The Ford Mustang has the power to dominate on the drag strip. However, using all the ponies effectively can be a challenge for the car. A new video from CAR’s YouTube channel reveals that the right competitors – the BMW M240i, Volkswagen Golf R and Audi RS3 – can capitalize on the Mustang’s struggles and lead them to victory.
The Golf R packs the smallest engine and smallest punch of the bunch. Its 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder produces 315 horsepower (235 kW) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque, but this race is not about power. The BMW turbo 3.0-liter inline-six produces 382 hp (285 kW) and 368 lb-ft (500 Nm) of torque. Audi has a 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo engine producing 394 hp (294 kW) and 368 lb-ft of torque. All three sport all-wheel drive, which gives them a huge advantage in this race.
The Mustang maximizes the group thanks to its large, naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine. It produces 442 hp (330 KW) and 390 lb-ft (529 Nm) of torque, channeling it via a 10-speed automatic exclusively to the rear wheels. That’s good for fatigue, but it’s also a car’s weakness. Good traction early in a drag race is key to victory, and pumping 442 hp through two tires isn’t enough when your competitors are pushing all four of them.
The Mustang struggles for traction compared to its competitors. Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen have skyrocketed, seemingly leaving the Mustang in the dust. Ford had no chance of recovering in the quarter mile race, crossing the finish line last in 12.9 seconds.
The RS3 topped the bunch by 12.0 seconds, once again embarrassing BMW, which needed 12.2 seconds to finish the race, 0.2 seconds quicker than it had done in any other race. Golf took third place with a time of 12.6 seconds.
It will be interesting to see all four compete in rolling races. Eliminating the start would go a long way for the Mustang, allowing it to better use its power against the three German cars. The Mustang makes a lot of power, but is pretty useless when most of it goes down in tire smoke.