By on August 14, 2012

When we awarded the Scion FR-S DFL in our three-way affordable-sportster test, many commenters both on TTAC and elsewhere pointed out that the FR-S supposedly wasn’t meant to be a complete package from the factory. Rather, the new hachi-roku was intended to be a platform for individual development, you see. By judiciously applying the finest in aftermarket upgrades, the FR-S would become a highly personal racetrack scalpel.

Well, to paraphrase Katt Williams, “The Scion do look like an outstanding platform on which to build one’s ideal track car… until a real outstanding platform on which to build one’s ideal track car pull up.” As it turns out, one of our Best&Brightest brought his lightly-modified “New Edge” Mustang GT to our test, and he was gracious enough to let your humble author put twenty or so laps on it.

How’d it do?


Well, in the context of the FR-S, Genesis, and Miata, this lightly-reworked Mustang which can’t be worth more than about twelve grand managed to — how shall I say it — rip the throats out of our delicate little trio like Patrick Swayze handling business at the end of Road House. Another publication was out playing race drivers in the Hyundai and Scion while I was doing some rather cautious laps in what, after all, was a car that the owner was going to have to drive fifty miles back to his house that night. Measured in isolation, the Genesis feels quite fast and the FR-S feels like it handles pretty well. Next to the Mustang, they might as well have been missing a spark plug and running space-saver tires. We’re talking an easy three-or-four-second per lap difference. Move over, ladies; Daddy’s here.

What makes this old Mustang so much better at running around a racetrack than three modern contenders? Well, the weight and the power. New Edge GT Mustangs have an official curb weight of 3,237 pounds. That’s Genesis territory, but it’s nowhere near what the new generation of ponycars weighs. To push it, Ford puts in a 4.6-liter mod-motor V-8 with 260hp/302lb-ft of torque. Now add the following modifications, made so the car would be competitive in the Ontario Time Attack Series, and reported by the owner like so:

  • Strut Tower Brace
  • Subframe Connectors
  • -2.5 degrees camber
  • Short throw shifter (OEM springs were too soft)
  • Cobra Brakes (Factory bolt on, running Hawk HP+ with Motul RBF 600 Fluid)
  • K&N Intake (picked up only cause I found it really cheap on ebay, used)
  • Magnaflow magnapack cat back exhaust (probably worth 5whp, about 100 aural hp)
  • Corbeau reclining drivers seat
  • 265-40-17 Dunlop Star Specs

As you can see, there were a few items removed from the interior to save an odd pound here or there. The important parts, in our opinion, are the camber, the subframe connectors, and the Star Spec tires. The Mustang also appears to have a fairly aggressive alignment; as we were following it in the Miata earlier in the day, it just plain stepped out on Sal (the owner) at about 60mph. Way past Tokyo Drift territory. If the color rags had managed to get an FR-S that sideways, they’d have used it for the cover shot. Sal caught it pretty easily; turns out TTAC doesn’t just have the best on-staff drivers in the biz, our freakin’ readers are ace, too.

From the moment you turn the key and turn off the traction control (concerning which your humble author needed some instruction despite having been a Ford salesperson in the mid-Nineties), the ‘Stang feels like serious business. It doesn’t have the whole riding-down-the-road-on-metal-bearings thing going on that a true full-on racer has. Real race cars are intensely unpleasant, cramped, and claustrophobic. Nope, this is just a hardcore street Mustang. There’s no window net, no halo seat, no incomprehensible jumble of Dymo-labeled, safety-latched switches on a sheet-steel “dashboard” ahead. It’s not that different from the way it was when it rolled out of the factory ten years or so ago. But it sounds like the business.

Once released onto TMP’s front straight, the Mustang flat swallows the road down to the first turn. The brakes are surer, more trustworthy than our other testers, and we aren’t using them as much because the Star Specs are halfway to R-comps and they barely squeal before catching the Ford’s nose and throwing it across the apex.

Back in the throttle and now we are grinning because we know what’s coming up: a twisty section. Camber is king here and the Mustang handles the right-left-right transitions with aplomb the FR-S would no doubt have if you put decent tires on it. Oh, yes, and we can also easily adjust the attitude with the throttle, although that’s a trick you can only play about twice a lap before the back tires get hot enough to become untrustworthy on the faster bends.

It would be a nice credibility-builder here to say something along the lines of how “Well, the Ford continues to suffer from numb steering” or something like that, but truth be told it’s fine, particularly with these tires and these suspension settings. No, it can’t compare to the Miata in that regard, but the rest of the package is so entertaining it matters less.

The current-gen Mustang’s physical incarnation as a long-hood, Thunderbird-esque, Camry-sized product tends to make people forget that for the majority of its production lifetime the nameplate has been attached to a small car. The “New Edge” Mustang has its roots in the ’79 Fox-based Telnack design and as a result the seating position and the view over the hood are almost more like a Genesis than a 2013 Mustang GT.

Speaking of that delightful modern pony: The old 4.6 two-valver is no Coyote 5.0. Heck, it isn’t even the rambunctious three-valve mod-motor found in the 2005-2011 Mustangs. It’s a Crown Vic engine in a lighter body, and freed from police or retirement-home duty it picks up its (iron) skirts and reaches for the redline with a reasonable helping of enthusiasm. It’s certainly enough to see off the Genesis, which until the moment I twisted the key in the Ford’s dismal, ill-fitting steering column was quite coming off like the muscle car of the bunch. But you know, it only came off like the muscle car of the bunch… until the muscle car of the bunch pull up.

Sal paid thirteen grand for the car a few years ago. It now has 120,000 kilometers on it, which in miles is… not the same number. It could probably be duplicated in the United States for well under fifteen grand now. That money will get you a reliable, easily-serviced vehicle with an aftermarket of intergalactic proportions and a resale value that won’t dip below half of your purchase price as long as it starts and runs well. When you get tired of driving it on the street, you can cage it and run it in the outstanding Camaro-Mustang-Challenge series. (For a video of your humble author hackin’ it up to a podium finish in his first CMC race, complete with what was almost a massive crash caused by my sheer stupidity, click!) If you want to personalize it, you can get everything from an Steeda IMSA bodykit to a stitched-leather dashboard. Parts are available everywhere and if you blow the engine somehow a replacement will cost you nine hundred bucks at a junkyard.

Does that sound like the very model of a modern “platform for individual expression”? There’s only one problem. It’s a Mustang and that means you won’t have any credibility with the Racers Of The Internet, who judge every vehicle ever sold on how it fits into their fantasy of being sixteen again and sent to a Japanese high school by their frazzled mothers. Don’t worry. You’ll have plenty of credibility with the Racers Of The Racetrack.

