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First, let me apologize for the length. But if I left something out, somebody would jump on me, or not understand that this is just an objective critique (not much in the way of negative at all) from someone who drives all different kinds of vehicles, and isn't really brand loyal (anymore).

Second, let me apologize too for comparisons to my Vette, which I've owned for 7 years. I haven't had a Mustang since '02, and that was a '98 Saleen S351. I've owned one Fox-3 which I had for 12 years, and 2 SN95 cars ('96 Cobra and the '98 Saleen). I figure you guys/gals would appreciate some objective opinions from someone with a lot of experience with a Brand X car... although you and I have to take some of it at face value b/c I've only had my GT500 for two days. While I have done some spirited driving, and I don't consider myelf a novice driver, I have not pushed it to its limits yet.

For anyone keeping track of my experience, I purchased my car about 3 weeks ago from a dealer ~240 miles away. They work closely with a performance shop near them, and so I had some upgrades done ... all with the dealer service accounted for. I went with FRPP parts to try and maintain some semblence of warranty. I have a really good rapport with my local dealer (at least the service dept).

Engine / handling mods to the car are as follows:
FRPP Supercharger kit w/ FRPP CAI
FRPP Handling Pack
FRPP shifter
Magnaflow cat-back
SCT tune
Autograf UCA (not sure which brand they use)

Made 578rwhp with some heat soak in the engine @ 12.xx psi.

I flew in and drove the car home from the dealer. It was a beautiful day here in TX (sunny, 70^F) so I drove the entire way home with the top down. Almost all of it was highway miles, although I've put some miles on it today around town. I didn't push the car hard on the highway trip home, given that I was not familiar with it. Now that I've got some seat time in it, I have pushed it on some back roads where I live.

First thing I noticed was how high the pedal comes off the floor before the clutch begins to start engaging. This is just a comparison with my Vette which starts engaging basically as soon as you move your left foot at all. So I looked kind of silly leaving the dealership and at the first few stoplights... revving the motor (and going nowhere) as I was releasing the clutch, but yet the car wasn't moving. It's just going to take some getting used to (already have), especially going b/w the two cars on a consistent basis. I can see how the one in the GT500 would be great for guys who powershift. Just tap the clutch and it disengages without going close to the floor.

Second I can tell this is a heavy car compared to other Mustangs I've owned, and certainly the Z06. That's not a bad thing. Maybe I'm getting old, but I like the feel of it in a car this size. There is no twisting feeling, no torque steer under power, and it doesn't ride like a tin can (Fox-3/SN95) going over various undulations in the road. Honestly, it feels a lot like a sports sedan. I had a 300C SRT8 for awhile and while this car is certainly more nimble and more powerful, both cars feel really "solid." That's the best way I can put it.

Handling and ride are excellent. Ride quality is better than my Z06, and absolutely blows away the older Mustangs I've had. This is probably due to the extra weight of this car, but over rough surfaces/bumps, this car is more compliant. Handling is not nearly as taut as the Z06, but I didn't expect it to be, given that it weighs 1000lbs more, not to mention the longer wheelbase. I do know that while some may think the FRPP Handling Pack is overkill for a street car, I would not be happy without it. I can't help it, but I'm used to a 3100lb 2-seater that pulls 1g.

Power... it is all there, but I didn't realize how high these cars are geared. 75mph or so in 2nd? Wow. I can see why some of you who drag race on slicks, put 3.73s+ in your cars. The car certainly is not as quick/fast as my Z06, but then again, I didn't expect it to be (had that car to the track just once with the TT, and it ran 11.2 @ 138 with a 2.06 60' time). Things do get really fun at the top of 2nd gear, though! Hit 3rd and the car just takes off. From a 3000rpm roll-on in 2nd (not sure the speed) it doesn't boil the tires, even with TC off. But it does pull really well. 1st gear just boils the tires, and then on the upshift into 2nd it just keeps spinning. I have done a couple 1st gear roll-ons and if I stay in it, it will just spin the tires all the way to 70mph. I think for my style of driving, Nitto DRs will do well for me, and with the gearing like it is, maybe I'll be able to stab it a little in 1st when the concrete is warm.

