While the new S550 platform is a huge improvement over the previous generation when it comes to gripping through the curves and making use of all the power, Shelby American knew they could make the 2015 Ford Mustang 5.0 GT even better. Naturally, they did just that and built what you could honestly call a track ready daily driver, the 2015 Shelby GT—a 650hp supercharged beast that will shove you into the seat if you mash on the throttle or cruise all day long on the highway without a hitch.
The all-new Mustang has garnered rave reviews from editors and critics for the enhancements in handling. The suspension provides amazing compliance and has better balance than any Mustang to come before, but what about straight-line acceleration? What’s it like to do a burnout, launch, and powershift your way down quarter-mile? Will there be wheelhop, broken half-shafts, and scattered differentials?
We were impressed with the Scat Pack’s acceleration, turning, and braking—all of it happening with relative ease. It’s a comfortable car with a generously proportioned interior. You never feel cramped, sightlines are good, and there’s plenty of headroom. And unlike other competitors in the ponycar segment, there’s room for passengers and stuff, since the Challenger is based off a slightly shorter version of the same platform as the Charger and 300C.
If you have 3.73 gears (or numerically higher gears) do the burnout in Second gear. With 3.55s or less, use First. The idea is to create wheel speed, as this gets the tires cleaned quickly, without putting too much load on the clutch. And please don’t upshift with a stick in the burnout. Why? When you step on the clutch to shift the tires stop, and since they are already sticky, it’s hard for them to get going again and this will wreak havoc on your clutch. Yes, Pro Stock drivers upshift in the burnout, but they use a clutchless trans.
Enthusiasts will tell you there are three types of shifting: granny, speed, and power. Simply stated, if you shift aggressively but lift off the gas, you’re speed shifting. If you ram the gears with the throttle held on the mat, you’re powershifting. Granny shifting is not worth talking about. In any case, you want to complete the shift as quickly as possible and with as little flare in the rpm. Timing is everything. Practice makes perfect. If you’re uncomfortable powershifting, try it at a lower rpm until your shifting is seamless.
The aforementioned 2.0L turbo is standard and rated at 275 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. When the thing is on boost, it offers a wide torque band with 90 percent of peak torque available from 2,100 rpm to 3,000 rpm and maximum torque from 3,000 to 4,500 rpm. Chevy says that’s strong enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in less than 6 seconds, while enabling 30 mpg. What’s not to like, right?
The driving experience is not altogether different than Hellcat. In fact, the first third of throttle travel feels more alert and aggressive than the more powerful SRT. Moreover, full-throttle shifts sound like artillery going off with the Scat Pack’s Hellcat-inspired active exhaust system. The power comes on quickly, and when gears are shifted manually through the steering wheel paddle shifters, you better be on your game—the rev-limiter comes up quick in the first few gears. Pulling away from the intersection, you’ve got to be ginger with the gas pedal, as the tires will erupt with squealing and chirping during what we’d call normal driving.
We were late to get the 2015 Scat Pack in the annual rounds of Chrysler’s press fleet rotation. Frankly, with all the focus on the SRT Hellcats, cars just weren’t in the system for us to drive. As a result, interested Scat Pack customers will most likely be looking at the 2016 model.
“In the best Shelby tradition, we took our already high-performance 575 horsepower Shelby Raptor and made it even more capable,” said Shelby American Vice President of Operations Akos J. Feher. “Fifty lucky owners will have the baddest, best-handling and best-looking Shelby truck we offer. Not to mention, all of the interior fit-and-finish people expect from Shelby. It’s a truck that can thrive under the most extreme conditions.”
Our only real complaint is that a car of this caliber and price should come with GPS standard. Dodge tells us the hardware, antenna, and processor is already on board, but they’ll only load the software at the factory if you buy an option package with GPS, or bring it to a dealership and pay the service department to program it for you.
We use the release-pause-release method, and it works really well. Let us explain. Since you don’t have a huge sidewall (like slicks have) to absorb the initial “hit” during launch, you’ll need to create a buffer to absorb the initial movement at the tires. If you don’t have a buffer, you’ll just spin. When it’s time to go, release the clutch quickly, but controlled. Then, just as the car is transferring weight, pause your left leg for a moment.
Like the exterior, the 2016 Camaro’s interior is completely new. In many ways, it represents a greater departure in style and functionality, too. The instrument panel, for example, retains the familiar dual-binnacle-style hood over the instruments, but the rest of it has been completely redesigned. Gone, too, is the cute but ergonomically challenged retro gauge panel in the center console.
Goodyear tires are used on all models: The LT features standard 18-inch wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle Sport all-season tires with available 20-inch wheels matched with Eagle F1 Asymmetric all-season run-flat tires as an option. Camaro SS features standard 20-inch aluminum wheels with Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 run-flat tires.