New 5.0-liter V-8 - 2011 Ford Mustang GTEnlarge Photo
Capping what just might just be one of the worst-kept auto-industry secret of the decade—but a very exciting one nonetheless—today we're officially bringing you more details on the 2010 Ford Mustang GT.
And yes, the recent leaks and rumors have been right: The 2010 Mustang GT packs a new 5.0-liter V-8 good for 412 horsepower. Almost as significant to budget-minded buyers today is that the new Mustang GT will achieve a projected 25 mpg on the highway.
That '5.0' badge alone is likely to bring back waves of nostalgia for anyone aged 30 to 60, as it represents a time when the Mustang was slowly crawling out of an emissions-regulation-induced coma that lasted through the '70s and into the '80s. By the mid-to-late '80s, the Mustang GT, with its stout 225-horse 5.0, was arguably the king of the pony cars and faster than many sports cars costing much more.
Now, 20 years later, the new 5.0 is poised to make nearly double that. With 412 hp and 390 pound-feet, the new engine is a radical evolution of the 4.6-liter overhead-cam V-8 that's been a Mustang GT staple since 1996. Not quite a clean-slate engine but a thorough rethink and redesign in nearly every way, the engine is, as Ford product development chief put it in a release, "the next chapter in the development of the world-class Mustang powertrain portfolio."
The engine, which carried the nickname Coyote through development, was inspired by the 1960s-era Coyote Indy racing engine, also a double overhead cam V-8. Ford engineers brought the new engine to production in record time thanks to computer-aided modeling and advanced machine work.
With variable valve timing, the new V-8 gets Ford's new Ti-VCT system, using cam torque and engine oil pressure to properly actuate the valves, while the oil system has been improved in several ways—with a greater (and baffled) sump capacity, piston-cooling jets, and design changes for reduced frothing at high revs. Redline has been pushed to 7,000 rpm, and the all-aluminum cylinder heads get four valves per cylinder, and the new aluminum block was developed with track-day crankcase pressures in mind.
On the exhaust side, the new engine gets tubular headers that, according to marketing chief Jim Farley, mean that aftermarket headers won't be the first stop after the dealership for Mustang GT buyers.
The new Mustang GT is only slightly heavier than the previous 4.6-liter Mustang, and the new 5.0-liter engine weighs just 430 pounds—20 percent less than the previous 5.0.
Fuel economy with the new engine, as we mentioned above, should be slightly improved overall, Ford promises, versus the outgoing 4.6-liter V-8, despite the increase in displacement and power. With the six-speed automatic transmission, the new Mustang will be rated at 17 mpg city, 25 highway (2 mpg higher on the highway that the 2010 GT automatic), and with the six-speed manual EPA ratings will stand at 16/24 (technically the same as 2010).
To match the higher output of the engine, the new Mustang GT will get larger brakes, plus stiffer rear suspension settings. A Brembo brake package will be optional, incorporating the larger rotors (14-inch discs in front) and calipers used in the Shelby GT500 Mustang, plus 19-inch alloys and summer performance tires. The 2011 Mustang GT also gets the Electric Power Steering System (EPAS), which Ford is in the process of phasing in through its entire lineup.
In addition to those prominent fender badges declaring it's a '5.0,' the new GT will get a higher 160-mph speedometer and three new colors: Yellow Blaze Tri-Coat, Race Red, and Ingot Silver.
Ford also promises various improvements both to overall noise and vibration control, and the convertible will get a stiffer body structure thanks to improved bracing.
Although Ford hasn't yet detailed feature changes, the 2010 Ford Mustang GT will offer a wide range of features, including integrated blind spot mirrors, a universal garage-door opener, and Ford's MyKey programmable vehicle key system.
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