018 GT PP1 in Royal Crimson with 401A, spoiler delete, A10, and 4700 miles, let me know, and I'll hook you up with the salesman I spoke with. Their price was reasonable, but I would've needed a somewhat nutty price to pull the trigger.
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Re: Test Driving 2018s

Postby Tetge » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:23 am

Although the 10 speed auto is trick, and it has 7 gears ending in a 1:1 ratio, plus three overdrives, which gives it a major advantage over the 2018 manual D4 trans cars, with only 4 gears ending in1:1, and two overdrives, it is still an automatic transmission. It is also true that it has paddle shifters and rev matching and all kinds of bells and whistles, and, it works best with all nannies on in drag mode for the 1/4. But, other than cutting a good light, there is no talent required at all to run the car. And, there have been some reports that it is a big laggy when shifted manually, and, also, it does hunt for gears now and then. In short, it is a stinking auto trans.

That said, I am not a big fan of the new D4 trans, as who needs overdrives with a Coyote, 7500 RPM, engine? I also think that Ford changed the clutch to help with the famous third gear lockout, but, the feel of the stock clutch as described sounds like my 2017. At first, I was unhappy with the feel, and I saw the aftermarket replacement clutch helper springs and perches, and the discussion on clutches and alternative trans oils and shifter kits, etc. But, I was not motivated, and now, I have become completely used to the clutch, and, also, I have beat the 3rd gear lockout now and then as well. I really appreciate the fact that the D5 trans of the pre-2018 cars is 1:1 in 5th gear, as this gives a very nice spread of gears, and the overall gearing in 4th allows 116.5 mph at 7200 RPM on my slightly less tall MT DR's, which I run in the summer, so it has good four speed gearing for the 1/4, and nice punchy 1st - 3nd gears on the streets and freeways (at 7200 RPM on DR's, 1st= 42; 2nd = 63; 3rd = 91). I should note that completely stock 2015-2017's have 6700 RPM rev limiters, but the gearing is still nice. The 2018 goes over 90 MPH in second gear, and per MotorTrend, the old model tied the new model for 0-60 times, which I expect is tied to the gearing, as the 2018 clearly has more power, which it showed with its 1/4 trap speed.

But, I sold my automatic 2012 car that ran 12.38 @ 114, because it sucked to have an auto trans in a muscle car, or pony car, if you prefer. That 2012 was a snarly runner, even with bad gearing (I cleared the 1/4 at Famoso in 3rd gear, right on about 7000 RPM, and first was a stump puller, so the gear spacing sucked. Pretty sure that a 10 speed auto in that car should have approached 11's. But, it was no fun as the auto trans did its intended mission of being automatic. I figure if you want an auto trans, why get a Mustang, and, over 50% of buyers agree with that? Even Camaro sells a lot of manual trans SS 1LT models, and GM hates manual transmissions. Of course, automatics are going to be all that is available, as they are electronic and computers are so sophisticated these days that everything can be drive by wire and optimized for economy while still delivering performance.


And, BTW, when Randy Probst drove the 2018 manual with the active shocks and PP1, at the Streets of Willow, it was barely quicker than the manual transm PP1m 2015 GT, times he got back when that car was new, and Randy still found the car too soft and a handful at Willow. In fact, the video did not seem to show any significant differences in handling and the barely quicker lap times might well have been due to the Michelin tires and additional power, alone. In truth, the car is soft, but, one has to exceed posted limits and push to notice it, as at reasonable speeds, it is a nice grand touring machine. But, again, I am a slow, cautious, elderly, driver, and, what do I know, as I never speed anymore or even get on the throttle. I just like driving a proper Mustang, same as I mostly have since I got my first new 1967 390 GTA fastback. And, yes, it was ordered by me with an auto trans, for drag racing, but, that was when I discovered that I'd rather be slower, and shift it myself, than run quicker with an auto. And, before you ask, the 2012 was purchased solely because of a failed left hip, and in anticipation of recovery for hip replacement surgery, as the clutch in the 11 second Terminator gave new meaning to hard to stiff and hard to depress. Plus the Termi had 88000 miles on it with 4.10's and it was getting along in years.

But, the auto sucked....-
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Re: Test Driving 2018s

Postby xbacksideslider » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:21 pm

What about a Camry?
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Re: Test Driving 2018s

Postby SonicVenum » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:52 am

I agree that in drag racing, rowing through the gears is a lot more fun and exciting. The pressure of hitting all your shifts is part of the fun. Even driving around town, it's more fun to do the shifting. I was just surprised by how far technology has come with this new auto. When I put the car into Sport+ mode, and got to the next light, the down-shifting caught me by surprise. It's such a cool feature that would be great around a road course. Before I drove that car, I would have never really considered buying an auto Mustang. Now I'm open too it.

I do like the redesigned 2018 Camrys, but since we already have an SUV and a crossover, I wouldn't want another 4-door sedan. If I did, I'd lean much more toward a Scat Pack Charger.

Oh, I forgot to mention I also test drove a 2012 Challenger SRT they had on the lot. It had 60k miles on it, and it showed every single mile, and then some. The engine definitely has balls, but you really feel the weight in that car. I haven't driven a 2015+ Challenger, but I imagine it would be the same. Those seem to only be for drag racing and cruising. Unless a 2015+ feels a lot more nimble, I don't think I could consider one of those.
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Re: Test Driving 2018s

Postby 03_SONIC_BLUR » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:57 pm

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Re: Test Driving 2018s

Postby jhwalker » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:50 pm


interesting article. But if you had $250K to burn, and started researching what you can get for $250K, I'd bet it would not be one of these. We just got into LA and I'm pooped so have to write more tomorrow.
Good to be here, even tho the rains have just arrived at home...
I miss Mustangs. Not many modern ones in Central Mex...
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Re: Test Driving 2018s

Postby Tetge » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:44 pm

And, BTW, this review that just came up appears to completely agree with me..................

http://www.motortrend.com/cars/ford/mustang/2018/2018-ford-mustang-gt-first-test-review/
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Re: Test Driving 2018s

Postby jhwalker » Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:56 pm

Tetge wrote:And, BTW, this review that just came up appears to completely agree with me..................

http://www.motortrend.com/cars/ford/mustang/2018/2018-ford-mustang-gt-first-test-review/

I thought your review was more informative :clap:
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Re: Test Driving 2018s

Postby SonicVenum » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:56 am

I'm very annoyed that they left out any mention of the performance of the A10 in the different modes, other than mentioning drag mode. They said the auto kept you out of the powerband. That could be true of normal mode, but definitely not in Sport+ or Track mode. In those modes, upshifts are firmer, and the trans downshifts automatically on deceleration in order to keep you in the powerband on a windy road, or on the track. How the hell do you write an article about the performance of one transmission versus another without mentioning all the capabilities it has??? Lame.
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Re: Test Driving 2018s

Postby jhwalker » Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:51 am

SonicVenum wrote:I'm very annoyed that they left out any mention of the performance of the A10 in the different modes, other than mentioning drag mode. They said the auto kept you out of the powerband. That could be true of normal mode, but definitely not in Sport+ or Track mode. In those modes, upshifts are firmer, and the trans downshifts automatically on deceleration in order to keep you in the powerband on a windy road, or on the track. How the hell do you write an article about the performance of one transmission versus another without mentioning all the capabilities it has??? Lame.

time for a strong letter to the editor 8-)
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