Photography courtesy of Julie Hyde, who isn’t going back to that crummy Grossman’s Tavern for any reason, even if her boyfriend has a chance to “wail” in the open jam session.

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117 Comments on “Boomerang Basement Bolides – Zeroth Place: 2003 “Time Attack” Ford Mustang GT...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I’ve popped up a big bucket of popcorn to share with all.

    This is going to be so…good.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      USDA Prime Beef ftw. There is no replacement for cubic displacement, especially when its placed atop a competent chassis.

      This thing spews chunks of manga out in its stool.

      I’ve never been a big fan of Ford, admittedly, but I’m really not a fan of any automaker, with specificity, and have ripped them all to shreds based on their pricing, gouging, half-ass justifications and rationalizations for doing what they do or don’t do (to/for their customers), shoddy quality and/or bad faith in honoring warranty claims, etc- but especially when their dealer ‘network’ gets in between the customer and manufacturer- where some dealers really are maggot infested carcasses.

      At any rate, with that said, if you want a really fast track car AND plausible daily driver (okay, but leave the rear seat in, etc.) at a reasonable price that’s up for abuse and relatively inexpensive mods and repairs, this is your ticket.

      The FR-2.slow is an answer to a question no one, save but a few early adopters in a tortured state of mind, were asking.

      Allow me to pick on the Toybaru, in particular:

      It’s not significantly more practical than a MX-5, with worse steering feel, stick shift precision, and apparently, ‘problematic’ clutch uptake.

      It’s significantly slower than a WRX or Gen Coupe 2.0T, or Mustang V6 (yeah, I went there, fanbois).

      It has a Subaru Boxer 2.0 where it really doesn’t belong given its intended mission.

      It’s as expensive as decently equipped midsized sedans and quite a bit more than decently equipped compact ones.

      It has an interior that gets cheaper with each passing glance, and exterior panel gaps that would have made the 1992 Dodge Neon ‘good’ by comparison.

      It has quality control and various mechanical issues that make it very much the poster child of Toyota’s decline in such things as anything….I don’t know the technical term……uhmmm……let’s see…

      …good.

      Who got/is getting excited about this, again?

      If a test drive works miracles and blinds me to the apparent warts o’ plenty, somehow, someway, I’ll come back and do a mea culpa (though I’m not optimistic that will happen).

      Until then, I declare thee Toybarus the faux Honey Badgers of sporty, rwd coupes, not giving a shit, apparently, BUT lacking any of those critical, fierce attributes that true Honey Badgers possess in the wild.

      The Crazy Nastyass Honey Badger
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r7wHMg5Yjg

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        So now your just going to copy and paste entire comments into each of the FRS-related articles? I guess thats a time saver… but your comments are always colorful and memorable, we don’t really need to read them twice. :)

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        @mnm4ever

        To be fair, 1/2 was a re-paste/copy, while about 1/2 was original.

        But still….point taken.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Actually, mnm4ever..

        I rather enjoy reading DeadWeight’s masterpieces again and again.
        Kind of like the Bible: you always get a new perspective the next time around….(^_^)

        ————-

    • 0 avatar

      I think we’re going to need some hard alcohol for this one.

      Great article, though honestly I never thought much of the Mustang’s handling on some uphill climbs I’ve seen them on. But what do I know.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Absolutely unrelated to anything but something that will make NulloModo cream his jeans:

      The upcoming Focus RS is a car that I, and many others not even typically fond of FordMoCo, are looking forward to.

      That’s my one and only random musing of the day.

  • avatar
    Morea

    Nothing new here. It is well known that a used Mustang is the best bang for the buck for a track car (solid rear axle and all).

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Could save some time and money by skipping the ’03 GT and vying for the ’03 Cobra with much more horsepower and independent rear suspension. Most of the parts listed (Strut Tower Brace, Subframe Connectors, Short throw shifter, Cobra Brakes (duh), Hi-Flo Intake and Flowmaster 50s rolling through Ford Racing cat back exhaust) are already provided nicely by SVT and you may still be able to find one for a bargain price.

  • avatar
    Vance Torino

    So where IS the spot to wail in Ta’rana land?

  • avatar
    jco

    oh great, now there will be nerds upset that this wasn’t a Fox body 5.0lx. haha..

    very well done.. I await the 187 comments on this one.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “To push it, Ford puts in a 4.6-liter mod-motor V-8 with 260hp/302lb-ft of torque.”

    That’s cute.

  • avatar
    JCraig

    Anybody know how this compares to a Camaro of this same vintage on used bang for buck? I never had a high opinion of either, but thought the Mustang was the better car.

    • 0 avatar
      gmichaelj

      much much faster than the 2003/04/05/06… Camaro.

      Sorry: somebody was going to say it and, I am bored at work.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      the 4th gen f-bodies were better from a performance standpoint. The LSx engines had better power density (about the same weight, smaller physical dimensions and much more power) and better front and rear suspensions. The F-cars did weigh more and the driving position was worse (driver comfort was secondary to going fast) plus fit and finish were worse.

      Comparitvely the Mustang was a better day to day car with better quality relative to the F-cars.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      If you are looking to drag race, The V8 F-body will be faster than the basic GT.

      My anecdotal experience is that my 95% stock ’99 Formula runs mid 13s and traps around 107. A stock 4.6L-2v Mustang runs mid 14s and traps around 101. A stock Mach 1 or non-Supercharged SVT runs high 13s and traps around 104. A Supercharged SVT will be in the 12s. Of course, the 2v folks have plenty of modification opportunities, but so do the F-body/GTO and high output Ford owners.

      I’ll defer to Jack to compare the two on a road course.

      Note: I think gmichaelj’s response was meant as a joke because there was no Camaro from ’03-’06.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        Ah haha I knew the Camaro ended somewhere in the early 2000′s, so I guess the question would be how does the ’02 compare… I didn’t feel like looking up all the details when there’s plenty of experts on this in the B&B.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Here was something Baruth wrote about the performance of the F-body back in 2009:

        http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/review-chevrolet-camaro-ls1/

    • 0 avatar
      nickoo

      Sorry to burst the ford fan boy bubble here, but a camaro/trans-am from 98-02 with the LS-1 has infinitely more potential. 500+ hp in a daily driver if you really want to push it, and they can be bought in outstanding condition for all of 12 grand with a friendly little internet search.

    • 0 avatar
      patman

      I’m a Mustang guy but it’s pretty tough to beat a 4th gen F-body for bang for the buck if you want to go fast for modest money.

    • 0 avatar
      pharmer

      I’ve owned them both, and they’re both outstanding performance bargains.

