For the fourth year in a row, the Mustang continues to be the “best-selling sports coupe in the entire world”. The S550 platform that debut in 2015 catapulted the brand to be a serious world-class sports car. However, in my Review of the 2015 Mustang GT, the one complaint I had was the stock sound. Borla came to the rescue with the Ford Performance Cat-Back Exhaust and GT350 Valence in our base 2016 Mustang GT.
Big changes happened to the Mustang in 2018. Not only to the styling with a facelift and much better outward visibility due to a hood that’s closer to the GT350 in shape than the previous hood, but the Gen-3 Coyote V8 now produces a staggering 460hp and 420lb-ft of torque (up from 435hp & 400lb-ft) thanks to the addition of direct injection, higher 12.0:1 compression 93mm pistons (up from 92.2mm giving a 5.035L displacement -up from 4.951L), and a revised intake manifold allows for a 500rpm higher redline -7,500rpm.
Not only does this new engine make more power, but the factory quad-exhaust was improved to make the car sound better, and the optional active exhaust (previously only available on the GT350) enables the car to have a dual personality from quiet and docile, to loud and aggressive. Our 2018 Mustang GT Performance Package does not have the active exhaust, and quite frankly, sounded so much better than the factory 2015-2017 Mustang GT exhaust that the urge to improve the sound wasn’t very strong and there was doubts about changing it at all. In retrospect, what Borla did to the 2018 Mustang GT makes their new exhaust even more worth it than it was for the 2015-17 Mustang, not because of the surprisingly substantial power gain, but for creating what I would say is one of the best sounding exhaust systems for the 5.0L V8!
The wizards at Borla did something special with the S-Type exhaust for the 2018 Mustang GT. While I was a big fan of their quietest version M-5200-M8TBV Touring Exhaust System on the 2016 GT, the new S-Type on the new Gen-3 engine sounds like no other Coyote that I’ve heard. In fact, this setup sounds more like the (arguably) better sounding 3-Valve Ford V8s with a smoother, more refined, and deep sound rather than the sharper, “poppy”, and trumpeting “rasp” of most aftermarket exhausts on Coyote-powered Mustangs. I may go out on a limb here, but this may be the best sounding exhaust that I’ve heard on an S550 Mustang GT. Seriously.
As per our usual test procedures, we had to get a baseline pull to see what our stock 2018 Mustang GT produces from the factory. We stopped by our friends at Palm Beach Dyno (known for their tuning and forced-induction work on late model Fords) to spin the rollers.
After a few pulls, the 5.0L Gen-3 Coyote consistently put down 416.82whp at 6,890rpm and 393.90lb-ft of torque at 4,630rpm; however dynoing the car in 4th gear (which is now 1:1 -vs 5th gear in 2015-17 cars) presents a slight problem with the higher 7,500rpm rev limit. The factory 155mph speed limiter kicks in around 6,900rpm.