Featured Post

Castro and the Nazis: Makes Perfect Sense

As we come up on the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis, we see newly declassified German intelligence documents reporting that Fi...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

No Politics Today, Just Cars

As I reported last Halloween (here), I got up that morning and went out and bought a new 2015 Ford GT Mustang. I promised to give an update on the car and how it was turning out. This is that update. I will return soon enough to politics, especially the new DNC meme,"If you knew what you know now, would you have supported Bush's invasion of Iraq?"

I just put 5000 miles on it, not many for California, but thought it a good time to do a review.

I am delighted with my GT Mustang with the optional performance package. Overall, it's the best car I have ever driven, and not just the best one I have owned. In my many years wandering the earth, I have driven all sorts of cars from all sorts of manufacturers and countries. Some were great, e.g., Ford Bronco, Porsche 911, Toyota Landcruiser, Corvette Z06; some were OK, e.g., VW Beetle, Ford Aerostar, Honda Civic, Mitsubishi Galant, Toyota Camry, Ford Fairmont, Isuzu Trooper, many FIATs; and some were genuinely horrid, e.g., Triumph Spitfire, Yugo, Datsun 1600, Chevy Vega, Ford Pinto, Suzuki Samurai, and the abysmal Chrysler LeBaron. There are many others I have driven and even owned which fall into one or the other of those three categories. No country and no manufacturer has a monopoly on great, blah, or horrible cars.

Very roughly, this GT Mustang has the old Coyote 302 cu.in engine (5 liter) taken from the Boss 302 and the independent rear suspension from the old Cobra Mustang. The engineers, however, have tweaked both, and that along with terrific new steering, braking, and superb six-speed manual gearbox have produced a great machine. The gearbox, by the way, is as good or better than the one I had previously ranked best, Honda's silky-smooth five speed gearbox.

The car is extremely responsive and damn quick--though not, of course, as fast as my old Corvette. The beast is meant to drink 93 octane, and produce some 434 hp, but here in California the best you can get is 91 octane. Doesn't seem to make too much of a difference; I don't notice the couple of horses that drop off. The Mustang stays glued to the highway, even when driven at (ahem) a bit too much speed on a twisting mountain road (Ortega Highway in So. Cal). Plus, the car looks good inside and out, and gets lots of compliments.

Gas mileage is pretty good: about 20-23 mpg on the freeway (those are US gallons which are smaller than Imperial gallons) and anywhere from 13 to 16 mpg in town--depending on how much accelerating I do.

So far, no squeaks, rattles, or system failures of any type.

Negatives? Sure, there are a few minor ones. My biggest complaint: no spare tire. Why? My Vette didn't have one either, and this seems to be a growing trend. I don't like it. Instead of a spare, not even a lousy tiny doughnut spare, you get an air pump and a bottle of goop. That might be OK if you get a little hole from a little nail at the shopping mall parking lot, but if you damage the tire in some major way, especially in a remote locale, you're stuck. Better have your AAA membership paid-up.

Those much-vaunted Recaro seats? Except for giving some bragging rights (I guess), I don't know if they are worth the extra $1500. After buying my car, I saw an identical Mustang with standard seats, and those seemed just fine--although they had some weird stitching along the edges. Oh well, I've got them now and that's that.

The car is not loud enough! If you buy an American V-8, you want it to sound like an American V-8! It's too quiet. I have been told (true?) that the more subdued sound was made necessary as Ford is exporting the car to Europe and elsewhere where limitations on car noise are greater than here. OK, so I guess I'll have to blame it on the French and let it go. I, however, have been exploring getting a new exhaust system, but the Diplowife (retired) is looking askance at that project and even more so at my attempt to contact the Hennessey people here in California to have them boost the car to a 700-plus hp monster. I'll have to wait for her to go on her annual trip to Spain . . . .

In sum, if I knew then what I know now, would I have bought this car? You bet!

20 comments:

  1. Nice review; and so glad you are enjoying the car.

    The no spare wheel trend is a serious issue, particularly in places like Australia, where it is easy to be a very long way from any form of assistance. I won't buy a car that doesn't have a spare wheel or, at the least, the capacity to carry one without removing all of the load capacity. Many people here simply buy another wheel, but it is not perfect solution because they consume carrying capacity and you don't have a dedicated space / aid to carry them.