      As Jack points out, they are all pretty inexpensive cars now. And they sold lots of both of them (and lots of Firebirds too, for that matter) so you can afford to be choosey. It all comes down to what flavor you like. While you’re at it, look at C5 Corvettes.

      The aftermarket support is simply epic Go pick up an issue of GM High Tech Performance and be amazed at how much power people are getting out of stock block LS-series engines. Like Jack says, though, you won’t have any cred with the JDM fanboys…

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        Agreed that the Camaro SS with a few mods can do some real damage to a Mustang GT with a few; however, apples to oranges. Cobra to SS much more satisfying competition.

        Add to this I had a few friends owning ’00-03 Camaro SS’s who all talked mad sh** about its straight line performance and LSx engine but would all complain about the cheesy Rubbermaid interior and sub-par handling quality versus the Ford.

  • avatar
    Gannet

    Very cool car. Is there a video? I want to see and hear it!

  • avatar
    threeer

    “Given enough money and time…” This will surely open up the floor for discussion about buying a very used car and pumping it full of mods in order to outgun a new car. That being said…it would have been kind of fun to see an old Mustang outdo the new cats on the walk.

  • avatar
    patman

    Ha, I was sure the Zeroeth was going to be the current V6 Mustang.

    As the owner and daily driver of a SN95, this made my day.

    -Strut Tower Brace
    -Subframe Connectors
    -Short throw shifter
    -K&N Intake
    -Cat back exhaust

    According to my calculations, that describes roughly 100% of 1986-present Mustang Gts. Only thing I see mildly hardcore is the Cobra brake upgrade and the camber.

    • 0 avatar
      Sky_Render

      I’m quite surprised the owner didn’t upgrade the springs and shocks.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        He’d have to. The SN-95 and New Edge bodies had the same suspension bits underneath. To reach Olympic launches and better handling on my ’95 Cobra, I had to replace the lower control arms in the rear with new ones from Maximum Motorsports and the Upper Control Arms from Ford Racing (which also provided the front suspension). Eibach adjustable struts and springs lowered the body a full inch finishing it off with offset tires and wheels from Tire Rack for the front and back.

        Now to work on the HP problem.

      • 0 avatar
        thesal

        Ontario Time Attack has as class system, mods cost points, more points = higher class. The car is very competitive in the way it’s currently classed. Didn’t want to mess with a good thing :-)

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    This article has logical fallacy written all over it. Begging the question (or circular reasoning).

    Comparing a purpose-modified car with bone-stock car hardly seems like a valid test.

    If you are going to make comparisons on customization, you should at least make a REAL comparison. Otherwise you’re comparing an athlete that dopes with an athlete that doesn’t and saying the one cranked up on drugs is clearly better at being doped up because he IS, in fact, doped up.

    I don’t disagree that your conclusion is likely correct. Your argument, on the other hand, is just plain ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      67dodgeman

      Comparing a $15,000 track toy versus a $25,000 track toy is the point of this article. If one is looking at the Scion as a platform for a track toy that also doubles as a street car, then yes it is perfectly valid to point out that one can spend quite a bit less and get quite a bit more. For a track toy.

      I don’t think he’s seriously suggesting that a 10 year old Mustang is better than a brand new whatever as a daily driver. Those articles are posted separately from this series.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      No, it’s obviously an apples-and-oranges comparison. Of course a ‘doped’ FR-S would do better than a plain one, and the ‘doped’ Mustang does better than the FR-S and Genesis.

      The point of the article is to say that you create a better-performing car for nearly half the cost of the new boy racers. Of course, if money was no object, you could spend double or triple what these cars cost, but money usually is a concern.

      ‘Doping’ an FR-S will set you back even further in dough, and maybe then you’d have something equivalent to the Mustang.

      • 0 avatar
        cackalacka

        “‘Doping’ an FR-S will set you back even further in dough, and maybe then you’d have something equivalent to the Mustang.”

        That is the operative question, and one that makes this not so much an apples to orange, but tangerine to orange comparison.

        If in the year 2017, one was to take a 5 year old FR-S, and do a similar amount of modifications as Jack’s friend did to his Stang, would one have a suitable track animal? The jury may be out for the next couple years, but the safe money sounds to be ‘no.’

      • 0 avatar
        Sky_Render

        No, the point is that you can spend far less than the purchase price of a Toyobaru FR-Z and have a better-performing car that is a better “template for self-expression.”

  • avatar
    gslippy

    Well, this was eye-opening for me. I am tired of the bloat in every class of vehicle these days, but regulations, options, and consumer expectations keep pushing weights up.

  • avatar
    raph

    Good ol’ fox car based mustang, their comparatively light weight was their best virtue.

    The front suspension was so-so and the rear was good for drag racing, anything else would tax it greatly.

    Steeda had a nice fix in the form of a parallel four-link and panhard bar or get one of the various torque arm conversions out there. Another trick was to add a panhard bar and remove one of the upper links to turn the rear suspension into a sort of pseudo three link like the current car has.

    Aside from the fox car’s weight, its next best virtue was being able to tinker with just about every aspect of the car due to a bountiful aftermarket – dont like the suspension, change it completely. Engine not strong enough, build it (I’ve seen 100 hp/l 2 valve mod motors on the dyno). Tranmission doesn’t have enough gears no problem there is a kit for that too.

    This along with the relatively low price are what made the modern Mustangs such a phenomena. Its to bad the next gen Mustang will probably be the best ever (there are mules running around with the much asked for IRS caught in spy shots), the one that will require the least amount of modification to smooth out the rough edges, and to bad it will be the most expensive least relavent Mustang ever.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      There’s nothing taxing about a solid axle on a track with turns. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Steeda, Saleen and Roush clearly prove it’s the sloppy stock suspension that taxes Mustangs at the track.

      Future Mustangs will be IRS, but that’s not for the sake of track performance. As always, Mustangs will mostly benifit secretaries and the aftermarket.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        The rear suspension on the fox cars and the sn95/new edge cars was really a poor money saving design. Its four non-parallel control arms not only had to locate the rear axle but they had to keep it centered and support the rear weight of the car.

        The current Mustang suspension does a much better job by dividing up those duties between the three link (locates and allows the axle to rotate better), the panhard (keeping it centered), and moving the springs inboard to the axle (relieving the lower control arms of that duty)

        The difference is pretty profound and very noticable when you step up from the previous car to the current car.

      • 0 avatar
        Ion

        Their was IRS in this generation thanks to SVT. I was told they were abandoned in droves because they would go through axle half shafts. Sure enough you used to find them on Ebay or in scrap yards for cheaper than the 8.8 but the recent pony car IRS hype drove prices up.

