Mustang enthusiasts rejoice: the iconic 5.0 is back and better than ever. New for 2011 (and for the first time since 1995), Ford has brought back both the 5.0 engine, giving its muscle car rivals such as the Camaro and Challenger a good reason to run for their money. Our host Jessi Lang spent a week in a gorgeous sky-blue GT and was thrilled beyond expectation.
Exterior-wise, little has changed in the Mustang GT’s look since the 2010 model, most obvious perhaps being the hotly desired 5.0 badging. But the beauty of this Mustang GT leaves little room for improvement; the aggressive lines and classic pony-car dimensions are expertly tailored to a look we’ve come to know and drool over.
Under the hood is where the GT shines. The 5.0 engine is back–a 5-liter V8 that produces 412 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. This monster of an engine has been easily putting out 0-60 times in the mid-4 second range. The engine screams with power and acceleration, and luckily won’t kill your gas budget. The 5.0 engine gets a fairly impressive 17 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway, which is amazing for such a monstrous and power-hungry V8.
Inside, the Mustang maintains a simple, clean look. There’s nothing inside, in terms of amenities and dashboard/console design, that could be considered modern or revolutionary. But then, not many people buy Mustang GTs for their luxury features. However, our host Jessi recommends getting the stereo upgrade package, as the standard stereo system leaves a lot to be desired.
With the 5.0 engine back and (hopefully) here to stay, the Mustang GT just might be the clear frontrunner for King of the Muscle Cars. Although its closest competitor, the Camaro SS, has 24 more horsepower, the Mustang GT weighs in at 300 pounds lighter than the SS. And with a base price of $32,845 (our test car came in at $38,760), this just could be 2011’s most powerful production car on the market for under 40 grand.