Mustang drivers everywhere are ecstatic. Ford is delivering Mustangs for a wide range of enthusiasts and at a multitude of price points.
Those with economy in mind can opt for the EcoBoost—the GT checks in at 480 hp and if your wallet is deep, a 760-hp Shelby might be in the cards. And what about the upcoming 2021 Mach 1?
Still, another choice is the Mustang GT with the Performance Pack Level 2, a package that flat-out gets it done. Dubbed the PP2 for short, this $6,500 option (on top of the $35,880 base Mustang GT price), gets you a lowered stance, finely-tuned MagneRide suspension and 19x10 and 19x11-inch dark tarnish-painted aluminum wheels with grippy Michelin tires. This supreme handler delivers GT350-like cornering capabilities and the 460 horsepower, 5.0L Coyote won’t disappoint in power delivery.
Ford recently handed us the keys to this 2020 Grabber Green Mustang GT PP2 during a trip to Detroit. It had almost all the boxes checked, which brought the sticker price to $51,845.00. Pricy, yes, but keep in mind you can add the PP2 to a base GT to keep cost around $42,380 MSRP.
Bold was the theme on this Mustang which was sprayed in Grabber Lime and featured the optional “Over-The-Top” striping ($475). Other options included Ford’s Equipment Group 401A that added premium trim, floor mats with accent trim, voice-activated touch screen navigation, and blind-spot/cross-traffic alert. And in addition, the PP2 also included 3.73:1 Torsen differential, unique lower splitter and matched rear spoiler. A proper handling car must also have proper seating, so the Green GT was fitted with the optional Recaro leather trim sport seats at a cost of $1,595.
Features aside, the PP2 was tremendous fun. Bags loaded, we hit the road to western Michigan. I’ll state straight away, this car doesn’t really like broken, rutted roads. The streets in and around Detroit are not the most friendly and the PP2, with its big Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tire package, was a tad firm on the beat-up terrain. The massive 305/30ZR19-inch fronts “hunted” for ruts—thankfully the annoyance was worth the tradeoff for fantastic steering feel when hustling around smoother corners.
And once we slipped away from the city, the ride became much more amicable. Ford has done a nice job with the “track-inspired” MagneRide® Damping System and unique “track-inspired” springs and sway bars. The PP2 is a definite improvement over the base and PP1 GT, but it’s not quite up to the capabilities of a GT350 or GT500.
I am, however, a huge fan of the Recaro seats which I feel are bolstered nicely, but not overdone. They are supportive in the right places and I think they’d make a great track-day seat, but ones you can live with for everyday driving. In addition, they set off the interior with a sporty look that adds flair beyond the standard buckets. The clean, S550 interior is enhanced with an engine-spun dash featuring twin gauges (vacuum and oil pressure) and the 2020 model gets a classy “Fifty-Five Years” plaque on the passenger side. The GT is also equipped with toggles on the lower center-stack that lets you cycle through the various driving modes and the configurable, electronic dash keeps with the modern theme.
The Performance Pack Level 2 is available in manual only, so our Grabber Lime Stang had the 6-gear box with a clutch pedal and it shifted nicely. Like all 2020 manual Mustangs, it featured automated rev-matching for smooth downshifting. It’s an option that is simply amazing, but can be defeated should you want to do your own blipping when dropping gears.
Laying into the 5.0L Coyote brings brisk acceleration and a big grin. The broad ’band of the 5.0L lets you putt around town or scream to the 7,400-rpm redline where you’ll realize all 460 horsepower. The engine also makes 420 lb-ft of torque, not too shabby for an all-motor 302. Sadly, this GT didn’t have the active exhaust, which we’ve enjoyed on other models.
Stopping is improved over the base GT with Brembo six-piston calipers on 15-inch rotors, which have been an option on the Mustang for a few years. The PP2, however, gets special tuning of the ABS (and the EPAS steering system) and when combined with the big 305 Michelins, you get track-capable braking. There’s also a K-brace, strut-tower brace, larger radiator and a few aero upgrades to enhance performance. And while not really designed as a straight liner, the PP2 will cover the quarter in the mid-to-low 12-second range at 114-116 mph depending on conditions and driver skill. Top speed is listed as 154 mph (computer limited).
To me, the PP2 felt similar, but not exactly like a Shelby GT350. It clearly has less power and the engine note is far different when compared to the glorious flat-plane 5.2L Voodoo V8. What you will get with the PP2 is a lot of Mustang for the price. You can get your hands on a PP2 for around $42,380 and maybe less if you have a motivated dealer.
On the road you’ll enjoy the extra grip and accurate feel to the steering. Turn-in is sharp and the tail follows the lead in perfect unison. The IRS keeps the rear contact patches on the Sport Cup 2 summer tires glued to the pavement, even when you plant the throttle on corner exit. There’s no drama when pushing hard. My immediate take-away: the PP2 is stiffly sprung, even when compared to a PP1. The ride quality won’t be for everyone, but if you like cornering, this is the Mustang for you.