Ford takes aim at Camaro SS, Challenger SRT Demon with updates to 2018 Mustang GT

Ford takes aim at Camaro SS, Challenger SRT Demon with updates to 2018 Mustang GT

Ford has scored a decisive victory in the battle for muscle car supremacy by making the 2018 Mustang GTmore powerful than its archrival, the Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Thanks to a redesigned 5.0-liter V8 engine, the Mustang GT improves horsepower from 435 horsepower to 460, edging out the 455 horsepower made by the Camaro SS’s 6.2-liter eight-cylinder. Also, a new 10-speed SelectShift transmission helps the GT speed to 60 mph in less than four seconds, putting it neck and neck with the SS.

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However, the Camaro is not alone in Ford’s crosshairs. With an all-new Drag Strip mode, the 2018 Mustang GT looks to piggyback on the hype of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, a high-powered coupe purpose-built for drag racing.

2018-ford-mustang-gt-orange

Ford has made the Mustang GT faster and stronger than ever.

(Uli Heckmann)

Ford might not be able to touch the Demon’s 840 horsepower or its sub-10 second quarter-mile time but that hasn’t stopped it from jumping on the racing bandwagon by adding a Drag Strip mode to the 2018 Mustang GT, which offers maximum acceleration through improved responsiveness, speedier gear shifts.

The 10-speed gear box, which replaces the current six-gear set inside the 2017 Mustang GT, also promises better low-speed tip-in response, smoother shifts and custom tuning for all five driving modes, which also include normal, sport, track and snow/wet. Also, like Ford’s other wide-ratio-spanning transmissions, the SelectShift system is designed to optimize fuel economy.

Ford's Mustang EcoBoost can now capitalize on the drag-racing experience offered by its V8-powered counter thanks to a now-standard line-lock system.

Ford’s Mustang EcoBoost can now capitalize on the drag-racing experience offered by its V8-powered counter thanks to a now-standard line-lock system.

The GT was not the only Mustang variant to get a makeover for 2018, the four-cylinder EcoBoost also adds power and speed, improving torque from 320 lb.-ft. to 350 lb.-ft. and a 0 to 60 mph time of fewer than five seconds when equipped with the performance pack, which includes Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires.

Today’s performance world is shaped by stat stuffing and, to that end, Ford’s upgrades to the Mustang lineup should keep it competitive, at least on the spec sheet. However, we’ll have to wait and see how these improvements actually play out in the street, on the track and, yes, at the drag strip.

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