Highest performance 2018 Ford Mustang GT developed in secret

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Ford unveiled a new Performance Pack for the Mustang GT lst night, closing the gap between it and the top-end GT350.

But the most obvious visual change is wider, meatier wheels and tires that are 1.5 inches wider than the Level 1 tires and mounted to new 10.5-inch-wide front and 11-inch-wide rear 10-spoke Dark Tarnish wheels.

The Performance Pack Level 2 was developed in secret, Ford said, and will include 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, a beefed up suspension, retuned steering, a lower stance for the vehicle, and a custom-made rear spoiler and front splitter. Following rumors that started way back in November past year, the blue oval manufacturer has given the 2018 Mustang GT some extra muscle with the Performance Package Level 2.

Other changes with the PPL2 include thicker stabilizer bars, stiffer springs, and retuning for both the electronic MagneRide shock absorbers and electronic power-assist steering. While the first Performance Package allowed the Mustang GT to outrun its arch rival, the Chevrolet Camaro, it still couldn't match the 1LE track package available for the Camaro. Here's a hint: Look at the front and rear spoilers. Taking care of the new aerodynamics was former NASA aerodynamics specialist, Jonathan Gesekm, who used the famed Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca as a benchmark.

Elsewhere, the Level 2 package adds a custom set of 19-inch wheels designed by renowned tire and wheel engineer Chauncy Eggleston wrapped in grippy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires - the same tires found on the Shelby GT350R, Chevy Corvette Z06 and Mercedes-AMG GT R. Compared to the standard Performance Pack, these custom tires are 1.5 inches wider.

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Jamie Cullen, Ford supervisor for vehicle dynamics development, was in charge of the road tests to ensure the auto delivers ultra-responsive steering, braking and handling performance.

"We have no plans to offer the US-market Level 2 package on Australian Mustang models", Ford product communications manager Damion Smy told TMR.

While you won't get the insane V8 that revs to the heavens, the Performance Pack Level 2 still brings plenty of capability to the table.

Pricing for the package is $6,500, and you can put in an order for a Mustang with it now for delivery next spring.