Last summer, Ford made a big deal about the fact that the updated-for-2018 Mustang GT can hit 60 mph in under four seconds, but the automaker never revealed its quarter-mile time. , so now we know exactly what the upgraded pony can do.
The Hot Rod gang clocked a time of 11.83 seconds at 119.51 mph. That was the best time of the day, but the guys report that the Mustang GT consistently posted high-11s with ease. The test vehicle was a brand-new, bone-stock Mustang GT equipped with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission and the Performance Package, which brings 460 horses, 420 lb-ft of torque and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires. That's an improvement of 25 horses and 20 lb-ft over last year's model.
This test was performed on a prepared surface and with optimized tire pressures—26 psi for the rears and 45 psi for the front. None of that is trickery. Theoretically anyone can buy a new Mustang GT, head straight for a drag strip, play around with tire pressures, and match Hot Rod's results.
The Mustang offers launch control, which holds the vehicle at an RPM of the driver's choice. Hot Rod found that a 2000 RPM launch after a quick tire-warming burnout produced the best results.
Let's put that 11.83-second run into context. The last Mustang GT we got test numbers on, a manual-transmission 2016 Performance Package making 435 hp, ran a 13.2-second quarter-mile. This is the first year for the new 10-speed automatic, and the first time the Performance Package can be ordered with the auto; in a non-Performance Mustang GT with the old six-speed auto back in 2015.
And how does the new 10-speed auto compare with the manual? Car and Driver recently did instrumented testing on and saw a best quarter-mile result of 12.6 seconds at 115 mph.
So, the facelifted 2018 Mustang GT is significantly quicker than its predecessor, and if you want to dominate at the drag strip, you'll need the auto. Now just imagine what the rumored 2019 GT500 will do.