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      07-07-2021, 12:36 PM   #1
bletour
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2018 F80 Comp vs 2019 GT350

Hey all,
So got a chance to compare a 2019 GT350 vs my '18 F80 Comp with some basic road driving. Few pros/cons for the GT350

PROs
Sound.. oh man the sound. That 5.2L Voodoo engine screams in a good way. Put a smile on my face every stab of the throttle. 8250 redline from a crossplane crank V8.. sweet. I'm not one to totally trash the F80 sound either. I get why people don't love it but I think it is okay but that Voodoo engine... Wow. Also.. exhaust flaps controllable with a switch on the console. Nice!
Shifter. I've lived with a variety of shifters over the years (Hondas, Mitsubishi, Mustangs, Audi, Corvettes) and the M3 one is only 'ok' in my book. A little too mushy and wobbly. The gates are closely spaced but not obviously defined to me. On downshift from 5th/6th to 4th I find it easy to money shift to 2nd if I don't concentrate on it. Almost feels like if I manhandle it I will break something. The Tremec 6 speed just feels good to me. Firm, not a lot of play and the gates are well defined. Bang the next gear and go
Suspension with the magnetic ride is just more compliant. It still feels real well planted with minimum roll but when there is a pothole/bump the car absorbs it much better.
Power.. Good/bad here. The GT350 pulls hard from around 3500 up. The M3 has a broader powerband (thanks turbos) but the GT350 has obviously more power at the top end (stock to stock). I would say the GT350 is a little "soft" down low in the RPM range but I also find the M3 to be soft down low unless you are in sport+ mode. Stab the gas in Economy mode... meh..turbo lag. Stab it in sport+ and different ride. So the M3 is more "tunable" where the GT350 is all RPM dependant.
Seats were good... maybe even a little more comfortable for my chubby self.. but it didn't have the Recaro package and certainly wouldn't be anywhere near as useful on the track. Seats did have heat and cooling though which was nice
Looks.. This is personal obviously.. but the GT350 to me looks the part. My M3 Comp...yeah I got a bulge in the hood and my 20" 666 rims but the spoiler is too tame and it has only minimal parts to separate it from a standard 3 series. The GT350 is all up in your face and you KNOW it isn't a basic Mustang. Certainly a police/radar magnet through
CONs
Interior just isn't up to M3 quality. Lots of plastic and mustang parts.
Electronics/Stereo is meh. I think iDrive is very good.. I personally like Audi MMI the best of the Germans.. but iDrive is WAY better than the Ford stuff
Usability... the M3 has 4 doors and can actually seat 4. Plus a decent trunk.
Size.. the GT350 feels big and you sit up higher. You have that long nose and it feels like the American muscle car it is. Even though everyone complains that the M3 is 'heavy' and larger than old.. it still feels compact and svelt next to the GT350
Reliability.. the GT350 Voodoo motor has been known to grenade. Especially if modified. The 2019 has an updated block and is supposed to be more reliable but only time will tell.
Modifiability (is that a word??). Relates to reliability but also the fact that the S55 is an engine just a tune away from more power.. then some downpipes and another tune away from even more. The GT350 engine is already pretty much maxed out from the factory. Yes, people turbo them and yes..they often blow them up. The last couple of years they switched to using the stronger block of the GT500 and made a few other tweaks but the GT350 from the factory is really designed to stay 'as is' in my book.
Phew.. probably more to say but that is enough. I think as a weekend toy the GT350 is great. As a daily driver..not as much for me... but I'm getting old. In my younger years I lived with a Mustang GT as my daily with no issues. I really like my F80 and it can be a track car or take the family to the movies. Not sad I choose it at all!!

--Bill
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      07-07-2021, 11:17 PM   #2
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How did you find the playfulness aspect?

Is the GT350 full of character, is it toss able, does it want to get you in trouble?

Also a big one for me is throttle response, and overall chassis.

Which felt like the race car to you?
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      07-08-2021, 03:30 PM   #3
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^
The GT350 just feels much bigger than F80 partly because the hood is so long. The seating position is also much higher than in F8x even with the Recaros.

I think on back roads it doesn’t feel as toss able bec of the size but im sure on the track this may not be a major issue.

I agree with most of the OPs observations. The poor fit/finish and build quality plus the issues with Voodoo motor kept me away from GT350. The sound it makes though is amazing.
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      07-09-2021, 12:17 PM   #4
bletour
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeldoo View Post
How did you find the playfulness aspect?

Is the GT350 full of character, is it toss able, does it want to get you in trouble?

Also a big one for me is throttle response, and overall chassis.

Which felt like the race car to you?
The GT350 certainly feels bigger/heavier but it didn't seem to lack for grip. It certainly wants to get you in trouble because there is plenty of power to break the back end loose. It even stepped out some on a hard 2-3rd shift. With my M3 I need to turn it up to sport+ and turn off traction control to get anything like that. With the GT350.. it is just there all the time provided you are over 3000RPM.

On the flip side, the M3, even with EDC in comfort is firmer feeling overall. The magnetic ride on the GT350 really makes the bumps/impacts disappear. Now my f80 has the Comp pack so I have the 20" rims which certainly make the ride even firmer with the low sidewall.

I didn't really get a chance to push it super hard.. so I can't really tell you what it feels like at say >80%.

I totally agree with the other response saying you sit higher and the car just feels bigger with the long hood. Feels like a muscle car/corvette vs the M3 feeling like a more pure sports car... sitting lower.. feel more centered in the car and the car feels more balanced weight-wise although I didn't look at the distribution of the GT350.

