2011 Ford Mustang Long-Term Road Test - Miscellaneous

2011 Ford Mustang Long-Term Road Test

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2010 Ford Mustang GT: Hunger Pings

July 20, 2011


Our Mustang never fails to impress me with its ridiculously wide powerband. Every time I get on the freeway, I wind out a gear or two just to feel the 5.0's smooth delivery.

Last night, I performed my usual ritual and got a minor surprise -- pinging. Heard it in the background as the tach was nearing redline. Wasn't the worse pinging I've ever heard, but it was more than just a single detonation. Since any pinging is bad pinging we'll definitely keep an eye on the 5.0 to make sure this was an isolated event.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: One and Done

July 09, 2012

Mustang Final.jpg

Where is the best new home for a thirsty V8 that averages about 16 miles per gallon? How about Saudi Arabia? That's right, our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT is going to a place where the gasoline is as cheap now as it was here some 35 years ago.

It took 21 days to sell our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT. We started the sale with the car priced at $27,500 and received zero calls in a week. Then I dropped the price to $26,500 and also received zero calls. I thought that $26,500 was a fair price (this was roughly $500 below TMV at the time), but the crickets chirping as I waited by the phone told me I needed another price drop.

On the third weekend, I dropped the price to $25,700. A day and a half later, I finally received a call. The man on the phone cut to the chase: "What's your best price on this car?" You can typically tell when the potential buyer is someone who wants to flip the car by his lack of probing questions. All a flipper wants to know is whether the car was in an accident and your rock bottom price. Of course, I wasn't going to reveal my hand over the phone. "I'd rather you take a look at the car first and then make me an offer,"I replied.

We agreed to meet at a gas station in my neighborhood. The buyer, Belal and his friend pulled up in a late model Lexus GS.

Belal's friend asked if he could check the paint. I said that would be ok, and he pulled a small plastic device from his pocket and began pressing it against the car's body in multiple places. It turned out to be a paint thickness gauge that gave him a numerical readout after each press. "Anything above seven is not factory paint,"he said. This was the first time I had seen something like that.

I mentioned that the car still had 12,000 miles on its warranty. "We don't care about the warranty,"said Belal. "We will ship this car to Saudi Arabia."

As I suspected, Belal and his colleague were dealers. I typically avoid doing business with dealers because they tend to lowball you, but it was the only call I received on the car and it was worth pursuing on the off chance he made a decent offer.

After the paint checked out, they fired up the car and peeked under the hood. "OK, how much do you want for this car?"Belal said. The two didn't even test drive the car, yet they were prepared to make an offer.

I avoided giving my "best price"by saying I was looking for something close to my asking price, but if they wanted to make me an offer, I would let them know if it was in the ballpark. They made an offer of $24,000.

I countered with $25,000, saying it was a fair price that was well below Edmunds TMV. Belal said he had bought a Mustang similar to ours with navigation and fewer miles for $24,000. "That was a different car and a different owner,"I said, but he held firm to his initial offer.

At this point I had to make a judgment call. There had been zero activity on this car in 15 days. This was a real offer, albeit one on the low end of what I was willing to take, and it was $1,000 more than the Carmax offer. If I passed on this, would it be another three weeks before I'd get another call? We didn’t want the sale of this car to drag on for nearly two months -- which is what we experienced with the Porsche 911. I decided to take his offer, but before I did, I countered with $24,500. Belal didn’t budge.

The final price was $24,000. We shook hands and made it official. A week later, they brought a cashiers check and took delivery of the Mustang. As we hammered out the details, we started talking about other cars, as car guys tend to do. The V6 Mustang came up in conversation. Belal gave me a disapproving look. As far as he was concerned, the V8 was the only way to go. "But you'll get better fuel economy with the V6,"I countered.

In Saudi Arabia, "gas is cheap,"he said. I asked him how cheap it was, but he quoted the price in Saudi riyals per liter, which went right over my head. A quick Google search revealed just how cheap the gas can be there: about 61 cents per gallon for premium gas.

Perhaps our Mustang will end up in one of those Saudi car clubs you see on YouTube (See video below. You can even spot a black 5.0 Mustang at the 21 second mark). American cars seem to have a big following in the desert kingdom. And whoever buys it can drag race it to his heart's content, since the price of fuel isn't really an issue. It just might be where the Mustang belongs.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: For Sale

June 18, 2012

Mustang at Beach.jpg

Our 2011 Ford Mustang GT is now up for sale, listed on Autotrader.com and eBay classifieds. The asking price is $27,500, or best offer. This is roughly in between the Edmunds trade-in TMV and private party TMV. I won't say what our "rock-bottom"price is just yet, but suffice to say that we want to improve on the Carmax price as much as possible.

Care to take a guess at what the final selling price will be?

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 23,783 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Lowballed

June 13, 2012

Mustang at Carmax1.JPG

Our 2011 Ford Mustang has enjoyed an extended stay in our fleet (it's almost been a year and a half), but now it's time to go. It's our tradition to take our vehicles to Carmax, so we can establish a baseline price and determine our next course of action. For those of you who say we always get extraordinarily high offers from Carmax, here's the proof that we don't.

Carmax offered us $23,000. This is about a 34 percent depreciation from the $34,718 we paid for the Mustang some time ago. The appraiser personally was pretty high on the car. And aside from a minor dent in the fender (which she said would not impact the offer), it received "good condition"marks in every category. But I don't think Carmax considered all the options we have on our car -- the Brembo brake package being the most notable omission. But there was no sense in my pleading the case at Carmax. These offers are no-haggle and non-negotiable.

I then called Trade-In Solutions, which says it can give a second opinion on a Carmax offer and will make an attempt to beat Carmax's price. The appraiser at Trade-In Solutions said that the market for used Mustangs is slow now. "People looking to buy a 2011 Mustang are more likely to lease a new one, since they can't afford to buy it outright,"he said. He was able to top the Carmax offer by $400, but it was nowhere near where we wanted it to be. According to Edmunds trade-in TMV, the offer from Carmax should have been closer to $26,087.

This means we're going to have to sell this pony on our own. Even if we only manage to get $25,000 for the car, it would be a huge improvement over the Carmax price.

What do you think? Did Carmax offer us a fair price or lowball?

-Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 23,668 miles.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Brawler

June 11, 2012


It's funny, living here in L.A. doing what I do for a living, I use a lot of the same locations as most production companies. Just about every commercial, movie and tv show that uses cars on location I know exactly where it was shot.

I took our Mustang to a location just north of L.A. to do a little hiking. When I got back, I watched the movie "Drive"for the first time. Holy crap! There it was, Templin Highway! I just drive down part of that road. I wasn't driving the way "Driver"did, nor was I being chased. But you do feel you can unleash that beast of a Mustang any time you wish.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Back In Black

June 04, 2012


Mustangs. I love 'em. My first Mustang was a black-on-black 1995 Convertible. After that, it was a 1998 SVT Cobra convertible; also black-on-black. Now, it's time to say goodbye to yet another black-on-black Mustang, and I'm once again left with a pony-shaped hole in my heart.

Like the Mustangs I've owned, I've had a lot of good memories with our long-term 5.0. Sure, the burnouts and powerslides were great, but it's important to note how comfortable and convenient this car is. This last weekend, I even used it to haul around some lumber, which reminded me of this time when I transported a seven-foot-tall Christmas tree home in my Cobra (the interior smelled pine-fresh for days).

All things considered, I'd probably opt for the Boss 302 if I were to get another Mustang. The tighter suspension eliminates a lot of the driveline lash that my girlfriend complains about. She said that this and our old Challenger were the only ones that got her queasy. But of course, I wouldn't consider it just for that reason. Then again, I'd probably wait to see what the next-gen Mustang looks like.

Got any Mustangs in your past?

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 23,648 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Emboss Me

May 23, 2012


I know this isn't how it works, but thinking this way is unavoidable for me.

Every time I see the hard plastic Mustang logo on the center of our GT's steering wheel I wonder if I might find it inversely embossed in my forehead should the airbag deploy.

Also, you ever wonder what happens to those people you see riding along with their feet on the dashboard in such scenarios? Can't be good.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: The Burnout Face

May 23, 2012


You should see her when I do powerslides.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Tranny Update

May 17, 2012


Some of you might remember the little contest I had going several months ago with our long lost friend bodyblue. Well, I've been missing his hijinks lately so I'd like to dedicate this post to him.

Anyhow, he and I had a running bet for months that the Mustang wouldn't make it to 20,000 miles with its clutch and tranny intact. He argued that all our burnouts would render it shiftless before the 20K milestone. I called him on it.

He lost that bet in grand fashion as I celebrated with more burnouts.

After that, further controversy ensued...

Some of you contended that although the transmission wasn't broken, it was certainly too noisy to bear. I countered with this video.

Today we're at 23,104 miles. I just drove the Mustang for the first time in months and the tranny sounds the same as it did at day one and at 20,000 miles.

