Ever since we first heard the announcement about the new Mustang back in December 2013, we at Ford Addict have been eager to do a 2015 Ford Mustang GT review. Other than the new redesign, 2015 is also an important year as the Mustang proudly celebrates its 50th Anniversary. Now while traditional birthdays are celebrated by blowing out candles and sharing cake with loved ones, the Mustang’s 50th birthday was celebrated by blowing the doors off of Camaros and parking one on the roof of the Empire State Building. We here at Ford Addict had a different approach to celebrating the Mustang’s 50th, we celebrated in a way that kept it simple. We drove one.
- All-new redesign for the Mustang’s 50th Anniversary
- New 2.3-liter EcoBoost Engine (310hp/320 lb-ft of torque)
- 5.0L V8 still available
- New heated/cooled seat option
- No more live rear axle! New independent rear suspension system
- Transformation from pony car to world class driving machine
On a cold, snowy January morning in New Jersey, I was handed the keys to a Deep Impact Blue over Ebony Interior 2015 Mustang GT Premium. Walking up to it I immediately noticed the new design, a bold move into the new Ford design language that translates very well into an aggressive front end, with the unmistakable Mustang fastback silhouette and rear design. The optional 20-inch aluminum wheels showed off the style as well. While the wheelbase is the same as the 2014 model, the overall length is slightly shortened, but the whole car is close to 2 inches wider. It gives the 2015 Mustang a planted stance, inspiring confidence in its handling abilities even when parked.
I walked up and grabbed the door handle, the keyless entry unlocked the doors and I was greeted by the cockpit. The all-new interior has the same driver-passenger symmetry of previous Mustangs, but its interior materials are greatly improved. Bright aluminum trim, leather, and a plaque that states “Since 1964” add elegance to this beastly machine. MyFord Touch, heated and cooled seats are a few of the first time features available in a Mustang. But with all this technology I was still happy to see that the Mustang can still be ordered with an honest 6-Speed Manual transmission.
I sat down, heard the familiar friendly Ford door chime, pressed the clutch in, and pushed the new “push to start” button. The 435-horsepower 5.0 V8 roared to life, the beast was alive. Now lets talk about manuals for a second. The clutch on the new Mustang feels different than prior ones, with plenty of weight and feedback, but also very forgiving for everyday driving. The shifter itself has a nice feel as well, delivering smooth shifts in a clear and direct way. Engaging reverse is also very intuitive thanks to the small aluminum circle on the shift knob, just pull up on it and you’re able to smoothly move to the top left. I drove out of the lot, and hit the road.
As I pulled out the acceleration was instantly noticeable. Smooth, direct, and holy cow is it powerful! But what is incredibly impressive is the steering feel. Old Mustang’s felt great in that department, but the new one is on a new level of sports car over pony car. Three electric power steering modes (Standard, Sport, and Comfort) are available in a toggle switch like system on the Premium models, each delivering the expected response to the leather wrapped wheel. Standard was perfect for daily driving, Sport a must for getting the most out of the car on those windy roads, and Comfort for those long distance cruises. Next to this switch is another toggle for four selectable Drive Modes to activate predetermined powertrain and chassis responses for certain driving situations. These are Normal, Sport+, Track, and Snow/Wet mode. Normal mode provides the everyday feel of the standard car with the power on tap at any point as well as comfortable ride qualities. The Sport+ mode allows for quicker throttle responses and improved chassis feedback for more spirited driving styles, Track mode (only to be used on racetracks, not public roads) for getting the most out of the car on the weekend track day or autocross, and Snow/Wet mode for better handling in less-than ideal weather conditions. The roads were clear despite the recent snowfall, so Normal modes were tested first, followed by a quick change to Sport and Sport+ at a stoplight, and Snow/Wet mode for instantly better grip when entering a snowy parking lot that Sport+ provided too much power for.
Driving along at normal speeds in no rush was a strange feeling in the Mustang. It was almost too hard to believe that such a powerful and capable performance machine could be well behaved at an instant. It’s like bringing the fun-loving class clown to a formal dinner party with 2 seconds notice. The chassis felt composed and agile, in part due to the all-new independent rear suspension, another first for the Mustang. The cabin was airy and roomy with great outward visibility, generally a great place to be. The seats were supportive and comfortable, and they weren’t even the optional Recaro sport seats. The rearview camera in the MyFord Touch display helped make reversing into a parking spot easier than imaginable. And the mix of touchscreen, dials/buttons, and voice commands made user experience easy and natural.
The new 2015 Mustang GT proved to be an easy car to drive. The different drive modes kept the already great experience exciting; the interior was on par with higher-end German cars that cost twice as much as the 2015 Mustang, and it still provided the endless amounts of thumbs up and double takes from people all around. Yes, guy in the brand-new Dodge Challenger Hellcat, I’m talking about you.