MotoIQ: DRIVEN – 2015 Ford Mustang GT

by Billy Johnson

I’m a little late to the party since there are already plenty of reviews on the all-new 2015 S550 Mustang GT, but this review will take a slightly different angle written by a MotoIQer for MotoIQers.  Just the information you care about, how it compares to previous Mustangs, and how it stacks up as a sports car and not just a muscle car.

The Mustang has come a long way since 1964.  I would say the 4th generation “S197” chassis from 2005-2014 was probably the tipping point which saw a departure from the stereotypical drag-racing image to a car with a competent chassis that could handle well and give M3 owners a run for their money on both the drag strip and road course.  2011 marked the return of the “5.0” which produced 412 underrated ponies under the hood which turned the Mustang GT into a formidable competitor to the 6-speed M3 in a straight line, staying within a couple tenths of it to 60 and the ¼ mile.  The DTC-equipped M3 holds a noticeable advantage due to the shorter gears, extra gears, and faster shifting.


Gary YeomansGary Yeomans Ford Lincoln in Daytona Beach, FL was gracious enough to lend a 2015 Mustang GT Performance Package for us to test.

Despite having a solid axle, the S197 was a huge improvement in terms of torsional rigidity, handling, and refinement over the 4th gen “SN95” chassis (1994-2004) which is very similar to the 1979 3rd gen Foxbody under its skin.  Thanks to its all new chassis and 3-link rear suspension with a panhard bar, the S197 is one of the best handling solid axle production cars in history.  If you add a set of good tires and of coilovers (or in BOSS 302 trim) the Mustang could give M3s a really hard time in the corners.


Boss 302The S197 Ford Mustang BOSS 302 was not the most powerful, but it’s arguably the best performing Mustang of all time, with the ability to beat an E92 M3 on a track for a lot less money.
Front angle 2015 MustangOur test vehicle was a 2015 Ford Mustang GT Performance Package.  This package was touted to outperform a BOSS 302 on the track, which was faster than an E92 M3 on track.  That alone is a pretty cool accomplishment.

Now for 2015 the Mustang has finally caught up with the rest of the automotive world by ditching 50 years of solid axle history in favor of an all-new chassis designed from conception to use an integral link independent rear suspension.


Rear SuspensionThe integral link rear suspension is loosely borrowed from the design which debuted on the Ford Fusion/Mondeo in 2013.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 5:54 AM
I really hope GM and Chrysler take notice of the direction Ford has gone with the Mustang. The reception has been overwhelmingly positive, despite the fact that it is a rather big departure for what the Mustang has always been. While some of the really old school muscle car heads may be turned off because of the IRS and sports car styling, the fans gained have overwhelmed the fans lost. Goes to show that with some proper planning and foresight, and most of all listening to what the consumers really want, Americans can actually build good cars.

Ford has also been the only American OEM to truly smarten up. Alan Mullaly saw the writing on the wall when he took over and it has paid off. It seems like every new car Ford has made since 2008 has been a hit. And best of all, no major recalls.

GM and Chrysler, are you listening?
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 7:43 AM
I agree with Beaters. Ford has stepped up and their lineup has done well in the performance/price standpoint recently. After reading this, I'm considering a Mustang to replace my 350Z. My biggest complaint has been the "muscle car" feel of the Mustang in the past with its solid axle. I know the last generation made strides in its performance, but it never quite equals the performance of an IRS. Hopefully the general public agrees and this new generation is a hit.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 12:42 PM
Just noticed, the toggle switches picture on top of page 7 is backwards (left to right).

Anyway, great article yet again. This sums up everything that I love about the new Mustang. What do you guys think of the Camaro SS 1LE against the GT with PP?
Thursday, December 11, 2014 8:13 AM
Finally some functional aero! I HATED the stupid fake hood scoops on the various previous gen Mustangs.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 9:29 AM
Apparently the 1LE was not Ford's intent of a competitor to the GT+PP. I think we will know more once Ford explains their targets for the GT350 versions.
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Friday, January 09, 2015 2:52 PM
nice to see a local doing MotoiQ reviews!

When I'm home I get to borrow my buddy's Boss 302 and his GT500 so I was keen to see what would be said about the '15 GT on here.

My only complaint about the '15 is the center console, I like the S197's better.
Friday, January 16, 2015 8:41 PM
I honestly feel that the design characteristics looks very similar to the newer 2015 Honda Accord coupes. I coupe possibly mistake an Accord coupe if it had an aggressive wheel setup going on.... well maybe.
Thursday, March 19, 2015 2:43 PM
For someone like me, who is comparing a 3-4 year old E92 M3 reaching the end of the factory warranty (or out of warrant) and a new Mustang GT Premium with Performance Pack, the decision is tougher than you'd think. The price point is roughly the same, around $40k, with the BMW resale value being so terrible.

On one hand the M3 is going to be a better overall car - it should be since it was $25-30k more expensive when it was new, and you immediately feel that when you get in. The Mustang interior looks 150% better than the last model, but it's still not in the same league as the M3. It's tough to beat German car interiors. The Mustang will have more power and it's going to be new, with a fresh new look and a couple more modern tech gadgets. The BMW is going to look older being that the E92 body style has been around for 7-8 years now.

I know I'll have just as much fun in the Mustang. But what I keep asking myself is if I'll regret not going for the more refined and polished car. I'm almost 40 now and as much as I want a driver's car that is fun to drive, I also want something that is refined. And you know that the BMW is going to age gracefully, where the Mustang will probably look dated pretty quick when Ford refreshes the design in 2-3 years. The aftermarket will be more plentiful and affordable for the Mustang, and I won't have to worry about outrageously expensive repairs.

It's a tough call.
Thursday, March 19, 2015 3:16 PM
Also, I'd immediately get a Steeda/Eibach/Ford Racing suspension package (which consist of lowering springs and swaybars) and a nice set of wheels if I get the Mustang. That's probably all I would do for quite a while. Maybe I'd do an axle-back exhaust for a bit more aggressive sound since it seems the stock sound is a little tame.

For the BMW I'd look for a car with the Competition Package with Competition wheels and I wouldn't really have to do anything to it.

There's something to be said about a nice new warranty. That might be the deciding factor.
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