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2018 Ford Mustang Overview
There have been some dark chapters in the history of America’s pony car, but Ford has been on a roll the past few years and the Mustang’s looks and performance just keep getting better and better. The 2018 model receives some styling refinements and powertrain updates, which are always welcome changes. Among the cosmetic tweaks are a new front fascia with LED high- and low-beam headlights, a lower hood, a lower rear diffuser, slightly revised taillights, new paint colors, and 12 different wheel designs.
2018 will be the first year in recent memory that the Mustang will not be offered with a 6-cylinder engine, and base trims will receive an updated version of the turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine. Higher performance Shelby models will still be available, but Ford’s standard Mustang, which comes in either coupe or convertible body style, will be comprised of the base EcoBoost and the V8-powered GT. These two variants are most easily distinguished by their rear ends—the base Mustang has 2 exhaust tips, while the GT gets 4. The 2.3-liter turbo may seem small and out of place in a Mustang—unless you remember the 2.3-liter Mustangs from the Fox-Body era—but thanks to Ford’s revisions, it should make more power than the previous version’s 310 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque.
The Mustang GT is still outfitted with a 5.0-liter V8 engine, which Ford has thoroughly reworked with a new fuel-delivery system with port and direct injection for more power at higher revs. Expect an engine output that exceeds last year’s 435 hp and 400 lb-ft . The V8 can be paired with a newly available 10-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters, which was co-developed with General Motors (GM) and is making its way across the lineup to models like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The standard unit for either engine, however, remains a 6-speed manual transmission, which is a relief for true driving enthusiasts. With the V8, the manual transmission has been reworked to include a twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel. Another welcome feature for gearheads is a new optional active exhaust system, available only on GT variants. It allows the driver to adjust the engine volume and is similar to the one already available on the Shelby GT350 and rival Camaro.
The 2018 Mustang’s suspension features retuned dampers, improved anti-roll bars, and revised rear bushings. The biggest performance enhancement, however, is the electronically adjustable magnetorheological dampers—carried over from the Shelby GT350—that have been added to the Performance package. Now offered on all trims, the Performance package also includes a large new rear wing.
A hand-stitched cover on the center console and an optional heated steering wheel are among the 2018 Mustang’s interior upgrades, and buyers can opt for a customizable 12-inch LCD screen in place of the standard analog gauges. Ford’s MyMode function allows drivers to adjust the electric power steering and adaptive suspension and comes with memory for preferred drive settings. The Mustang’s rear seats are still small but are manageable for short drives, and trunk space is ample, if not cavernous. New safety features for 2018 include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warnings, and lane-keep assist.
The 2018 Mustang should hit dealers in the fall, with prices coming in under $30,000 for base version and at around $35,000 for the GT. That again makes the Mustang a serious bargain for the amount of performance it delivers, which has been one of its biggest appeals for over half a century.
Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.
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