Ford Focus ST Forum banner

1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Without saying one car is better than the other, I'm interested in your opinions comparing these two cars for track driving.

I had a '05 Supercharged Mustang that I sold with the intent of buying a 2013 GT w/track pack and a few other goodies. I frequent Willow Springs, a great road course in So Cal. I'm no professional, just a weekend driver that loves to brake late and early Apex! ;) <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/westennyson/6825513559/" title="FSig by newsphotog2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7006/6825513559_b3920534d4_m.jpg" width="240" height="100" alt="FSig"></a>

As I said I was planning on a Mustang, but the family is growing and suddenly a useable backseat, better MPG and a lower price tag have a little more importance in my decision.
I really like all the tech/gadgets in the ST's cockpit, and the seats look and feel amazing!
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/westennyson/7778935838/" title="Untitled by newsphotog2, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8303/7778935838_84dd4fbef7_n.jpg" width="320" height="240" alt="Untitled"></a>

I did drive one at the L.A. Performance academy last weekend and thought it was great. However the course was short and we weren't allowed to shift past 2nd, so I don't feel I got a real full taste of the possibilities in that car.

I have read the specs and understand these are two different machines. I know the ST can't possibly have the same strait line speed that a GT does, but does it make up for that with other fun characteristics? At 3200 lbs It doesn't seem as light as I had hoped, but it does move quickly and I imagine cornering is it's strong suit.
On the track I raced plenty of S2000's, Miata's, WRX, (FWD ect) and I was competitive with them in the corners, but would pull away quickly in the straits. I'm just guessing that that may not be the case with the ST?

For those who have driven both, Is there any way an ex-Mustang racer could be happy/fulfilled in a FWD hot hatch? I really like this car, but just don't want to regret it after a couple of hot laps.
Thanks for your opinions...
 

·
Director of Web Relations
Joined
·
4,009 Posts
if I lived in Cali, I'd own a BOSS. ST is just more practical here in the great whit North. FWD vs RWD? It's just not the same. I'm a die hard FWD car fanatic and I accept it with all it's faults but for a track car, weekend or otherwise, how could you say no to the Mustang?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
I am actually considering a 13 Mustang v6 with tech package and performance package. The sticker is about the same as the ST1 I am also looking at but ultimately the Mustang will be a little cheaper because of the rebates that are available.

What got me thinking along these lines is the Mustangs 31 mpg rating vs the STs 32. The only thing keeping me from going for the Mustang is the more I read on the Mustang forums the more I believe I won't be able to achieve the advertised mileage on the Mustang.

But boy that Mustang in Gotta Gave It Green with the black 19" wheels of the performance package sure is sexy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
753 Posts
If I lived in a climate where I could drive the Mustang rear yound I would just get a GT and it would be my only vehicle :) Sadly I do not live in that climate. A lot of it depends on how you drive. According to Ford's website the V6 Automatic gets 31mpg highway with the automatic and 29mpg hwy with a manual. City is the same at 19mpg. The GT with the manual is 15city/26hwy while the automatic is 18city/25hwy so I'd take all those ratings with a grain of salt. My old Mustang gets 27mpg on the highway and about 19mpg in the city.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
This decision is all about your family. If you still have a partner you live with, I'd have a long, hard talk with them about what you both want to do.

As for the track, the GT is it, no question. But I understand your frustration at not being able to find a proper passenger vehicle that's RWD with a stick that is also occasional track day worthy. Its a unicorn in the new car market.

The one thing I'd wait for until testing on with the ST is how it holds up to a track day. In particular, the brakes. I continue to be skeptical about excessive brake wear under track day conditions. Although, again, this is a hard segment to win in. The GTI's stability control can be disabled and you likely won't get quite the handling out of the MS3. The WRX, for me, is a rotten road course car, but that's another story.

Good luck, regardless, and congratulations on your growing family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,533 Posts
You also need to ask yourself...Do I want to be known for having a fast car or being the best driver? There is no wrong answer, just personal preference. If you want to be the best driver, then the car is almost inconsequential and you can concentrate on what works best for your family. Also worth remembering is that if you do push too hard, a faster car will typically go further off the track and make contact with barriers at a higher speed. What level of risk are you willing to subject your family car to?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rev.Hammer

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
You also need to ask yourself...Do I want to be known for having a fast car or being the best driver? There is no wrong answer, just personal preference. If you want to be the best driver, then the car is almost inconsequential and you can concentrate on what works best for your family.
So, so true. Or if you have it in the budget, you can get the ST and buy a used Miata and a rollbar.

