2018 Ford Mustang GT Ups the Ante with Performance Pack 2
The Performance Pack 2 for the Mustang GT increases grip and aero for one of the best-driving Mustangs to date.
It’s Friday night, and we’re being led by a Ford representative deep into the bowels of their Allen Park wind tunnel facility. It has the feel of a mid-80s sci-fi flick, with metal scaffolding and narrow passages. We aren’t underground, but it feels like it. We are there because Ford wants to show us something new. It’s fitting that the reveal is in the wind tunnel, since the new product is all about wind. After a brief introduction to the engineering team, they pull the tarp off and reveal the brand new 2018 Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack 2.
The Performance Pack 2 takes everything in the normal Performance Package, but cranks up the grip. A new front splitter, inspired by the Boss 302 Laguna Seca, adds serious downforce. It’s combined to balance out with a rear lip spoiler that is aero functional. The body also sits a tiny bit lower. Aero grip is supplemented by new mechanical grip. Wider tires front and rear (10.5 inches in the front, 11 inches in the rear) are sporting Michelin Sport Cup 2 graphics. A new set of wheels were needed to support the extra width.
Lastly, everything comes specifically tuned for the Performance Pack 2. The standard MagneRide magnetorheological ride control dampers receive a special tune, as do the different drive modes. The Performance Pack 2 is also only available with the 460 horsepower 5.0L Coyote V8 mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
The package was a bit of a skunkworks project for the engineering team. They worked nights and weekends to make the car happen. After playing around with some aerodynamic tweaks they decided this might be a cool enough car to put into production. At the end of the day, it’s a car that the engineers of the Mustang built as a car they want to drive.
There are no power improvements with the pack, and the brakes are the same Brembos that come with the normal performance pack. Buyers can choose a leather or cloth interior, and they can also choose between normal Mustang seats or Recaro seats.
We asked if it’d be fair to compare the Performance Pack 2 to the Camaro SS 1LE, and were told that that wasn’t the goal of the project. While readers and magazines will likely compare the two, the car is intended to be a better performing Mustang, and help bridge the performance gap between the Mustang GT and the Shelby GT350.
We are thinking of it as a modern day Boss 302 that doesn’t lose any creature comforts in the pursuit of more speed. The only thing really preventing someone from daily driving one of these (in states where it doesn’t snow) is that the Cup 2 tires wear very quick.
If you’re interested in ordering this with your new Mustang, dealerships can begin taking orders them as you read this. The current Performance Package is $3,995, and we expect the Performance Pack 2 to retail at around $6,000.
It’s possible that this will be the most balanced Mustang to date, and we’re looking forward to our chance to get behind the wheel!