One’s a race auto that wears virtually no disguise. The other is an American icon.

They are each Fords, and they are each GTs. But as you may possibly guess, there is just a small bit of a big difference in between the Ford GT supercar and the Ford Mustang GT.

We traveled to California to consider each for a back-to-back thrill trip.

2018 Ford GT

2018 Ford GT

A race auto reborn

Let’s consider a way-back journey with the Ford GT initial. The GT—namely the GT40—roared out of Carroll Shelby’s skunkworks and claimed the 1966 24 Hrs of Le Mans podium (Eds note: All of it) and raced into folklore. The Shelby-engineered vehicles completed one-two-three and drubbed Ferrari.

Ford revived the GT briefly in 2004 with a retro-styled, mid-engine supercar. In 2016, the Blue Oval did it once again with a mid-engine demon constructed with racing and the 50th anniversary of that one-two-three finish in thoughts.

The present GT sports activities supercar and race auto credentials within and out. It is constructed all around a carbon-fiber tub. Most of the entire body panels are carbon fiber, as well. The jet-inspired entire body has lively aerodynamics in front and in back. That rear wing raises and lowers, and it aids the auto end when it gets an airbrake.

ALSO SEE: 2019 Ford GT adds light-weight Carbon Series, will get $50,000 price tag bump

2018 Ford GT

2018 Ford GT

Ford stuffs a twin-turbo three.five-liter V-six behind the driver. It is really worth 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque, but it does not make the most alluring sounds. It wails, it huffs, it drones. It also shreds tire treads, dispatches -60 mph runs in much less than 3 seconds, and rockets the GT to a leading velocity of 216 mph.

A touch of turbo lag triggered by massive turbos prevents the GT from roasting its tires from a end. Flip it into Sport or Track mode, and it kicks in a race-bred anti-lag program that keeps the turbos spinning even when the driver is off the throttle. That generates a correct-now reactions from the throttle pedal as soon as underway, and the auto eats huge swaths of pavement in valuable small time.

Thrilling acceleration meets unbelievably flat dealing with in the GT, and the auto reacts to driver inputs with a suddenness you will not locate even in other supercars. Its inboard suspension will get adjustable dampers and a dual-spring setup at every corner to give it a taut trip. A Comfort setting in the Typical mode tends to make it a tad far more livable, but this is no Sunday cruiser.

Examine OUT: Ford GT manufacturing extended to one,350 vehicles by way of 2022

2018 Ford GT

2018 Ford GT

Flip it to Track, and that suddenness exhibits its encounter once again. Hydraulics reduced the GT two. inches to just two.75 inches off the ground, and it takes place in the blink of an eye with a “pshhht” sound. It is primarily based on a race auto, following all, when there is not time to wait for the slow air suspensions or even hydraulic techniques of most other luxury vehicles or supercars.

Now the dealing with is even far more exact. The GT darts from apex to apex. Not only does it corner flat, that minimal trip height barely enables any lean. The outdated-college hydraulic steering supplies welcome suggestions as it performs with the massive tires to create far more grip than any driver can use up on public roads—unless that street takes place to be the Nürburgring.

The GT is a particular auto that feels particular from behind the wheel, and it begs to be driven rapidly and challenging. To haul it down from the speeds it was constructed to accomplish, Ford outfits it with substantial carbon ceramic brakes that, once again, come to feel sudden. The brake pedal is substantial and braking electrical power is gorgeous, aided at substantial speeds by that rear airbrake.

It may possibly come to feel particular, but the GT’s interior is much less luxury and far more race-auto spartan. In truth, it has virtually no room, and driver comfort is not a priority.

Will not MISS: Ford GT and Mercedes-AMG GT use very same gearbox, Ford’s charges a lot far more

2018 Ford GT

2018 Ford GT

The driver’s seat provides just two changes the seatback tilts forward and back. To tailor a sensible driving place, the pedal box moves in and out and the steering column tilts and telescopes. It performs and the seat is supportive for efficiency driving, but it is not all-day comfy.

The rest of the cockpit is just as goal-constructed. Open the doors and the carbon-fiber tub can be plainly witnessed Ford does not bother covering it to quite items up. Ford also installs extremely small sound deadener, so the drone of the engine and the tires on pavement are continuous companions. Even though the dash is wrapped, a lot of minimal-lease plastics demonstrate their plain faces. And complete interior storage quantities to a glove-sized glove box that sits at the base of the driver’s seat.

The only nod to contemporary ease is the regular Sync three touchscreen infotainment program, comprehensive with Bluetooth, navigation, and accessibility to apps.

