Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack 2 is a Beastly Upgrade
Performance Pack 2 closes the gap between the Mustang GT and the Shelby GT350 on the toughest tracks.
The GT350 has received some improvements for the 2019 model year, but for those prospective Mustang buyers who want track-ready handling prowess without the big price tag of the Shelby models, the Performance Pack 2 is the answer. This package doesn’t add any power, but with its unique suspension components, tires that were developed specifically for this package, new aero bits, revised chassis, and suspension tuning, this Mustang GT is built to handle a tight road course like a Shelby model.
To experience the advantages of the new Performance Pack 2, Ford invited a group of automotive journalists to come to M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, for some seat time on the road course. I was included in that group and after spending a few hours pushing a car fitted with the Performance Pack 2 to its limits, it is clear that the Ford engineers succeeded in their quest for making the best-handling Mustang GT ever.
Before getting into my drive time in the 2019 Ford Mustang GT with the Performance Pack 2, let’s address the real-world differences between the GT350 and the Performance Pack 2-equipped Mustang GT. There are three areas in which these cars differ greatly: appearance, power, and price.
The 2019 Mustang GT with the Performance Pack 2 has the same basic exterior design of the rest of the 2019 lineup while the Shelby GT350 continues to sport the appearance of the 2015-2017 lineup. The Shelby models also have their own wheels and a more-advanced Brembo braking system.
The Shelby GT350 is powered by a 5.2-liter flat-plan V8 with 526 horsepower and 429 lb-ft of torque while the GT with Performance Pack 2 comes with the 5.0-liter V8 with 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
The GT350 has a base price that starts about $12,000 more than the Mustang GT with the Performance Pack 2, and that is likely the biggest factor in why someone would buy the GT over the GT350. The Performance Pack 2 doesn’t feature the Shelby look or the flat-plane power, but it elevates the handling capabilities to being very near that of the GT350, so the Mustang GT with Performance Pack 2 is basically a budget road racer compared to the Shelby models.
Performance Pack 2 Features
The cars we tested at the M1 Concourse were all 2019 Ford Mustang fastbacks with six-speed manual transmissions and the Performance Pack 2. That means that when compared to the “basic” Mustang GT, these cars have the following unique features:
- Brembo six-caliper front brakes over 15-inch rotors
- New painted aluminum wheels measuring 19×10.5 inches up front and 19×11 out back
- 305/30/19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Tires at all four corners
- Standard MagneRide suspension with unique chassis tuning and “track inspired calibration”
- Unique tuning to the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS)
- 33.3-millimeter tubular front sway bar
- 24-millimeter solid rear sway bar
- Unique front splitter
- Unique rear lip spoiler
- Manual transmission only with 3.73 Torsen rear differential