I think it's durable. To celebrate, I'll do a burnout.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Gotta Have It?

May 11, 2012

Stang 1.JPG

"Gotta Have It Green"is a new color for the 2013 Mustang.

Thumbs up or thumbs down?

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2012 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: It's The Little Things (Video)

April 26, 2012


Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @RealScottOldham

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: What I Needed

April 26, 2012


I've been under some stress lately, and last night I got some therapy from our long-term Mustang GT.

I can't remember the last time I drove this car, as I often shy away from its impractical packaging when the weekend comes around (hard-to-access backseat, small trunk made smaller by the Shaker sub). But geez, the 5.0-liter V8 sounds wonderful, whether I'm rumbling up my driveway or making a move in freeway traffic.

I don't love the clutch takeup and shift feel you get with this Getrag six-speed manual gearbox, but somehow it's all well suited to the car's personality. There's a slight brutality and imprecision to the way gearchanges come together, as if the car's saying, "eh, close enough."

Heel-and-toe downshifts never feel as perfectly right as they do in something like the NSX, but they feel good nonetheless and sound even better. Most importantly, our Mustang's gearbox still feels just like it did when the car was new.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 22,849 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Awesomecross is Awesome

April 03, 2012


About a month ago, I got the opportunity to take part in the BF Goodrich Awesomecross, which showcased the company's latest high-performance tire, the g-Force Sport COMP-2. I posted a short teaser here, and some in-car video and behind-the-scenes shortly thereafter. Now, I can finally post the final video.

I would suggest watching the main Awesomecross video first. It'll set up the next video which was produced just for me. The production quality was pretty amazing. They even managed to portray me in a light that kept me from looking like the complete dork I am. At the end of the video, you can select any of the participants' videos, including mine, which is embedded below.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: This Kind of Trouble

March 28, 2012


Like I said in my last post, the Mustang can be fun, but dangerous if you're not paying attention or just an idiot. In a two second search on YouTube I felt relieved I wasn't the only person who got into trouble.

When I was a teenager, you always had plausible deniability because nobody had cell phones with video cameras. Or YouTube for that matter. They only way people could blame you for the patch you left in the school parking lot was if a teacher saw you or you were busted by the cops. Thankfully today's idots not only have the technology, but share their misery with others.

A short presentation of trouble in the Mustang:

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Long Beach's $800 Pothole (or the return of The Great Potholio)

March 27, 2012


I neglected to tell you that on my way to Long Beach yesterday that I managed to find a ginormous pothole on the 710 freeway (highly traveled by trucks going to and from the Port of Los Angeles). After the "Bah-Boom,"I waited for that sinking feeling, a telltale pull to the left, a TPMS warning, or even a shudder, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I went to dinner and forgot about it. I drove home in the dark -- still nothing unusual. Fast forward to this morning: I leave home in the dark as well, but when I parked the Five-O at work and glanced at the front tire... wait for it... Holy Guacamole!

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: On a Race Track!

March 27, 2012


I had occasion to drive on a race track yesterday afternoon -- in the wrong direction and three weeks before a race. I used to live in Long Beach and the Grand Prix coming to town always felt to me like the end of winter and the beginning of spring. A couple more on-track photos below including crossing the finish line.

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2011 Ford Mustang: All Kinds of Trouble

March 27, 2012


I really haven't had a lot of opportunities to drive our long-term Mustang. I was certainly glad I had the keys for two night this past week.

I have a soft spot for 5.0 GT Mustangs. My folks had one when I was in high-school. Trouble, I mean all kinds of stupid trouble happened in that thing. 3am burnouts in front of friends houses, donuts in the Safeway parking lot, and many more reasons why not to give a teenager a car with more horsepower than his IQ points.

Same kind of low brow trouble came back that first night in our Mustang. I love, absolutely love the sound of the engine. I found myself purposely keeping the gear low to really get that roar going. After doing this a good distance down the 405, I took a look at the speedo and I was doing an easy 90. Surprised, I quickly let off the gas, shifted up to calm the roar, straightened my posture and wiped the drool from my chin.

I might be middle aged now, but this car lulled me back into those dangerous years without me being totally aware of it. I have to be more mindful of this Siren.

Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr, Photography

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2011 Ford Mustang: Dog and Pony Show

March 26, 2012

Maggie in a Mustang.jpg

I nearly took the Camry this weekend because I knew I needed to take Maggie some place and she comes attached to a doggie seat for safety. Then I grew a pair and picked the Mustang.

Maggie's giant foam dog seat fit fine, but in this instance, it probably would've been just as safe if not safer to just strap her to the cinched shoulder belt. In retrospect, she seemed a little close to the front head restraint. With the seat, though, at least she could still see out.

And regardless, Maggie and Mya are safer than all those dogs who get killed or injured when their dumb owners let them ride on their laps in the driver seat.

More on Dog-Safe Driving from Edmunds.com

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 22,694 miles

(And no, Mags wasn't so happy to be back in the car for this photo shoot. I let her play after serving time as blog model).

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Fox TV's Alcatraz to Recreate Bullitt Pursuit

March 26, 2012


Today over at InsideLine's Autonews, our colleague Lee Pray wrote a great piece on how the Fox TV show Alcatraz will re-create the spectacular San Francisco pursuit featured in the classic Steve McQueen movie, Bullitt. The exciting part is they updated the vehicles to the 2013 Ford Mustang GT and a late model Dodge Charger.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 22,700 miles

Images by David Moir/Foxnote, video courtesy Newscorp/Fox

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Worn Pedal

March 26, 2012

Mustang Pedals.jpg

Count this as another reason "sport"pedals are stupid. You know, besides the fact you get less grip when you should in fact want more. And you know, because it's an aesthetic choice in an area you can barely see.

The little rubber grippy things on our Mustang's clutch pedal are breaking apart and pulling away. When using the clutch Friday night my foot felt like it had stepped in something sticky. I checked my shoe and I hadn't. Instead, it was the adhesive from the pedal's rubber bits. This was when I discovered what the pedal actually looked like.

Oh well, at least it happened after 20,000 miles of enthusiastic driving rather than 5,000 of mundanity.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 22,694 miles

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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 Edmunds.com 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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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Traction Control Defeat

March 22, 2012

Ford Mustang GT traction control defeat.jpg

Our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT's 5.0L V8 pumps out 412 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. So you had best know what you are doing if you decide to defeat the traction control. You can easily get the rear end to step out even with the traction control on. And last weekend it rained a ton in Los Angeles, so I didn't touch the traction control switch, of course.

What about you? Do you frequently (or ever) defeat the traction control?

During what conditions, and how does your car behave?

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 22,450 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Radio Balance

March 20, 2012

Ford Mustang GT Radio balance.jpg

I always check the radio settings in a test car because we here have different tastes. Bass, mid, treble: that's personal preference based on musical tastes. But the sound balance is a different matter.

It's not unusual in our test cars to find the sound Fader biased to the rear. I don't understand this at all, and discussed this with the only real audiophile here and he, too, didn't get it.

When I checked the stereo in our long-term 2011 Ford Mustand GT over the weekend, I found the sound Balance biased to the right. And not by a little, either. This was truly baffling. Even more confusing, the Fader was in the neutral position. But to extend this Fader illogic: if one were to always Fade the radio to the rear, then the Balance should also be biased to the right, right?

I suppose whoever does this doesn't understand that most, if not all, factory sound systems are tuned to the driver's position with all settings in neutral.

But whatever, that's the beauty of the modern car: driver customizable features and settings (including HVAC) can be tailored to the individual driver's tastes. Even if they don't make sense.

What's your stereo sound settings?

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 22,400 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Your Inner Mustang

March 19, 2012

2013 Ford Mustang Boss.jpg

Is it 2013 already? It is if you keep time via Mustangs. Ford's 2013 Mustang site is up where you can build and price yours. Ford also released the first 2013 Mustang commercial, where the theme is customization.

Ford thinks there's an Inner Mustang in all of us. Is there one in you?

Hit the jump for the ad, Inner Mustang.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 22,400 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Perhaps You Should Wait

March 09, 2012

2013 Ford Mustang tailights.jpg

Considering buying a Mustang, are you? As much as I love our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0, if I were in the market, I would be inclined to wait for the 2013 Mustang.

I love the new tail lights with their LED accents. There's also new HID headlamps standard on all models. And the GT's 5.0L V8 will make 420 hp, 8 more hp than the current GT. Of course, we can't forget the new GT500-inspired snout, which I love.

I'm not sure if I like the 2013 GT California Special Edition (below pic). The body kit looks a little heavy.

What do you think? Will 2013 be your Mustang Year?

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 22,100 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Fancy Window Jump

March 08, 2012

Ford Mustang GT window.JPG

Our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 has frameless windows. You know how those fancy pants Euro cars have that trick window that jumps up when you close the door to get a tight seal?