I don't know which UCA the shop installed, but there is _NO_ wheelhop with this car. I have done a number of rolling starts in 1st gear and it just plants the rear and goes. I haven't felt anything, and I have experience with wheelhop in other vehicles I've owned. I don't know if this is a combination of the FRPP Handling Pack and the UCA or what, but I'm extremely pleased to not be experiencing this common problem.

The FRPP shifter... great piece. The shifts are so, so short that it will also take me some getting used to when driving the car aggressively, but it is a very positive feel, although I have no way to compare it to a stocker.

Fit and finish of the car (interior speaking) is very, very good. I know the '10 gets more upgrades, but this is awfully nice. I'm smaller built (5'6"/150), and the seats fit me extremely well. Great support. Quality of the leather is nice. It's not German-nice, but its good enough for this hot-rodder. I want a driver's car, not a luxo-cruiser. I'm impressed with the convertible top, its open/close mechanism, and the fact there is no buffetting at speed that I can tell. I had it up to 100+ on the highway a couple of times, and in the down position the top is not fluttering around behind the rear seat. With the top up, it is insulated very well compared to older Mustang 'verts I've ridden in (never owned one). Again, just really well put-together, and I'm sure some of that has to do with the extra weight of the mechanicals... a fair trade-off. The only thing I really do not like is the fact the parking brake is on the driver's side of the console. I am sure there's a good engineering reason for it, but it's still dumb.

My car has the Shaker 1000 audio, and someone here said it was a must especially with a 'vert, and I agree. I'm very glad I got it. It's a great setup. No need for me to upgrade the audio in this car. Plenty of power, even if I'm sure better speakers and EQ would make it nicer for the audiophile type. But its good enough for me, and with the top down, you definitely need the added punch in order to hear music at an entertaining level.

Ambient lighting... ghey. I haven't shown it to my 11 yr old daughter yet. She may like it. ;)

The exterior of the car is drop-dead, gorgeous. Red with the black stripes and black top is awesome. Most likely I'm going to get some black wheels when I upgrade those. Something like this: Griggs Racing GR40. I've got Fikse FM5's (not black) on my Z06 and love them.

Overall the car is extremely nice and a much more well-rounded vehicle than I expected it to be. Plenty of power for my intended purposes as a hot-rod cruiser (if I was drag- or road-racing it, I'd have gotten a coupe), looks awesome, sounds great (can easily hear the blower whine/shriek over the Magnaflows), handles very well, and has plenty of nice interior features. Just a very well laid out/thought out vehicle.

The Mustang has come a long way since I bought my first one back in '90.
 

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Nice write up WA2.
You might consider a Light bar, I sure like mine and it breaks up the elongated look of the car when the top is down.
Classic Design Concepts makes the best looking one, just my 2c.
joe
 

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First, let me apologize for the length. But if I left something out, somebody would jump on me, or not understand that this is just an objective critique (not much in the way of negative at all) from someone who drives all different kinds of vehicles, and isn't really brand loyal (anymore).

Second, let me apologize too for comparisons to my Vette, which I've owned for 7 years. I haven't had a Mustang since '02, and that was a '98 Saleen S351. I've owned one Fox-3 which I had for 12 years, and 2 SN95 cars ('96 Cobra and the '98 Saleen). I figure you guys/gals would appreciate some objective opinions from someone with a lot of experience with a Brand X car... although you and I have to take some of it at face value b/c I've only had my GT500 for two days. While I have done some spirited driving, and I don't consider myelf a novice driver, I have not pushed it to its limits yet.

For anyone keeping track of my experience, I purchased my car about 3 weeks ago from a dealer ~240 miles away. They work closely with a performance shop near them, and so I had some upgrades done ... all with the dealer service accounted for. I went with FRPP parts to try and maintain some semblence of warranty. I have a really good rapport with my local dealer (at least the service dept).