Also worth remembering is that if you do push too hard, a faster car will typically go further off the track and make contact with barriers at a higher speed. What level of risk are you willing to subject your family car to?
Those speeds won't matter much in difference if you hit a barrier. :)

The ST won't lower the risk, either. But that used Miata will!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
440 Posts
If you purchase a dedicated set of Rim's and R Comp Tires.. I have no doubt in my mind the ST will be a hoot at the track. It seems to be a very enjoyable track car that responds well. You will be playing with everything in the corners and only getting passed by the big boys. Brakes can be upgraded, HP can be added but a mustang only has 2 doors. Fun on the weekend is a must but life must go on and practicality when you have a budget is a must.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
362 Posts
Since your post is referring to track racing exclusively and not day to day driving, I suppose we can ignore the difference in practicality for the purposes of this thread. The fewer doors, guzzling mpg, and unfriendly interior can be ignored when its only you and the machine carving up a slalom. I will say however, the ergonomics on the GT are not what I would want from a track car. I'm sure the higher trims like the boss or the Shelby do a lot to improve that, but my time in a GT has been spent mostly trying to find a reasonable position where I am afforded a solid handle of the inputs and good view of the road. I've always thought, even all the way back to the fox body, maybe the mustang isn't built for my size.. but I am about 5'11" and 170, not exactly abnormal.

As far as performance, I think you would find the ST to be much more balanced and neutral at the edges of grip. The GT has plenty of power on hand, but the times it will be usable are few.. on the turns you'll be hedging against the added weight upsetting suspension and power on oversteer. It would take a lot more driver experience to drive the GT fast.

For pure fun factor, the GT is going to be a clear choice. But the ST was bred on the track.. I don't think you'll be able to find better unless you pay twice the msrp for a boss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
373 Posts
Since there's a lack of reasonably priced RWD 4 door vehicles out there, what about looking at the CPO market for a 3 series or something? Practical, solid fuel economy (I got 25+ mpg average in my 07 328xi, and pushed 30+ mpg on the highway during longer trips), and RWD/great handling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
As far as performance, I think you would find the ST to be much more balanced and neutral at the edges of grip. The GT has plenty of power on hand, but the times it will be usable are few.. on the turns you'll be hedging against the added weight upsetting suspension and power on oversteer. It would take a lot more driver experience to drive the GT fast.

For pure fun factor, the GT is going to be a clear choice. But the ST was bred on the track.. I don't think you'll be able to find better unless you pay twice the msrp for a boss.
I respectfully disagree. We're obviously, again, speculating. But the Mustang chassis and suspension have had seven years of active campaigns in motorsports to sort the suspension and balance. Not so for the ST. And despite several reports here otherwise, I'm still skeptical that the ST would be the first FWD car since the Elan M100 to not understeer terminally, even if better.

And as far as the power is concerned, the place its usable is, well, the track. :)

You are absolutely correct about it taking a better driver to drive the GT to it's potential, though. Almost no question about that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
I am with Eric on the Miata comment. The Mazdaspeed Miata models from '04 & '05 come with a turbocharger and can make 200whp for about $500. That power to weight would leave the ST in the dust in the straights and a mockery of it in corner speed. Not to mention how much more fun it is to drive in a track situation.

But to answer your question, Mustang.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks very much for all of your opinions. This is the info I wanted to hear. I guess since the ST isn't really out yet, it's hard to talk about its track worthiness. The new GT's are very stable on a track in stock trim with their 19x9 summer tires. With under $1200 in suspension parts they become very aggressive and surefooted. I know I can handle a GT on the track, I won't drive every HP out of it, but I did feel very confident in my previous Mustang and this year's are much improved over mine.

I was hoping to hear the ST would be a decent road course competitor but again, it's an unfair question to ask when almost no one has the car in the driveway yet. From my brief time in the ST at the Academy event, I know it's a fun street car with ample power to get through traffic.

For me the decision will come down to this:
I got out to the track about 10 times last year, I drove my car on public streets 365 days. I'm not part of the 1% (yet) so it's hard to justify the extra expence for a toy that gets used to it's potential so infrequently. I just sort of regret selling my "track" car now:S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
For me the decision will come down to this:
I got out to the track about 10 times last year, I drove my car on public streets 365 days. I'm not part of the 1% (yet) so it's hard to justify the extra expence for a toy that gets used to it's potential so infrequently. I just sort of regret selling my "track" car now:S
Ten track days is a lot for most folks. You're a true track junkie, in my mind.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,368 Posts
I am with Eric on the Miata comment. The Mazdaspeed Miata models from '04 & '05 come with a turbocharger and can make 200whp for about $500. That power to weight would leave the ST in the dust in the straights and a mockery of it in corner speed. Not to mention how much more fun it is to drive in a track situation.
I'd love to get a Miata for this exact reason... Sadly though, I can't even sit down in one, haha (the disadvantages of being 6'7"). I've heard they're absolutely amazing to drive, though.

Track day performance is by no means my number one priority. All I really want is something relatively comfortable, upscale and fun on country roads. Which is what I view the ST as. I don't think I'd ever race/autocross it, which is why I don't mind the e-diff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
I'd love to get a Miata for this exact reason... Sadly though, I can't even sit down in one, haha (the disadvantages of being 6'7"). I've heard they're absolutely amazing to drive, though.

Track day performance is by no means my number one priority. All I really want is something relatively comfortable, upscale and fun on country roads. Which is what I view the ST as. I don't think I'd ever race/autocross it, which is why I don't mind the e-diff
If you ever get into track days, just bolt the seat to the floor in the Miata. You *might* (depending on your torso to legs ratio) be okay. Seen that done.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top