Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
August 6, 2018

The whole Mustang360 staff was in southern California a couple weeks ago for our latest Week to Wicked 1967 Mustang build. We started with a bare shell on Monday, and managed to have a running Coyote-swapped fastback by Friday afternoon. A ton of work from many people went into the build, but in the end, we were able to get it done.

While our days were spent with the build’s daily progress, once we were done for the day this 2018 Mustang GT was a nice welcome to get into. The Orange Fury beauty featured the new 10R80 automatic transmission, and for some of us on staff, it presented our first opportunity to drive the new Mustang, and experience the 10R80 automatic transmission.

No, we’re still not a fan of the engine cover, which looks more like a Star Wars aircraft, but this day and age, we’ve become used to it. Under that engine cover we have zero issues with the 460 horsepower 5.0L engine, even when teamed with the new 10R80 automatic transmission.

Before we get to the new transmission, the 2018 Coyote engine benefits from a higher compression ratio, port and direct-injection, revised cylinder heads, a plastic oil pan that saves 4.9 pounds, and a factory-rated 460 horsepower. The car also featured the $3,995 Performance package, which brings with it Michelin Pilot Sport 4S treads, Brembo front brakes, and other suspension and chassis goodies. The Active Exhaust system was a fun toy, as well, enabling us to go from somewhat-whisper quiet to waking-up-the-neighbors loud.

Back to the 10-speed automatic, driving the car in crowded SoCal was probably preferred over a stick. On one trip where we had to be on the 405 for extended miles, the automatic kept our left calf from exploding, but we did find using our left leg on the brake gave our right leg a break, and kept shin splints at bay. For this author being a stick guy, the 10-speed isn’t bad at all. The shifts are quick and the car gets up to speed with a quickness. We never used them, but the car also features paddle shifters if you really want to get serious. However, we didn’t have the opportunity to take the car to the track, so the paddle shifters finally got a break since this car probably gets worked out by journalists on a regular basis at the track.

After driving the 10-speed we came to the conclusion that we need two 2018 Mustangs: one with the MT-82 six-speed manual and one with the A10 automatic. That would be ideal. Now, if we could just figure out how to pull that off?