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This is a discussion on Another Mustang GT story... within the Comparison: WRX vs World forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Not another one for me - the first! This GT roars up behind me and then past me, going 80 ...

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    Another Mustang GT story...

    Not another one for me - the first! This GT roars up behind me and then past me, going 80 or so in 55 and gets in the open right lane at the stop light. I haven't really tested my Rex out yet and figured this would be a first good go - 950 on the odometer so I thought that's close enough for now.

    Anyway, I get behind him (left lane was taken) and he squeals his tires leaving the light -- I follow (not launching hard) and keep on his tail but I have a little power to spare. He swings hard to the left lane for the next light which was less probably about an 1/8th mile from the last one. So we line up with not much traffic on the road except one guy in a SUV behind us. I get a quick reaction, but bog (my first try at a launch in a rex), so he gets about 1/2 car on me until I hit 4000 rpm. At the end of 1st I am almost pulling even, and through second and third I end up getting 1 1/2 cars on him. Not wanting to go faster than that, I shut it down and he did the same after going for another second or so. I then turned right, heading for home since I was just on a quick store run and the wife was waiting.

    I am soooo pround of this little Subie, I can't describe it. Bone stock, pulling on a GT! Although I'd like to say it was the 260hp version, I think it might have been 230 - the rounded corners in the back and not angles of the current models. Anyway --- woohooo!
    -Rob W

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    The 1996-1998 Mustang GT's pack around 215 whp, but significantly more torque, around 290 lbs-ft.

    I have a stock 1998 Mustang GT, and if driven correctly it can technically pull on a WRX at most speeds above 30 mph, although almost certainly never off the line (due to lack of traction) without slicks. Pulling on a WRX in a Stang GT requires sensible knowledge of the peaks on the GT's power-band, which most dyno's indicate to be between 3000 and 4500 RPM (well before the redline - if you hit the redline, you will be thrown back into your seat when you gear up - they're like a diesel that way ).

    The sheer number of Stangs out there means the probability of racing a not-so-keen (ie. shift at the redline ) driver is relatively high (compared to Miatas, WRX's, and other niche cars). But they are fast cars, nonetheless, and certainly worthy competitors. It can go either way, so it's a real challenge.

    In head to head competition, a well driven WRX can certainly pull ahead of an improperly driven Mustang. Of course, the Stang owners who really know how to drive oft opt for the Cobra, wherein the WRX becomes a tad outclassed. (But that's what STi is for, yes? )

    The top end for the WRX will lag compared to the Mustang GT which is more than happy to oblige gutsy acceleration from 60 mph through 135 mph, where the stock WRX begins to push the 4-banger against AWD resistence, it seems ...
    Last edited by bmh_ca; 03-31-2002 at 09:49 PM.

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    Moderator Penguinking's Avatar
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    what about going through the curves, or on a race track? who's the winner there? my friend (who owns a GT) said he'd beat me on the track cause he can pull the end of his car through the corners b/c his is RWD...

    but the stang doesnt have an independant rear suspension, like the wrx, am i right? so whats up with taht?

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    Registered User SACTOWNREXMAN's Avatar
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    Let me be the first to tell you that we would bury a Rustang on a track, be it a road coarse, or the 1/4 mile. I can't believe how slow Rustang's really are. It is a shame that Ford refuses to get more out of a V8. It has more that twice our displacement for God's sake.

    Around Sactown...where the Honda's are known for speed...the Rustangs tend to get smacked around by little Civic's...on a regular basis!

    Andy

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    The Mustang GT has a live rear axle, which is best described as a truck suspension, which is quite literally what it is. The only defense it has is in a straight line drag. On any sort of curve, or worse, grit, dirt, dust, bumps, snow, ice, or water, it has an exceptionally high probability of losing traction and/or going out of control at high speeds.

    Your friend can power drift through corners, but that's hardly any sort of useful supplement to a controlled drift or better still holding all four tires to the ground while they still provide you with acceleration the whole way through the turn. I don't know the details on drifting a RWD versus an AWD, but I can tell you that if all four wheels are griping, versus the two sources of power spinning to provide drift, the AWD will have more acceleration. I don't think there is much of a contest there - the turns seem to have been an afterthought for the GT. (Well, not really ...)