Engine / handling mods to the car are as follows:
FRPP Supercharger kit w/ FRPP CAI
FRPP Handling Pack
FRPP shifter
Magnaflow cat-back
SCT tune
Autograf UCA (not sure which brand they use)

Made 578rwhp with some heat soak in the engine @ 12.xx psi.

I flew in and drove the car home from the dealer. It was a beautiful day here in TX (sunny, 70^F) so I drove the entire way home with the top down. Almost all of it was highway miles, although I've put some miles on it today around town. I didn't push the car hard on the highway trip home, given that I was not familiar with it. Now that I've got some seat time in it, I have pushed it on some back roads where I live.

First thing I noticed was how high the pedal comes off the floor before the clutch begins to start engaging. This is just a comparison with my Vette which starts engaging basically as soon as you move your left foot at all. So I looked kind of silly leaving the dealership and at the first few stoplights... revving the motor (and going nowhere) as I was releasing the clutch, but yet the car wasn't moving. It's just going to take some getting used to (already have), especially going b/w the two cars on a consistent basis. I can see how the one in the GT500 would be great for guys who powershift. Just tap the clutch and it disengages without going close to the floor.

Second I can tell this is a heavy car compared to other Mustangs I've owned, and certainly the Z06. That's not a bad thing. Maybe I'm getting old, but I like the feel of it in a car this size. There is no twisting feeling, no torque steer under power, and it doesn't ride like a tin can (Fox-3/SN95) going over various undulations in the road. Honestly, it feels a lot like a sports sedan. I had a 300C SRT8 for awhile and while this car is certainly more nimble and more powerful, both cars feel really "solid." That's the best way I can put it.

Handling and ride are excellent. Ride quality is better than my Z06, and absolutely blows away the older Mustangs I've had. This is probably due to the extra weight of this car, but over rough surfaces/bumps, this car is more compliant. Handling is not nearly as taut as the Z06, but I didn't expect it to be, given that it weighs 1000lbs more, not to mention the longer wheelbase. I do know that while some may think the FRPP Handling Pack is overkill for a street car, I would not be happy without it. I can't help it, but I'm used to a 3100lb 2-seater that pulls 1g.

Power... it is all there, but I didn't realize how high these cars are geared. 75mph or so in 2nd? Wow. I can see why some of you who drag race on slicks, put 3.73s+ in your cars. The car certainly is not as quick/fast as my Z06, but then again, I didn't expect it to be (had that car to the track just once with the TT, and it ran 11.2 @ 138 with a 2.06 60' time). Things do get really fun at the top of 2nd gear, though! Hit 3rd and the car just takes off. From a 3000rpm roll-on in 2nd (not sure the speed) it doesn't boil the tires, even with TC off. But it does pull really well. 1st gear just boils the tires, and then on the upshift into 2nd it just keeps spinning. I have done a couple 1st gear roll-ons and if I stay in it, it will just spin the tires all the way to 70mph. I think for my style of driving, Nitto DRs will do well for me, and with the gearing like it is, maybe I'll be able to stab it a little in 1st when the concrete is warm.

I don't know which UCA the shop installed, but there is _NO_ wheelhop with this car. I have done a number of rolling starts in 1st gear and it just plants the rear and goes. I haven't felt anything, and I have experience with wheelhop in other vehicles I've owned. I don't know if this is a combination of the FRPP Handling Pack and the UCA or what, but I'm extremely pleased to not be experiencing this common problem.

The FRPP shifter... great piece. The shifts are so, so short that it will also take me some getting used to when driving the car aggressively, but it is a very positive feel, although I have no way to compare it to a stocker.

