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Detroit auto show: Ford pumps up the 2011 Mustang GT with 412 hp

Sun, 27 Dec 2009

To Ford Mustang fans, 5.0 has a special place in their hearts and Ford has delivered a new car for them to love: the 2011 Mustang GT. The 5.0-liter V8 Mustang GT will deliver 412 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque.

The engine produces 83 hp per liter yet will return 25 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg in the city, according to Ford marketing boss Jim Farley. The 5.0-liter Mustang's main competitors are the Chevrolet Camaro SS, rated at 426 hp, and the Dodge Challenger SRT8, which makes 425 hp. Of course, the top-of-the-line Shelby GT500 and its supercharged V8 remains the pony car horsepower king, rated at 540 hp.

The iconic 5.0-liter badge will again be worn by the Ford Mustang.

What makes the brand-new V8 engine powering the 'Stang so potent is how engineers were able to allow the engine to breathe. All-new heads sit atop an all-new aluminum block with cast-iron cylinder sleeves. The wide distance between the heads allows for the intake ports to sit vertically on top of the engine. The engine features four valves per cylinder and twin independent variable valve timing. Tuned stainless steel tubular exhaust headers eliminate the need for aftermarket headers to let the engine breath better.

Inside the engine are a forged-steel full counterweight crankshaft and four-bolt main bearings and high-performance pistons and forged steel connecting rods. Peak horsepower is reached at 6,500 rpm. Redline is 7,000 rpm.

Use of aluminum and composite materials in the engine lowered the V8's mass to just 430 lbs, some 20 percent lighter than the previous 5.0-liter engine.

The new 5.0-liter Mustangs can be fitted with either the 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission or the MT82 six-speed manual.

The engine produces 83 hp per liter yet will return 25 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg in the city

In addition, the Mustang GT is fitted with electric power assist steering and 11.5-inch front and 11.8-inch rear vented disc brakes. Available as an option is a Brembo brake package with 14-inch front rotors and the accompanying bigger calipers from the Shelby GT500 and unique 19-inch wheels fitted with summer tires.

The Mustang GT has new 5.0 fender badges and is available in three new colors: Yellow Blaze Tri-Coat, Race Red and Ingot Silver. The pony car will make its official debut at the Detroit auto show in January.

By Roger Hart