2015 Ford Mustang GT: Break-In Road Trip
January 30, 2015
Break-in periods are the worst. Especially on a new 2015 Ford Mustang GT. We just dropped $45,490 on a new, 435-horsepower sports car and can't even get on the sauce for the first 1,000 miles.
I've got a tendency to cycle through cars pretty quickly, so if this one were mine, I'd probably skip this step, try out the line-lock and melt the tires off long before the odo hit the millennium mark. As this one's not mine, I very carefully loafed our Mustang to Las Vegas.
Our Mustang GT isn't a light car. The last 2015 GT we tested weighed in at 3,805 lbs and I'd be shocked if ours wasn't just a lil' heavier. This road-crushing mass isn't great when trying to slice and dice a canyon road, but should make the featureless, congested slog to Vegas pretty darned tolerable.
Unfortunately, the GT Performance Pack ("unique chassis tuning," heavy-duty front springs, 19s with summer rubber) cancelled this out. It's not that the GT rides poorly on the highway, it's that there's a constant, slightly unpleasant, bounciness on an imperfect road like highway 15 out of San Bernardino. It's one of those things you'd learn to ignore until you got a ride in a friend's car that doesn't do it.
With the obvious first-place crown going to I40 across the Texas Panhandle, the drive from L.A. to Vegas is one of the most boring commutes on earth. There's a ton of traffic, nowhere decent to see/stop (sorry, Mad Greek), the varied topography causes speed fluctuations from 10 to 95 mph and then random driver's forgetting how to do things causes random speed fluctuations from dead stopped to 95 mph. It's madness, but there are a lot of gear changes and it makes for decent break-in miles and should seriously up our average MPG.
After a night in Vegas I headed out to Pahrump, NV to make the Mustang feel slow.
The drive back from NV took me out of Pahrump via 372 and California's 127. These are the kinds of endless strips of pavement you see in Vanishing Point. This road is phenomenal and any issues I had with the Mustang being too heavy, or having too much roll softness or with its steering delay were quickly forgotten. This is a long, undulating road with sweeping corners that dare you to go fast. It's spectacular and the 2015 Ford Mustang loved it. Eventually, 127 settles into I-15 and the fun stops. But by then, you've been driving fast for hours and could use the break.
The moral of the story? Once the break-in period is over, skip the highways.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 1,250 miles