Back in July, when Ford Motor Company announced the power output rating of the 2018 Ford Mustang GT to be 460 horsepower, the automaker confided something else: when equipped with a 10-speed automatic transmission and the optional Performance Pack, the pony car is capable of sprinting to 60 mph in under four seconds. Not only is that an impressive stat, but it means that given the right circumstances, the refreshed Mustang GT is capable of accelerating to that speed quicker than the current Shelby GT350 Mustang (4.3 seconds, according to Car and Driver), and possibly even quicker than the GT350R.
Granted, the Shelby GT350 was developed with a focus on race track prowess over straight-line speed, and its 526 horsepower isn’t enough to give it the leg up in an all-out sprint when it has four fewer forward gears to choose from, and shifts the driver has to effect themself. Furthermore, we don’t expect that Ford’s Level 2 Performance Pack will make the 2018 Mustang GT any quicker; sure, it gets wider, stickier tires, but like the Shelby GT350, it can be had only with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Even still, that the 2018 Ford Mustang GT automatic with Performance Pack 1 can outgun Ford Performance’s high-achieving Shelby GT350 in the sprint to 60 comes as a surprise, and it demonstrates better than anything else why the ten-speed and third-generation Coyote V8 might be worthy reasons to upgrade from the 2015-2017 model.