Looking back through 2010 there’s really only been one car that has gotten me jolly in the pants. It’s a car that just about everyone has either owned, driven, or experienced as a passenger at some point in their life. It’s an icon. The recent version comes in more flavors than a bag of Skittles and is the best that’s ever been built. EVER. The 2011 model has two brand new engine options, a new 6 speed manual transmission in both the V6 and V8 , a fantastic suspension, amazing exhaust note and looks to boot. It’s none other than the 2011 Ford Mustang.
In yesteryear, words such as “twisty” and “curves” were never found in the same sentence as “Mustang” unless the discussion involved an automobile accident. That’s all changed. The suspension on the Mustang is still solid axle. EEEEK! Right? You’d be wrong. The engineers at Ford have found a secret track over in Europe and over the past years have been quietly developing the Mustang’s solid axle suspension to get the most out of the archaic design. As Randy Pobst and MotorTrend discovered, primitive has never been this good. When the 2011 Mustang GT was stacked up against the 404 hp BMW M3 around a test track the difference in lap times were nearly null. In fact, test driver Randy Pobst liked the Mustang GT more stating that it felt better under braking, was more neutral in the corners and gobs more fun to drive! I’m getting a chubby as I type.
Like Skittles, the 2011 Mustang has a flavor for everyone. The 305 horsepower base model delivers over 30 MPG on the highway and is even offered with a great new 6-speed transmission at just over a $22k entry price! While not quite in the luxury sector, the interior is fantastic. Pony up (pun intended) for the V8 and receive an underrated 412 ponies and still crank out 26+ highway MPGs. Need more? The Cobra delivers near 600hp. Let’s not forget about the race inspired Boss 302 or the offerings from Roush and Saleen.
When Ford ditched the original push rod 5.0 engine in 1995 (1996 model year) it was the end of the world for Mustang fans. The replacement modular 4.6 engine sounded great, but power was low. Really low. It took big bucks to get over 300 hp without the help of forced induction. There had been talk of returning to the larger displacement engine for years. Over a decade and half later I’d say it was well worth the wait. The new modular 5.0 Mustang GT propels to 60 MPH faster than ever, besting the more powerful Camaro SS in just about every department, for less. More bang for your buck. Isn’t that what it’s about?
What are your thoughts?