    In truth, the suspensions that would probably have been preferable to MacPherson struts are multi-link (Skyline, Spec-V, Lexus) and wishbone (Miata, Porshe, Ferrari). Live rear axle (as found on the Mustang and nearly every truck) is about as bad a suspension as you can get, except for one thing: going in a straight line. It's the oldest type of suspension, too. It's like driving on train tracks.

    However, some Mustang owners refuse to buy an SVT (Cobra) because it has rear MacPherson struts (and sway bar), since the live rear axle will do better off the line. To each their own.

    A nifty reference is here:
    http://www.fortunecity.com/silversto...uspension2.htm

    So in a competition, a stock GT will be of comparable merit in straight-line races. As soon as you start really turning, you are getting outside the core competencies of the Mustang GT.

    Originally posted by Penguinking
    what about going through the curves, or on a race track? who's the winner there? my friend (who owns a GT) said he'd beat me on the track cause he can pull the end of his car through the corners b/c his is RWD...

    but the stang doesnt have an independant rear suspension, like the wrx, am i right? so whats up with taht?

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    Originally posted by Penguinking
    what about going through the curves, or on a race track? who's the winner there? my friend (who owns a GT) said he'd beat me on the track cause he can pull the end of his car through the corners b/c his is RWD...

    but the stang doesnt have an independant rear suspension, like the wrx, am i right? so whats up with taht?
    Actually, let me indulge. I checked with a fellow who knows drifting better than I. A Mustang GT can take corners *much* faster than a WRX by power drifting.

    Entering into a turn, popping to a higher torque band and gunning it will cause the rear tires to spin and lose lateral friction, hence the rear will drift outwards. Thus, you can change the direction the nose of the car is facing inwards - into the turn. By letting off the acceleration slowly, the rear tires will reacquire traction, and you will, presto, have your nose turning into the turn.

    http://www.zervaas.com/pub/porsche/videos/
    See lap2.wmv

    RWD has that advantage over AWD (Skylines perhaps a unique exception). AWD goes into a 4wd drift, then scrub off speed, so to speak, and hope for the best. AWD must stick close to its traction limits. RWD can make turns well beyond its traction limits with power drifting.

    Miata's are notable for this since they have neutral natural understeer/oversteer. Mustangs have heavy natural understeer, designed to keep grandma on the road since when she loses control, all she need do is let off the gas and presto, return to normal driving. Or so I am being told. A RWD Mustang means the ability to power on oversteer.

    The speeds at which this is relevent are precisely those beyond the traction levels of the tires, and hence this not oft acquired on the road. Power on oversteer is something you see in race cars, and although it can be done at street speeds (esp. w/miatas), it is not something you want to be doing unless you are very well seasoned or professionally trained in RWD oversteer.

    Your friend has an advantage, yes, but it happens at breakneck speeds (or with cheap, bald tires ), which I personally wouldn't consider safe anywhere but on the race track by professional drivers. If they lose it, they will become a projectile.

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    On the autocross track awd kills rwd anyday. The old 2.5 rs's always killed cobras lap times everytime. It's very simple dynamically. The subaru imprezza's are rwd biased awd cars.
    They will swing their rear axles at breakneck speeds like a mustang.
    But the advantage comes in the fact that unlike the mustang, they will also pull themselves out of the turn at the same time. That is the only way that a slow ass regular imprezza can keep up and actually beat a cobra. So it's safe to say that a wrx will kill a mustang/cobra on the autocross course.

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    WRX owns Mustang GTs in a straight line from a standstill, from a roll, even going backwards!!

    And on a track? You name the track: mud, snow, ice, pavement... the Mustang loses, and loses bad.

    Don't get me wrong, if I were to buy any domestic car, the Mustang has the best combination of looks and performance in the price range, but it has NOTHING on the WRX. Get real!
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    Originally posted by RSXSucks

    Don't get me wrong, if I were to buy any domestic car, the Mustang has the best combination of looks and performance in the price range, but it has NOTHING on the WRX. Get real!
    and mustang gt costs just about as much as a wrx!

