When Ford invites you to be the first car journalist in the world to get a high speed thrill ride sitting shotgun and a future model, you've basically got one job.
Do not throw up.
Take it from me, that can be tougher than it sounds.
What if you're set up to fail?
What if the deck is actually stacked against you?
What you're looking at here isn't just any old Mustang Maki.
This is the forthcoming Maki GT, the one with 480 horsepower and loads more grip.
Most importantly, we're not just driving on any old street loop.
We're at Ford's private test track.
In fact, we're on the twisties most challenging circuit the company's got with loads of tight turns and up and down whoops in a sequence that's designed specifically to upset a car's balance.
Maybe, just maybe I should have waited a little bit longer to do this after getting my second COVID shot.
Now, before I get ahead of myself or my lunch, let's take a closer look at what we're dealing with.
All right, so how are you gonna tell a Maki GT from a standard Maki on the street?
Well, for one thing, this one is silver orange, which you can't get on the standard car.
But there are a lot of little differences here that I want you to take a look at.
First of all, you've got this unique grille treatment, the standard model just had sort of a plain finish.
This actually has some interesting depth to it.
They call it sort of a carbon finish.
This guy lights up at night.
Whole new front facia down here with a much more aggressive front splitter that sticks out about yay big plus you've got the active grille shutters here.
We're gonna get those open today.
And you've got air curtains here that route air around this vehicle will move back here.
You'll see that we've got different wheels than what you've seen before on other marquees.
These are 20s.
Normally you get 18th or 19th.
And you got this neat open design got these beautiful pin spoke alloys, which are actually specific to this model.
And I don't just mean the GT I mean the performance model.
So these are 20s and they're an inch wider for extra traction, and you do a really nice job of showing off The Brembo four piston front caliper brakes, which you can get on the standard marquee but what you can't get that are specific to this model are 19 inch front discs.
Now 19 inches I've got a lot of cars that have wheels that are smaller than these brake discs.
Looking at this is actually body color here in the standard model there's some blacked out trim here.
So, the colors looks a little bit different.
And here you've got gloss black trim, and the whole effect kind of makes this vehicle seem lower to the ground than a standard Maki, and that's not actually just an optical illusion.
This vehicle sits 10 millimeters lower to the ground because it's riding on magneride suspension.
Now from here on back, pretty much the same story as every other Machi.
There's a GT badge back there, but other than that, you've seen this film before.
So who's gonna make me turn green this afternoon?
Mr. Mustang himself, Dave Pelisek.
If you don't know Dave, he's not just another AV guy.
In fact, Not only was he instrumental in this models development, he's the father of the Ford performance team and the driving force behind models like the Shelby GT.
350 and Raptor.
He's a legit hot shoe and this track is his office.
So the kid gloves, they're off.
However our masks are on because Ford requires them, And this is the first time anybody any journalist has gotten the chance to be in the GTA as far as I'm aware,>> That's correct.
Now every gt comes with all wheel drive and the standard gt offers 480 horses and 600 pound feet of torque.
Were in the performance edition however, and that has even more twist.
634 pound feet.
That is a whole lot I've driven the most powerful Maki you can buy today, the premium all wheel drive and it can scoot, but by comparison, it's only got 346 ponies and 428 pound feet of torque.
So we're talking about big differences here.
Okay, so here we go.
Yeah, the standard one doesn't I feel like that.
All right, [LAUGH] zero to 60 in 3 5 with this performance model.
what is it with the non-performance multiple
Okay, so either way you're talking better than V8 gas, 5-liter, GT performance, right?
So so what do you tell your existing loyal V8?
Ford GT owner.
That gets his doors blown off at a stoplight by a mom in an SUV packed full of kids and two trucks full of groceries.
What do you say?>> Go buy a monkey.
That's where a lot of the funniest people who have not experienced Against the electrification, they don't understand what it's all about and what it can do for you.
This is absolutely a Mustang.
This gives you everything that you're gonna want.
It's, in a lot of people it's funny Chris, they say, well, it's an SUV.
How can be a Mustang?
Well, it's not really an SUV.
It's if you think about it, we've got a whole bunch of batteries sitting underneath you right now.
And so that is pulled the centre of gravity, not down to the To the ice Mustang but pretty darn close because, of course, it's not just the bigger secondary motor and the lower center of gravity that makes the GT as capable as it is.
A lot of it comes down to the suspension itself.
magneride suspension basically allows you to get the best of both worlds.
So if you want to comfort right so when you change Engine drive modes we'll talk about drive modes in a minute.
Magnemite allows you to have both more of a comfort setting and then also when you start to get a little serious tighten everything down.
And it's that those basically it's particles of iron in the oil, in the fluid, in the shop and then as you get electrified, as you put a magnetic charge them,
They align them then it changes the viscosity and then you're able to control.
It's amazing tech.
It's, It's hugely amazing.
And it's over 1,000 times per second we can actually change the damping.
So when we go into a corner like this, the car is so smart, it knows all the sensors onboard, know what's happening.