      • 0 avatar
        GiddyHitch

        Only a small percentage of chassis rolling off the line could be converted to Cobra trim due to the way the tolerances stacked up during assembly. There was a very narrow window into which the IRS could be installed, hence, why you never saw an aftermarket IRS kit from SVT or Ford Racing. Not sure if this was a main consideration for not spec’ing future generations with it however.

      • 0 avatar
        patman

        @Ion

        Yeah, you used to be able to trade a live axle for an IRS pretty much straight up with the Cobra guys who wanted to drag race but these days they’re starting to command a decent price for a complete IRS setup.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        DenverMike..

        My impression (correct me if this is wrong) was that track performance of a Mustang with a solid axle was not the problem. Tracks are typically smooth.

        The problem with solid axle was essentially one particular road situation: outside camber curve on a wash-board or otherwise bumpy surface. Is this true?

        ————-

      • 0 avatar
        Morea

        NMGOM, when Colin Chapman of Lotus reputedly said, “Any suspension can be made to work reasonably well if you just stop it from moving” he was referring to racing cars on glass smooth tracks. A better real world test of a performance car’s suspension is on less-than-ideal road surfaces. This is when you find that stiff suspensions and wide tires let you down. (Also true of wet surfaces.)

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @NMGOM – This is true, but it depends on what you’re comparing the Mustang to. Isn’t it true that anything stiffly sprung will be a handful on washboard or bumpy roads?

        I don’t know why you would haul ass on bad or unfamiliar roads, but the difference in traction and control between IRS and LRA would be marginal at that point, no?

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        DenverMIke..

        Yes, you are bringing up the key issue: “stiffly sprung”.

        To jump a bit out of the Mustang paradigm box: some makers have tried to get bumpy road adhesion and ride softness to match low body roll and good cornering at the same time, an apparent contradiction. But there is some success here, at a great price ($$$). The new Lamborghini Aventator has a transverse coil-over strut system like F1 cars to allow larger suspension travel; and McLaren MP4-12C uses computer controlled air-springs (instead of sway bars) to keep things level, corner like glue, and provide an unusually soft ride. Each seems to work, but we’re looking at $250K-300K here. Maybe that stuff will eventually trickle down to us mere mortals….(^_^)

        ————–

      • 0 avatar
        Morea

        Body roll is not necessarily a bad thing. More important is roll center migration (also called “roll center movement”).

        Race cars are stiffly sprung more for aerodynamic and low ride height reasons than for mechanical grip reasons.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        DenverMike…

        You mentioned: “I don’t know why you would haul ass on bad or unfamiliar roads, but the difference in traction and control between IRS and LRA would be marginal at that point, no?”

        ANS: No.

        Ordinarily, you are right: one doesn’t do that. But I use the Z4 for some spirited road tours, and sometimes you just happen to zip around a corner to find an unhappy situation, which you may not have remembered from before, or which winter damage has provided for you at no extra cost. It’s nice to have the IRS in those cases. It might be that a Mustang would be exploring the virtues of off-road travel at that point. (^_^)..

        ——

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @NMGOM – You’re talking super exotic suspensions, but not necessarily IRS. LRA can also be suspended by active or magnetic suspension coils and dampers.

        When a spirited drive suddenly turns into the Baja 1000, why would sudden LRA oversteer put you offroad? You should be ready for anything, especially when driving spiritedly. Every car will oversteer at some point, but will you be ready when it happens in your Z4?

        I’m not suggesting LRA is equal to IRS on bad roads, but you’re not talking equal cars. The current SS Camaro is a known to be a hard to control pig on bad roads.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        DenverMike….

        Yup. That’s true. Camaro SS, despite IRS, feels like a ship that needs to be navigated, rather than car that allows itself to be driven. Drove one on my way to testing a Corvette: no comparison.

        I guess what this shows is that it’s possible to make a cheap, ineffective LRS, just like it’s possible to make a reasonable LRA setup.

        My understanding is, however, that the Mustang folks have it on the books to provide Mustang with IRS next go around. Is that right? (Think I read that they did not have the time-line or $$ after recovery to get this place earlier.) So, if true, they also feel IRS is superior or can be made superior on the average.

        I certainly agree that LRA is pretty tough: can’t even tell you the off-road beating the undercarriage on my ’74 Dodge PU took in the Adirondack Mts. Wouldn’t want IRS anywhere near that situation. Yes, I know Hummer has it, but look at the over-built military construction and the bucks involved.

        ———

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @NMGOM – IRS is better for the daily driver V6 Mustang no doubt, but we’re talking factory Mustangs that can handle with the big boys on and off the track. More so with a few aftermarket tweaks.

        Live axles at the track offer a distinct advantage over IRS with minimal disadvantages on the street/canyon. I mean when you compare or if you can compare similar IRS and LRA cars on and off the track.

        Granted we’re not talking a huge advantage at the track or huge disadvantage on poorly maintained public roads. Minimal at best.

        Aside from the widely held and wrong belief that IRS is better at the track and on smooth enough roads, it’s not worth it for Ford to build two completely different floor pans for the next gen Mustangs especially when V6 Mustangs will remain, by far, their biggest seller. Global Mustangs will be V6 only, from what I understand.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Morea…

        You said: “Body roll is not necessarily a bad thing. More important is roll center migration (also called “roll center movement”).” I agree.

        Body roll is a Goldilocks phenomenon. Can’t be either too hot or too cold, but just right. If there is no body roll and only “flat” cornering, it feels artificial and you get no sense of where traction limits are until it lets go all at once. If body roll is too severe, you reduce tire contact patches and lose cornering traction sooner.

        The new Porsche 911′s PASM system has been criticized for being too effective. (So has the air system on the McLaren MP4-12C.) After all, body roll is built into our lives. When we go for a run on foot and zip around a corner, we lean. When we ride a bike and negotiate a curve, we lean. Without some form of even meager “tipping” sensation, we are lost!

        ———–

  • avatar
    JCraig

    So… My 08 Elantra weighs a bit over 2700lbs… A turbo, suspension, tires… Ultimate sleeper.

  • avatar
    npbheights

    My brother has a 99 GT Coupe 35th Anniversary edition with a 5 Speed. It’s black with grey leather and many of the same upgrades as this car. It’s in excellent condition, the engine looks like you can eat off of it and it has about 70,000 miles on it. He is thinking about selling it and I figured it was worth 6-7 grand. This has me thinking it might be worth considerably more, comparing it to the subject car of this article…

    • 0 avatar
      daiheadjai

      Maybe you should convince him it’s worth 6-7 grand and buy it off him “because that’s what good brothers do”?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        A good brother would admit, being under an inherent obligation to be honest to thine brother, that it could be worth considerably more, and then moan about how life is a bitch, expenses for everything are through the roof, people, employers and co-workers are ungrateful bitches, but that getting the Mustang for “around 6 or 7 grand” would sure be a morale booster in these difficult times.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        It’s definitely worth considerably more. Mustang’s as a rule in great condition such as you’re describing, tend to hold their value very well. This is due to the high influx of thirty-forty somethings like me who wanted one so badly in high school but could only afford an ’84 Mercury Lynx 5 spd. The more straight from the factory or nicely modded to where it’s a stoplight sleeper and you can sell for a nice price.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Track days can be expensive adding up into the $100′s for hotel, food, gas, and instructing.

