Probably the best thing Motor Trend has done in recent years..

..is bring professional racing driver Randy Pobst on board as a contributing test driver. We’ve always put their somewhat insipid product a distant third behind C/D and R&T, maybe even a fourth when including Automobile Magazine. So it just lends that much more credibility to their operation when the person opining is someone who really knows how to drive and assess cars at a very high level of performance. Even as the auto buff rags continue to see their influence diminish, that’s probably one area where they still have the edge over new media (for us, anyway, if not exactly with the buying public)— that is, provided they continue to open their wallets in that manner.

It’s the same reason we pay slightly closer attention when Tiff and Jason speak, versus their counterparts over at the BBC.

With regard to the clip at hand, we believe that BMW’s engineers intentionally dialed in extra understeer so that its customers don’t do damage to either their cars or themselves (or worse, to others). This is something we think is easily corrected through relatively minor aftermarket modifications that we probably would have undertaken, anyway, although it should go without saying that the first and foremost mod should be the driver mod.

We also love the fact that Ford is gunning for BMW (if not necessarily with the GT, then with products like the recently-announced Boss 302 Mustang), as if to announce to its crosstown rival that it’s got bigger fish to fry. In a way, it almost seems like Ford taking a page out of GM’s book, given that the erstwhile (but well-received) Pontiac G8 GXP itself was said to have been benchmarked against the E39 M5.

All of this would have been laughable – unthinkable, really – just a few short years ago, but it’s certainly no laughing matter now (not that we expect BMW themselves are losing sleep over any of this). It’s all part of the Mustang’s evolution from crude muscle car to bona fide sports car, from the drag strip to the road course. We, of course, absolutely love it.

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~ by DL on August 31, 2010.

7 Responses to “Probably the best thing Motor Trend has done in recent years..”

  1. Kudos to Ford, they’ve really turned around their North American product line to be competitive again. The new mustang seems to embody this whole turnaround by being a good allround performer and stylish for the money. At least now 1/3 of the domestic market might survive.

  2. I’ll see your Ford and raise you another one plus a Boxster.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/31/video-autoexpress-pits-ford-focus-rs-against-porsche-boxster/#continued

  3. a few thoughts:

    1. holy ****, a £35,000 ford focus? no thank you. and this coming from someone who loves the focus rs
    2. i’d probably buy a focus rs but not an rs500. it just feels to me like that premium could be put to better use elsewhere
    3. i have a hard time believing he was actually understeering the rs500 in the wet
    4. the boxster probably would have been the quicker car in the dry. great-looking road, though

  4. My thought would be that the limited slip of the RS500 should keep it well planted and none of the video shows understeer.

    I’d still take the Porsche – despite the difference – and in Mexico Blue too.

  5. I stopped listening to i.e. trusting Motor Trend when they named the Chrysler K cars (81) and the Renault Alliance – i.e. le car (83) as their Cars of the Year. Smersh! Someone was getting well paid to even consider them much less name them as cars of the year. Sounds like they are still at it.

    While the GT is a decent car, I’ve driven both the GT and the M3 and sorry, the Ford GT is no match on so many different levels. I’ll give MT credit though, they make it sound official and credible LOL

  6. i think no one – not even MT – will dispute that the M3 outclasses the GT (people aren’t exactly cross-shopping these two cars), but the raw performance numbers speak for themselves. the fact that ford has managed to inject themselves into this conversation at all is remarkable and, i feel, quite an achievement in and of itself. credit where credit is rightfully due.

  7. I only ask that we consider: the ones who’ve managed to inject the Mustang GT into this conversation are… Ford and Motor Trend. That’s not a surprise, it’s their job and I beleive their performance opinions are not neutral. Hey it’s not easy for me to defend the M3, I drive an RS4 so this is very painful LOL

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