Well our working-class Mustang has got the same thing. Hit the jump to see it in action (please excuse the wind noise).

So skip that BMW or Audi coupe, and get the Mustang instead.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 22,100 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Mirror Adjuster

March 06, 2012

Ford Mustang GT mirror adjuster.jpg

I'm conflicted with regard to our 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0's mirror adjuster. It's quite visible: no bending over and looking around the left side of the steering wheel like on some cars. And it's very easy to use. Click the switch to the left or the right to control either mirror, then adjust the glass with the joystick. Simple.

But it doesn't feel robust, like it would break off in you hand after using it a hundred times or so. And it reminds me of another car I'm not fond of. The first time I saw this adjuster was in the new-at-the-time Ford 500. Not a fan.

I'm wondering, though, if this mirror adjust switch is so great, then why hasn't it been copied by any other major carmaker? That's what carmakers do: benchmark their competitors' features and copy the great ones.

What do you think about this mirror adjuster?

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 22,030 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Awesomecross Teaser

March 05, 2012


I don't know how this happened, but it did. I get an instant message from Magrath saying, "Do you want to go to a BFG event on Saturday at El Toro? There's some sort of night autocross thing."

I'm already super excited, but respond with a tepid, "I suppose."

Then he emails me the details.

"With the launch of its latest ultra-high performance tire, the g-Force Sport COMP-2, BFGoodrich Tires would like to invite you to participate in Aweseomecross - one of the most awesome driving experiences you’ll ever have.

Awesomecross is a reactive night autocross course where the telemetry from the car and EKG in the helmets is expressed in real time on both the car and the course. With each lap, the course will broadcast and display the link between the latest tire technology and the driver's mood. Data is the catalyst, creating an enhanced reality for every participant. You will be one of only 25 enthusiasts to participate in this unique experience and you will be in good company with one of BFGoodrich's most famous enthusiasts on site - Shaun White. During your time with BFGoodrich Tires we would also like to offer you time to talk to BFGoodrich Tires executives as well as Shaun White about the Awesomecross experience."





I'm waiting for the photos and videos to be delivered to the office, but let me just say it was one of the coolest things I've ever done in a car. Once I get them and have an opportunity to edit them to portray me in a favorable light upload them, you'll see what this is all about.

In the meantime, enjoy those sweet, sweet tire stripes I laid down in the hangar.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 22,002 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Intimidation Factor

February 28, 2012

2012 Daytona 500 L2 crash by NASCAR_1600.jpg

In an apparent post-Daytona 500 celebration of some sort, a BMW tried to wreck me on the San Diego Freeway today. Fortunately I escaped.

The traffic was backed up in one lane, so the BMW driver decided to plunge into my lane of 60 mph traffic from a dead standstill. Like so many, he seems to have thought that the possession of a BMW key fob automatically makes him a smarter, more skilled driver – one protected by a little bubble of protective entitlement.

I wriggled past the broadside. (He made two attempts to wreck me, actually.) But it got me to thinking that part of the reason to drive a Mustang is to intimidate such drivers into refraining from similar stunts.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Cherish It

February 25, 2012

Mustang beauty.jpg

Sometimes I'm an idiot and I don't know what I have until it's gone. And then it's too late. I've certainly made that mistake a few times in my life.

I'm not going to let that happen with our long-term Mustang GT.

The 'Stang's odometer has crossed over 20,000 miles, so it will soon be going away. When exactly, I don't know. Which means at any time I could walk down to the Edmunds parking garage only to find that it's gone forever.

So I'm going to do my best to make every last moment I have in this car count. It's been a fantastic machine and it still gives me huge thrills. I don't want to find myself saying, "If only I had one last good drive in that thing."

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 21,459 miles.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Low Tolerance

February 24, 2012


Those spokes are not much more than a credit card-width away from scraping the sweet red Brembo logo from the caliper housings. Cool design, small margin for error. This car rules.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 21,112 miles.

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2011 Ford Mustang 5.0: If You Can't Find 'Em, Grind 'Em

February 21, 2012

Mustang_kid manual.jpg

In honor of Commander-in-Chiefs past and present, I decided to indulge in a little patriotic morning sentiment. The kid and I hopped in the Mustang, stopped at the bank for some presidential paper, then brought home a healthy breakfast from the Golden Arches. The only thing missing was a televised replay of 1980's Miracle on Ice.

The kid loves the Mustang. For that, I'm grateful. She remembers her first ride in it many months ago and was ready for another spin in the cool, black car. But now she's a little older and a lot more observant. Hence the question from the backseat: "Papa, why are you moving your hand and feet like that?"

I've got a quick checklist of openers for some of the trickier conversations in our future, but explaining a manual transmission is not among them.

I settled on "it's how you make the car go faster."

But Mama doesn't do that in her car, she countered.

Nope. Mama drives a 2005 Civic EX automatic. And no, she agreed, Mama's car isn't very fast. Not like this one.

Poor kid's getting cultural cognitive dissonance on the regular. One minute she's thumbing through iPhone and digi-cam menus, and suggesting Google search phrases, already a pro with today's tech. Meanwhile, I rant like a fool waving Petroleum Era relics like stick shifts and vinyl records.

I'm guessing that when the kid reaches driving age in the next decade, no major automaker will offer a manual transmission with a driver-operated clutch. Like the in-dash CD player, the manual will be a foggy memory shared with her friends, of times they observed their parents working the three-pedal contraption. Maybe they'll know someone in school with a 2001 M3.

In my small way, I'm trying to burn some impressions from the Dead Dino Era in her impressionable brain. Encourage her to shoot in black-and-white. Play vinyl around the house. Sit her in manual trans cars when they come around. Between this and the rotation of samurai TV dramas she and her mother fall into, she'll be a real old-school techno mutant.

This will backfire on me, of course. She will date boys who play in Guns 'N Roses cover bands, distill their own whiskey and drive six-speed manual Mustangs from the late 2000's. But I should be good: "Give me those keys, son. Let me show you how to do it without that awful screech."

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor, @ 21,187 miles.

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2011 Ford Mustang 5.0: A Die-Hard's Impressions

February 20, 2012


My neighbor is a Mustang guy through and through. He's on his fifth one now, a '99 GT coupe. Along the way, he's had a '77 ("the four-cylinder,"he offered, as though no more need be said), and '84 and '85 GT's. He'd fully dialed in the latter for autocross and general hoonage, and then one night the inevitable happened. The police eventually found the shell, but not much more.

"That one was my favorite,"he said, and you could tell it still stung.

He even survived a trip through the windshield of his Cobra, after getting cut off bending around a freeway transition. The back end got loose, hit a lightpole and the world spun. He woke up in the iceplant with a nurse kneeling over him, but a few dozen stitches later, he miraculously walked away.

I wanted to hear his thoughts on our 5.0, so I took him for a quick rip up and down the freeway and some nearby side streets. No surprise, he was impressed with how unlabored the new V8 feels getting up to speed. The new Coyote design lived up to all he'd heard and read about it, especially with its quiet, cruisy manners in sixth gear.

"I could get used to this,"he said, after a few more quick bursts and a couple of cloverleaf on-ramps. I think that about sums up most of our staff sentiment toward the Mustang.

I asked about the interior. "Looks good. A little plastic, but that seems to be the trend these days. I like that everything is close to the driver and easily falls to hand."

He even liked the intake whine, the faux supercharger whistle ported into the cabin from the engine bay. I thought a die-hard Mustang guy might think it was a gimmick, but he thought it added to the visceral thrill of acceleration. I can't argue. Gimmick or not, it's a cool trick.

Would you buy it for $40,000, I asked? Forty grand buys several very good cars these days, after all.

He just looked at me as if I'd asked a very silly question.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Still Burning It Up at 20K

February 15, 2012


Our Mustang GT remains one of my favorite cars in the fleet after nearly a year of service. I really look forward to driving it every time I score the keys. There aren't many cars that can do that regardless of the price, so the fact that the Mustang sill holds my interest after all this time is indicative of its performance.

I'm also reminded of the fact that even though it has over 20,000 miles on the clock, our GT doesn't feel like a car that has been beat on. The interior is still tight and rattle free, the clutch take up is still very progressive and easy to modulate and even the suspension still feels fresh.

This is the most grown up, refined pony car I've ever driven. And it lays great rubber into second. What more do you need?

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com @ 20,781 miles

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2012 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Mark's Ford Touch

February 14, 2012


My drive into the office gives me plenty of time to daydream. A lot of times, that's when I come up with something to blog about. This morning, I was pondering out long-term Mustang's center stack.

I think it's a bit of a mess. Without the touchscreen navigation, the whole thing looks a bit dated and cheap. I also think there are too many buttons and their placement is far from intuitive. We've already determined that MyFord Touch isn't quite ready for prime time, so instead of adding to the chorus of displeasure, I thought I'd give it a spin.

How about we replace the whole thing with a big touchscreen?