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    Originally posted by bmh_ca


    Actually, let me indulge. I checked with a fellow who knows drifting better than I. A Mustang GT can take corners *much* faster than a WRX by power drifting.

    Entering into a turn, popping to a higher torque band and gunning it will cause the rear tires to spin and lose lateral friction, hence the rear will drift outwards. Thus, you can change the direction the nose of the car is facing inwards - into the turn. By letting off the acceleration slowly, the rear tires will reacquire traction, and you will, presto, have your nose turning into the turn.
    I'm with scoob. Go to an autocross and watch all the RWD cars without active rear differentials trying to drift in the manner you've described. If you're at a workstation, you're best advised to take a few steps back, lest you get knocked over with the cones by a swinging rear end.

    What's really interesting is to watch the difference between the brand new M3s versus the older ones without the active rear diff. Where you'll see the older ones practically doing 180s, you can actually see the new M3s adjusting itself. Pretty cool.

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    Originally posted by bedabi
    I'm with scoob. Go to an autocross and watch all the RWD cars without active rear differentials trying to drift in the manner you've described. If you're at a workstation, you're best advised to take a few steps back, lest you get knocked over with the cones by a swinging rear end.
    Bedabi - are you sure you're talking about the same thing as I am? Have a look at the video I posted above; it's a Porshe, but it's demonstrating what I tried to describe (the physics isn't in question - even if my ability to describe it may ). I can also attest to the abilities of the Mustang GT to drift at speeds beyond its lateral tractional stability, as can many GT owners. This a WRX is not meant to do, and cannot do so to nearly the same degree; it makes up for it in other ways.

    At the track here, the WRX always jumps ahead off the line, and everyone else plays catchup (which they love). Some Mustang GT's catch up, some don't. There are many simple mods to timing and air filter that will consistently give a GT the edge over a WRX.

    Take this, from this posting, on this very forum (or have a look at the ones on i-club):
    Subie Vs Mustang GT

    The Mustang almost caught the WRX, even when the GT driver slipped in 3rd (all to common with the T5 transmission - you have to drive it in), and you can probably rest assured that the driver didn't know when to shift and was going to the red line. Could be wrong, and I'm speculating, but if he can't get into third, it's a good sign that he's shifting too late in the RPM's, and consequently missing 1/3rd of the power band, a 3rd that could likely have made the difference. (Not to say the WRX was driven perfectly, either )

    Mind you, there are a *lot* of Mustangs in the family - the 5.0 L and its replacement engine the 4.6L, come in all assortments, from the lowly 4.6L 1996 stock 225hp / 270 lb-ft, through the 4.6L supercharged stock 2002 SVT 390 hp / 375 lb-ft. Some will catch the WRX off the line, some won't.

    Tuning of stock parts on a Mustang, such as CAM timing (or distributer, if you go back to the 5.0L), and a driver that is aware of the power band, will beat a stock WRX, without contest, on principles of sheer power. The Mustang has a lot of potential power that is sitting idle. It's engine is twice the size, after all.

    Of course on anything but dry pavement the Mustang is useless. Useless! The WRX of course is at least a halfway practical car, and certainly many times as valuable as any RWD muscle car (Useless! I speak from experience - getting stuck in the middle of the road in snow! ... hehe ... bitter memories)

    I'm not saying that either car is better - it depends on why you want it, and you will get two different experiences that cannot be compared. They are not just different cars, they are different types of cars. For many things - particularly those of the practical nature - the WRX is clearly superior, such as weather driving, and off the line launching. But the Mustang GT is superior in its available yet unused power, and it can power on drift in ways that an AWD (with the exclusion of those primarily rear biased, like Skyline 85/15) cannot - certainly not so good as a Miata or Porsche, but equally certainly better than a WRX.

    In 4 months I should be racing my WRX (with mods, unfortunately for the comparison) against stock Mustang GT's. The races last year indicated that the stock Mustang GT can and does win on the straight line track. However, I didn't participate in these. I will let you know what I experience, as well as talk about the other races happening here.

