2015 Ford Mustang GT: Pedal Placement Keeps Lost Art of Heel-and-Toe Alive
April 24, 2015
Realistically, with some work and/or practice, you can perform heel-and-toe downshifts on just about any manual transmission car. But some cars definitely make this soon-to-be-lost-art easier than others. There are two keys to heel-and-toeing, besides lots of practice: Good brake-to-gas-pedal placement and a responsive throttle.
The 2015 Ford Mustang GT has both.
In olden times, people really did the true heel-and-toe action, with the ball or toes of their right foot on the brake pedal and the heel blipping the throttle.
These days — and the Mustang is a good example of this — the pedals are arranged so that you do it more with the left side of your right foot on the brake pedal and the right side of your right foot on the gas, instead of a true heel-and-toe. We still call it heel-and-toe anyway.
You can see in the photo the Mustang's brake pedal is within relatively close proximity of the gas pedal, and that's key for making blipping the throttle easy to smooth out your downshifts. I'm not saying it's best-ever, but it's pretty darn good.
Interestingly, although I complained about the touchiness of the Mustang's brakes recently, that aspect never affected my heel-and-toeing. I think that's because the grabby brakes are more of a low-speed problem. Usually you're making heel-and-toe downshifts at higher speeds and with forceful brake pressure involved, like when setting up for a turn.
The Mustang's responsive gas pedal also makes it decent for heel-and-toeing. It's considerably harder to be smooth if you need to move your right foot dramatically to stab the throttle and get the revs to rise. The Mustang has none of that, the revs rise nicely as soon as you touch the gas.
Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor @ 5,375 miles