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 A1A Beach Front Avenue 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 (check out our Deep Dive for more details). 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...
The 5.0-liter is back: 2011 Ford Mustang GT leads class with 412 hp, fuel efficiency, chassis dynamics
The new Mustang GT continues Ford's powertrain offensive with an all-new 5.0-liter V-8, which uses advanced technology to deliver 412 horsepower and projected unsurpassed highway mileage of 25 mpg
For 2011, Mustang GT adds specially tuned Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS), 11.5-inch front and 11.8-inch rear vented disc brakes, and an enhanced suspension featuring an improved rear lower control arm and stiffened rear stabilizer bushings
For enthusiasts, a Brembo brake package, with larger rotors and calipers from the Ford Shelby GT500® Mustang, unique 19-inch wheels and summer performance tires, is offered; new fender badges herald return of the 5.0-liter engine
DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 28, 2009 – The 5.0 is back! The 2011 Ford Mustang GT arrives with an all-new advanced 5.0-liter V-8 engine, developed by a passionate cadre of enthusiastic engineers who rallied around the common goal of delivering more than 400 horsepower.
The modern 5.0-liter four-valve Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) V-8 engine in the new Mustang GT will deliver 412 horsepower and 390 ft.-lb. of torque. At the same time, fuel economy is projected to be better than the previous model and unsurpassed in the segment.
"This all-new 5.0-liter engine is the next chapter in the development of the world-class Mustang powertrain portfolio," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. "It's a thoroughly modern engine for the times, delivering the performance and fun-to-drive factor that enthusiasts want, while improving fuel economy."
Coyote in the lobby
Many of the engineers on the development team have worked in the Engine and Electrical Engineering Building on the Dearborn, Mich., product development center campus. For years they walked past the original 5.0-liter V-8 Coyote Indy racing engine on display in the lobby, continually inspired by its mix of heritage, high technology and horsepower.
The powertrain development community had long wanted to develop a new 5.0-liter powertrain, with strategic discussions beginning in 2000. By 2007, the Mustang competitive landscape was beginning to change, a sign that the time was right for advancing the Mustang GT powertrain to world-class levels.
The team began 5.0-liter engine development with the objective of delivering 400-plus horsepower, on a timetable accelerated by 12 months without compromises in reliability, durability, fuel economy, or noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) control.
"Nearly all of the team members have worked on other high-profile powertrain programs," said V-8 Engine Programs Manager Mike Harrison. "They all had a clear vision of the work required on their particular component or subsystem. Their passion for engines, racing and delivering every last ounce of performance throughout the engine speed range really demonstrated that they put their heads and their hearts into this powertrain."
Development test engines and benchmarks included 5.0-liter blocks, employing different bore and stroke measurements, GT500 four-valve-per-cylinder heads and cams, various intake manifold runner configurations, differing compression ratios and a deep-sump oil pan. The team also evaluated Ford Racing's 5.0-liter "Cammer" V-8 crate engine for transferable best practices.
Extensive computer-aided engineering (CAE) modeling, development engine experimentation and evaluation in combination with intricate machine work brought this promising, all-new configuration to jaw-dropping life in an accelerated time frame.
The result of this development is an "and" solution, not an "or." 2011 Mustang buyers will enjoy the benefits of a powerful engine as well as responsible fuel economy.
A critical element in the 5.0-liter V-8's ability to deliver 412 horsepower, with improved drivability, tractability and fuel economy over the 2010 Mustang GT powertrain, is enhanced Ti-VCT.
For a high-performance application, the team specified cam-torque-actuated variable camshaft timing. Using existing cam torque energy, with assistance from pressurized oil, meant that minimal upgrades to the oil pump were required, resulting in less parasitic drag. Increased volumetric and thermal efficiency gives faster Ti-VCT response at all engine speeds.
During the development phase, camshaft lift profile and port optimization started with higher-lift Ford Racing aftermarket units, modified for compatibility with various four-valve-per-cylinder heads. Extensive CAE and dynamometer testing was performed to fine-tune camshaft events and port flow for performance and fuel efficiency in conjunction with the variable camshaft timing.
The resulting all-new aluminum four-valve-per-cylinder heads feature a compact roller finger follower valvetrain layout leaving more room for high-flow ports for free-breathing performance. Head structure was designed to support higher cylinder head pressures and cross-flow cooling for sustained high-rpm use. Head bolt size was increased from 11 to 12 millimeters to contain the higher combustion pressures.
The aluminum block was developed for optimized windage and oil drainback under lateral conditions and high rpm, such as a track-day outing for an enthusiastic owner and driver. Increased main bearing bulkhead widths and nodular iron cross-bolted main bearing caps with upsized bolts were also employed to accommodate the significant performance increase.
An additional element is the increased capacity and baffling of the deep-sump stamped steel oil pan to enable sustained high-rpm use and offer the convenience of 10,000-mile oil change intervals. Piston-cooling jets also were incorporated for performance-minded customers and for faster oil warm-up on cold start.
Specially designed tubular exhaust headers were developed to maximize exhaust pulse separation and improve flow. A team analyst actually fabricated the tubular headers in his home workshop, bringing the CAE design to life.
Performance and fuel economy
The 412 horsepower and 390 ft.-lb. of torque delivered by the 2011 Mustang GT 5.0-liter V-8 represent significant increases versus the 2010 model year output levels.
The six-speed automatic transmission on the 2011 Mustang GT will deliver up to an estimated 25 mpg highway and 17 in the city. This is up from 23 mpg highway and 17 city for the 2010 model. Six-speed manual transmission Mustang GT models for 2011 are projected to deliver 24 mpg highway and 16 city, matching the 2010 model but delivering significantly more horsepower and performance feel.
2011 Mustang GT fuel economy is enabled by the Ti-VCT, the six-speed transmissions in automatic or manual variations, EPAS and an additional rear decklid seal to enhance aerodynamics.
Fuel economy also is aided by engineering a lightweight powertrain. The engine, as shipped, weighs just 430 pounds. This represents a weight savings of more than 20 percent versus the previous 5.0-liter offering. Lower mass can be attributed to the aluminum block and heads, the lightweight composite intake manifold, composite cam covers and hollow camshafts.
Improved driving dynamics
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. EPAS allows specific tuning for the Mustang GT application.
The 2011 Mustang GT features an enhanced rear lower control arm to add stiffness, improve powertrain NVH control and sharpen handling. A stiffened rear stabilizer bar for better on-center steering is also included. Stabilizer bar diameters, spring rates and dampers all have been tuned for improved dynamics.
A Brembo brake package upgrade will be available for serious enthusiasts. This package includes 14-inch vented front discs from the GT500 Mustang, unique 19-inch alloy wheels and summer performance tires.
Added convenience content
For 2011, Mustang GT offers drivers several new convenience technologies, including:
Standard message center
Integrated blind spot mirrors
MyKey™ programmable vehicle key
Universal garage door opener
Sun visor storage
From the 5.0 fender badges to the new engine cover, Mustang GT honors and continues the proud heritage of its predecessors. The speedometer increases to 160 mph and the tachometer redline advances from 6,500 to 7,000 rpm.
Three vibrant new colors will be added for 2011 including Yellow Blaze Tri-Coat, Race Red and Ingot Silver.