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GT500 vs 370Z

I had a unique opportunity this weekend to drive my friend's new Mustang GT500 around Florida. Having owned my 370 for about 9 months and read quite a bit about

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Old 01-03-2010, 11:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default GT500 comparison to 370Z

I had a unique opportunity this weekend to drive my friend's new Mustang GT500 around Florida. Having owned my 370 for about 9 months and read quite a bit about the GT500, I was curious how a 540hp hotrod compares to a more refined sports car like the Z. Since I'm sure you guys have probably read about the GT500 as well and perhaps had an owner try to race you, here are some interesting comparisons.

Engine:
Well, the rumble of that V8 is pretty sweet. It's not incredibly loud and is probably on par with a catback and hfc install on our car (in terms of overall loudness). Unfortunately, we'll never replicate that deep rumble. Add the supercharged whine over 4500rpm and it's darn cool to 'get on' this car.

Acceleration:
While the GT500 has incredible power, the weight of the car makes it feel very comparable to the 370Z in terms of butt dyno. There is a more visceral experience with the noise of the V8 though.

Handling:
The car is very responsive to wheel input but doesn't feel connected to the road at all. Despite the low profile 18" tires, I didn't have that sense of the road surface and steering feel of the Z. The size of the car makes it feel cumbersome as well.

Braking:
Those Brembos are nice. Braking is top notch.

Interior 'bits':

Shifter: a very cool pool cue knob and a notchy, extremely short throw shifter. I was amazed at the effort it took to shift gears...you'd think the Z was butter compared to this car. Throws were too short for my liking at maybe 1.5" (unbelievably short). Combining the short throw and force needed to shift, I kept thinking I missed the shift. The throttle response made it very easy to rev match downshifts the traditional way. Clutch 'take' was very much like our car but perhaps even higher off the floor.

Fit and finish:
Pretty darn good. The seats are better than those in the Z. They just fit perfectly and give incredible head, neck and back support. The car is laden with plastic around the dash and center console which reminds you that you're still in a Ford.

Lighting:
I can't believe Nissan didn't do something like this for the Z. You guys tearing apart your cars to change your interior lighting colors would die with envy. All the lighting in the GT500 is customizable (ambient feet, doors, cupholders, and ALL dash lighting). The car's computer lets you change the LED color of all these lit areas and you even have three custom options where you can mix up your own colors. Why a Z doesn't have this is beyond me.

Nav:
Ford put a voice controlled nav in the car which seems to work pretty well. The shining upside is that you can always input a new route using voice commands, but have to stop like every other nav to do it by hand. Gone are the days of pulling over to put your destination in. It couldn't figure out long street or town names, but gives you the ability to verbally spell things which makes up for the shortcoming.

Overall, I like my Z better. We won't be able to compete with the V8 sound, I'd bet our cars are quicker in a straight line unless the GT500 is driven by a very skilled person. In corners, there's no question. Most GT500 owners will be worrying about spinning out while you zip past them given the loads of power, lack of road feel, and beefiness of the car. The GT500 feels large, heavy, and lacks the finesse of the Z.

If you can get a chance to drive one though...go for it .
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds about dead on, the lights can also be changed in the GT maybe even the V6.
The one thing I feel envious of my two co-workers is the V8 sound, but that is where it stops for me.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by spearfish25 View Post
I'd bet our cars are quicker in a straight line unless the GT500 is driven by a very skilled person.
.

The GT500 runs roughly 12.6 at 113mph. Even with a not so skilled person, just someone decent, it's going to be pulling on the 370z.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 280z/300zx View Post
The GT500 runs roughly 12.6 at 113mph. Even with a not so skilled person, just someone decent, it's going to be pulling on the 370z.
You can spin the tires in 4th. It takes skill to make the GT500 fast.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can't compare any Rustang to the Z.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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a GT 500 will crush a 370Z, so will the 2011 GT
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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in a straight line I mean
the 370Z will run away from both on a track
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The GT500 to 370Z comparison is a very difficult one to make seeing how many differences there are just in the general makeup of the cars. 4 seats vs 2, overall size/weight, IRS vs solid rear axle, etc...

