Here at ForceGT, we like to do things a little differently. While the V8-powered Jaguar F-Type is likely the natural rival to the Ford Mustang GT, it’s also nearly three times more expensive than the $66,290 (before on-roads and options) blue collar Mustang.
Happily, the F-Type now also comes in a more ‘affordable’ but still expensive $112,078 (again, before on-roads and options) turbocharged four-cylinder variant that isn’t lacking too much. Just 118kW if you have to know.
However, like any good novel, that isn’t the fully story. The four-pot F-Type is almost 260kg lighter than the Mustang GT, thanks to its aluminium intensive body.
So, we have lined up the cheapest F-Type you can get, the still potent 221kW F-Type turbo four, against the hairy cheated 339kW 2019 Ford Mustang GT, to see if less cylinders means half the fun.
Equipment and value
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s compare the specs.
On the blue corner, or in this case a very orange one, the Mustang GT comes stacked with kit. New for 2019 are autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, all-LED headlights including trademark tri-bar daytime running lamps and auto highbeam, 19-inch wheels and a swanky 12-inch fully customisable digital instrument cluster.
The 8.0-inch SYNC3 now includes Emergency Assist that automatically calls emergency services in the event of an accident. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard along with a heart thumping 12-speakers B&O sound system.
However, there are no seat warmers for the leather wrapped sports seats although the Ford scores extra points for its 5 years, unlimited mileage warranty which is 2 years more than the Jaguar.
Despite costing nearly twice as much, the F-Type rolls on smaller 18-inch wheels and its headlamps are Xenon type with LED daytime running lights (ours have been upgraded to LEDs for $2,510).
It also lacks autonomous emergency braking and a reversing camera is a $1,060 option.
The F-Type claws back points with a crisp 10” Touch Pro infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with a magnificent 824W Meridian Sound System.
Space and comfort
While the Ford professes to be a four seater, the rear pair of pews is as useful as a pair of thongs in a marathon. The F-Type on the other hand is a true indulgent, with only two front seats.
Slide inside and the F-Type is also the sportier of the two despite its age. The Mustang’s American interior just does not exude the same kind of sports car feel as the British coupe, albeit upgraded with better materials and finishes.
The F-Type’s cockpit feels like a cacoon and wraps you in the right places while the Mustang’s doesn’t have that sophisticated feel to it.
However, the F-Type’s laughably small boot makes the Mustang’s luggage space seems ginormous.
Ride and handling
The F-Type’s passively damped suspension is simply brilliant. The ride is firm, which allows you to tackle corners with confidence, yet is never uncomfortable around patchy urban roads.
Point it towards an open road reveals a fluidity and lightness that the 2.0-litre F-Type brings to the party compare to its cylinder rich siblings and rival. It’s steering feels beautifully connected and there’s genuine engagement to the way the car talks to its driver, with the rear end locked in a synchronised ballet with the front.
Our Mustang is equipped with Ford’s MagneRide adaptive dampers which varies its damping rate depending on the drive mode selected but the difference between them is relatively subtle. It’s almost as firm as the F-Type in Normal mode around town, which makes it perfect for corners where it is actually my preferred mode. Just flick the transmission to Sport and away you go.
While the Mustang GT might be the porkier of the two, its weight is well masked behind the wheel with decent body control and cornering flatness. However, its chassis isn’t as nuance as the four-pot F-Type.
Its tail end can also be a little twitchy if you’re not judicious with the throttle – just ask the owners of countless Mustangs that slide out of control coming out of the supermarket car park.
While it can’t match the F-Type’s agility and delicate crispness, treat it with respect and the Mustang is a wonderfully rewarding car to drive and the one you’d be jumping back into time and time again.
Performance and economy
Here, the two can’t be more different. The Mustang screams old school and large capacity whereas the F-Type is on trend with a downsized blown four-pot.
With 339 of galloping kilowatts and 556Nm of torque, the Mustang easily outguns the 221kW and 400Nm F-Type to the horizon, taking 4.5 seconds against 5.7 seconds.