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Sound Off

February 10, 2012

2011 Ford Mustang GT engine bay.jpg

It's Friday, so let's have some fun with a Sound Off.

The engine and exhaust noises of our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 are quite nice. Those sounds are perhaps the best in InsideLine's long-term fleet.

Only one other car we have can even come close.

That's right. Our 1991 Acura NSX sounds glorious as well. Let's compare the two test cars.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Decisions, Decisions

February 07, 2012


Random Mustang trivia of the day - the word "Mustang"does not show up anywhere on the outside of the car, and the sill plate(s) is the only place on our longterm 2011 Ford Mustang GT where I could find it on static display.

Anyway, reader mail time. Comment "christople"asks:

So after 20k miles, between this and the 370z you guys had new which of the two would you want in your garage?

Hmm. In my garage? Hit the jump.

The surprise here is that, despite their morphological differences, these cars are more alike than you might expect. In particular, the 370Z drives chunkier than it ought to, and the Mustang offers real-deal performance. Both are very fast. They may be apples and oranges, but its a citrusy apple and a crunchy tangerine.

I prefer the Nissan's size. And its more buttoned-down chassis. I'm not crazy about its clunky gearchange and the fact that the VQ engine makes me wince when I wind it out -- too coarse. Really, though, the part I least like about the Z is that it its pure sports car promise is undermined by mass and packaging. It feels dense and claustrophobic. Thick. Nuance and reward which should be present in spades is curiously absent.

The Mustang could hardly be described as nuanced, but it's a bit more honest. And its V8 hits all the right notes, both auditory and propuslive. But the Mustang drives like I'm playing frisbee in pants that are a few sizes too big. There's plenty of freedom to go like hell, but there's this extra slack to contend with. To me this stems from the need for its chassis engineers to accommodate the dynamic implications of the live axle. Given how far Ford has evolved this layout, I'd be curious to see what they could do when free of its constraints.

So, in short, neither is my cuppa, but the Z comes closer. However, a 500Z -- a Z with the Mustang's 5.0-liter V8 stuffed inside -- would address some of my whinging about the Z's powertrain, if not the nuance thing.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: The California Special

February 07, 2012

2011 Ford Mustang GT CS 1600.jpg

Last week I asked our dear readers about the Brembos on our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0. In that piece, I mentioned the California Special edition which piqued the interest of at least a few of you.

If you are interested in the California Special edition Mustang, first you have to order the Mustang GT Premium (same as our test car) which includes Sync, the Shaker 500 audio system, and Sirius sat radio, among other items.

Then you order Equipment Group 402A, and this is what you get.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Are the Brembos Worth It?

February 03, 2012

2011_ford_mustang_GT Brembo.jpg

Our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 is equipped with Brembo brakes. They're part of the $1695 Brembo Brake Package that includes 14-inch Brembo ventilated discs with four-piston fixed calipers on the front, and 11.8-inch Brembo ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers in the back. Included are 19 x 9 inch wheels (with a design I don't care for) mounted with 19-inch tires.

When we tested our long-term 5.0, we got braking distances for 30-0 mph of 27 feet and for 60-0, 109 ft. Within a week we also tested a Mustang GT with the California Special Package. This car was not equipped with Brembos (13.2 inch front and 11.8 rear discs) and produced 30-0 braking distances of 30 ft and 60-0 of 117 ft.

So we got 27 vs. 30 ft for 30-0 and 109 vs. 117 ft for 60-0, from our GT and the C/S, respectively. The Brembos must be the difference, right?

Hold up.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: A Look Underneath

February 01, 2012


Earlier this week we put our long-term Mustang GT 5.0 up on our 2-post Rotary Lift for a look at its under wares.

More pictures after the jump.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Wet Dog or Litter Box?

February 01, 2012

Caribousmom wet dog pic.jpg

The weather's been weird here in SoCal lately. On Saturday, it was 80 degrees. Yesterday, it was in the mid-60s during the day, dropping into the 40s at night. So to get comfy, I had to play around with the temperature settings in the Mustang on the drive home last night.

I don't know what I did (if anything), but the smell of a not-quite-clean litter box began to waft through cabin. A few fiddles with the temp/vent settings seemed to fix it.

But a couple hours later, as my husband and I set off on an errand, he sniffed in distaste. "Smells like a wet dog in here,"he said.

"Litter box,"I replied. (Describing a stink of unknown origin is a little like finding words for a fine wine: The comparisons are all in the nose of the beholder.)

More fiddling with the temperature/vent/fan settings put things right and I didn’t smell anything odd this morning. What's your theory on what's up with our Mustank?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @ 20,504 miles

(Hat tip to Caribousmom.com for the wet-dog photo.)

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Is there a Hi-Po EcoBoost on the way?

January 26, 2012


With the new year, we learned the 5.0L V8 in the 2013 Mustang GT will be rated at 420 hp (from 412 hp in the current model). For track-day regulars, a new Track Pack package for manual-transmission GT models will include an engine oil cooler, an upgraded radiator, a 3.73 rear axle ratio, performance brake pads, and the same limited-slip differential now found on the Boss 302 model. That's just 24 horses shy of the Boss (assuming the 2013 model doesn't also receive some performance upgrades) with a lot of the same bits. This news kind of puts a great big target on the trunk of the Boss. Considering how close our long-term 5.0 already is to the last Boss we tested, what is Ford going to do?

It's been confirmed that there will be some sort of EcoBoost version of the Mustang, but exactly what that means is still a mystery. Do you think Ford is going for CAFE numbers and will offer some sort of frugal 4-cylinder turbo in the range of 270 hp like the Buick Regal? Or do you think it'll be something like the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 from the Lincoln MKS in the neighborhood of 355 hp? Finally, and here's the plea: How about shoe-horning something between the current Boss 302's 444-hp naturally aspirated V8 and the 2013 GT500's 600-hp supercharged V8? Is there a chance of a turbocharged V8 making something around 500 hp. If so, what should Ford call it? Will they resurrect the Mach 1 again?

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Yup, Still The Same

January 23, 2012


To be doubly certain that my esteemed colleague, Dr. Joshua Arnold Jacquot III Jr., Esq., PhD didn't have gloat-induced selective hearing, I took our longterm 2011 Ford Mustang GT for a good long listen.

The verdict? It sounds exactly the same now as it did the last time I drove it a long time and many, many burnouts ago. The muted gear whine characteristic (I think the sound has been likened to a far-away supercharger) that it exhibited when new is unchanged today. Same far-off intensity and pitch as it was a dozen thousand or so miles ago.

Never doubt the Jacquot.

--Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang: Best Gas Station in California

January 20, 2012

Best Gas Station in Calif.jpg

This is a bit of a leftover, I admit. However, when on my Mustang to Paso Robles journey I encountered the best gas station in California. Yeah, that's right, The Best. It's at highway 46 on the east side of the 101 just south of Paso Robles, where you could get off to go to Hearst Castle or the Firestone-Walker Brewery.

Why is it so good? Well, because they provide these long-handle squeegees, that's why. I may have longer arms than most, but this is a brilliant addition to a service station that can be enjoyed by all. No need to do one side of the windshield, then walk around to the other side to do that mostly ineffective arcing deal to finish it off. And get this, this Chevron station actually put soap in the squeegee reservoir! Soap! Amazing!

Sure, anything like that here in LA would result in vagabonds swarming on the long squeegees like locusts within 2 minutes and the soap being quickly diluted by old Mountain Dew and/or possibly urine. Nevertheless, I'll go out of my way to fill up at This Chevron in the future. So well done, you're The Best.

James Riswick, Rural Gas Station Evaluator

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Tranny Noise -- Video Proof

January 19, 2012


Some of you wanted further evidence of the GT's tranny noise in daily use. Given the life this car has led it should be chewing up synchros and spitting out shift forks every time we key the ignition.

See for yourselves after the jump.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: More Fun With Burnouts -- Video Proof

January 18, 2012


So we've arrived at 20,000 miles and our good man bodyblue will be surrendering his Fun Police license at any moment. Meanwhile, let's enjoy a proper tire-smoking send off for this most wonderful automobile.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: It Is Finished. And So Are The Fun Police

January 17, 2012

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Milestone_02.jpg


It's interesting how tunes change (see the comments) when someone loses a bet.

Well, Bodyblue, my boy, you have officially lost. The Mustang rolled through 20K without any fanfare at all this weekend. It's still breaking its tires loose at every opportunity and doesn't give two rips about the way it's been driven over the last 20K miles. It's a durable machine, but probably no more so than most any modern car. Its tranny and clutch are fine -- they feel just as stout as they did on day one and I've experienced none (Zero. Nada. Zilch.) of the noise reported by some.

