- Both the Porsche 911 and the Ford Mustang have been around since the mid-1960s.
- The Porsche 911 Carrera GTS and the Ford Mustang GT have some similar specs but different engineering and a big difference in the price tags.
- For the money, it’s hard to beat the Mustang.
I like Porsches, always have. I call the legendary 911 my “Drive for My Life Car.” If I had to drive for survival and didn’t know what I’d be up against, I’d grab the keys to a 911 and not look back.
But I also like Mustangs — classic American muscle. Also exhilarating to drive. Once I’d Driven For My Life in a 911, I might start looking for a Mustang to celebrate with.
Until recently, and despite Ford’s reinvention of the Mustang as a globally popular sports car, I thought of the 911 and the Stang as occupying different universes.
And then I drove them more or less back to back. And not just any 911 or any Mustang. I drove a GTS and a GT. Some serious metal, some serious motors, some serious power.
Here’s how it went.
Photos by Hollis Johnson unless indicated otherwise.
Here’s the Mustang GT, 2018 edition, in the canyons above Malibu in sunny Southern California. Price tag? My test car was not stickered, but you can get one for a starting price of about $35,000.
The 2018 Mustang lineup has been refreshed after a new design was rolled out in 2015. It’s still the same old Stang, but it’s now made a bit sleeker overall. Feedback has been quite positive so far, and I’m sold, even though I had few issues with the beefier look of the 2015 original.
My GT’s color was a triple-aggressive Triple Yellow. Hot as hell, if you ask me, and hotter still with those blacked-out wheels. You can read my review here.
The GT bases at about $35,000, but by the time you add some options to the Premium trim level, you can be up around $50,000.
And here’s a 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS, in a different kind of canyon. A concrete canyon in shadowy midtown Manhattan.
The color? A very sexy Carmine Red, which is a $3,000 extra. Overall, the GTS we sampled was — brace yourself — $128,980. The base price is about $120,000 before the add-ons (and there weren’t that many outside the paint job some performance and mechanical features).
Obviously, you could buy several Mustang GTs for that price. And that’s kind of the point, as you’ll see as we make out way through this comparison.
The iconic, bug-eyed look of the 911 has been tweaked since the car was introduced in 1963. Poetically for our purposes, the Mustang debuted in 1965 and has achieved equally iconic status.
In my experience, most people — Stang fans or not — love the way the Stang looks. The 911, not so much. It’s an acquired taste. But nothing else resembles it, so the 911 announces itself just as surely. My feeling is that I never avidly want a 911 in my driveway, but when I have one parked there, I believe it looks dang good.
In the vast lineup of 911 variants, the GTS sits at the top of what you might call the lowest tier. It’s the best “entry-level” Porsche money can buy. To jump up a tier, you need to buy the 911 Turbo.
As it turns out, the Mustang GT is similarly situated, above the base Stangs with four-cylinder turbo engines, but below the mighty Shelby GT350. And both our competitors here were hardtop coupés with nominal back seats, although the Stang’s are a bit more accommodating of adults.
Let’s get down to it. First up, Mr. Mustang GT.
What was a muscle car is now a muscular sports car, as Ford has updated the driving dynamics. Mustangs are now quite effective at going around corners, as I discovered while canyon carving in LA.