Q: What will be the upgrades for the 2011 Mustang? – John H., Los Gatos, CA
A: John, the 2011 Mustang has significant engine horsepower improvements that vault it into top contention for both the V-6 and V-8 models.
The 2010 model already saw an upgraded interior commented on here and the ’10 GT has a suspension universally liked by those who have driven due to improved handling despite the archaic solid rear axle. Initial tests also show the braking to be excellent, not something the Mustang has been known for in the past.
The V-6 model drops the ancient 4.0 liter motor for a modern 3.7 with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing and producing 305hp with 87 octane. Recent magazine tests have this car has a high-13 second quarter mile machine with a 29mph highway rating. This is a better car all around than the 2010 GT. Read more about it here with stats and specs.
The big news is the 5.0 liter V-8 called the “Coyote” motor found in the GT model. Now making 412hp, it’s now the best bang for the buck in the sub-Corvette and GT500 world. A superbly built motor with internals ready for supercharging or turbocharging, the Mustang is back on top. A 26mpg rating means no mileage penalty despite being capable of 12 second timeslips at the track.
Ford states this is the V-6 first 300hp production car to achieve 30mpg. Finally added is either a 6-speed manual transmission and a 6-speed automatic to both models along with optional equipment packages depending upon intended or desired use. Rear axle ratios, wheel size, and a Brembo brake option are examples. Multiple revisions also include areas such as the suspension, electric power steering instead of a power and mileage rubbing belt.
The Camaro makes more power but is heavier and the Challenger is much heavier and larger. While all three are very capable cars, in my opinion the Mustang is the better track car off the showroom floor, whether it’s the dragstrip or the road circuit. Based on what is being reported, the car is now world class among the competition.
Read more about the Mustang GT with stats and specs in a March 2010 Car & Driver article.
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