2011 Ford Mustang Long-Term Road Test


2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Too Much is Almost Enough

November 18, 2011

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Admittedly, I've been completely corrupted by power. Our long-term Mustang is incredibly satisfying to drive, with its gobs of torque and glorious V8 growl. My first mustang (a 1995 GT Convertible) was my first taste. When I traded it in for a 1998 SVT Cobra, I was positively hooked. Now, with our 2011 GT, and a Shelby GT500 I tested last year, I find myself wanting even more.

Of course, this leads into the bonkers 2013 Shelby GT500 that churns out 650 hp. And yes, I want one. Who wouldn't, really? I'm curious how drivable it will be, but it likely won't dissuade my curiosity.

But this makes me wonder about the 5.0 downstairs. It wouldn't be hard to crank up the power output on our Mustang to ludicrous levels. A part of me wishes we would hold onto this car for another year, so I could get it into prime shape to conquer Willow Springs Raceway.

In my fantasy, I'd start with the tires. Some DOT slicks would do it. Then I'd get a fully-adjustable suspension (Hotchkiss, probably). Inside, front race seats and mild roll cage; nothing too difficult to scramble over, but something we could mount shoulder belts to. Finally, the engine: an intercooled supercharger, race pan, lightweight flywheel and driveshaft, racing clutch and exhaust.

These are the things that keep me up at night. I'd love to buy our Mustang when we're done with it and let you all follow along as I chip away at lap times between each upgrade. I'd also try to do as much of the work myself, enlisting the help of my fellow editors and friends.

Then again, a new Mustang will probably be here for the 50th anniversary. Maybe I should wait until then. In the meantime, I'll be working on a personal project that involves a Suzuki Hayabusa and the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2011 Ford Mustang in VA is:

$152 per month*
* Explanation
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