GT500 competes with the Camaro SS, SRT8, Charger, Challenger, and few others I am sure I am forgetting.

370Z was meant to compete with Corvette, Cayman, and Z4 to offer similar performance at a much cheaper price.

When it comes down to it between the GT500 and 370Z you are really just comparing lifestyles not car performance.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The GT500 is a beast to drive fast. It takes considerable skill to work the 1/4 in 12 seconds with one. If you check out the mustang boards the top drivers are ridiculously fast and then there are others stuck in the 13s with high traps because they can't hook.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Actually, the GT500 does not compete against the Camaro SS or SRT8, the Mustang GT does. GM or Dodge have no real competitor to the GT500 currently, hopefully once the Z28 hits they will, and the SRT8 is just high priced but not a lot there.
I do agree they are not in similar classes, they have similar price points and power but they do perform differently and provide very different styles.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by FastJew View Post
The GT500 to 370Z comparison is a very difficult one to make seeing how many differences there are just in the general makeup of the cars. 4 seats vs 2, overall size/weight, IRS vs solid rear axle, etc...

GT500 competes with the Camaro SS, SRT8, Charger, Challenger, and few others I am sure I am forgetting.

370Z was meant to compete with Corvette, Cayman, and Z4 to offer similar performance at a much cheaper price.

When it comes down to it between the GT500 and 370Z you are really just comparing lifestyles not car performance.
Exactly. In a perfect world Id have both.
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:21 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The GT could hardly be considered competition for the Camaro SS and SRT8. Now in 2011 that will all change with the coming of the 5.0 in the GT.

m4a1mustang - That would be nice...take the stang to the dragstrip and the z to the roadcourse
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FastJew View Post
The GT could hardly be considered competition for the Camaro SS and SRT8. Now in 2011 that will all change with the coming of the 5.0 in the GT.

m4a1mustang - That would be nice...take the stang to the dragstrip and the z to the roadcourse
I do not really count the 4.6 anymore, knowing full well that the 5.0L is here, but even with the 4.6 it ran .2 slower in the 1/4 mile, beat the Camaro SS in skid pad, brake tests, etc.
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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A GT500 would kill a 370z in a straight line and it will beat it in a long twisty roadcourse like VIR, Big Willow etc too. I remember the old 06 lightning Lap where a GT500 that suffered major ignition problems was still faster than a well driven 06 350z by a second and a half [GT500 3:11 to the Z's 3:12.5] Teh next year the GT500 was just a few tenths off a Porsche 911 TT and about 8 secs faster than the 350z time from the previous Lightning Lap. On a highway roll its lights out.

The GT 500 should be faster then the 370z as well imho. I highly doubt a 370z is 8 secs faster than a 350z on VIR and it would need to be just to approach the GT500's time much less beat one on a track like VIR. Short tracks it will have a chance as outright speeds are less critical.

Also the Cayman S was 4 secs faster than the 350z in that same 06 Car and Driver Lightening Lap test. GT500 was 4 secs faster than the Cayman S. The 370z is as fast as the old Cayman S. The GT500 is not a handler like the 370z but, "track dependant", it can beat a 370z.

06 Lightning Lap head to head. Z vs Cayman S vs GT500 to name a few

07 Lightning Lap GT500 fast lap 3:05.9
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Old 01-03-2010, 03:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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CAR and DRIVER
February 2010
4th Annual Lightning Lap Edition
V.I.R. Fast Lap!

Mustang GT 3:13
GT 500 -- 3:07.4
BMW M3 -- 3:05.4
Audi S4 -- 3:12
Camaro SS -- 3:09.5
Audi TTS -- 3:08.4
Caymon S -- 3:05.8
VW GTI -- 3:19.3
Genesis 3.8 -- 3:14.8
To list some of the cars tested!


NISMO 370Z -- 3:12

Let's face it! Our cars exibit Bang for the Buck performance that needs improving!! That's the fun part!
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