2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Nannies
June 06, 2011
I'm not a fan of electronic driving nannies. Traction control, stability control and skip shift are usually the bane of my existence. But in our Mustang, I'm not that opposed to them because I think Ford got it right.
There's a left turn I take every morning and from time to time, I'll goose the throttle to kick the rear out just a bit. This morning, though, I forgot to disable traction control. I was pleasantly surprised at how effective yet non-intrusive it was. It didn't shut down the throttle completely, instead, it felt more like some wheels were receiving selective braking. The rear wheels were slipping ever so slightly (this wasn't a crazy powerslide, after all) and the Mustang tracked right through the turn at a very acute slip angle. Impressive.
Then there's skip shift. In our Corvette Z06, I was contemplating calling it dangerous, because when I actually NEEDED power, it wasn't there. Some evasive maneuvers, after all, require throttle instead of brakes. In fairness to the Z06, the Mustang does benefit from nine years of development. When our GT engages skip shift, it drops smoothly into fourth from first. The Corvette's skip shift felt like you missed the gate and was more of an impediment. Furthermore, the Mustang didn't bog down in fourth gear. Perhaps this could attributed to our optional 3.55 rear gear. In any case, it works.
Yup, my love affair with our Mustang continues.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor