4 Months Later: 2012 Mustang V6PP vs 1989 Mustang GT - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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4 Months Later: 2012 Mustang V6PP vs 1989 Mustang GT

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Posted 06-19-2012 at 04:02 PM by That89GTGuy

So, here we are a few months later after getting the 2012 V6. Now that it's warmed up, the autocross season has started, and I've had a chance to wring it out a bit, I've got some more tid bits to add to my previous entry regarding this car, and how it stacks up against my old 1989 Mustang GT. Lets try to organize this a bit...

Everyday driving: In this area, the 2012 accels. The car is quite, it's ride is smooth... ish, and the fuel economy is great. In comparison the old 1989 was loud, rough, and pretty meh in fuel economy. While the old '89 had an awesome voice when you stepped on it, it droned like all hell when you where just trying to get somewhere. Speeds over 65mph would also cause a terrible resonant frequency that was just insufferable for long (2+ hour) drives. The new '12 car however is nice and quiet though. You hear the music and a touch of road noise to let you know you're still moving, and that's about it.

The fuel economy is nice too in the 2012. 27mpg is my average so far. Even on race days. It's great. The old '89 got 17 average. The highest I got was 27mpg in the '89 though, so it could do well if needed. Sadly, I have not had such a long tank in the 2012 yet, so no idea if I can top of the '89 yet. One thing I still do miss though is the hatchback of the '89. The trunk on the 2012 is basically useless for big things. It's not that the trunk is too small, it's that the opening is puny. The 1989's hatch was amazing. Could take a set of 16'' rims with tires on them, a cart of tools, 2 jacks, 2 stands, 2 peoples worth of luggage for an overnight, and 2 people with room to spare for some snacks. Good stuff.

Autocross: In this area, there is no competition at all. 2012 all the way. There are a lot of details to go over on that though...

In terms of power, the 1989 was nice since it had power everywhere all day. 2nd gear was king of the universe as far as autocross went. The 2012 has good power too, but 2nd gear doesn't have quite as much to give. I believe it mostly comes down to the fact the 2012 likes to rev more, and has a chunk less torque. Once it gets spinning, the 2012 has at least as much power as my 1989 did.

In terms of handling, the 2012 has the 1989 beat 6 ways to sunday. The stickyish summer tires, the better suspension design in the front, and the waaaay better suspension design in the back really help it carve well. In D stock, I am far more competitive (which has been nice since I don't think anyone took me seriously before since the car was so slow ), and I am able to keep up with Impreza WRX's now, which is great. Fastest car ever? Not even close, but it leaves the 1989 in the dust. That said, I was SO, SOOOO close to having a great setup in the 1989, and I feel as if it could have been better then the 2012 if I had been able to get my setup completed before finding the rust in the frame. Ahh well. What the 1989 was better at though was visibility. I could see anything thanks to the thin A pillars and expansive greenhouse. The 2012 is a pillbox in comparison, and is hard enough to see out of to cause issues even when driving straight (those cones are mighty small when you're close to them).

Other stuff: One thing I miss about the 1989 was working on it. I'm one of those strange people that likes to get completely pissed at something working on it, and when I get it put together it gives me a felling of total accomplishment. I don't get that with the 2012. Sure, the 2012 is reliable, good on gas, and very quick, but I miss having a project car. That's not the 2012's fault though. That and I miss the fact I could have crashed the 1989 and not really cared, but now I cannot HPDE with the 2012 for fear of a crash destroying the car I just bought.

A few other minor points would be the steering. The 1989 had over-assisted steering, but it felt more natural then the 2012. I have the 2012 set for stiff steering, but it's not the same. The 2012's always on traction control is also stupid. I almost always forget to turn it off until just before the autocross run. Annoying. The back seat in the 2012 is also slightly worse then the 1989. There is about the same leg room, but the head room in the 1989 was better because of the taller, less curved roof.

Overall, I would say each car has it's merit. I miss the 1989 as a fun project car to race with, but I love the 2012 as a car I can drive to a race, do well, drive home in the AC, and get 27mpg with nothing breaking. Give and take I suppose.
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