The 3.7-liter V6 replaces the old 4.0-liter V6, the new one
producing 305 horsepower versus just 210 horses from the older,
bigger engine. The new V8 marks the return of the 5.0. An new
all-aluminum engine, the 5.0-liter V8 in the Mustang GT produces 412
horsepower, which is far more than the 315 horsepower of the
outgoing 4.6-liter V8. Both new engines for 2011 get new six-speed
manual and automatic transmissions versus the five-speeds of 2010.
The Ford Shelby GT500 gains power for 2011, with a new aluminum
version of the 5.4-liter V8 producing 550 horsepower instead of the
500 ponies from the 2010 iron-block engine.
The 2011 Ford Mustang comes in three body styles: coupe, convertible, and a glass-roof coupe. Each is available in both the traditional V6 model and the V8-powered Mustang GT. Both engines are much more powerful this year. The coupe's fastback roofline, unchanged from the last generation, recalls the original 1964.5 Mustang. The convertible comes standard with a power top with a glass rear window. The top uses two latches that the driver must operate, but they're within arm's reach and they latch and unlatch easily.
The interior design benefits considerably from the 2010 improvements. The dash top itself is now a one-piece soft-touch panel versus the hard multi-piece version of prior years. Real aluminum is used on the fascias, pedal covers, scuff plates and shifter knob instead of plastic. Interior ambient lighting in the door pockets, cupholders and footwells is a welcome interior feature, and the lighting colors can be changed through a range of 125 colors with the flip of a switch with Ford's MyColor system. The trunk has 13.4 cubic feet of cargo space, which is pretty decent for a car this size. The opening isn't particularly big and the liftover is rather high, but the coupe's fold-down rear seats allow owners to carry an impressive amount of cargo.
The 2011 Mustang is offered in V6 Base and Premium models, V8-powered GT Base and Premium models, and the supercharged V8-powered GT500, each in coupe and convertible body styles. The Mustang V6 coupe comes standard with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, split folding rear seat, power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD player, auxiliary input jack, compass, outside-temperature indicator, theft-deterrent system, limited-slip differential, and P215/60R17 tires on alloy wheels. The Mustang V6 convertible features a power convertible top and deletes the split-folding rear seat, but it is otherwise equipped the same as the coupe.
The Mustang GT coupe and Mustang GT convertible get everything above plus aluminum interior trim, automatic headlights, rear spoiler, fog lights, and P235/50WR18 front and 245/45WR18 rear tires. A Brembo Brake package adds Brembo brake calipers, reprogrammed electronic stability control that allows more leeway for performance driving, a tire mobility kit, and P255/40R19 tires.
Premium versions of the V6 coupe and V6 convertible and GT coupe and GT convertible upgrade to leather upholstery, six-way power driver seat w/lumbar adjustment, aluminum interior trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Shaker 500 AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio, Sirius Satellite Radio, Ford Sync entertainment and communications system, iPod adapter, wireless cell phone link, MyColor adjustable gauges, ambient lighting, and an automatic day/night rearview mirror.
The Shelby GT500 coupe and convertible come with leather/alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, leather/alcantara upholstery, xenon headlights, sport suspension, Brembo brakes, and P255/40ZR19 front and 285/35ZR19 rear tires. The GT500 does not have a split-folding rear seat. An SVT Performance Package for the Shelby includes a 3.73 rear axle ratio, unique shift knob, special exterior stripes, rear spoiler with Gurney flap, performance suspension with unique springs and rear shocks, P265/40ZR19 front and P285/35ZR20 rear tires on painted forged aluminum wheels.
The V6 Performance Package adds a 3.31 rear axle ratio; the front
and rear stabilizer bars, front struts, and rear shocks and springs
from the GT coupe; the rear lower control arm from the Shelby GT500;
19-inch wheels with Pirelli performance tires; the brake calipers
from the Mustang GT with Performance Friction pads; a strut tower
brace; and electronic stability control calibration with a Sport
mode for performance driving.
The 2011 Mustang represents a significant improvement over the superb 2010 edition of America's pony car, which was a large improvement over the 2004-2009 models, which was a major improvement over what came before that. Safety equipment includes dual front airbags, front side airbags, tire-pressure monitor, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and Ford's SOS post-crash alert system that unlocks the doors, turns on the four-way flashers and sounds the horn if an air bag is deployed. Put simply, this is the best Mustang ever, and it is the model that other pony car makers should follow.
Some information for this review was obtained from NewCarTestDrive.com
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