Fit and finish of the car (interior speaking) is very, very good. I know the '10 gets more upgrades, but this is awfully nice. I'm smaller built (5'6"/150), and the seats fit me extremely well. Great support. Quality of the leather is nice. It's not German-nice, but its good enough for this hot-rodder. I want a driver's car, not a luxo-cruiser. I'm impressed with the convertible top, its open/close mechanism, and the fact there is no buffetting at speed that I can tell. I had it up to 100+ on the highway a couple of times, and in the down position the top is not fluttering around behind the rear seat. With the top up, it is insulated very well compared to older Mustang 'verts I've ridden in (never owned one). Again, just really well put-together, and I'm sure some of that has to do with the extra weight of the mechanicals... a fair trade-off. The only thing I really do not like is the fact the parking brake is on the driver's side of the console. I am sure there's a good engineering reason for it, but it's still dumb.

My car has the Shaker 1000 audio, and someone here said it was a must especially with a 'vert, and I agree. I'm very glad I got it. It's a great setup. No need for me to upgrade the audio in this car. Plenty of power, even if I'm sure better speakers and EQ would make it nicer for the audiophile type. But its good enough for me, and with the top down, you definitely need the added punch in order to hear music at an entertaining level.

Ambient lighting... ghey. I haven't shown it to my 11 yr old daughter yet. She may like it. ;)

The exterior of the car is drop-dead, gorgeous. Red with the black stripes and black top is awesome. Most likely I'm going to get some black wheels when I upgrade those. Something like this: Griggs Racing GR40. I've got Fikse FM5's (not black) on my Z06 and love them.

Overall the car is extremely nice and a much more well-rounded vehicle than I expected it to be. Plenty of power for my intended purposes as a hot-rod cruiser (if I was drag- or road-racing it, I'd have gotten a coupe), looks awesome, sounds great (can easily hear the blower whine/shriek over the Magnaflows), handles very well, and has plenty of nice interior features. Just a very well laid out/thought out vehicle.

The Mustang has come a long way since I bought my first one back in '90.
I enjoyed your ovwerview on the GT500, very well written. I feel the same about my 07 vert I just wish the weight of the car was alittle more balance front to back. It is too easy to fry up the tires. The car is well put together, I agree.
 

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Great review, well written and on the money. I lol'd at the ambient lighting. I would never have thought i wanted it, but it's fun and all the passengers get a kick out of it.

I enjoy the long legged gears, after having 3.73s in my 02 KB GT. IMO it made the car too violent with so much low end TQ and gear. Depends what you want out of the car though.

Glad you are enjoying it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great review, well written and on the money. I lol'd at the ambient lighting. I would never have thought i wanted it, but it's fun and all the passengers get a kick out of it.

I enjoy the long legged gears, after having 3.73s in my 02 KB GT. IMO it made the car too violent with so much low end TQ and gear. Depends what you want out of the car though.

Glad you are enjoying it.
I think the ambient lightning in the cupholders is kind of cool. In the footwells... uh, unless you're parked at a car show with the lights on, I'm just not sure what the point is. I guess I'm old and consider this a small step up from all that "street glow" stuff that the ricers enjoy. lol

Same goes for all the dash lighting. I guess it is cool you can choose your color. I like the R-W-B, and I also like all blue. Can't stand the all red... I thought I was in an '02 Trans Am for a second. But really, its just another gadget, and I am just a "function" type person.

I think I too will enjoy the gearing for the type of driving I do, and my driving habits. My Vette has 3.42s and a 6500rpm shift point, so its not much different in gearing than the GT500 (Vette tires are a little shorter, so effective gearing in that car is definitely lower, but with the higher shift point, the terminal speed in 2nd is pretty close...probably within 5mph). Of course, I'm not considering the trans ratios, and I honestly do not know the differences in the two.

I just have to get used to which gear to be in. Obviously at 50mph, there is no reason to be in 3rd if I want to romp on it. 3.73s with 575+rwhp is just going to be tire-smoke unless I run a really soft drag tire, and I'm not going to be doing that. But once moving, I can see the advantages of having them in this car. Most of this may be a function of the trans gearing, and I'm oblivious to what those ratios are. I think Ford put the right gear in it from the factory. I got 19.7mpg on my highway trip home with the top-down (read: poor aerodynamics) and averaged ~75mph.
 