And then MagneRide suspension is adjusting so that it gives us the best performance.
So that's something that's different on the GT.
Yeah, I already feel really good body control.
I might not be able to tell on camera, but this is a pretty tight section here and there is a lot of elevation change going and it settles down beautifully.>>That GT specific suspension works with upgraded brakes and model specific summer tires on this performance edition to stick even harder.
Sadly, Ford isn't yet sharing skidpad performance numbers and those wider stickier tires curb range some the performance edition is only good for an EPA estimated 235 miles between charges and the standard gt should manage to 50.
So those parolees are they specific to this models or work with them?
Yeah, that is a compound that's been formulated Specifically for us for this vehicle so that it performs the way that we needed to perform.
So they are purely p zero but they're a special compound just for us.
The GT also gets an additional drive mode above the standard Mikey's, most performance oriented setting unbridled.
Well we also have in the unbridled mode, the GT brings in unbridle extent and what that has been designed to do is get Give you more sustained power for track performance.
So everybody knows that as you're pulling power out of the, out of the battery, you know, you're going to get so much performance before your battery charges going down the unbridled extent, it's going to really allow you to have many more laps, versus what you would have if we just dumped all the energy and let you run that one or two lamps, and you can do that.
You could go to unbridled mode and you can do that, but you're going to be pulling that energy out.
Unbridled extend, you're going to have more fun for a longer period of time.
What else does that allow you to do?
Are you loosening up the safety nannies at all?
Or what else are you doing?
We are the safety nannies.
I love what you said.
So we absolutely are loosening up the safety nannies and giving you more, y'all for instance, you know, and so you can have a Have a bit more fun.
We also are bringing things like the sound is a unique sound that enhances that unbridled extend as well and really adds to the whole experience on the track.
Unfortunately, this was an early prototype vehicle.
So while we could experience the feel of unbridled extend mode, we couldn't actually hear its unique soundtrack.
One other neat thing about the GT though, more freedom, you can't turn off the stability Good traction controls in the standard Maki, but the GT.
You literally can shut it all off just like you can in the regular in a nice version of the Mustang.
And this the GT is the first time you can do that there's a switch over here that allows you to do that next to the headlamps with the previous models did not have that and the GT is bringing that in.
So that's just adding more and more of those things that you would expect from a Mustang.
So you've got the defeat button.
But what else is different inside the GT?
Well, not too much.
You get more supportive sports seats sumikko suede trim a smattering of subtle gt call outs on the armrest and sills.
And that's about it.
A bit more differentiation inside a sporty or wheel or some unique cabin colors would go a long way toward making the GTS cabin feel as special as this vehicle actually is.
All right, now that we're done making small talk Dave wants to put the hammer down.
If we're gonna squeal the tires and really get after it, Ford safety team has mandated that we put on some brain buckets.
And speaking of buckets after power ground here at speed and flying through the air lap after lap, I could use one right about here.
Now that's no knock on Dave's driving.
He's smooth and an EVS power delivery is about as silky smooth as you'll find, but not being behind the wheel for myself and bouncing all over the place, my head just can't keep up today.
Now I've jumped as a race trucks, flung rally cars sideways through the forest, and I've been given more ride alongs on racetracks with pro drivers than I have fingers and toes.
But this is the first time I've ever come close to revisiting my last meal.
Just look at my raggedy **** especially when we kick the tail into the air mid corner, Harcourt.
The car makes a much quicker recovery than I can but it just settles right back down.
Yeah, it settles down and So, the great thing about this GT performances, Mustangs have always been rear wheel drive, right?
And we are biasing the power and the GT performance.
We're about 40 in the front, 60 in the back.
So we're still giving you that Mustang, if you noticed a few times through here, I had that back walking out a little bit, right?
And that's what that Mustang fuel is all about, right?
If controllable, but I was able to get back to step a little bit out, right?
The standard Maki defaults to more of a 5050 torque split.
So this model is more aggressive by nature and Ford's goal was to make the GT feel even more like a rear wheel drive car, a traditional Mustang that can hang the tail out just by moving your right foot.
This experience has been great and all, but if you know me, I couldn't help it ask what's next for the Maki,>> Chris, you know, I can't talk about future product plans.
You know, you can hint con I can hint.
You should enjoy what we're in right now.
Fair enough>>.Well, I tried fam the bad news is I didn't find out what's next for the Maki line.
The good news is I managed to avoid yakking all over Dave shoes.
That was an experience.
You can definitely tell that this is not just any old Maki, but I did have a wicked headache for the rest of the day.
So that is an exclusive right along with the Ford Mustang Maki gt now When can you get your hands on one?
Well, they're gonna be in dealers in late summer, early fall, and how much you're gonna pay?
Well, they started 59 9, but this guy here is a little bit closer to the 64 $65,000 question.
Now, my big question is, when the heck do I get to drive one of these things, it's gonna be a little while longer, but stick with us.
We're gonna have a great first full drive.