After riding in the EcoBoost and GT versions of the S550, we can’t wait to drive them
By Steve Turner and Dale Amy
Photos by Steve Turner and courtesy of Ford Motor Company
We hope you took the time to read our story on the S550 powertrain updates. If so, you know there is clearly more to the tale than just the raw numbers that tore around the Internet last week. Now, what we didn’t get to in that installment is that our representative at the intimate press event in Dearborn was also able to ride shotgun in both the EcoBoost Mustang and the Mustang GT.
Of course the SVTP staff was in the midst of covering Mustang Week, so we are just as jealous as you are that our friend Dale Amy was not only able to spend some time with the Mustang engineers, but he was also able to experience the fruits of their labors. Fortunately, since we couldn’t be there, we were able to get a little feedback from Dale on his experiences.
“Impressions gained from the shotgun seat are at best imperfect, but better than nothing. Last week we had an opportunity to ride in some prototype S550 coupes— one a GT, the others armed with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost—at Ford’s Dearborn Development Center test track,” he explained. “The portion of track we ran on is purposefully full of wildly undulating topography smack dab in the middle of tight turns and short straights. Think of a rollercoaster with pavement.”
Here’s some video captured by another attendee of the Performance Pack Mustang GT doing its thing on the test track:
“In other words, if there’s a way to upset a suspension, this section of track has it. In the skilled hands of Ford development drivers, the 2015 Mustangs seemed remarkably poised and grippy,” he explained. “To me, two traits really stood out from my perch on the passenger seats: First, whether carrying V8 or four-banger, the coupes seemed eager to turn-in, with no sign of the front tires needlessly grinding off molecules to change direction. In short, handling felt neutral, with the cars seeming to rotate with little effort. Gone is the grossly understeering Mustang of old.”
Don’t believe it? Just check out the Performance Pack EcoBoost S550 doing its thing on track:
“Reinforcing this perceived chassis neutrality was our second impression that the rear end likewise had tons of grip, yet was ultra-responsive to throttle input that could play quite literally a ‘pivotal’ role in getting the coupes around the tightest turns,” Dale added. “And this type of hump-in-the-middle-of-curve pavement really showed off the ability of the new IRS to shrug off mid-corner irregularities that would push a stick axle to its traction limit.”
Moreover, the sounds of both rides, particularly the Ecoboost ’Stang, seem to have been enhanced since we last rode in the turbo four-banger. Here’s what both cars sound like:
While the exhaust sounds were subdued in the cabin, as you can hear in these videos the cars sounded great on the outside. After another brief tease in the passenger seat, we simply can’t wait to slide over into the driver seat.