Hertz and Ford have a pretty substantial history building hot rodded rental cars together. Remember the Shelby GT350H? Hertz is back with another modded Mustang, and it's the rental car to take to the track. Not that we recommend you do that...
(Full Disclosure: Hertz wanted me to be among the first to drive the Hertz Penske GT so they invited me up to Monticello Motor Club for time on track in their newest rental car and gave me a shot in a regular rental Mustang to feel the difference. Cue complaining about the solid rear axle in the comments... now.)
The Hertz Penske GT is more than just a little sticker package and a bolted on hood scoop. Instead, Hertz and Penske raided the Ford Performance parts bin, taking a stock Mustang GT, adding an intake and new exhaust, new suspension, new brakes, and a dapper little off center stripe.
If you think it looks different than a regular GT, you're also right. This one combines the front end of a Boss 302 with the rear of a GT500, that gives you a truly unique look, which is obviously what they want. There are only going to be 150 of these cars, and Hertz is promising to keep the mileage low on the 140 that will be in the fleet.
The other 10 cars will have something called a manual transmission. It sounds annoying, because you have to work it yourself. Anywho, those are reserved for people like Roger Penske, other VIPs, and might show up at your local high buck auction sometime soon.
So how is it to drive? Compared to the 2012 Mustang GT I drove on track, it's amazing. Suspension tuning allows for a minimum of roll with a slight wiggle of the hips on corner exit. Braking is solid and the pedal is progressive.
The stock GT cooked its brakes after a lap and half and felt like I was piloting a small yacht.
My one complaint, of course, is the automatic transmission. We had to drive it like a turbo car, getting on the power well before the apex to make sure it was in the right gear, spooled up, and good to go when we needed to get going.
The Hertz GT is in select markets around the country in the Adrenaline Collection. I was told it'll cost somewhere around $150 a day to rent it, which is about twice as much as a stock GT. If you're going on track with it (which is probably discouraged by the rental agreement), the Hertz GT is a vast improvement over the regular GT and worth the premium.
Though if you crash it you'll just feel bad about yourself and probably owe Hertz a solid chunk of change.
Our track time wasn't for nothing, /DRIVE host Leo Parente filmed it for an episode of /SHAKEDOWN. That way you get to hear that glorious exhaust. I might just make a guest appearance in the episode above, looking super cool while I'm holding my helmet. You never know.