View Full Version : R&T PCOTY, Mustang finishes 3rd (or 2nd..!?!?)

13th November 2014, 02:13 PM
Minority Report: Should the 2015 Mustang GT have been PCOTY?
A vocal minority shouted the Mustang GT's praises, very loudly.
By Jack Baruth November 11, 2014


This is just the second year for Road&Trackís Performance Car of the Year, but the broad and largely subjective range of criteria used to crown our prom queen of performance cars has already led to a level of squabbling and outright manipulative behavior among our staff that would have shocked Machiavelli himself. Thatís the Italian Machiavelli, the author of The Prince. As opposed to Makavelli, also known as Tupac Shakur. Which is perhaps a more appropriate analogy, because when the process of casting the ballots for this yearís PCOTY began, it quickly devolved into the same kind of drama and contention that marked the infamous beef between 2Pac and Biggie Smalls.

This time, however, it wasnít West Coast vs. East Coast, but rather America vs. Germany. In one corner, you had the 991-generation Porsche GT3. A master of all trades from the superslab to the Motown Mile, Porscheís newest trackday tool had even its strongest detractors reluctantly admitting that it had the right stuff to take the PCOTY laurels. Itís hard to argue against a car that runs neck-and-neck with the far more focused Ferrari 458 Speciale around our airport course yet crawls through Michigan traffic like a Coupe de Ville? It isnít even that expensive, at least not when compared to other cars that offer a similar level of capability.

Still, even in the face of such undoubted competence, there were whispers that the GT3 lacked a certainÖ something. A certain charm, a certain tossability, a certain joie de backroad. Okay, they werenít whispers. They were shouts, delivered across a folding lunch table set up in a hangar of the Detroit City Airport. And the shouting was mostly in favor of the new-for-2015 Mustang GT 5.0.


Itís true that the big ponycar canít stay within telescope distance of the Porsche around a track or down a twisty road. But PCOTY isnít about the numbers. Itís about the ability of a car to involve you in the driving process, to make you a companion and ally in a compelling adventureóand in that respect, very few cars on the market today can touch the new Mustang.

To begin with, itís got that engine. If your blood doesnít heat up when you hear Fordís Coyote five-liter, then youíre either dead or a member of a Subaru enthusiastís forum. This is what the American V8 was always meant to be. Has there ever been an engine this thrilling, this deeply stirring, in an affordable production car? Hell no.

But last yearís Mustang had it too, so that canít be the reason why the 2015 GT resonated so strongly among our seasoned crew. No, itís more than just the engine. Itís also more than the new silhouette, although that too is a triumph, combining retro and modern with a deftness that its bloated, occasionally cartoonish competitors canít approach. On the surface, the Mustang is supremely desirable, and if you never did anything with it besides drive it back and forth to work youíd be completely and totally happy with it.


Want to be even happier? Put the Mustang on a fast back road, such as the ones we used to separate the wheat from the chaff this year at PCOTY, and it comes alive like Peter Frampton clutching a triple-pickup Les Paul. All of a sudden the pony shrinks around you and it becomes possible to hustle it like it was an E36 BMW. The feedback through the steering, brakes, and shifter is just right, a testament to Fordís willingness to steadily refine this platform and its component parts over the course of a decade. It could use more brakes, but thatís par for the course in a sub-$50,000 performance car. For a quick blast, however, theyíre enough and you can trust the status reports you receive from the middle pedal.

In the context of a challenging two-lane, the Coyote motorís wide rev range and low inertia becomes electrifying, allowing you to hold it against the 7000-rpm redline all the way to the next corner. Meanwhile the chassis is working with you in a way that youíd expect from an Euro sports sedan, allowing the rear to slide and the weight to shift but never letting things get too out of hand. Want to kick the tail out around a hairpin? The engine can do it and the chassis can catch it. Want to hit a complex series of off-camber turns and zero-gravity hills? No car of this sheer size and bulk has ever been this confidence-inspiring.


Suddenly, the Mustang can do things it could never do before. Yet the core competencies of the brand and the platform remain stronger than ever. It can still haul ass in a straight line, it can still turn heads at a cruise-in, it can still serve as a trustworthy companion across the Interstates. None of thatís changed. The changes are all in the things the Mustang didnít like to do: handle narrow roads, fast roads, sharp hairpins, broken pavement.

In other words, Happy learned to putt.

