By Joe Rosi

The Super Coupe was Ford’s idea to deliver a car with excellent handling ability and high top speed. It was aimed squarely at the foreign competition that has held top autobahn honors for decades. It was and still is quite competitive against cars such as BMW and Mercedes (performance wise). Although many would argue differently, the SC was able to meet its goals. Unfortunately, no one really knew about the capabilities of the car.
The GN was more of a factory secret drag racer that was designed to be a sleeper from the get-go. Its intent was to allow for fuel efficient streetable drag power that made Mustang and Camaro guys quake in their boots.

Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges. The GN used a sophisticated turbocharged/intercooled (in the 86-87) 3.8L OHV V-6. It had some new fangled features like DIS and SFI. It was rated at 245hp from the factory with a 4-speed auto. Many enthusiasts would say though that those factory figures were VERY conservative. By using a heavy-duty solid rear axle and some aggressive rear gearing, the GN was able to turn low 14's in stock trim. With under $1000 in boost and intake modifications it was capable of turning a high 12'. No joke.

The GN is a drag car and doesn't pretend to be anything else. Its braking and handling would be considered nowadays, subpar. The only exemption to this rule would be the limited edition GNX that had a heavy-duty suspension and was capable of turning impressive times in on road courses as well as the drag track.

The SC on the other hand was created as a high-speed autobahn cruiser, with intuitive and modern controls that fall at hand to the driver just like a fighter jets controls fall at hand to the pilot. It was initially rated at 210hp from its supercharged/intercooled 3.8L OHV V-6 also with DIS and SFI, later versions were rated at 230hp. This car is heavier than the GN, and for good reason, it isolates the driver and pampers him/her in luxury. The SC is very aerodynamic and is capable of handling very well, on par with European cars, it is also able to accelerate with authority. While still providing a supple ride. The SC had features that the GN didn't, such as the fully independent suspension, ABS with 4 wheel disc brakes, Adjustable shock absorbers, variable assist power steering and an available 5-speed manual just to name a few.

As far as raw numbers are concerned, Yes the GN or GNX will outdrag the SC every time. The best effort a SC is capable of in factory trim is a low 15' second run. Quick, but not as quick as the GN. But that is the only event the GN will win, Braking, Skidpad, Slalom, 0-100-0, and so on, the SC will win with flying colors over the GN. Only the GNX will be able to approach the SC in those other departments.

If you are looking to modify for drag racing with the most bang for the buck, then go with the GN (if you can find one in stock condition that hasn't been ragged on). With over 12 years of aftermarket research and plenty of go-fast goodies for it, it better be able to turn a 10 in street trim.

However, if you want a fast modern daily driver, then look no further. The SC is the car for you, It has steetable torque courtesy of its roots type supercharger that will lay you back in your seat as the "hand of god" accelerates you to triple legal speeds. And you can be confident that your SC can handle those speeds with its well-designed and thoughtful suspension components. Although you won't be able to go as fast in the 1/4 mile, the SC can be tuned to make some impressive times of its own…for a bit more money of course. The disadvantage here is that SC's only have about 5 years of aftermarket research under their belt and few retailers for parts. Parts tend to be expensive but also offer good gains. No cheapo parts here.

The choice is yours, back alley brawler, or refined muscle for the open road.