2011 Ford Mustang GT officially rolls with a 5.0 V8

Meet the world’s worst kept secret, the 2011 Mustang GT. The comical embargo breaking is now at its end and we’re ready to present you with everything you’ve been aching to know about the new five-point-oh. Actually, it’s probably more than you want to know. But we’re sure you’ll deal. So here we go…

As you’ve undoubtedly noticed, those are honest to goodness "5.0" badges affixed to the 2011 Mustang’s fenders. Not only are residents of Maryland area Dealers stoked, but Mustang fans everywhere are finally getting their 302 back. That’s right, the new 5.0 is just like the old 5.0 — 302 cubic inches or 4.9-liters or 4,951cc. But we think the gumption this baddie stonks up will allow even the most pedantic amongst you to forgive the missing 49 cubic centimeters. 

Employing 32-valves and Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing(Ti-VCT), the new 5.0 produces a mighty 412 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. No word on performance figures, but expect a mid-four second 0-60 sprint and a quarter-mile in the high 12s. At least. Especially as the current Mustang GT (315-hp, 320 lb-ft of torque) hits 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and runs the quarter in 13.5. Oh, according to Ford, the new 5.0 weighs just ten pounds more than the outgoing GT. We like that last bit very much.

Also new for 2011 is a choice of either a new six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. Normally we have absolutely no reason to ever recommend a slushbox over a proper row-your-own, however, together with that variable cam technology (Ti-VCT) and EPAS (Ford’s electronic power steering), an automatic Mustang GT will be able to achieve 25 mpg on the highway. That’s up from 23 mpg for the current Mustang GT with an auto ‘box. Both the 2010 and 2011 get 17 mpg in the city, while the six-speed manual Mustang gets 24 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in the big city, same as the current car.

The 5.0 badging get repeated on the engine’s cover (thankfully the pretty, composite intake manifold is exposed — sadly the gorgeous exhaust headers are buried) and the speedometer’s top end rises to 160 mph. More importantly, the redline climbs from 6,500 to 7,000 rpm. There’s no final word on price (we’ll definitely keep you updated on that regard), but as Ford’s PR folks explained to us at the 5.0 reveal in Detroit, they can’t raise the price too much or they’ll push the Mustang out of its segment. 

Speaking of its segment, the current 2010 Mustang GT is already top of its class, independent rear suspension detractors notwithstanding. Aside from better brakes, the only legit knock on the ‘Stang was the lack of power when compared to the Hemi’fied Challenger or burly Camaro SS. That knock, so to speak, is now out the door. Also, if you want Brembo brakes on your 2011 Mustang GT, Ford will sell them to you. If you haven’t guessed, we’re very much looking forward to this particular launch/car. And here’s one more thing to chew on until we see the 5.0 in Detroit — Ford assured us that with the new Mustang making 412 horsepower, it very well can’t leave the GT500 as is. Hmmm…

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