Tomorrow we'll have a little fun with all this, don't worry. Meanwhile, since I'm certain Bodyblue is a man of his word, I'll be awaiting his resignation from the Fun Police. And we expect to hear no more criticism of burnouts from him. Ever. Again.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor @ 20,000 miles.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: The Fun Police Are Going Away Soon

January 13, 2012


And by "soon"I mean this weekend. In only 118.8 miles bodyblue will be surrendering his Fun Police license which will preclude him from ever again criticizing our enjoyment of long-term cars through gratuitous burnouts.

In case you've forgotten, the comments on this post explain the terms of our agreement. Here are the basics: When the 'Stang rolls through 20,000 miles with its clutch and transmission in tact, I will officially win the wager.

The Mustang is in my driveway right now. I have plans this afternoon to knock off the remaining mileage. Check back next Tuesday for the victory post, which, if I had to guess, will contain a most creative burnout. See you then.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Still Cool, Even in Beverly Hills

January 11, 2012


While my colleagues were living the life in beautiful Detroit (pronounced Day-Twaaa), I was forced to slum it in the Hills -- Beverly Hills, that is. It was the grand opening gala for the McLaren showroom and I was torn as to what car I should bring.

NSX or Porsche 911? Nah, I wouldn't trust the valets with either. Cinquecento for the sheer irony?

I chose the Mustang. No, it wasn't to impress anyone except for myself. I don't care what the elite uber-wealthy think, the Mustang's cool. The decision came down to W.W.S.mQ.D? What would Steve McQueen do?

In the lineup of white Porsche Cayennes, black Phantoms, pearlescent Aventadors and murdered-out DBSs, the Mustang still had an undeniable presence. The burble and roar as it rounded the corner from Wilshire Blvd. announced its arrival. As I opened the door to let my girlfriend in, I heard over my shoulder, "Five-oh. Right on."It was probably a fellow journalist.

The Mustang represented. End of story.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: My Favorite Gauge Colors

January 05, 2012

Ford Mustang Preferred Gauges.jpg

This would be my preferred gauge color scheme: white number arc with a blue halo. Again, not really surprising. Of course, using the halo at all means you have to deal with the reflections off the windshield. Maybe I'd get tired of them if I lived with it longer than a week, but for now, I'm liking how cool they look.

The fact that you have such a ridiculous selection of color scheme choices at all is pretty cool.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 19,555 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang: A Journey Not By Number

January 03, 2012

Ford Mustang at Eagle Castle 2.jpg

It just seemed like something I had to do. I had the time, I had the girl and most importantly (sorry girl) I definitely had the car. Spending another two days loafing about the house just seemed so wrong.

So on Thursday, we threw a pair of overnight bags into the 2011 Ford Mustang GT and set course up the coast for someplace called Atascadero. It's just a wee bit south of Paso Robles wine country, the hotel I got a screaming deal on looked lovely and it was the right distance away for an overnight trip. Besides, one of my favorite past times is just dropping myself someplace random and exploring.

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2011 Ford Mustang: A (Belated) Burnout Christmas

December 27, 2011

mustang christmas sized.jpg

I would've posted this on Sunday, but then my computer and Edmunds blog tool didn't get along. Consider this the T-shirt your Uncle Larry gives you two days after Christmas because it's cheaper to do his shopping on Boxing Day.

Any who, I was supposed to drive the TSX this weekend, but a switch with Takahashi left me with the Mustang. Oh what a shame. I made it from the middle of Los Angeles to westernmost Thousand Oaks in 40 minutes on Christmas morning -- a journey that would normally take anywhere between an hour and three years because of LA traffic. Not so on Christmas morning in a Mustang.

Sadly, my Christmas gift bag didn't include new rear tires for the Mustang. It could use them.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 18,656 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang: NHTSA Ends Safety Probe

December 20, 2011


That's our Mustang, speeding away from the the threat of a possible recall.

Or so says the Federal Government who suspended its safety probe into the reported transmission issue.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Good Times

December 17, 2011

Mustang Elsinore.jpg

You know life is good when you end up with the Mustang GT 5.0 two weekends in a row. I don't know how it happened, but I'm certainly not complaining about it. I love driving this car.

I think it has to do with that 412-horsepower V8. And the six-speed manual. Oh, and rear-wheel drive, fairly stiff suspension, Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s and Brembo brakes.

And, of course, the 5.0 sounds fantastic anytime you get hard into the throttle.

This car makes even mundane drives/errands, well, a whole lot less mundane and errand-like.

Yep, life is good when you're driving a 2011 Mustang GT 5.0.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 18,535 miles.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Hey Bodyblue, You Ready?

December 16, 2011


Because our bet is nearing its end. This picture was taken last weekend before Mike's epic burnout, which didn't faze the 'Stang. Check that second gear!

And in case you don't remember the bet, check the comments on this post.

Stay tuned. Only about 1,600 miles until bodyblue surrenders his fun police license.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Yep, We're Still Doing Burnouts

December 16, 2011

Mustang preburnout.jpg

We love burnouts.

The Mustang GT does burnouts.

Follow the jump if you like burnouts.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Muscle Car Sales War

December 15, 2011

Ford Mustang GT.jpg

Most of us here love our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0. A lot of other people also love it, including many enthusiasts and auto journalists.

On the other hand, we loved our long-term 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS for its awesome 426 hp 6.2L V8. But we felt that many other aspects of the car left plenty of room for improvement...ahem.

But what do we know? The buying public has spoken, and from nearly year-long data prepared by the crack Pricing and Analysis team at Edmunds.com, you can see that the Camaro outsold the Mustang by a wide margin.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Anniversary

December 07, 2011


On this day, thirty years ago, I got my driver's license. I took the driving test in my mother's '78 Olds Cutlass Calais Coupe (brown metallic, beige landau roof, natch). "Nailed it,"but that car was not a very auspicious beginning to this career path. What car did you take your test in?

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 18,095 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: A Case for Side Exhaust

November 28, 2011


The last time I posted on our long-term Mustang, I was contemplating what sorts of upgrades I'd give it if we held onto it after its year is up. I'd like to take this opportunity to rescind that last post after spending four-and-a-half days with the Boss 302.

Let's ignore the suspension upgrades the Boss has over our long-termer, along with the brakes, trim and alcantara steering wheel. I'm sold on the side exhaust alone. As much as I love the "regular"5.0's roar, there's no contest. Here's an audio clip that I recorded this morning:

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: 2013 Looks Like The Shelby

November 22, 2011

2013_ford_mustang_Boss 302.jpg

The 2013 Ford Mustang just had its debut at the 2011 LA Auto Show. And for 2013, all Mustangs now have the previously unique Shelby GT500 snout. I like it, especially on the Boss 302 shown in the top pic. (GT and V6 pics on the jump.)

What do you think? Do you like the new snout or does it dilute the aura of the Shelby?

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 17,600 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang: Got Kids? Maybe You'll Want a Camaro Instead

November 17, 2011


A co-worker emailed me this morning. He said he was thinking of buying a new Mustang as his next car. But then he watched the IIHS' crash test video and changed his mind. Specifically, he was concerned about head protection of rear-seat occupants as he has a young daughter. The Mustang does not have rear airbags of any kind.

NHSTA and IIHS crash test videos follow after the jump for both the Mustang and Camaro. Specifically, you'll want to watch the slow-motion cameras for the rear passenger's head impacting the side of the car.

2012 Ford Mustang, IIHS side test

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Lifter

November 16, 2011


I don't like to do posts like this, but this 'deficiency' kinda caught me off guard.

Above, you can see my garage door opener, which if you happen to have an electric garage door opener, yours probably bears a close resemblance the one I have.

So where do you you usually put your garage door opener? Unless you're like most people, in which case you'll be escorted to a pleasant island near the Azores, you'll stick it to the driver's side sun visor, just like I did.

Good idea? Click through to find out.

Yeah, not so much.

Under any kind of brisk acceleration, which you are mandated to do if you buy a Mustang GT, your garage door opener will fly off the sun visor and hit you in the face. And getting hit with something in the face when you're taching past 6500 rpm is not what I'd consider a 'feature'.

Now I thought sun visors were manufactured to a basic specification; as a manufacturer, you can pick the color and the features, but all of them are roughly the same size and thickness. Wrongo. As you can see from the picture below, there is no tension on the fabric of the vsior.

It seems like a fairly minor oversight, but not being able to hold a standard garage door opener? Really? I know I'm not the only one who has a garage... nbps;

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Brake For AdvanceTrac

November 15, 2011

Mustang Trac Off.jpg

I get a huge kick out of driving the Mustang GT 5.0 on the rare occasions that it's actually available for the night (or even better, for the whole weekend). Love that engine, both the power and sound, and this 'Stang actually handles pretty well. Could do without the occasional axle hop.

I am bothered, though, that the Mustang GT is one of those cars that won't let you turn off its stability control (in Ford's case, called AdvanceTrac) once you've started moving. You can turn off traction control once you're on the road, by just hitting the AdvanceTrac button once, allowing for big burnouts.

But if you want to be free of stability control nannies through turns and to powerslide the car, you have to hold the button for about 5 seconds with the brakes applied before you get moving.

And don't think you can get around having to be at a stop to do this by driving with the throttle and brake overlapping while pressing the button. It won't turn the system off if you have the throttle applied at all.

So, yeah, I find that annoying. Because if I want to light the rear tires up exiting a turn, I don't want to have to pull over and wait five seconds first.

Won't stop me from driving it though. I just need to remember to turn everything off upon startup.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 17,375 miles.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: The End Is Near, Bodyblue

November 15, 2011


It's time once again to update the masses on the 'Stang's durability and do some good old-fashioned gloating at the same time.

If you don't remember the bet you should revisit the comments from this post where I indulged Bodyblue's offer of a little wager about the Mustang's transmission and/or clutch not surviving our test.

Here's the deal as I put it in the comments: "If the Stang's trans or clutch fails before 20,000 miles, I'll eat my words publicly in a blog proclaiming your prophesy as truth. If, however, the Stang's powertrain lives to 20K, you're not allowed to be the fun police on this blog ever again."

The Mustang is still going strong. Victory is near. Let the burnouts continue.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Want to See the 2013 Mustang in L.A.?

November 14, 2011


As of this Wednesday, our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT will officially look a bit like yesterday's news. That's because Ford will roll out the refreshed 2013 Mustang at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show, and if you're local, maybe you'd like a free ticket to go see it on the public days...

Interested? All you have to do is tell us which vehicle you're burning to see at the L.A. Auto Show, whether it's the Mustang or something else. Not here, though. Tweet it to us on our Twitter (http://twitter.com/insideline_com) by 12 noon PST tomorrow (November 15, 2011) and we just might give you a ticket to the show valid from Nov. 18 to Nov. 27.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Get a Grip

November 09, 2011

mustang gt st wheel.jpg

Here's something else I like about the Mustang GT that shows someone at Ford did a little extra thinking outside the box. Notice how the stitching for the steering wheel's leather wrapping moves away towards the back of the wheel? Based on my hands-on testing, it's so that the main area where your thumbs grip is smoother and more comfortable.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 16,967 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Rain + 412 Horsepower + RWD =

November 07, 2011

Mustang MPG.JPG

It rained in L.A. this weekend and I was lucky enough to have our Mustang. Weeeeeee! In the rain, this car with PS2s is super fun, super easy to drive with the tires spinning and even allows the driver to enjoy the benefits of throttle with traction control left on.

If I lived in the Pacific Northwest, I'd be broke. This was the average after about 100, mostly city, miles.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Edmunds.com @ 16,909.4 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 vs 2013 Ford Mustang GT

November 04, 2011

2013 Ford Mustang GT Spy 2.jpg

Eagle-eyed readers will notice quite quickly that the image here is not of our 2011 Ford Mustang GT. The headlights are wrong. The badge is wrong. The lip spoiler is wrong. Oh, and it's covered in black-and-white camo.

Most of that is due to this car being a spy photo of the 2013 Ford Mustang.

I miss the big foglights already.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Colorforms for Big Kids

October 31, 2011


Remember Colorforms? No, it's not a video game. It's a little kids' toy that featured vinyl stick-on shapes of various colors that you could use to create pictures of whatever you wanted. Animals, cars, planes, houses, the brat next door. And Colorforms is still going strong at 60.

Turns out Ford has something of a modern version for Mustang buffs. It allows you to customize a Mustang with different grilles, hoods, rear spoilers, wheels, etc. It's a lot of fun for car geeks and you can even battle your friends to see whose custom 'stang proves more popular. I'm thinking the shaker hood and white or silver stripes would look good on ours...

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 16,706 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: What's next?

October 21, 2011


The Mustang's 50th anniversary is soon approaching. Anytime a new mustang comes out, I hold my breath. Deep down inside, I'm hoping that they don't screw it up. When the 2010 showed up, I was more than satisfied, both in terms of driving dynamics and styling. We're still at least a year out before we start seeing the next generation, but I like what I'm hearing so far.

Ford design chief J Mays says the next Mustang won't be a retro-themed car. It won't be an evolution of the current car. Personally, I think the retro thing has run its course and it's time to act like we live in the 21st century. I'm hoping for a smaller and lighter mustang, with aggressive styling and performance to match. As good as the V6 is now, I think it'd be a crime not to offer a V8. Sure, sure, sure, offer a turbo four, but don't kill off my beloved V8.

And as much as I embrace the future, I still like the solid rear axle. If they offered an independent rear end as an option for the few drivers that really want it, I'd be OK with that. I'd expect to see a dual-clutch transmission option, too, but a manual six-speed should also be available.

In any case, my fingers are crossed. Hopefully, I'll be cooking up a few PhotoChops in the coming months. Stay tuned.

What do you want to see from the next Mustang?

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: This Is Not A Mustang

October 12, 2011

miatastang f34.jpg

Seriously, this is not a Mustang. It's not even a Ford.

That's because it's a Mazda Miata. Don't believe me? Hit the jump.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Video: Engine and Exhaust Sound

October 12, 2011


Mark had an earlier in-car video post of our Mustang, but I thought you might find it interesting to hear our Mustang on the same route that I used previously to video our departed Corvette Z06. The Mustang video and the Vette one follow after the jump. Sorry for the shaky-cam quality; I really need to get a better mount setup.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Has Lived Up To The Hype

October 07, 2011


It was last December that news on the 2011 Ford Mustang officially broke. At the time, I remember being pretty excited about it. And that's saying something given my normally cynical journalistic veneer. Return of the 5-point-oh? New 305-horsepower V6? Six-speed transmissions? Available short-ratio gearing? Brembo brakes? Getouttahere! I even remember perusing my local magazine rack and taking a look at the breathless multi-page cover story of 5.0 Mustang magazine. Those guys were probably the happiest dudes on Earth when they learned the 5.0 was back.

So here we are almost a year later. And I'm completely smitten with our long-term GT. It's silly fast and sounds awesome. The interior is comfortable respectable in terms of quality. It fares well on long-distance drives as well as curvy roads. It looks cool. And it's completely useable as a daily driver.

I still like the Camaro and Challenger. The Camaro is still the best looking and the Challenger is just neat in the way it recreates the old-school muscle car vibe. But if I had to pick one to own for myself, I'd go with the Mustang.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Thoughts On Long-Distance Driving

October 05, 2011


We've already used our Mustang for a few trips, most recently Mark's Kulinary Mille. I've also notched up some long drives in the Mustang as well. I figured I'd put a few thoughts together; following are observations on how well our Mustang serves for long-distance trips.

The shark: I'll get the cool part out of the way first. Our Mustang is one of the few cars we've had in the fleet over the years that fits into my category of "shark."This is just my own little description, but I totally dig cars that strike me as predators of the highway. You're the top of the chain, and other motorists are just minnows. Cars like this make it seem like you're not to be messed with. It's more than just power, though that's certainly a requirement. It's also throttle response (the ability to quickly cut through the minnows), styling/color (sinister helps), headlight design (distinctive when viewed by others) and high-speed stability.

Decent seats: Our Mustang's front seats are just OK in my opinion. They are decently supportive, but there are two things that can limit comfort. One is the head restraint design. It's a common Ford thing, but the restraint sticks forward quite a bit (to help minimize whiplash), and that can be annoying for some people. The other aspect isn't the seat so much as the lack of a telescoping steering wheel. I can still get a decent driving position, but for longer distances I'm not really happy with either my leg or arm positioning.

Noise: Our Mustang is respectably quiet in terms of wind and road noise. Based on our instrumented 70-mph cruise test, it's pretty much the same as our long-term 2009 Dodge Challenger for a decibel rating. The only thing that I find distracting is a subtle gear whine that's present when you're cruising with steady-state throttle. If you back off the throttle, it goes away. It's hard to hear, but I made a short video of driving on the highway with me breathing on and off the throttle every few seconds.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Street Viewed!

October 04, 2011


It seems Google is updating its Street View images with reasonably high-resolution photos. Last time I checked out my house, the fuzzy images showed the previous homeowner's white F-150 parked out front. I just looked this weekend, and here's an image with our very own Mustang 5.0 in my driveway about a month ago. I can tell because that palm tree sapling/sprout in the middle of the bushes has been since removed.

Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ anybody's guess miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: 15,000 Miles and Counting

October 03, 2011

Milestone_graphic.jpg mustang_15000.JPG

Our Mustang cleared 15,000 miles over the weekend. It would seem that we're right on track for getting around 20,000 miles. I also went back and looked at all of our prior posts. Nothing's broken or needed repair. Though we did have an early fuel issue, all we've had to do since that is bring it in for two schedule maintenance appointments (total cost: $97.45) and replace the tires. Also, Josh's bet on the transmission surviving 20,000 miles continues to stay in his favor.