    How would the last three tracks(not including the Miata) handle the $35 Sunday at Solo ll autocross?

    • 0 avatar
      MZ3AUTOXR

      All would probably be fun on an autocross course. But which would be be the best pick for it’s class.

      The FRS has been placed in C Stock where it will run up against the RX-8, NB and NC Miatas, and other RWD sports cars. Right now, the RX-8 is still the king of the hill in that class. Interestingly enough, the Miata is not considered a serious CS contender (Unless you have the rare MS-R package.) I don’t think the FRS made the cutoff to be eligible for this year’s Solo Nationals, so next year will be the real test.

      The Genesis 4 Cyl Turbo runs in G Stock, a class populated by newer Honda Civic Si’s, a lot of turbo FWD cars, and many of the mid-90′s ‘sporty’ cars like the Neon, Sentra SE-R and others. It has been doing fairly well there.

      • 0 avatar
        mbaruth

        The RX-8 is absolutely not the king of C Stock. In fact, it’s been abandoned by stock class drivers. The MS-R NC is such an overdog that it has been moved to B Stock for 2013. The 370Z will be the car to have for C Stock, going forward.

        Likewise, the Gen Coupe has been abandoned for G Stock. 19″ Hoosiers to go slower than H Stock? No, thanks. In fact, not a single Gen coupe has even competed at a National Tour this year.

  • avatar
    sudden1

    I had a 1997 F150 4×4 with an automatic and air as a county vehicle that I drove for 146,000 miles. All it needed was a battery, brakes, and tires. It had the two-valve 4.6 and to this day I remember thinking how much I loved the engine. It was perfect. Not a six, not a heavy eight; yep, just right. God, I loved that truck…and that engine.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Thats the perfect track-day car! A battered old pick-up truck!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The two-valve 4.6 has to be the best sounding V8 under a load, sucking air through the stock intake and through the stock mufflers. It’s not muscular, just mechanical harmony.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        If you guys like that sound, try the stock SOHC 5.4 without cats/open exhaust. Glorious!

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        Yeah the 4.6 did sound real good, especially with the de rigueur flowmasters and either an off-road pipe or a high flow catted h-pipe. The current car doesn’t sound nearly as good with its mufflers after the axle (although I understand why due to crash regs).

        The exhaust company that figures out how to get that signature sound back with the new cars will be laughing all the way to the bank.

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    I rode in a friend’s 1980 Mercury Capri that he had stuffed a 460/C6 into, along with a 9″ Ford rear end. The car was set up for autocrossing (same negative camber which is brutal on your tires if it’s a street vehicle), and I personally witnessed the G-Analyst displaying 1.24g while sitting in the passenger seat (I yanked the door pull/armest out of the door during the same ride with my left hand, while my right hand was gripping the underside of the front seat for dear life).

    That car was a carnival ride on four wheels. Nobody he knew thought that it could handle as well as it did with a 460 (all iron too) in the front.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Smirking. I had a “rag top down, 5.0″.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I never particularly liked this generation of the mustang. On the other hand nothing you said is wrong about this car either. On that track with the modifications made it’s just a superb vehicle against anything else in the same price range.

    I’m glad you had fun with it and now if only the Racers on the Internet would actually drive cars instead of playing GT3 (with it’s inherent bias to all things Japanese) there might be a bit more respect for these things.

    Ahh well, the lack of respect amongst the fanboi crowd helps keep the prices low for those of us who want to have “real” track cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Thing is, once you leave the basement and hit the streets, many of those cars lose their charm.

      Save for a very few, mint and nice JDM cars, all the rest of the “heroes” have left me cold.

      By nice cars I mean a couple of AE86s (lovely restored), R32; 33 and 34 (real GT-Rs) and some FD RX7s, even some (not all) 180/Silvias. But the mountain of worn Skylines GT, GT-S, stock and so on has given me the impression that there’s (way) too much hype around these cars.

      • 0 avatar
        AKADriver

        I’ve owned a few different incarnations of 240SX, driven them on track, and driven whatever ‘JDM hero’ I can get my hands on… and frankly… I love those cars. I love everything about them from the driver’s seat. The FR-S re-creates the experience pretty accurately, and I love it too.

        I think there’s a tendency in these articles to assume that there’s only one valid opinion on what sort of driving experience people should find enjoyable. I like the sort of quirks and Japanese-ness that cause people to chant FAIL FAIL SLOWER THAN A MUSTANG FAIL. The sort of stuff that caused the IS300 to lose every comparison test against the 3-series is exactly why I loved it (and why I can’t stand the IS350 and its return to the usual Lexus values of imitating Mercedes).

  • avatar

    Hmmm…

    I took my Ford and modified it with a tower brace, +1 tires, exhaust, mild suspension and mild intake modifications.

    …And it’s still slow:
    http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/never-mind-the-shuffle-steering-lets-take-the-falcon-to-hyperspace/

    Though it’d be fun to recreate a version of this test versus the 5-years later offerings of a 2000GT, 240Z (or Fairlady = Miata?), BMW 2800CS and Honda 1300 maybe?

  • avatar
    Jaynen

    So….

    1) the used vs new car argument the used car always wins when you play the value game. No contest

    2) If you put star specs on the other three cars and then drove them around the track they would have all been way different in laptime and feel.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    “The old 4.6 two-valver is no Coyote 5.0. Heck, it isn’t even the rambunctious three-valve mod-motor found in the 2005-2011 Mustangs”

    A supercharger kit would solve that if the owner is so inclined. A stock engine should take enough boost to make it feel livelier without breaking it. Even with 75K miles

  • avatar
    chas404

    Plus it sounds like a V8 not a 4 banger boxer engine (eek).

  • avatar
    Spencer Williams

    If Mustangs had been sold in Japan, the drift community and the internet car communities would be very, very different places today.

