A summer with the 2018 Ford Mustang GT: Everyday supercar

Supercar makers have a habit of saying the latest million-mile-per-hour, hybrid flame thrower “can be driven all year! It has a soft suspension mode and a nose lift,” they say. That may be technically true in some cases, but in most it’s more supercar hyperbole. This Mustang, though, might be the real deal.

I know what you’re thinking. “That’s insane. There’s no way a Ford Mustang could be considered a supercar in any sense of the word.” Allow me to make my case.

We picked this color (Royal Crimson Metallic, $395), we added the GT Performance Pack ($3,995) that includes 19-inch black wheels, summer Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, 3.73 rear-axle ratio, Brembo front brakes, larger radiator, K-brace and unique chassis and suspension tuning. We also checked the boxes for dual-zone climate control and Sync 3 ($2,000), the Magne-Ride adjustable dampers ($1,695), active exhaust ($895) and voice-activated navigation ($795). That brought us to a non-supercar-like grand total of $45,770.

For that price we got a real, naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 making 460 hp and 420 lb-ft, a top speed of 157 mph, 60 mph of which is available in less than 4 seconds. Those were supercar numbers not long ago.

If we would have waited a few more months we could have checked the Performance Pack 2 box (Ford’s answer to the Camaro SS 1LE), which adds even more track-focused parts: wider wheels, Michelin Cup 2 tires, stiffer and 1.5-inch lower springs, larger anti-roll bars, an aggressive front splitter and a slim spoiler, as well as unique traction control and steering calibrations.

From the get, we knew this car would be spending time on the track. And, while most performance cars need at least a few things before track duty — brake pads and high-temp brake fluid — this car is ready to go off the dealership lot. Grattan Raceway in Belding, Michigan is a small but complicated 10-turn road course that features tons of blind turns, a Monza-like bowl, rising, off-camber turns and even a jump, if you’re brave enough to keep your foot down over the blind hill with a pond on the other side.

The GT ate it up. Lap after lap. Inadvisably we went back-to-back sessions all day long. That means about 40 minutes at 9/10ths, then 20 minutes off. We beat on it, and beat on it and only left the track when one of us, not mentioning any names (ahem, Boss—RTE) ran out of gas and had to be towed off the course (after comfortably outrunning our road test editor all day.—ED)(with 20 more hp and better tires! –RTE) Then came more gas — at track prices — and then more laps.

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