New Ford Mustang GT Performance Pack Challenges Camaro SS 1LE

Muscle Car

The 2018 Mustang GT has gained some extra muscle with the Level 2 Performance Pack.

Ford was never going to let the insane track-focused Camaro SS 1LE dominate the muscle car scene for long. Following rumors that started way back in November last year, the blue oval manufacturer has given the 2018 Mustang GT some extra muscle with the Performance Package Level 2. While the first Performance Package allowed the Mustang GT to outrun its arch rival, the Chevrolet Camaro, it still couldn’t match the 1LE track package available for the Camaro.

That may be about to change with the Level 2 Performance Package, however, which includes a plethora of performance upgrades that make the Mustang GT more track-focused. Every upgrade from the standard Performance Pack has been carried over, so you get beefy Brembo brakes with adjusted ABS tuning, unique stability control tuning, a retuned steering rack, a k-brace, a larger radiator and a Torsen rear differential with 3:73 gearing. The Level 2 package adds even more performance-enhancing add-ons that should help the mighty Mustang match Chevrolet’s 1LE Performance Package. Naturally, it’s only available on cars with a manual transmission.

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The most immediately obvious changes can be found on the exterior. Ride height has been lowered thanks to updated MagneRide suspension, giving the Mustang GT a more aggressive stance. It’s also been fitted with a high-performance front splitter that creates 24 pounds of downforce at 80 mph and an aero-enhancing rear spoiler, which combine to give the car more grip in the corners. Compared to the standard Performance Pack, the rear stabilizer bar is 67 percent stiffer, while the front stabilizer is 12 percent stiffer. The front springs are also 20 percent stiffer, and the rear springs are 13 percent stiffer.

Elsewhere, the Level 2 package adds a custom set of 19-inch wheels designed by renowned tire and wheel engineer Chauncy Eggleston wrapped in grippy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires – the same tires found on the Shelby GT350R, Chevy Corvette Z06 and Mercedes-AMG GT R. Compared to the standard Performance Pack, these custom tires are 1.5 inches wider. Combined with the retuned suspension, the wheels bring the Mustang more than a half-inch closer to the pavement. Leather or cloth Recaro seats are also available as an optional extra with the Level 2 package. According to Ford, passionate engineers worked on the project in their own time before presenting it to management.

Parts from the old Boss 302 Laguna Seca were used in development such as the front splitter. "It will just beg you to go faster," said Jamie Cullen, Ford's supervisor for vehicle dynamics development. "The car has lightning-quick response and never gives up grip." No word on price yet, but expect the Level 2 gap to be significantly more expensive than the Level 1 Performance Package which costs $3,995. We’d expect it to be closer to $7,000 which would match the price of Chevrolet’s 1LE upgrade package for the Camaro SS. Ford is currently accepting orders for the Performance Pack Level 2, which will be available in North American Ford dealerships next spring.

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