The result is the best ponycar in history and a real challenge to the established German performance sedans. Think of it as a bigger, brasher, bolder E92 M3 and youíll be on the right track. Should it have been PCOTY? Plenty of our staffers thought so. After all, the new GT3 is great, but how much greater is it than the old one? Put this 2015 Mustang GT on the PCOTY loop with the old model, though, and youíd see a Grand Canyon separating the two.

When the votes were tallied, the Porsche had it hands down. But at the end of that day, as we packed up our gear and prepared to leave the airport, there was a sprint for the Mustangís door handle. Yes, the 911 GT3 is our PCOTY, and it richly deserves the honor. But thereís always a minority report.



Main Article for PCOTY

13th November 2014, 03:09 PM
1 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale 51.92 sec 142.1 mph
2 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo 51.93 sec 141.7 mph
3 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 52.18 sec 139.7 mph
4 2015 Dodge Viper SRT TA 52.36 sec 137.2 mph
5 2013 Ferrari F12Berlinetta 52.97 sec 144.4 mph
6 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo 53.02 sec 140.5 mph
7 2014 Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series 53.66 sec 135.8 mph
8 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Edition 53.76 sec 135.6 mph
9 2013 SRT Viper 54.55 sec 138.9 mph
10 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 54.66 sec 131.2 mph
11 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 54.80 sec 135.5 mph
12 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 55.03 sec 133.5 mph
13 2014 Audi R8 V10 55.18 sec 135.9 mph
14 2012 Lexus LFA 55.48 sec 130.6 mph
15 2015 BMW M3 55.53 sec 132.3 mph
16 2015 Jaguar F-Type V8 55.84 sec 134.4 mph
17 2013 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 55.86 sec 133.9 mph
18 2013 BMW M6 Competition Pack 55.89 sec 133.8 mph
19 2015 Lexus RC F 56.08 sec 128.8 mph
20 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 56.19 sec 134.8 mph
21 2013 Jaguar XFR-S 56.33 sec 131.6 mph
22 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat 56.37 sec 131.5 mph
23 2015 Jaguar F-Type R 56.37 sec 133.5 mph
24 2014 Porsche Cayman S 56.73 sec 125.1 mph
25 2015 Ford Mustang GT 56.81 sec 127.2 mph
26 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE 56.83 sec 126.2 mph
27 2013 Audi RS5 56.83 sec 126.0 mph
28 2014 Aston Martin Rapide S 57.01 sec 130.7 mph
29 2014 Chevrolet SS 57.43 sec 127.1 mph
30 2015 BMW M4 57.47 sec 130.5 mph
31 2014 M-B E63 AMG S-Model Wagon 57.76 sec 128.3 mph
32 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe 57.85 sec 132.1 mph
33 2014 Mercedes CLA45 AMG 57.90 sec 123.1 mph
34 2014 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S 58.10 sec 127.1 mph
35 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 58.39 sec 124.8 mph
36 2015 BMW M235i 58.54 sec 122.5 mph
37 2014 Mercedes S63 AMG 58.68 sec 131.5 mph
38 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C 8.72 sec 119.0 mph
39 2014 Jaguar F-Type S V6 58.77 sec 122.0 mph
40 2014 BMW 435i 59.27 sec 121.7 mph
41 2015 Subaru WRX STI 59.46 sec 116.5 mph
42 204 MINI John Cooper Work GP 59.98 sec 114.6 mph
43 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 60.35 sec 112.2 mph
44 2014 Ford Fiesta ST 62.80 sec 111.3 mph


Perhaps this circuit is better suited to the Mustang than the 1LE...

13th November 2014, 03:12 PM
Bloody hell the LS7 Z28 Camaro is quick though.......

10 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 54.66 sec 131.2 mph

13th November 2014, 03:22 PM
That is the Camaro's W427 equivalent. Exactly the same as the 1LE but with LS7 instead of LS3. Price is US$30k more than 1LE, so I guess it's equivalent to W427 in every sense.

13th November 2014, 03:30 PM
Shows whT that driveline is capable of...

14th November 2014, 01:30 PM
Well we know the Mustang finished in the top 3 in this mega test. Some are suggesting it actually finished 2nd ahead of the Ferrari [mainly due to interior design I think], because if you read the main article they start talking about the final 3 in reverse order and they start with the F458 then move on to Mustang before ending with the GT3.