2018 Mustang Photos

2018 Ford Mustang

MONTICELLO, New York — We get it. Superfans only want to hear about the yin versus yang. iPhone versus Android. Batman versus Superman. The Ford Mustang versus its Bizarro World twinsie/frenemy, the Chevy Camaro. So on our first drive in a 2018 Mustang GT equipped with the Performance Pack Level 2, we could break down every bit of minutiae to dissect the Level 2 versus the Camaro SS 1LE. But frankly, we just don't give a damn. Either the Level 2 upgrades are worth the extra $6,500 on top of the price of a manually-equipped Mustang GT fastback, or they aren't. A sports car better stand on its own merits, and not as a counterbalance to some other machine. We are on the south course of the Monticello Motor Club, a 3.6-mile racetrack in New York's rolling Catskills. I've driven everything from a Pagani Huayra to a Camaro ZL1 here, and this set of elevated twists will call out weaknesses even on great vehicles. Will the Mustang Level 2 tear up this challenging carnival ride of a road course — or be torn down? It should be noted that in the new 5.0 hierarchy, the Level 2 is still not a dedicated track warrior. It's far more aggressive than a regular GT, and sees significant advances over the Performance Pack Level 1. But it remains a far cry from the singular focus of the Shelby GT350 or GT350R. The Level 2 was developed by the Mustang engineers as a semi-skunk-works program. They had a little extra time in the development process, and various components that could be used for upgrades, and they wanted to see how far they could push the platform. As such, it is only available with a manual. The 5.0-liter V-8, with 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, is unchanged. But it now comes standard with magnetorheological dampers, which are an option on Level 1, and a Torsen rear differential. And most significantly, the car is outfitted with the performance tire du jour, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, the same rubber at the front of the GT350R. "The Level 2 is now the most nimble GT," says Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann. "That huge new tire patch changes everything." While we also drove the car on legal roads, we figured the best way to gauge the efficacy of the upgrades was to see how they handled an unruly racetrack. And while much of the day was soaked by rain, we got in enough unfiltered laps early in the morning to get a convincing picture of the car. 1. Bigger brakes and magnetic dampers versus a downhill braking zone (12a into Turn 4) Our silver GT is flat out at the top of third gear as we bomb down the straightaway that runs alongside pit lane. This stretch drops steeply in elevation, and the braking zone is totally downhill. It's a tough demand of any car, with the asphalt getting steeper near its terminus. You're asking for …
Full Review
MONTICELLO, New York — We get it. Superfans only want to hear about the yin versus yang. iPhone versus Android. Batman versus Superman. The Ford Mustang versus its Bizarro World twinsie/frenemy, the Chevy Camaro. So on our first drive in a 2018 Mustang GT equipped with the Performance Pack Level 2, we could break down every bit of minutiae to dissect the Level 2 versus the Camaro SS 1LE. But frankly, we just don't give a damn. Either the Level 2 upgrades are worth the extra $6,500 on top of the price of a manually-equipped Mustang GT fastback, or they aren't. A sports car better stand on its own merits, and not as a counterbalance to some other machine. We are on the south course of the Monticello Motor Club, a 3.6-mile racetrack in New York's rolling Catskills. I've driven everything from a Pagani Huayra to a Camaro ZL1 here, and this set of elevated twists will call out weaknesses even on great vehicles. Will the Mustang Level 2 tear up this challenging carnival ride of a road course — or be torn down? It should be noted that in the new 5.0 hierarchy, the Level 2 is still not a dedicated track warrior. It's far more aggressive than a regular GT, and sees significant advances over the Performance Pack Level 1. But it remains a far cry from the singular focus of the Shelby GT350 or GT350R. The Level 2 was developed by the Mustang engineers as a semi-skunk-works program. They had a little extra time in the development process, and various components that could be used for upgrades, and they wanted to see how far they could push the platform. As such, it is only available with a manual. The 5.0-liter V-8, with 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, is unchanged. But it now comes standard with magnetorheological dampers, which are an option on Level 1, and a Torsen rear differential. And most significantly, the car is outfitted with the performance tire du jour, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s, the same rubber at the front of the GT350R. "The Level 2 is now the most nimble GT," says Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann. "That huge new tire patch changes everything." While we also drove the car on legal roads, we figured the best way to gauge the efficacy of the upgrades was to see how they handled an unruly racetrack. And while much of the day was soaked by rain, we got in enough unfiltered laps early in the morning to get a convincing picture of the car. 1. Bigger brakes and magnetic dampers versus a downhill braking zone (12a into Turn 4) Our silver GT is flat out at the top of third gear as we bomb down the straightaway that runs alongside pit lane. This stretch drops steeply in elevation, and the braking zone is totally downhill. It's a tough demand of any car, with the asphalt getting steeper near its terminus. You're asking for …
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Retail Price

$25,680 - $44,690
MSRP / Window Sticker Price

Smart Buy Price

$3,543
Nat'l avg. savings off MSRP
Engine 2.3LI-4
MPG 21 City / 31 Hwy
Seating 4 Passengers
Transmission 6-spd man w/OD
Power 310 @ 5500 rpm
Drivetrain rear-wheel
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