  • avatar
    Hoser

    The short-throw Pro-5.0 shifter I put on my 2003 GT was some of the best money I’ve spent on a car mod.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    There is much aftermarket love for first and second gen Miatas as well. If you track a car you are probably a somewhat competent mechanic. Therefore the occasional wrenching required on a used ride probably doesn’t intimidate you. With that in mind a used car is likely going to offer the best bang for the buck. Track day is one thing but were I to race I don’t think I’d want to put my new ride out there. It’s like the folks I see on the trail banging there 30,000 dollar Rubicons into stuff. I cant bring myself to do it. Trail and Track duties will always be used stuff. Plus let the Warranty gods find out you are racing and see what happens. Might as well go used.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    I’ve raced a car nearly identical to this one. The mass is something you can never get around and the steering is… interesting, even before two wrecks.

    The only real difference between cars like this one and light toys like the FR-S is that when you drive something like the ‘stang fast, you have to have faith that you’re in control, since there’s little to no feedback that the car is getting out from under you. It’s essentially using the Force to drive.

    Cars that communicate the road back to you like the Miata or FR-S give you a precise feel, and can be more reassuring to drive. Some people think it’s “fun” or “pure” when the car communicates with you, but the fun stops when you realize you’re going DEAD SLOW and unless you’ve gotten lost and are on a go-kart track, you’ll have live axle cars blazing past you at warp speed.

    • 0 avatar
      Morea

      That sums things up nicely, FJ. And this from someone who drives a slow car fast (I flatter myself) and has pointed by plenty o’ Mustangs. But feel and feedback is everything (for me) so I will never be interested in a car with power steering, ABS, stability control, traction control, etc etc. These types of The Force strike me as cheating myself out of the challenge of driving fast.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    And if I fall into the more money than sense crowd Flyin’ Miata will happily drop an LS series V8 with all the required driveline mods into my first gen for 29 grand. Should I ever do this though it will be a Ford 5.0 though.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    Old Corvettes, Mustangs and Camaros can be easily made viciously, satanically fast with cheap parts bought at the local farm implement/fertilizer dealer.

    No kidding, at the local farm and store in Spokane, there is a performance part section that has 5 (FIVE!!!) high performance crate motors on display for GM and Ford cars built between say 1984 until 1991 or so. 500 horses out the door for under 4,000 bucks! Tons and tons of aftermarket suspension upgrades in neat rows out on shelves.

    Get a decent body with a blown engine for say 2,000 bucks, spend 10 grand and these things will just eat the lunch of stratospherically-priced eurojunk.

    That’s why the comments about “mullets” and “trailer trash” are so vehement. Deep down inside, especially if your fetish is spontaneously ejaculating at the sight of the real gnurled wood dash of a mouldy brit roadster, you know the truth.

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      Larry P2…

      I don’t think anyone ever suggested that a “mouldy brit (sic) roadster” would be as “fast”** as a juiced American muscle car, old or new. The attraction of the Euro car often has to do with tradition, elegance, quality of materials, and fit-&-finish, – - plus a suspension designed for handling and cornering. And yes, all that costs big $$$. Good suspensions and weight balance in particular don’t come cheap: just check the prices on a “simple” current BMW 3-series.

      What will be fascinating to watch in the market place is what happens when, say, Corvette, upgrades its interior quality as well as everything else for the new C7, but still retains mega-HP engines. Corvettes this year are doing very well in the ALMS races, so cornering and handling are no longer a big issue (at least for track versions). Here is how they have been doing so far, as recorded by just the lead or best cars for each make (please forgive lousy attempt at data table: hard to format – anyone have suggestions?):

      Race name ——- Corvette ZR1 — BMW M3 – Porsche 911 GT3 — Ferrari 458

      12-Hours Sebring —– 2 —————— 1 —————— 6 ——————– 3

      Long Beach ————— 1 —————— 2 —————— 6 ——————– 3

      Monterey —————- 1 —————— 3 —————— 6 ——————– 5

      Northeast GP ———– 2 —————— 5 —————— 1 ——————– 4

      Mosport Canada ——– 2 —————— 3 —————- 4 ——————– 1

      Mid Ohio —– ————- 1 —————— 3 —————— 2 ——————– 6

      I’ll be visiting Road America this weekend, a very demanding track. Let’s see if Corvettes can continue to hold their positions against the 3 primary European competitors.

      ** I assume you mean drag-race.

      ———-

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        NMGOM, I love the ALMS, but those cars are so far modified (and to different standards) that it’s hard to draw that many conclusions. One reason the Corvette’s are doing better this year is that some of the restrictions on them have been lifted to allow them to go faster (the ALMS/ACO way of handling a new car is to traditionally make it extra slow at first and then allow it to be made faster to become competitive with the class). Bear in mind that every car in the GTE class is running with waivers attached with the exception of the Ferrari. The Italia is the car that is closest in design to the rules of the class. It should also be said though that a cars team and drivers must be accounted for there. Scott Sharp and his team at ESM are top notch people, but they are not of the caliber of RLL BMW or Corvette Racing, nor do they or Flying Lizard have the amount of support that those teams have had from their respective factories. The Ferraris run in Europe by AF Corse have been much more competitive with the American BMW and Corvette teams than ESM.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        tjh8402..

        Thanks for that info. I did not realize all that was going on “under the surface”. I should have mentioned that the results above are ONLY for GT class, not GTE. But the situation with Ferrari already operating at GTE level for its road cars is fascinating. I should pay more attention to GTE.

        Car makers like BMW and others often use racing as a way to develop and test new capabilities. So, again, it may be interesting to watch if Corvette can take what it learns here and put those things into the market place to generate sales, — especially internationally. In which case: BMW and Porsche – - watch out! (I don’t think Ferrari will be threatened – it’s in an entirely different price category as a super-car.)

        ————

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        NMGOM, GTE and GT are the same class. GTE is what it is known as in the World Endurance Championship and European Le Mans Series (broken up into GTE-Pro and GTE-Amateur, a division the ALMS will adopt next year). Other than the name, its the same class of cars. That’s not to say that there are meaningful developments that come out of the category. The design, shape, and look of the C6 was, and the C7 Corvette I suspect will be, determined in part by the needs of the racecar (for instance, the switch from the twin small cooling intakes on the C5 to the single large central air intake on the C6 was largely due to lessons learned from the designing the C5-R, as the C5 street car had not been designed with Le Mans racing in mind). However, many things are subject to modification including suspension design, wheelbase length, width, crankshaft (note that the M3′s use a straight crank firing order versus the offset crank of the street car). The reality is that when you have such a wide variety of cars that are not in the same performance category as street cars, minimum weights, tire size, restrictor size, rear wing design, etc all become tools to try to make the cars competitive with each other. The Viper using a larger than allowed by the rules 8 liter engine already has caused some grumbling (especially from Corvette who both shrunk their engine to the mandated 5.5 liters and took a performance penalty adjustment for having a non production engine). Expect things to get even messier next year if BMW is allowed to replace the M3 with a Z4 GT3, which uses a V8, an engine unavailable on the production car.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        tjh8402..

