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Auto blogFri, 17 May 2013 14:58:00 EST
I was more than a year removed from my last experience with the Mustang GT and its delicious 5.0 V8 when this new 2014 example rolled up to my driveway recently. Good weather and a planned road trip across the state meant that I would get plenty of seat time in this conservatively specified example, too. In total, I logged about 400 miles in a week of driving - not a lot for some of you super commuters out there, but quite a lot for this work-from-home journalist.
The basic formula of the 5.0 has stayed the same for 2014. The 2013 model year saw a number of updates to keep the Mustang fresh until it's replaced with an all-new generation for 2015. So, for its bon voyage tour, the fifth-generation Pony Car has seen only a few modifications: a couple of new paint colors (Oxford White and Ruby Read Metallic), trim and wheel revisions and, sadly, the deletion of the Boss 302 from the Ford lineup. However, while the limited-edition Boss is likely to reappear sometime after the gen-six Mustang makes its debut in 2015, the GT Track Package cars like the one I tested provide at least a partial solution for those looking for hot laps.
XCAR has put together what it believes is a first - a drag race between Ford's legendary, Le Mans-winning GT40, the more recent GT supercar it inspired and the little-known GT70 rally car. The three mid-engined monsters were all built for very different purposes, and not surprisingly, they come to battle with very different powertrains.
The GT40 is powered by a thumping, naturally aspirated V8. This example, which looks like a Mark IV model, is likely powered by a 7.0-liter engine, although it's not entirely clear how much power it's putting down. The GT70, meanwhile, was Ford's response to the Lancia Stratos. Considering that the Lancia is one of the greatest rally cars in history and many of you are probably just hearing of the GT70 for the first time, you can imagine how much success Ford had with it. Only six were produced before a change in regulations doomed this mid-engined rally car.
The Ford GT, meanwhile, doesn't really need an introduction. 550 horsepower is on offer from a 5.4-liter, supercharged V8, which keeps the GT competitive even against more modern supercars. 60 miles per hour arrives in well under four seconds while the top speed sits at 212 mph. Not bad for a car that went out of production in 2006.
Ford's Fusion and Fusion Hybrid have both received the highest five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The rating is a big upgrade for the Fusion, which was completely redesigned for 2013. The previous model fell one star short of the top rating, after scoring only three stars in the frontal crash test and four stars in the side crash test and rollover evaluations. The 2013 Fusion received four stars in side crash and rollover testing and a full five stars in the front crash test.
Test results for the 2013 Fusion and Fusion Hybrid were greatly improved at least in part due to Ford's Personal Safety System. The system utilizes smarter sensors to gather crash data and tailor the car's restraint systems to the occupants. Seatbelt usage and seat position are taken into account to ensure airbags deploy with less pressure for smaller drivers, more for larger drivers.
The 2013 Fusion twins also received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+ designation. Read the official press release below.