    It would be folly, I believe, to discount the Mustang GT as a solid competitor, particularly from a roll. However, I believe the WRX is a superior car (albeit with less potential for modifications of the suicidal levels of power sort), and that few drivers of the 4.6L Mustang GT know how to drive them in ways worthy of the car.

    If you have stories about beating a Mustang GT, I'd love to hear them. I know it happens, but I'm quite aware that the reverse does as well - I have seen first hand examples of both. Few defeats to GT's will be posted here I imagine, so the sampling from here is biased. Check i-club or the Mustang forums (Stangnet, for example). There are lots of people more educated in this competition than I.

    YMMV.

    Cheers!
    - B

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    if i could just say this ,the '98 body stlye mustang is the redheaded step child of the mustang family ,short of heavily moddifyed, no one would ever describe one as fast ....16 second quater mile times from a v-8 muscle car ,come on...i wouldnt even look at a 98 GT...the 99+ on the other hand, manual with wider rear tires.that presents a challange

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    Originally posted by typeR
    if i could just say this ,the '98 body stlye mustang is the redheaded step child of the mustang family ,short of heavily moddifyed, no one would ever describe one as fast ....16 second quater mile times from a v-8 muscle car ,come on...i wouldnt even look at a 98 GT...the 99+ on the other hand, manual with wider rear tires.that presents a challange
    Actually, I think you're quite right in that The Stangnet forums are full of diversified opinions on the subject, but the 96-98 style is 500 lbs heavier than the prior and since models, for no apparent reason. As well, the switch to the relatively new 4.6L left it in quite an untuned state compared to the 99 and thereafter. Consequently, of all the Mustang GT's, these are the ones of the least competitive credit.

    The 5.0 L 94 - 95 of the same body type are of better race quality, with a stronger engine (that pulls to the redline), but nevertheless that style of body has extra weight packed somewhere (apparently a mystery among the enthusiasts).

    Of course, the signal to noise ratio is higher on stangnet (more people, hence more idiots ), and therein quite a few laud the Mustang GT as invincible, and claims of trouncing things such as 911's and CLK's are abound.

    Hehe, religious debates. Lovely.

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    Originally posted by bmh_ca
    Bedabi - are you sure you're talking about the same thing as I am? Have a look at the video I posted above; it's a Porshe, but it's demonstrating what I tried to describe (the physics isn't in question - even if my ability to describe it may ). I can also attest to the abilities of the Mustang GT to drift at speeds beyond its lateral tractional stability, as can many GT owners. This a WRX is not meant to do, and cannot do so to nearly the same degree; it makes up for it in other ways.
    - B
    Oh, I don't doubt the Mustang's prowess on the drag strip. A good buddy of mine has a very modified SVO and despite it not being the traditional V8 we think about, it's fast! however, the handling leaves a lot to be desired.

    And when you refer to the "track" I take it you're talking about the drag strip? I'm talking about an autocross course, or like the one I'll be going to this weekend at Lime Rock, Connecticut.

    At the autocross I went to recently, there were no less than 10 or so Porsches. Only one was a Boxster. The rest were 911s, etc. I did see some controlled slides. I'm not ready to extrapolate from what I saw those $100,000 cars do to what a Mustang may be able to to simply because they're both RWD though.

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    Originally posted by RSXSucks
    WRX owns Mustang GTs in a straight line from a standstill, from a roll, even going backwards!!

    And on a track? You name the track: mud, snow, ice, pavement... the Mustang loses, and loses bad.

    Don't get me wrong, if I were to buy any domestic car, the Mustang has the best combination of looks and performance in the price range, but it has NOTHING on the WRX. Get real!
    Not sure if this is a joke or not but I sure hope it is...maybe you can elaborate on your quote alittle more?

    Also the comment about the SVO...I had an 84.5 SVO mustang and it had Koni fully adjustables, huge brakes, 16" tires and it handled awesome, all of this stock from the factory.....This suspension was way ahead of it time....these cars were great for a stock car......I have yet to run a Rex in turns but would love to.....the comments about the cobra and autox truly depends on the type of track, short turns and short straights the Rex would probably win but anything with longer straights and the cobra would win, again stock vs stock......I wish I could remember the slalom speeds for both cars as well but I can't
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