    I look forward to reading about the exhaust / performance enhancements; although, having been done that particular road with other cars, you need to be careful that the changes don't include changes that compromise the the car for everyday use. Load exhaust are good when you want to hear them, but they can become a real drag in certain driving conditions on long trips, and performance enhancements can make the car less tractable and difficult for ordinary day to day use.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Part of the problem is that front and rear tires are no longer the same size on many models.

      Delete
    2. You could always get a donut spare (check bolt pattern first) from a local junk yard. At least then you will have something (?) to get you from disaster to help.
      As for the exhaust, for my moms 60-something birthday (2005) dad bought her a custom 05 Mustang. She had him do a cat-back exhaust change-out and the throaty roar still turns heads today. He also put in a sequential turn/brake light setup (now standard on Mustang). Can't wait for mom to buy a new car so I can have Sally (Mustang Sally) for myself.

      Delete
  2. Do not forget the French produced the "Le Car".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG! Yes. My father actually bought one. Disaster.

      Delete
    2. My father owned a Citroen, which he loved. It was wonderful on back roads, which my father loved to explore--even though it looked like a prop from a SciFi movie. The car went to the great junkyard in the sky after one of my brothers drove it into a tree.

      Delete
  3. Acura NSX... had one for a very long time... just can't bear to consider another sports car... glad for the rest of the world to drive them for me. :)
    Sounds like a lot of fun though.

    - reader #1482

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never had the pleasure of driving an NSX. Sounds good, though.

      Delete
  4. Do the Recaro cure the headrest of the standard Mustang seats being a bit too far forward? Seems like those are always thumping me in the back of the head with my buddy's V6 base model.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, that is a plus for the Recaro. I just find the Recaros a bit grabby. Hold me too much in place. But they do improve the resale value of the car.

      Delete
  5. Chevy Vega, Ford Pinto, Fiat, Yugo.........you are destroying my mental image of the diplomatic corps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should have seen some of the cars I drove in Guyana, Pakistan, and other garden spots.

      Delete
    2. Ah what Jeremy Clarkson could've done with a Vega. Did driver's ed in HS in a manual Vega woody(ish) wagon. Had it all to myself as it was the only manual and nobody wanted it.

      Delete
  6. I haven't owned an American made vehicle in decades with a trail ownership of various Japanese, and German selections during that time. I went out on a limb with my current car and purchased a Jaguar XKR, hoping that the Jag quality had vastly improved as the mags were reporting. Thankfully, this has been the case as the British beauty (now India owned) has been flawless. Notwithstanding, every time I see a new Mustang on the road, it turns my head. Ford has done a wonderful job with the redesign. The lines are beautiful and the top end performance models are not to be taken lightly. I prefer the ragtop design, but that's just me. If I were in the market, the new Mustang would be very tempting to me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "If you knew what you know now, would you have gone to Dallas, Mrs Kennedy?"
    "If you knew what you know now, would you have elected that Obama fellow the first time?"
    "If you knew what you know now, would you have..." Quite possibly, the stupidest and most leading question of all time. Any candidate asked that question should reply: "Well, , if you're bosses knew what they know now, would they still have hired you?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stupid autocorrect: "...if your bosses...." sorry.

      Delete
    2. The best reply is from Senator Tom Cotten.

      http://twitchy.com/2015/05/21/sen-tom-cotton-has-absolutely-the-best-answer-to-those-annoying-time-travel-iraq-war-questions/

      "Knowing then what I know now, I would have sent the Pacific fleet out after the Japanese on December 4."

      Delete
  8. Diplomad, if you weren't such an honorable man.....you could do some really serious dating in that car. I wrote this very quietly.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Before you seriously consider the extreme horsepower route, drive one for a day. I found they hurt and are unpleasant. For me, it was a beautiful car, a BMW M6 with an aftermarket engine (>700HP) that cost more than the original car. It was just too much. Sticking with my tuner WRX.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The spare tire story is about my Toyota Highlander, which I am very fond of, but I learned that the spare is in a spot that requires serious help. I had a blowout from a metal piece on the I 405 and could not get it changed without one of those freeway helpers. Had I not had help, I would still be there. Big negative to the car that I didn't know about.

    ReplyDelete