The Road Ahead - 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Long-Term Road Test

2011 Ford Mustang Long-Term Road Test

2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: The Road Ahead

March 22, 2012


I spent a few days last week in a very rainy Portland, Oregon driving the 2013 Ford Flex, Taurus and Mustang. I wrote up a first drive for here, and while that was my primary mission on the trip, my hidden agenda was to get information I could on the 2014 Mustang.

The middle of 2014 will mark the Mustang's 50th anniversary. The smart money says there will be an all-new Mustang to commemorate the milestone. Ford design chief Jay Mays has been hinting that it'll be a game changer.

I waited until Mustang chief engineer Dave Pericak had an adult beverage in hand, then stopped him at the dessert bar. As much as I tried to get ANYTHING out of him, all he gave up was a cryptic smile, as if to say, "oh man, you have no idea. It's THAT cool."I kept at it, though, looking for any tells when I would mention something specific. Nothing. I would not want to play poker against him.

Then he asked me, "Alright, what do YOU want to see in the next Mustang?"

Oh. I wasn't expecting that. I pondered this for a few seconds and replied with a short list of my must-haves.

It's gotta have a V8.

Maybe a turbo or supercharged V6 to support it.

A six-speed manual must be offered. For the rest, a dual-clutch paddle-shift unit.

I'm not sold on the idea of a turbo-four.

No retro styling. I think that ship has sailed, let's move on.

Let's class-up the interior. Less hard plastic and get rid of that awful center armrest.

Let's drop about 500 pounds of weight.

Keep the solid rearend. It's really good now, and most people who whine about it wouldn't consider the Mustang anyway.

As the self-appointed Mustang-whisperer on staff, my love for the Mustang is well documented. The big question for me is, "If you wanted a Mustang, do you get the improved 2013 or wait for the all-new 2014?"

What would you do?

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 22,580 miles

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