(Thanks to everybody kindly reminding me about that first incident. I humbly stand corrected.)

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 15,072 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: I Just Wanted A Beer

September 30, 2011


So, I want to go walk to liquor store and grab a beer, but I don't want to go out the front door.


I'll just walk out to the garage, open the side door and walk over to our Long Term 2011 Mustang, which I have been lucky enough to drive home, yet again, and reach in to grab the garage door opener. Since the windows are down, even though I locked the doors, I'll just reach in and grab the garage door opener off the sun visor and...


Oh, SH!(*^&. FU)(C&*^(&^ DAMNIRWWQE(&^@!!!!!

So apparently, our Mustang came equipped with a motion sensor as part of it's security system. See that picture at the top? What I assumed were light sensors and decoration are apparently motion sensors.

That would have been nice to know before I reached in, set off the alarm and nearly p!ssed myself.

Ford's website mentions nothing of the specifics of the motion sensitive alarm, and unless you read up on the nitty gritty of your new Mustang, I doubt you would have known either. Don't get me wrong, I'm not mad at Ford for offering the system, I appreciate the fact it's there, but perhaps if they pointed it out more clearly in the literature, believe me, I looked after this incident, I wouldn't have just reached into the armed Mustang to grab a garage door opener.

To calm my nerves, I wound up buying two beers. Not that it was the end of the world...

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 14,785 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Monster Garage

September 29, 2011

Ford Mustang Garage.jpg

You know what I like? Coming down in the morning to find a really bitchin car sitting in my garage. Or coming home and turning back three or four times to admire said bitchin car I just parked. Maybe I even lament the fact I'm no longer in it. It makes me a happy guy.

You don't get that with an Accord. Practicality be damned.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 14,776 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: It Can't Out-Drive a Chrysler 300?

September 27, 2011


The movie Drive has a 93 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. So clearly a lot of people like it. And I saw it over the weekend. But from the car enthusiast stand point, I'd just like to note one thing: I've driven our long-term Mustang GT. It's stonk fast. So I'm a bit baffled as to how the 5.0 GT in the movie suddenly can't outrun a Chrysler 300(*) that's chasing it, particularly when the Mustang is being driven by the Hollywood stunt driver main character.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: If it Was Mine

September 26, 2011


There's little to fault our Mustang for. I felt the same way about my 1998 SVT Cobra. That was until I started racing it. In some fortunate alignment of the planets and stars, I had the opportunity to have a full suspension upgrade; courtesy of a magazine I used to work on. And while I think our 5.0 is a vast improvement over Mustangs past, I think it can still benefit from a little tuning.

If it was my Mustang, I'd give it the same treatment, which consisted of a Hotchkis TVS kit and Koni adjustable shocks. The progressive springs had just enough initial compliance to make it livable on a daily basis, yet stiff enough to dial out that sloppy body roll. Our Mustang can benefit from a little tidying up in the suspension department.

The kit costs $2,633, and that's without the shocks. Then there's installation. The masterminds at Hotchkis installed it for free and even though they're pros and know the kit backwards and forwards, it still took a whole day. I can't imagine how much it would cost at a less experienced shop.

Would you do it?

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: The Other Numbers

September 23, 2011


In an earlier post, I asked what you guys thought the result would be after I combined our Mustang's 3.73 gears with my right foot and two days of commuting.

After I crunched the numbers I was surprised to see that it wasn't as bad as I thought, even though I got lower mileage than I did during my last track day.

Click through for the failure/success.

87.0 miles driven. 6.267 gallons used. 13.88 miles per gallon.

I think I just heard some of you gasp. And while we let those people run out to their cars to tape up their grilles and cover the seams on their hood, you guys should realize this is not one of those cars you buy and then spend your days short shifting to save fuel, worrying about the mileage.

In reality, considering how many times I tached it out and how much rubber I smeared over parts of LA, I'd say it wasn't that bad at all.

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 14,470 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Three Seventy Three

September 23, 2011


Never have $395 dollars been worth so much as when they've been spent on the 3.73 gear option for a 2011 Mustang GT. And since the 5.0 liter V8 in the Mustang likes to rev, it has a 7,000(!) rpm redline, it doesn't mind staying on the boil - which is exactly what these short gears allow it to do.

Couple those gears to one of the highest spinning, not to mention one of the best sounding, V8's on the market and you've got the perfect recipe for bringing out my inner jackass/bad ass/dumb ass.

Stay tuned to see what those gears did to my fuel economy over two days of commuting. Any guesses?

Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 14,451 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: The Style/Function Balance

September 20, 2011

Ford Mustang GT Speedo.jpg

With a Human Factors background, I certainly appreciate function in a vehicle's instruments. But this should be balanced with styling, particularly in emotive cars like our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0.

The Mustang has some nice meters. The styling and font used in the speedo and tach evoke memories of Mustangs from the 60's and 70's. These type of styling details are what make the Mustang desirable -- besides that 5.0L V8, of course.

And these meters are also somewhat easy to read. Some people will slam them because they're not as legible as those on, say, our long-term 2011 Kia Optima.

So what? This isn't an Optima or Camry.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 14,470 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Shift Cover, Take 2

September 12, 2011

mustang shift knob.jpg

This weekend I enjoyed two of my favorite things -- the Mustang GT and tennis. Well, sort of. I didn't play tennis due to a leg injury but watched some of the U.S. Open. But when I went to drive the 'stang on Saturday I was greeted with the hot shifter. Not really feeling the crocheted thing, I came up with this solution obviously inspired by one of my favorite sports.

Yes, it actually worked quite well. I was worried it might move around, but it didn't as it fit snug enough and the rubber inside the tennis ball helped. On the downside, the shifter's size now approached that of an '80s Camaro, which approximated a baseball. Not a problem for me, however, so I'll keep it in my gym bag for those hot days. Or for when I need inspiration before playing a few sets...

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 14,015 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: The Barbie Mustang

September 09, 2011

Ford Mustang Barbie.jpg

What do we have here? I ran into this future classic earlier today. I christened it: the Barbie Mustang. And all of us know a Barbie, am I right?! (imagine Barney Stinson here.)

Well this particular Mustang (that mimics the GT500) is promoting a website for some sort of modeling agency. Go ahead and check it out -- on your home computer.

Perhaps some people will favor this Barbie Mustang over our long-term 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 -- some people like my male colleagues who preferred the Odyssey to the Suburban.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~14,000 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: A Four-Cylinder Option

September 07, 2011


We're hearing that the Ford guys are ginning up a 300-hp, 2.3-liter Ecoboost turbo four-cylinder for the Mustang. Now, this engine is slated to replace the V6, not the V8, so those needing their proper dose of crossplane bent-eight gurgle and snort need not despair. I, in fact, may have overdosed a smidge on my way to the office this morning in our longterm 2011 Ford Mustang GT. Booyeah.

There are many unanswered questions surrounding the four-cylinder engine's particulars. Nevertheless, I'll go out on a limb and say that the turbo-four will match the peak torque of the V6 (280 lb-ft), best the V6's fuel economy and weigh a scant few pounds less but not enough to really matter. That, and the MSRP will be basically unchanged.

Unknowns aside, what are your initial thoughts on this development?

a. major bummer / what are they thinking?

b. meh. an extra mpg or two isn't really worth it

c. my cat's breath smells like cat food

d. it's the base engine, so any fuel economy advantage makes it worthwhile

e. the tuning potential of a turbo four has me salivating / V6s are for pansies

f. I've been waiting my entire life for a latter-day SVO Mustang

--Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Aftermarket Solution

September 06, 2011

The burned hand.jpg

When I was complaining yesterday about how hot the Mustang can be on a sultry summer day, I neglected to mention the other major heat-related problem with the car. Its metal shifter could brand your hand. You'd end up looking like the villain in "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

After the jump, you can see my ingenious solution.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Frying Time

September 06, 2011

Mustang summer.jpg

Labor Day weekend was good time for a last-days-of-summer drive down Pacific Coast Highway through the beach towns and surf spots of Southern California: Seal Beach, Surfside, Sunset Beach, Bolsa Chica, Huntington Beach and finally, Newport Beach.

Newport is the home of big boats, extravagant cars and a spot called Balboa Island, where 3,000 people live on 0.2 square miles and where the asking price of a 1,700-square-foot home is $2.3 million, according to a local real estate agent. Needless to say, I will not be settling down there.

But it's fun to visit. Balboa Island is so rich that it can afford to look quaint, and its form of "mass"transit is the Balboa Island Ferry, which carries cyclists, pedestrians and three cars at a time between the island and the neighboring Balboa Peninsula. By luck, the Mustang got the first spot on the ferry. It was a little weird to see ocean in the windshield and to float, rather than drive, to our destination. The view was lovely and the Mustang was blessedly cool -- without the benefit of cranked AC and the fan set to "hurricane."