You’ll pay a penalty at the bowser though, with the big drinking Mustang slurping 12.7L/100km versus the F-Type’s 7.2L/100km. Push it hard like we did and it will climb to over 15.0L/100km without much effort. What’s more, the Mustang demands the priciest 98RON, while the F-Type is happy with 95.
However, $45,788 will buy a few years’ worth of premium unleaded.
We admit, it’s a little harsh to pit the 2.0-litre F-Type against the much cheaper Mustang GT but both are rear-drive performance coupes with a similar concept aimed at different markets.
The Mustang’s charismatic V8, dashing American good looks and great chassis certainly makes it the true performance car bargain of the decade. It’s unpretentious yet demands respect and rewards its driver accordingly.
If sophistication and head-turning supermodel looks are what you are after, the turbocharged F-Type holds its own. There’s just as much drama from its downsized mill as its rival with a symphony of pops and crackles . To me, the lighter four-pot and rear drive combination make this the sweet spot of the range and much more engaging than its supercharged V6 siblings.
Now where’s the key of that Mustang….
Pricing and specifications
|2019 Ford Mustang GT||2019 Jaguar F-Type 2.0|
|Price (excluding on-roads):||From $63,290
As tested: $76,590 (automatic)
· Orange Fury Prestige Paint – $650
· Recaro Sports Seats – $3,000
· Over the top – Racing Strips – $650
· Single-wing rear spoiler – $750
· MagneRide Suspension – $2,750
· 19” forged alloy 5-split spoke wheels – $2,500
As tested: $123,848
· LED headlights – $2,510
· Black exterior pack – $2,250
· Seat memory pack – $2,150
· Keyless entry – $1,200
· Rear view camera – $1,060
· Blind spot assist – $900
· Front parking aid – $710
· Flat-bottom leather steering wheel – $340
· Red seat belt – $270
· Switchable active exhaust – $270
· Sunvisors with vanity mirrors – $110
|Warranty:||5 years/unlimited kilometre||3 years/100,000km|
|Warranty Customer Assistance:||1 year roadside||3 years roadside|
|Service Intervals:||12 months/15,000km||24 months/26,000km|
|Country of Origin:||United States||United Kingdom|
|Engine:||5.0-litre naturally aspirated V8 petrol: 339kW @ 7,000rpm, 556Nm @ 4,600rpm||2.0-litre turbocharged, direct-injected inline four-cylinder petrol: 221kW @ 5,500rpm, 400Nm @ 1,500-4,500rpm|
|Transmission:||10-speed automatic||8-speed automatic|
|Drivetrain:||Rear-wheel drive||Rear-wheel drive|
|0-100km/h (seconds):||Claimed: 4.5||Claimed: 5.7|
|Combined Fuel Consumption (L/100km):||Claimed: 12.7/Tested: 15.0||Claimed: 7.2/Tested 8.9|
|RON Rating:||98 ULP||95 ULP|
|Fuel Capacity (L):||61||65|
|Body:||Two-door coupé, 4 seats||Two-door coupé, 2 seats|
|Safety:||· 3-star ANCAP
· 7 airbags
· ABS, EBD, BA, DSC
· Limited slip differential
· Lane departure warning
· Lane Keeping – Active Assist
· Adaptive cruise control
· Tyre pressure monitor
· Rear view camera
· Perimeter alarm
· Puncture repair kit
|· ANCAP not tested
· 6 airbags
· ABS, EBD, BA, ESP
· Limited slip differential with torque vectoring
· Cruise control
· Active bonnet
· Lane Keep Assist
· Pedestrian contact sensing
· Driver condition monitor
· Space saver spare
|Dimensions (L/W/H/W-B) mm:||4,789/1,916/1,387/2,720||4,482/1,923/1,311/2,622|
|Kerb Weight (kg):||1,784||1,584|
|Entertainment:||· 8-inch touchscreen
· Satellite navigation
· Ford SYNC 3
· 12-speaker B&O Premium sound system
· USB and AUX
· Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
|· 10-inch Touch Pro
· Navigation Pro System
· Pro Touch System
· 770W, 12-speakers Meridian Sound system
· InControl apps
· USB and AUX
· Apple CarPlay and Android Auto