While they are aiming for a late 2009 introduction, Mustang engineers brought out three '10 Mustang GTs equipped with the upcoming Track Pack. The Track Pack includes revised front and rear stabilizer bars, upper strut mounts, and rear, lower control arms from the '09 Shelby Mustang. Coil springs are the same as on the base GT, but the struts and shocks are cut from a clean sheet. Both the front and rear brake pads are upgraded, and the 3.73-cogged Traction-Lok differential is fitted with carbon fiber friction plates. As if that weren't enough, the engineering team managed to push through an even better tire package consisting of Pirelli P Zero summer performance tires, sized 255/40/19. While they hadn't quite finished with the Advance Trac tuning at the time of our test, the Track Pack-equipped cars will get unique stability tuning as well.
Our sources at Ford state the Track pack option will be affordable at $1,495. According to Ford, braking distances have decreased thanks to the pad upgrades and the better rubber selection. Manufacturer testing claims an increase from 0.90 to 0.93 on the skidpad with the Track Pack, and slalom speed improved by 2 mph. On the track, we couldn't give a very a good assessment of the Track Pack's road manners, given the smooth surface we were driving on, but the confidence-inspiring suspension mods should be very pleasing to the weekend road course or autocross enthusiast. With the Mustang's three-link/Panhard bar rear suspension being relatively new, the engineering team sure seems to have it dialed in.
All good things must come to an end, though, and so did our time at Willow Springs. So we grabbed a Sunset Gold Metallic GT for our trip back to the hotel. Equipped with the glass roof option, automatic transmission, and navigation/Sync options, it was a plush ride. Even the automatic shifter was upgraded for 2010. We'll take the Track Pack option and be much happier for much less money, though.
Was there anything we didn't like about the '10 Mustang? Not really. This author isn't completely sold on all of the styling changes, but that opinion will vary greatly from person to person. Concerning all of the other changes Ford has made, we'd say our favorite automaker has gone above and beyond what one might have expected.
For 2010, the Mustang GT has grown up and learned some manners, but it has done so without losing any of its adolescent, tire-smoking appeal. The new, aggressive styling seems to be a hit with most folks, and we can tell you that the driving experience behind the wheel is better than its predecessor. Ford has added a lot of value with things like LED sequential taillamps, EasyFuel cap-less fuel filler system, optional reverse camera, and dual-zone temperature controls. For those considering a V-6 Mustang, the engineers have been hard at work improving that model, too. Just when you thought the '05 Mustang was a home run, Team Mustang has hit a grand slam.
With the Advance Trac off, the rearend will come around, but it takes some doing. This GT
Ford has made numerous improvements to the interior of the '10 Mustang, including the cons
Brake dive is a bit more subdued than the outgoing model, and the front brake pad upgrade
Instructions for the stability and traction control system were provided. We were able to