Loud, impractical, and unattainable to reside with each day, the Ford GT also has the race-auto products to make for a as soon as-in-a-lifetime drive.

2018 Ford Mustang GT

2018 Ford Mustang GT

So what about the Mustang GT?

No shock right here: It is the every day driver the GT could in no way be. It tends to make the powertrain noises we want the GT supercar had, and a sticker that is a single-tenth of the price of its supercar brother.

The Mustang’s GT package deal was new in 1965. It price $165 and extra disc brakes, driving lights, gauges, and GT40-inspired racing stripes. Given that then, it is morphed into a muscular grand tourer with huge horsepower—if not as huge as you get in the Shelby GT350 and GT500.

Background hasn’t left the Mustang GT behind. If something, the Mustang’s left background behind. The reside axle? Gone. Single-digit fuel economic climate? That is in the previous, as well.

2018 Ford Mustang GT

2018 Ford Mustang GT

These days, the Mustang GT sports activities Ford’s wonderful five.-liter V-eight. It boasts 460 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque and comes with both a six-velocity guide or a new ten-velocity automated. We’d stick with the stick: the ten-velocity is not tuned as properly as we’d hoped, although the guide slots into gears with satisfying metallic action. In peak efficiency mode, Ford says it is very good for a -60 mph time of much less than 4 seconds.

If you haven’t driven a Mustang GT recently, be ready for wonderful dealing with, at least as extended as the final auto you drove wasn’t the Ford GT. The Mustang GT now provides adaptive shocks that allow it cushion the worst roads, or dial in company, direct dealing with on back roads as excellent as we discovered in Southern California. It is agile, capable, and composed, and with Efficiency Pack one or two, the dealing with has taken a quantum leap in contrast to the outdated reside-axle Mustangs.

In contrast to the Ford GT, nevertheless, it is not a honest battle. Move from the GT to the Mustang and you come to feel like you are sitting 3 feet greater, driving a auto a thousand lbs heavier, and leaning far far more into corners. It is a matter of standpoint. The Mustang GT can not compete with a street-prepared Le Mans race auto for dealing with prowess, but it is a joy to drive and with Efficiency Pack two, it plants itself properly into sports activities-auto territory.

The Mustang has some distinct positive aspects above the GT, as well. It provides automated smokey-burnout manage. The Mustang GT’s electronic line lock lets any driver lay down a ideal pair of black rubber comet trails. It is a auto with hilarious ranges of efficiency for the price tag.

2018 Ford Mustang GT

2018 Ford Mustang GT

The other positive aspects are in comfort and livability. The trip is far far more supple, and that tends to make it a viable selection as a every day driver.

The interior has area for 4, even though the backseat passenger will not be pleased except if they are children. The seats are all-day comfy, interior storage is plentiful, and it has contemporary connectivity.

The Mustang GT may possibly not be a supercar but for anything close to $forty,000, it can provide astronomical thrills. And of program, there is constantly a Shelby GT350 or Bullitt to phase up into.

2018 Ford Mustang GT and 2018 Ford GT

2018 Ford Mustang GT and 2018 Ford GT

A GT celebration

The two the Ford GT and the Ford Mustang GT trace their roots back far more than 50 many years. Every single represents the greatest Ford’s ever delivered to fanatics, no matter whether they are prepared to devote tens or hundreds of 1000’s of bucks for unbridled American-badged efficiency.

The Ford GT delivers slashing acceleration and hyperspace leading speeds. It is a customized-constructed Le Mans-prepared race auto with a twin-turbo V-six that just demands a far better soundtrack.

The Mustang GT? It is a rolling piece of Ford and American background. And fortunately, it no longer drives like a piece of background. This most recent Mustang GT has BMW in its sights, and it pulls up impressively near.

This is not a examine, it is a celebration. The potential of efficiency vehicles seems to be extremely diverse these days than it did a decade in the past. With substantial-efficiency battery-powered supercars and even Mustang hybrids on the way, fuel-powered muscle vehicles and supercars like these are bound to grow to be far more unusual, and far more particular.

We hope there is a area for each in the electrified potential we envision exactly where the rush of V-eight electrical power and the thrill of a minimal-slung, Le Mans-type supercar in no way go out of type.

For two months, Motor Authority crisscrossed the U.S. in an automotive icon looking for stories about the Ford Mustang’s area in American background. These are our stories from the street about its owners, its background, and its standing as an evolving symbol of our connection with vehicles in America.