Q: What will be the upgrades for the 2011 Ford Mustang? - John H., Los Gatos, California
A: John, the 2011 Ford Mustang has significant engine horsepower improvements that vault it into top contention for both the V-6 and V-8 models.
The 2010 model already saw an upgraded interior commented on here and the '10 GT has a suspension universally liked by those who have driven it due to improved handling despite the archaic solid rear axle. Initial tests also show the braking to be excellent, not something the Mustang has been known for in the past.
The V-6 model drops the ancient 4.0-liter motor for a modern 3.7-liter V-6 with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing, allowing it to produce 305 horsepower with 87 octane. Recent magazine tests find this car to have a high-13 second quarter mile and a 29 mpg highway rating. This is a better car all around than the 2010 GT. Read more about it here with stats and specs.
The big news is the 5.0-liter V-8 called the "Coyote" motor found in the new 2011 Ford Mustang GT model. Now making 412 horsepower, it's now the best bang for the buck in the sub-Corvette and GT500 world. A superbly built motor with internals ready for supercharging or turbocharging, the Mustang is back on top. A 26 mpg rating means no mileage penalty despite being capable of 12 second timeslips at the track.
The 2011 Chevrolet Camaro makes more power but is heavier and the Dodge Challenger is much heavier and larger. While all three are very capable cars, in my opinion the Mustang is the better track car off the showroom floor, whether it's the dragstrip or the road circuit. Read more about the Mustang GT with stats and specs here.
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