Ford Bumps 2018 Mustang's Power, Claims Sub-four-second 0-60 Time for GT

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
ford bumps 2018 mustang s power claims sub four second 0 60 time for gt

As evidenced by its constantly evolving truck and SUV lineup, Ford isn’t happy printing the same horsepower and torque figures year after year. Fuel economy and cargo volume are all nice and good, and God knows American consumers love space for unnecessary, child-related crap, but performance cars aren’t dead yet. Nor is the desire for ever more rubber-shredding power.

In the hopes of satisfying those not waiting lustily for the upcoming 1.0-liter EcoSport, engineers at the Blue Oval cranked the power output of its facelifted EcoBoost and GT Mustang variants a few notches higher for 2018. The company’s also making noise about speed. Specifically, the time it takes to reach 60 mph in the 2018 Mustang GT.

Ford claims a 0-60 figure of less than four seconds when equipped with newly available Drag Strip mode — a stunning, if vague, figure that should garner bragging rights if owners are capable of replicating the feat themselves. With no exact 0-60 time given, the 2018 Mustang’s 13.5 cubic-foot trunk provides ample room for those grains of salt.

Until Ford dishes more about the GT’s sprinting ability, we’re left wondering whether it simply made the run in 3.99 seconds once or twice. If it’s not a fluke, Ford’s perennial pony car joins a very exclusive club. The 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats complete the run in 3.6 seconds when equipped with an automatic transmission and 3.9 seconds in three-pedal variants. Even the Shelby GT350’s best time comes in at 3.9 seconds.

(Of course, Ford would prefer you hear about its trouncing of the exotic Porsche 911 Carrera, not its encroachment on a Detroit rival.)

Ford’s previous Mustang GT, outfitted with a six-speed manual and a lower-output 5.0-liter V8, clocked in at 4.3 seconds in a Car and Driver test of a 2016 model. Other instrumented tests of the same powertrain from the likes of Motor Trend and Road & Track saw 0-60 times of 4.6 and 4.7 seconds.

What makes the 2018 GT so fast? Several things, Ford claims. First and foremost, there’s more power on tap — 460 horses and 420 lb-ft of torque, up from this year’s 435 hp and 400 lb-ft. It’s made possible by a dual port and direct injection setup. That’s 5 hp more than Chevrolet’s Camaro SS, which still beats the smaller Ford mill in terms of twist, and 85 hp more than Dodge’s 5.7-liter Challenger (though 25 less than 392 Hemi-equipped Mopars).

Joining the GT for 2018 is Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission, replacing a six-speed in that role. To claim that vaunted sub-four-second sprint time, Mustang GT buyers must first opt for the Performance Pack, which arrives with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires. Drag Strip mode also joins the list of drive modes. The system works with the faster-shifting 10-speed for maximum straight-line acceleration.

“Typically, when you shift gears, you give up time,” said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer, in a release. “In Drag Strip mode, the engine torque doesn’t drop when you’re shifting. You get peak engine torque and horsepower straight through thanks to our new Ford-built 10-speed transmission.”

Entry-level Mustangs aren’t excluded from the fun, either. With the 3.7-liter V6 dropped from the lineup, the newly base 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder underwent massaging, resulting in 30 extra lb-ft of torque. Expect 310 hp and a healthy 350 lb-ft now. The same goodies Ford offers on the GT — 10-speed, Performance Pack and Drag Strip mode — are also available on the EcoBoost model.

So equipped, the four-cylinder Stang becomes capable of sub-five-second 0-60 times. Compare that to the 1988 LX you drove when you were 19.

Ford plans to release pricing tomorrow, well ahead of the 2018 Mustang’s arrival at dealers this fall.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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  • Threeer Threeer on Jul 25, 2017

    Eh, for about 98% of the time in normal driving conditions, 0-60 times are largely immaterial. In my tiny Escape S, I'm rarely ever "dusted" by anybody leaving a stoplight. I'm looking hard at a very nicely maintained 2008 128i manual, and quoted 0-60 of 5.7 seconds is faster than any car I've ever owned and I simply can't imagine that the metric would become useful in my daily drive. Heck, I owned a 1985 318i with all of 101 HP (ok, it had a few more due to some slight mods, but let's say it had maybe 115 HP). And I rarely felt it was underpowered. It was set up for backroads and switchbacks. I guess for bragging rights saying that your car can do 0-60 in 4 seconds or under matters somewhere, but I just don't feel as compelled as I once did to overly pay attention to that specific specification anymore.

    • See 1 previous
    • TMA1 TMA1 on Jul 25, 2017

      @Ricky Spanish That's where the Camaro excels, when you don't have to see what's behind you.

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Jul 25, 2017

    I can't ever forgive them for how the refreshed front end looks.

    • See 2 previous
    • JimZ JimZ on Jul 25, 2017

      @EBFlex please refrain from ever responding to any of my comments. Thank you.

  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.
  • Lorenzo In Massachusetts, they used to require an inspection every 6 months, checking your brake lights, turn signals, horn, and headlight alignment, for two bucks.Now I get an "inspection" every two years in California, and all they check is the smog. MAYBE they notice the tire tread, squeaky brakes, or steering when they drive it into the bay, but all they check is the smog equipment and tailpipe emissions.For all they would know, the headlights, horn, and turn signals might not work, and the car has a "speed wobble" at 45 mph. AFAIK, they don't even check EVs.
  • Not Tire shop mechanic tugging on my wheel after I complained of grinding noise didn’t catch that the ball joint was failing. Subsequently failed to prevent the catastrophic failure of the ball joint and separation of the steering knuckle from the car! I’ve never lived in a state that required annual inspection, but can’t say that having the requirement has any bearing on improving safety given my experience with mechanics…
  • Mike978 Wow 700 days even with the recent car shortages.