The GT350 is a heck of a car. If I was able to push it harder I suspect it would be quite capable but probably in more of a "muscle it around the track" sort of way but I didn't really get to prove that.

Which one feels more 'race car'... probably the GT350 because it is ALWAYS turned up to 11.... the M3 can be moderately docile but the GT350 has no mellow settings... it is always waiting to jump out there and cause trouble.

--Bill
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Last edited by bletour; 07-09-2021 at 12:38 PM..
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      07-11-2021, 07:31 PM   #5
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I have yet to find any body panels on a Mustang (even a high end one like a GT350 or GT500) with even panel gaps. The fitment and build quality is atrocious. If you can get past that...its a great car.
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      07-12-2021, 10:50 PM   #6
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So I had the pleasure, or misfortune, however you look at it, of owning a GT350 for approximately 6 months. I sold a fully built F80 (turbos, suspension, brakes, etc.) and got into the Shelby immediately afterwards. First impressions were good, with the exhaust and engine notes being worth the price of admission on their own. As others mentioned, the car didn’t have a lot of grunt down low but came alive up top. The ride was very plush compared to my F80 with coil overs, but I experienced a fair amount of oversteer in very aggressive driving. The biggest problem I had with the GT350, again mentioned above, was the fit and finish. For a 65k plus car, it would’ve been nice to have better paint quality and at least some straight body panels. Also, some bespoke interior parts could have made a big difference, but at the end of the day there’s the same door lock, window controls, plastic trim, and cheap smell that you’d get from a fleet model Ford Explorer. It was fun for a minute, but couldn’t love it, then got into my current F90 and never looked back.
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      07-12-2021, 11:43 PM   #7
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thats my issue with it as well. the engine and drivetrain are awesome... unfortunately the rest of the car is still 100% mustang.
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      07-17-2021, 04:56 PM   #8
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How do you not mention weight? It's at least a couple hundred pounds heavier (on top of the outright size).

I have a friend with a GT350 and he was planning on trading it for an M4, but he waited too long, so now he's planning on trading it for a G80. I told him he should still get an F80 - the G80's got nothing on a GT350 from a weight perspective.
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      07-17-2021, 06:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowphiveo View Post
I have yet to find any body panels on a Mustang (even a high end one like a GT350 or GT500) with even panel gaps. The fitment and build quality is atrocious. If you can get past that...its a great car.
My local dealer has GT500 and Mach 1.

The Mach1 - every body panel is misaligned especially doors, hood, trunk, rear bumper. Its just unbelievable how uneven the gaps are and this was the case for most GT350s i looked at also when they were new.

The GT500 - this particular one was not as bad in terms of gaps. It was black so maybe that played into it. BTW they were asking $20k ADM, sticker is $80k 🤣
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      07-31-2021, 05:19 PM   #10
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I'd consider where you'd be using the GT350 before getting one, because it tramlines bad. My favorite local backroad is a bit rutted and bumpy, and it was white-knuckle experience keeping the GT350 out of the ditch. Especially when I was braking at the end of a straightway, the car would wiggle and pull! (I blogged about it here.)

Conversely, on smooth roads the GT350 was a real treat carve though the corners. I never got it onto a race track, but I'd guess the GT350 would be most magical there.
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      09-15-2021, 06:50 AM   #11
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I've Always been curious about these gt350's as I see a few around town a lot. I've had 3 bmws since 2009 so I've forgotten what any other car feels like. Obviously many changes over the years. But I am curious about how the gt handles in general (trust factor) my m4 tuned dct is scary at times but I can always trust the back end won't slide out all the way causing the car to loss control and possibly spin off the road. Did you get a feeling that the gt was (trusting) in that you feel the car is only going to go where you want it to…? I like the gt350s. Was just curious about this.
Also off the line compared to m3/4 did you feel it's easier to give it heavy throttle without spinning?
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      09-15-2021, 10:11 AM   #12
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Gt350 is a lot of fun on track but so is f8x. For a daily I don't think you can compare. As a track only/weekend car both make sense.
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      10-01-2021, 06:15 AM   #13
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A friend of mine just blew his second Voodoo on his GT350. He now just wants to get rid of the car, too much hassle to own in his view. It's a shame because the Voodoo is such a nice sounding engine, but it's not easy to make a reliable high output high revving engine.
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      10-03-2021, 11:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanAutM3 View Post
A friend of mine just blew his second Voodoo on his GT350. He now just wants to get rid of the car, too much hassle to own in his view. It's a shame because the Voodoo is such a nice sounding engine, but it's not easy to make a reliable high output high revving engine.
Deja vu for me.

I feel for your friend as they are awesome/fun cars to drive. Too bad they are made by Ford.
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      10-07-2021, 09:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoes View Post
I've Always been curious about these gt350's as I see a few around town a lot. I've had 3 bmws since 2009 so I've forgotten what any other car feels like. Obviously many changes over the years. But I am curious about how the gt handles in general (trust factor) my m4 tuned dct is scary at times but I can always trust the back end won't slide out all the way causing the car to loss control and possibly spin off the road. Did you get a feeling that the gt was (trusting) in that you feel the car is only going to go where you want it to…? I like the gt350s. Was just curious about this.
Also off the line compared to m3/4 did you feel it's easier to give it heavy throttle without spinning?
See my post above…I experienced a good amount of oversteer on aggressive cornering. The gearing in the GT350 was made for top end and if I remember correctly I could do almost 50 mph in first gear. That being said, unless you dumped the clutch at anything above 4K and the tires we cold, it would hook up no problem.
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