        Again, thank you for these ALMS insights. I don’t know where you might get them. Can you reveal your source?

        But in ALMS, are there not specification distinctions among GT, GTE-AM, and GTC classes? Please check link:
        http://www.alms.com/results/race?year%5Bvalue%5D%5Byear%5D=2012&race=597

        I note that BMW Z4 GT3 cars (initially Z3 M) have repeatedly been successful in the “24 Hours of the Nürburgring”, and hence I am not surprised that BMW would petition to put its best foot forward with ALMS over here. BMW may have to take the same “non-production” penalty as Corvette, but that little matter has hardly affected Corvette’s success.

        It also seems that the new SRT Viper, which joined only half-way through the season, is simply trying to get in some ALMS track time to learn shortcomings and figure out what they have to do for next year. Of course, in 2013, then they will get nailed for the 8-liter engine…. maybe be required to use restrictor plates?

        You certainly are right: this is getting more messy with each year. I’d hate to be on their regulations committee!

        ————-

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        Currently in the ALMS, there are two Grand Touring classes, GT, and GTC(challenge). The challenge class is a spec racing class composed only of Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars. It was introduced with the also spec LMP Challenge class several years ago to boost grid numbers by providing a more affordable form of racing. It has been very controversial because the ALMS faithful (myself included) are not fans of spec racing. On the other hand, they have served as a gateway to the series with several teams moving up from them into the other classes. The ALMS doesn’t have a GT-AM class currently. In Europe and in the WEC, the GT/GTE (E merely stands for endurance) class is split between pro and amateur, but in the ALMS, the two have been combined in one GT class. Next year, in an effort to give amateur entrants a chance at winning, the GT class will be split into pro and am. it is widely suspected that the GTC class will be phased out in favor of GT-AM. Either way, these are the cars that up until a few years ago were called GT2.

        As far as the Z4 goes, I think BMW just wants to use the car because it already exists. The F30 M3 will not be ready for a few years. Bear in mind too that Rahal Letterman Lannigan is running the current cars with support from BMW North America, not BMW AG. BMW themselves stopped supporting sports car racing a couple years ago to focus on DTM. How, the ALMS program has been so successful and the ALMS GT class so competitive that BMW NA chose to continue to support it. My guess is that the lack of strong factory support makes using an existing car more attractive (BMW AG have said they are open to helping homologate the Z4 GT3 to ACO competition rules should they ever decide to expand the race program beyond North America, but their primary focus remains DTM). Either way, I have mixed feelings because I’d love to see BMW stay involved, but at the same time, it does kinda throw the whole point of a production based class out the window when a sorority girl special with a non production V8 thrown under the hood starts beating Ferrari 458 Italias on a racetrack, although that has already been going on in GT3 where the Italia also races.

        The Viper already has restrictor plates fitted. Without them, it would run away from the class. The ACO has stated that they want GTE class cars to produce somewhere around 450 hp, whereas the Viper’s engine is a design that 10 years ago was producing 700 hp in Le Mans spec, and is currently going to be good for 640 hp (ableit with slightly more displacement) in street trim, so without a restrictor, the car would have an easy 200-250 hp advantage over the competition.

        As far as sources go, I look at a variety of places. John Dagys (speed channels sports car writer) has a twitter, as does Mike Fuller (aka Mulsanne Mike). Murphy the Bear used to be a good fun source but he’s not as active as he used to be. Otherwise, Speed Channels Le Mans Page and the ALMS fan forums at americanlemansfans.com are my main sources. I’ll warn you that some of these are not always the most supportive and positive places as far as attitudes towards the ALMS and ACO go, but the information is there if you can wade through the inevitable bitchfests.

        As far as the rules comittee goes, I agree, I wouldn’t want to be in charge. Personally, I don’t see how they can do one single class specification for GT cars. Not only is there too great a variety of performance cars out there to try to fit (many supercars like the Aventador, Ferrari F12, Aston Martin Vanquish, etc are currently homeless if someone wanted to race them) , it’s not consistent with how sports car racing has traditionally been. As I mentioned in a discussion in the ALMS forum when someone complained that the current 6 classes in the ALMS is too many, there could be as many as 8 different classes at Le Mans back in the 60′s.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Wow, tjh8402….

        What a wonderful and thorough description of the mess of ALMS! Thanks. I had no idea that things were so convoluted. But I was always wondering why cars like the Nissan GT-R and Lambo Aventador were not present. I see your point (and mixed feelings) about the BMW Z4 GT3 inclusion. Something is going to have to “give” a little somewhere.

        Unless I am mistaken as I was reading the Class specifications for the “24 Hours of Nürburgring”, it seems much more tightly and and rigorously defined. But I realize there are many more classes and many more cars that can stretch out over those 15 miles! Nonetheless, I wonder why some of our ALMS classes can’t be modeled after those? (ref: Info below.)

        DMSB-Reg.-Nr.: 707/12, approved on 10.11.2011
        As at 19.01.2012 The latest (current) printed Regulations for 2012 are applicable.

        ..and……:

        http://www.24h-rennen.de/uploads/media/WEB_24h_Regulations_2012_01.pdf
        (See page 13.)

        Thank you for the references for sources. I’m sure that’s a good start for me.

        —————-

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Essentially ALMS rules are based on those of ACO. Nurburgring 24H rules are whole different animal altogether, although the GT3 cars entered in the latter could conceivably find a home with ACO and ALMS some day in the future as well.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Thanks, th009…

        I realize the ACO origin of our ALMS classes. But what I was suggesting by implication is that the very methodical Germans have worked out a nice, tight system of classes that ACO could adopt or modify, at least in part. Something has to be done. Notice tjh8402′s story of the variability and impermanence of our ALMS classes, with new names, definitions, and specifications coming year after year. How can less common cars like Nissan GT-R and Lambo Aventador (or Gallardo) compete? How can any car maker depend on tuning or modifying cars for racing one year, only to have to do it all over again differently the following year?

        I think tjh8402′s point was that this sort of thing now defeats the original spirit and philosophy of LM racing. Which was: bring a car, and there will be a class in which to race competitively.

        —–

  • avatar
    daiheadjai

    Cheap, fast, and gets the job done.

    The McDonalds of the automotive world.

    Maybe that’s why there is such a polarized view of the Mustang (and most American muscle cars) – while there’s no doubt they get the job done, the job can definitely be done more elegantly (albeit at a greater expense).

