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First Look: The 2011 GT Ford Mustang

Return of the 5.0 with 412 Horsepower and 25 Miles-per-Gallon Highway

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2011 Ford Mustang GT

2011 Ford Mustang GT

Photo © Jonathan P. Lamas
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2011 V6 Ford Mustang | 2011 Shelby GT500 Mustang

For many years now there have been rumors of a new 5.0L Ford Mustang. Ford Motor Co. recently put those rumors to rest when they revealed their engine lineup for the 2011 Mustang GT. The car, which was previously powered by a 4.6L V8 engine, will now come equipped with a 5.0L four-valve Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) V8 engine nicknamed the “Coyote.”

But wait, it only gets better. Ford says this new engine will produce 412 horsepower and 390 ft.-lb. of torque. This ups the ante in Ford's competition with the Chevrolet Camaro SS, which produces 405 hp thanks to its 6.2L V8 engine. In addition, Ford predicts the GT will get better fuel mileage than previous generation V8 Mustangs. Good news for your wallet. The company estimates 25 mpg highway using a new six-speed automatic transmission and 24 mpg using the car’s new six-speed manual transmission.

New Features

  • 5.0L four-valve Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) V8 engine producing 412 horsepower and 390 ft.-lb. of torque
  • 25 mpg highway with new six-speed automatic transmission
  • Specially tuned Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS)
  • Brembo brake package with larger rotors and calipers from the Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang
In a press release, Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development said, “This all-new 5.0-liter engine is the next chapter in the development of the world-class Mustang powertrain portfolio. It’s a thoroughly modern engine for the times, delivering the performance and fun-to-drive factor that enthusiasts want, while improving fuel economy.”

Barb Samardzich, vice president, Powertrain Development added, “This powertrain honors Mustang’s heritage by raising the bar on performance while increasing fuel economy. For enthusiasts, such as the passionate members of the 5.0-liter V-8 team, it’s like having your cake and eating it, too.”

The 5.0L “Coyote” Engine

For starters, the shipping weight of the new 5.0L V8 engine is approximately 430 pounds. Not bad when you factor in the weight versus power ratio. Ford said the weight reduction is a result of the team using aluminum block and heads, a lightweight composite intake manifold, and composite cam covers and hollow camshafts. In addition, specially designed tubular exhaust headers were developed to maximize exhaust pulse separation and improve air flow.

Another new feature of this engine is longer oil change intervals. Thanks to a deep-sump stamped steel oil pan, Ford says you can now get by with 10,000 miles between changes.

Another important feature of the V8 Coyote is Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT). This feature allows drivers the ability to balance high performance and fuel economy. “Ti-VCT is a win-win-win technology,” said Samardzich. “It helps our new range of engines to deliver high performance with unsurpassed projected highway fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon and reduced emissions.”

So how does it work? Well, the new 5.0L engine is a double-overhead-camshaft configuration that employs two camshafts per cylinder bank; one camshaft to operate the intake valves and one camshaft to operate the exhaust valves. Ti-VCT rotates the camshafts to advance or retard the cam timing, based on several measures including throttle opening. Ford explained, “Working like a ratchet, the one-way valves allow precise timing of camshaft events, continually optimizing timing to provide maximum thrust or fuel economy, based on driver input.” This results in improved fuel consumption and power output.

Improved Handling and Stability

If you thought the 2010 GT Mustang handled nicely, just wait until you get behind the wheel of the 2011 model. The 2011 Ford Mustang GT will feature specially tuned steering thanks to a technology known as Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS). Ford said, “EPAS has made a dramatic contribution to Mustang GT driving dynamics, delivering quicker on-center steering response, increased effort at highway speeds and reduced effort required in low-speed parking maneuvers.”

Other features sure to improve the overall handling of the 2011 GT include an enhanced rear lower control arm to add stiffness, and a stiffened rear stabilizer bar for better on-center steering. Ford said stabilizer bar diameters, spring rates, and dampers have also been tuned for “improved dynamics.” In addition, a tower-to-tower front strut brace is now standard equipment, and the V-brace has been stiffened by adding gussets. Ford said the secondary cross member also has been stiffened while a front Z-brace has been added, connecting primary and secondary cross members. A-pillar stiffening foam also has been added to increase the rigidity of the car.

Those buyers looking for additional performance can opt for a special Brembo brake package. Ford said this package includes 14-inch vented front discs from the GT500 Mustang, unique 19-inch alloy wheels, and summer performance tires.

Exterior Upgrades

Ford will offer three new exterior paint colors for the Mustang GT: Yellow Blaze Tri-Coat, Race Red and Ingot Silver. The car will also sport 5.0 fender badges as well as a new engine cover housing the ever so elusive Coyote V8 engine.

Interior Enhancements

The 2011 Mustang GT will be big on technology. For instance, the car will come equipped with a Standard message center, MyKey programmable vehicle key, and get this, a Universal garage door opener. That’s right. Say goodbye to those multiple units hanging on your passenger side visor.

Other nice upgrades to the 2011 GT include integrated blind-spot mirrors in the side-view mirror housings, a Sun visor storage area, and Illuminated visors. You’ll also notice a speedometer on the interior dash that now offers readings up to 160 mph. Last, but not least, the 2011 Mustang GT tachometer's redline advances to from 6,500 to 7,000-rpm.

The 2011 Mustang GT made its debut at the 2010 North American Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

The new "Coyote" Engine will be produced at the Essex Engine plant in Windsor, Ont.

Pricing for the base GT has been set at $30,495, while the GT Premium model will cost $33,695.

Source: Ford Motor Company

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