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My gf uses the ambient lighting to see what her shoes would look like in different colors...and then of course she leaves it on pink. Just in case any of you needed to let your women model their shoes, Ford was nice enough to illuminate our floors.
 

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My gf uses the ambient lighting to see what her shoes would look like in different colors...and then of course she leaves it on pink. Just in case any of you needed to let your women model their shoes, Ford was nice enough to illuminate our floors.
Mine is similar, gets in the car and switches it to pink. so i click it one more time to turn it off. grr.... no pink, no pink!!!

the only pink I want is not part of the car!
 

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My gf uses the ambient lighting to see what her shoes would look like in different colors...and then of course she leaves it on pink. Just in case any of you needed to let your women model their shoes, Ford was nice enough to illuminate our floors.
As long as they are pumps, I don't care what color lighting they desire. Guess I am a dirty old man.:) Short but sweet and thats just my 2cts.
 

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Gotta love the hooker shoes...lol. Guess I'm a dirty young man too.
 

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Wes,

How long until you go with the KB 2.8 or the 3.4 Whipple????

I am honestly supprised you did not jump right in!?

It is awesome to have you back in a stang!!!! We have all missed you on the 5.0 forums. ( they are just about gone.....)

Did you sell the old vette conv? and the excursion?

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wes,

How long until you go with the KB 2.8 or the 3.4 Whipple????

I am honestly supprised you did not jump right in!?

It is awesome to have you back in a stang!!!! We have all missed you on the 5.0 forums. ( they are just about gone.....)

Did you sell the old vette conv? and the excursion?

Mike
Hey Mike!

Yes, I sold the '69 big-block Vette a couple of years ago. A friend needed some help financially and I figured it would be better to sell a car (which I still made a few bucks on) and get some $$ that way than cash-out an investment. The Expedition was sold a few years back, we got a smaller SUV, and now are back in a full-size with the Yukon.

I honestly wanted to keep as much warranty as possible on this new car, but I knew with my vehicle history I would not be satisfied with a stocker. 575+rwhp is solid, and if I wanted to go really fast I'd have bought a coupe. I have my TT Z06 if I want to go really, really fast.

Great to see how fast you're going in yours. That's crazy!! :) What kind of clutch setup are you running? Have you replaced the trans or had the TSB done?

-Wes
 

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Hi Wes,

I have been away from this site for a while and just saw your post. Great review of the GT500. It's funny the parking brake seeming out of place was teh first thing that struck me when I sat in mine.

Your's looks great with the FRPP handling kit. I think it lowers it just the right amount. I thought about not lowering mine at all but after seeing the pics I definitely will.

Take care,


Brent
 

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WA 2 FST

I like the drop on your car, I am assuming those are the FFRP springs.

Have you had any clearance issues, looks like you can almost scrap up road kill.

Living here in L.A. its an issue.

Car looks great, btw.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
WA 2 FST

I like the drop on your car, I am assuming those are the FFRP springs.

Have you had any clearance issues, looks like you can almost scrap up road kill.

Living here in L.A. its an issue.

Car looks great, btw.
It still sits higher than my '02 Z06, which is lowered very slightly. The front chin spoiler is 5.75" off the ground. I would think that would clear most speed bumps.

Yes, it has the front/rear FRPP springs. So far so good.

Thanks for the compliments.
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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Glad to hear you like the vert. Agree definitely need the 1000 for top down
cruzin'. Yes they have done a nice job with the wind noise with top down.
Last vert i had, was an 87 LX 5 spd. (Wish I still had it). I have dash lites
on purple (fav color) & rest on Hot Red. I call it the Disco Machine. Only
bad thing about mine, is it's in winter storage until mid April.
 

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