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    So how well do these mods take care of the SN95′s deficiencies? I’ve driven several and the chassis was not exactly confidence inspiring. The vague steering combined with body motion control that would make Miata blush made it an intimidating car to drive hard. Plus the transmission didn’t seem all that eager to be quickly and smoothly heal and toed. Also, how well does the car handle the abuse of a track? Every SN95 I’ve sat is felt like it was about to start falling apart inside. Concerns over how well it would hold up as an 18-20k a year daily driver was part of the reason it was eliminated from consideration when I got my new car. The S197s felt leagues better both in terms of being a more driver centric machine and build quality. I drove a 2004 SN95 and a 2005 S197, both higher trim GT’s and both with similar (very low) mileage at the Ford dealer and the difference between the two was night and day. That being said, the SN95 was a far more visceral feeling and exciting car, and are obviously available for a lot less. If those deficiencies could be corrected, it would make a compelling second car for me. Otherwise, I may wait for prices on the S197′s to come down more. The 4.6 is brilliant sounding though, and that is reason enough for consideration over any 4 cylinder.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    In all seriousness this car is the official auto of the local trailer park. The question is who has the higher mileage, the car or the chicks that drive them?

  • avatar
    jaje

    As a track junkie this comparison I find kinda silly. You are comparing a car that has been worked over for a purpose (track days / autox) and comparing it to a set of new cars bought right off the lot. For instance the GT has been lightened pretty significantly as the Front / Rear stock seats are heavy and replacing it with a lone drivers Corbeau race seat is quite a reduction in weight. The engine has been modified as well – I/H?/E in on a Ford v8 makes quite a bit more power than stock. The suspension has been modified / lowered and running -2.5 degrees camber makes a huge difference in cornering. Next he’s running Dunlop Star Spec tires which are DOT competition tires not OEM all season radials. Then lastly he’s upgraded to Cobra front brakes which also provide a significant increase in stopping power.

    So the GT ran quicker lap times – which I’m sure stock it would be competitive with them anyway but this car has been warmed over for a specific purpose and should dominate as it did.

    • 0 avatar
      mbaruth

      Star Specs aren’t DOT competition tires. They have a 200 treadwear rating.

      • 0 avatar
        jaje

        Here’s an article of Star Specs swap on a BRZ and immediately a 2 second lower lap time. You are right as they do come with a 200 treadwear rating – these are extreme summer tires and made for track cars and provide significantly more grip than all season radials and even summer performance tires. A lot of guys use them for chumpcar racing, hence my comment that those tires are DOT competition tires.

        http://www.roadandtrack.com/special-report/scion-fr-s-tire-transformation

      • 0 avatar
        mbaruth

        I’m fully aware of Star Specs, as they are the tire that I use for my STR Honda S2K. They are not “magic tires,” however. They are no better or worse than several other models (Hankook RS3, Toyo R1R, etc, depending on several factors such as temperature and tread depth.

  • avatar
    Sanman111

    The thing is that this represents more than a modded mustang. Personally, I have been looking at one of these to supplement my DD rather than replace it. They can be had cheap (3-4k) and there are many cheap mods for it. You can create whatever you want out of it. A weekend cruiser and occasional autocross car from a mustang ‘vert seems like a cheap, fun time. Don’t like the mustang? Take your pic of old miatas, s2000s, rx7/8 (with or without v8), and even the BMW M3. They can all do the job for a fraction of the price.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Love this thread. Here in Indy I’ve seen one of these Mustangs with a fairly stout Chevy LS engine + nitrous.

    Stunningly fast in a straight line, and less front end weight for handling. 140+ in the quarter IIRC, of course you need a full cage and fire suit in that zone.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      What a damn shame nobody in Indy knows how to wrench on a OHC motor anymore!

      I kid, I kid – GM really did a fantastic job with the LSx motors – airflow is top-notch and the engines have a generous bore to aid those cylinder heads. The 2v mod motors by comparison had poorly flowing heads hampered by a small bore with limited displacement.

      Things improved somewhat with the PI heads in ’99 but you still had to break the bank to play with the GM guys by either building a monster 2v on the ragged edge or with power adders or step up to the 4v hardware

      The introduction of the 3v motor in 05 was step in the right direction (although the combustion chamber was less than ideal making them prone to detonation) and its to bad it took Ford until 2011 to get its game together for the GT with the introduction of the 4v 5.0 which was pretty damn monumental as far was Ford goes who up until that point seemed to adhere strictly to “just good engough” when it came to the Mustang (well 2010 and the track pack aside). Hardware wise the current 5.0 mill bests the 5.4 4v in the GT500 in airflow and overall refinement (the recip assembly by dint of having to endure the supercharger is considerably more stout though) and the road-runner mill in the Boss even more so.

      Sigh… Mustang fans deserved better in 1996 when Ford rolled out the mod motors – they should have either invested alot more effort in the 2v heads (how hard would it have been to do a canted valve head with an OHC motor with a centrally located plug?) or just gone 4v across the board. Instead it took 15 years for the Mustang GT guys to get the engine they deserved.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    (Please ignore this phony entry below: I am trying to work out a data-table, format-method in Excel that can survive the tabular crunch that occurs when doing a “cut&paste” into this comment field. )

    ererer …………..rtrtrtrrt…………..yuyuy……….vvbvbvvb……..nmnmn

    67…………………….89………………23……………….34…………………12

    1.56………………..4.66……………..9.56…………….10.55…………13.99

    AA…………………..BBB…………….CCCC…………..DDDDD……….EEEEEE

    Let’s see if it works when I hit “submit comment”. (If it does, I’ll let you all know what I did, in case someone wants to include a data table into their discussion sometime.)

    ————-

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      LATER – - –

      YUP, it worked! What did I do?

      Just put entires into Excel starting from the left-most cell and use a “null character” (here, the period, “.”) to continually fill up neighboring cells to the right without jumping into those cells. Just make an entire line of real entries separated by your null character, while using vertical cell boundaries as no more than guidelines for where to put entires. Since neither “tab” is used, as in Word, nor cell delineations as here in Excel, then doing cut & paste does move over to the TTAC comment field without compression. Remember, you will be limited to about 90 characters in width for a primary comment; and then increasingly less for the indented ‘reply” comments.

      ———–

  • avatar
    probert

    apples and oranges

  • avatar
    tekdemon

    Sure you can compare these cars if you actually took the MSRP of the Mustang GT when new and adjusted for inflation. Otherwise why not wait 10 years and buy a used FR-S?

    For that matter I don’t see why you couldn’t strip the FR-S for free as well to get it down to a ridiculous waif-like weight. Pretty sure if you actually adjusted for inflation and added the modification costs you could, for that same amount of money, modify an FR-S to pretty great potential.

  • avatar
    bwright1991

    What about the pontiac gto? You can get one with the LS2 motor for like 15 grand. 400 horsepower and fully independent suspension.


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