GM’s rival from Dearborn, Ford Motor Company, this week revealed the details of its new “Performance Pack 2” for the refreshed Ford Mustang GT. The Blue Oval pony car has been updated for 2018 with fresh styling tweaks including a lower hood, an available 10-speed automatic transmission, and on the GT models, the latest version of the 5.0-liter DOHC Coyote V8, boasting dual-injection and 460 peak horsepower. Performance Pack 2 is a higher-spec version of the regular GT Performance Pack, featuring greater aerodynamic downforce, wider wheels with super-grippy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and standard MagneRide dampers with all-new calibrations.
Yet despite the obvious parallels with the Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE, Ford insists that the 2018 Mustang GT with Performance Pack 2 is not intended as a direct hot lap competitor to that performance-oriented pony car from the bow tie brand.
Instead, Ford says the Mustang GT Performance Pack 2 is about ensuring maximum driver satisfaction on curvy roads by optimizing grip and handling balance. It’s a package that’s been designed to “flatter the novice and reward the expert” – not go toe-to-toe with the Camaro SS 1LE at the track. If it’s a track toy, Ford says, you’re better off looking to the Shelby GT350/R Mustang.
Despite this, the Performance Pack 2-equipped 2018 Ford Mustang GT is 3.5 seconds quicker around a certain, twisty 2.0-mile road course than the Performance Pack 1 ‘Stang. That’s the sort of leap forward in performance that could put it within spitting distance of the SS 1LE, especially with the Mustang GT’s newfound horsepower.
That said, spec sheets are one thing; real-world testing is the only way to ascertain which of these high-aiming American sports coupes is truly supreme at the race track. That’s one comparison test we can’t wait to see.
For more information on Performance Pack 2 for the 2018 Ford Mustang GT, visit our sister site: FordAuthority.com.