In 2011, Ford took Mustang enthusiasts down memory lane with the launch of the modern day Boss 302, while providing subtle hints as to the future of the car we’ve grown to love over the years. In addition, Ford responded to a rocky year in Mustang sales by making changes to their existing Mustang line up. This included the introduction of the 2013 Shelby GT500, the most powerful production GT500 Mustang ever built. Read along as we take a look back at Mustang’s top moments of 2011.
The Shelby GT500 Mustang has always sported an aggressive looking front end. That said, many Mustang enthusiasts wondered why Ford didn’t extend this design to the ever so popular GT Mustang. In 2011, Ford announced the 2013 GT Mustang will now feature a more prominent grille, thanks to a powerful splitter. The look is similar to that of the GT500 Mustang. In addition, functional heat extractors on the hood of the GT were specifically placed and designed to help move hot air out of the engine compartment and cool the engine.
For some time now, folks have been re-creating classic Mustangs thanks to officially licensed Mustang body shells. In 2011, Ford extended their offerings by making a 1965/1966 Mustang Convertible Body shell available for restorers. The shell debuted at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. One month later, just in time for the holidays, Ford announced they will also offer a 1967 Mustang Convertible Body shell. Good news for those seeking to create a new “drop top” classic.
In the summer of 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officially launched an investigation into the transmissions on 2011 and 2012 Ford Mustangs after numerous complaints from owners. Several months later, Ford released its official internal findings, reporting only three percent of transmissions were affected. They also reported that none of the issues caused a safety risk, and there are no plans to modify the Mustang or the MT-82 6-speed manual transmission in the next 120 days. Much to the displeasure of those experiencing issues, the NHTSA officially closed its investigation in December of 2011.
It was a rocky year for Mustang sales. At the end of November, Ford had sold 65,381 Mustangs. On the other hand, Mustang’s biggest competitor, the Camaro, had sold 81,495 units. It was reported that, if sales continued strong through December, Camaro will have beat the Mustang in 2011 by a larger margin than in 2010, increasing its lead by more than 10,000 units in a year.
Once again returning to their roots, Ford announced they plan to close out their two year run of the Boss 302 Mustang by offering a hockey stick graphics package. Featuring reflective stripes, the package is added to the new Boss, reminiscent of those found on the 1970 Boss 302. In addition, 2013 Boss 302 and Boss Laguna Seca models will feature a new School Bus Yellow exterior paint option, honoring Parnelli Jones’ 1970 Trans-Am championship car prepared by Bud Moore.
With only one more yet to be released model year before the big redesign, the 2015 Mustang was the talk of the town in 2011. What will the car look like? Will it feature classic styling cues like the current model or will it move in a more modern direction, looking like the Nissan Z? Well, most rumors point to a more modern looking Mustang, featuring independent rear-suspension and a lighter chassis. Ford teased a rendering of a possible futuristic Mustang on their Facebook page, adding even further speculation to the rumor mill.
Ford surprised the automotive community in 2011 by announcing they will produce a 650 horsepower 2013 GT500 Mustang, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 200 mph thanks to a 5.8-liter engine featuring the new TVS series 2300 supercharger. That makes it the most powerful production V8 engine in the world. Better yet, almost every vehicle system in the car has been optimized including powertrain, brakes, gearing and suspension.