What I mean is that our Mustang looks like a great summer car, but in reality, it's not. It's blacker than a thousand midnights inside and out. The sun really bakes the leather seats. Without a sunroof, it can feel, frankly, a little oppressive inside on a hot day. And unless you're floating on a ferry, you'd better have the AC on full throttle. Without it, you'll fry like a corn dog.

What do you think? Are the good looks of a black-on-black car worth the comfort trade-offs in hot weather?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @13,837 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Vehicle Health Report?

September 01, 2011

Vehicle Health 006-1600.jpg

While pairing my phone, I discovered a SYNC feature I hadn't seen before: Vehicle Health Report. Make the jump to see the underwhelming conclusion.

Run Report? Yes, please... I was really curious how this report would be delivered/displayed.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Spotted on the Freeway

August 26, 2011


Check out this dinosaur. It's amazing that 1) this gas-guzzler is still around, what with gas prices being what they are and 2) it's in remarkable shape. Not a dent on it, shiny chrome bits and look at those wheels. Can't help but wonder what the driver's story is with this car. Is it inherited? What do they use it for? Do they only drive it once in awhile since it's probably so expensive to gas up?

In case you wondered, there was a really tiny 50-something woman behind its wheel. Or at least she looked really tiny in this car.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Bodyblue: Prepare To Lose.

August 24, 2011

2011 Ford Mustang GT Premium Picture.jpg

It's been about six weeks since I got out my gloat stick and beat old Bodyblue senseless with it.

Today is the day.

Perhaps you remember the comments from this post, which got the whole thing started. Bodyblue said our 'Stang will eat its clutch or transmission before 20,000 miles because of our wheel-spinning antics. I say it will not. If he wins, I eat my words publicly in a blog post proclaiming that he was right. If I win, well, he surrenders his fun police license and can no longer complain that burnouts are stupid.

Just letting everyone know that we're north of 13,000 miles and the Mustang shows no signs of drivetrain problems. Twenty thousand here we come.

Josh Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Stubborn Fogging

August 24, 2011

Ford Mustang GT fogging 2.jpg

Our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 experienced some fogging of the windshield yesterday. I've noticed this several times recently, but last night was the worst condition, so far. It was hot and unusually humid in SoCal yesterday, but cooled down quickly in the evening. The car's display said the ambient temp was 68F, but it felt at least 5 deg cooler as we were close to the ocean.

Anyway, I tried the front defroster with both A/C on and off, fan low and high, cabin temp setting at hot and cold, and of course I had the window open. But that fog patch stubbornly refused to go away. With almost every car I've driven, if I just crank the defroster with the A/C, the fogging quickly disappears.

It didn't block my view, so I didn't worry about it, although again this morning there was a small, light patch of fogging. I thought that there must be a dead area in the defrost registers, but I put my hand up there and felt the air blowing out. Huh.

Any suggestions?

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 13,300 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: How Far We've Come

August 23, 2011


(Thank Takahashi for this nightmare. ::shudder:: )

No idea how, but somehow the 1978 Mustang King Cobra was unknown to me until just a few days ago. For those of you like me, this is for you......

In 1978, Ford was getting its ass kicked by the Pontiac Trans-Am. Maybe not in sales, but in the hearts and minds of the American Car guy. The Mustang II just didn't stack up. The Mustang was in Charlie's Angels, the Trans-Am was in Smokey and the Bandit. 'Nuff said.

So, in a desperate bid for attention, Ford went ahead and created the 1978 Ford Mustang King Cobra. It had 139 horsepower from a 5.0-liter V8 and had a four-speed automatic manual.

It had a shaker hood with 5.0 badges instead of T/A6.6 (or 6.6-liter). It had reddish-orange trim instead of gold. And the wheels, too were touched with red instead of gold. Oh, and the most egregious knockoff? Some sort of psychedelic Octopus (it may be a snake) instead of the Screaming Chicken. Also, T-Tops.

And just think....some of you thought that Grabber Blue was a bad idea.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Some Things Never Change

August 23, 2011


Actually, in this case they do. I'm no Mustang expert, so I thought this logo on the door panel of our GT was relatively unchanged. Then I looked into it and realized that it's been "modernized"over the years. Yes, the Ford guys couldn't help themselves, so they tweaked it to make the horse more muscular. Can you tell? Yeah, me neither.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Good Pedal Placement

August 18, 2011

Ford Mustang GT pedals.JPG

The pedals on our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 are not bad: metal finish, rubber inserts, and smooth action through the strokes. The big surprise here is the proximity of the brake relative to the accelerator -- you can actually heel-and-toe this thing.

Although the placement is not as good as some BMWs like our dearly departed 135 (perfect!), it's a lot better than some dedicated sports cars like the Nissan 370Z (awful) we had.

And who wouldn't like the sound of that 5.0L V8 zinging up on the shift? Probably some Chevy guy.

Chevy guys will also note how unfinished the carpet looks with that exposed insulation. Ugly.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~13,000 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Deceptively Composed

August 17, 2011

ford mustang bw.jpg

Yesterday I got to drive the Mustang down to our track in Fontana, some 50 or so miles from my apartment. It's a great drive at that time of the morning, since traffic is going in the opposite direction and the freeway is nice and clear.

The Mustang was free as air, gliding down the road with infectious confidence. Then traffic thickened a bit and I had to tap the brakes. At that point it felt like the car was barely crawling and I worried that the slowdown would make me late to the track.

Then I glanced down at the speedometer and realized that the "slowdown"wasn't nearly as slow as I'd thought -- I was doing 60 mph.

This car goes fast and it feels like it's barely moving. High speed has zero effect on its composure -- you feel safe and secure as a baby in a cradle, with the lullaby being the low warble of that engine. What a joy to experience.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 13,156 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Fender Bender

August 10, 2011


I walked past our 2011 Ford Mustang in the garage this morning and this is what I saw. Yep, it's a big dent in the passenger front fender, just above the wheel opening. I usually like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But sometimes they just suck.

Grocery cart? Does it matter? Time to get it fixed.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Welcome to the Club

August 08, 2011


Man, do I like our 2011 5.0 Mustang's exhaust note under full (or even moderate) throttle. It always makes up for the car's still awkward seating position (for me), ho-hum steering (for me) and silly interior lighting (for me). Which I guess is as it should be. If the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 wasn't the best thing about this car, something would be wrong.

I also think the new engine restores a level of coolness to the Ford Mustang that has been missing for years. Maybe our car is just another Mustang to ordinary people, but for people who know this car, the 2011 (and up) model is really something special.

Case in point, I returned to our black 5.0 after seeing the Smurfs (in 3D... funnier movie than expected. Turns out the 1982 version of myself had good taste) to find that somebody else had a moment with our long-term car. Lots of other places this fellow motorist could have parked his/her black 5.0 Mustang at the AMC 10-plex, but they decided to hang with us. Nice. Of course, if the editor is spacey/dumb, then maybe she doesn't know the difference between a 2010 and a 2011.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 11,862 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang 5.0: Possible Recall

August 08, 2011


(Photo by Kurt Niebuhr)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into consumer complaints alleging an inability to shift into gear on some 2011-2012 Ford Mustangs equipped with manual transmisisons. The investigation involves an estimated 26,000 Mustangs. Full story here.

We have not experienced this issue with our vehicle.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Lighted Rocker Panel

August 05, 2011

Ford Mustang GT lighted rocker.JPG

One of the styling features on our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 is the lighted rocker panels. And you can also change the color of the Mustang name just as you can change the interior ambient lighting.

It's a nice detail that you can appreciate every time you enter your Mustang.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 12,600 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: No Gizmos

August 04, 2011


This is a picture of the Mustang's dash and gauge cluster. What's it missing? It's missing a dynamic MPG meter. It's missing a graphic display that tells me how much battery power I'm using relative to how much gasoline I'm consuming. It's missing trees and bushes that I should be growing while driving.

Nope. All it has is a speedo, tach and some vital systems monitoring. After having been in a hybrid that shall remain nameless - a decent enough car as hybrids go - with its multicolor and multifunction displays and its eco games and icons and distractions, I realized the Mustang was missing all of those. And that's just fine.

Look, piling on hybrids is easy and unoriginal. Hybrids, EVs, fuel cells (maybe) are all important steps in the evolution of transportation and motoring. But the lengths they'll go towards convincing you that you're not driving a real car is what drives me nuts. Maybe that's the point; to change our core ideas about what a car is and could, should or will be.

If I could look up at the dash of most hybrids and see what I see in the Mustang, I'd go more willingly.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Nice Grip

August 03, 2011


It doesn't take much to design a great steering wheel. Keep it relatively simple, make the rim a reasonable diameter and thickness, add some nice trim and it's done.

Our Mustang GT's setup is a good example of this. Simple three spoke design, not overly big or small, feels substantial in your hands and doesn't have too many buttons. And check out that blue stitching. Nice.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Super Big Big Wheel

August 03, 2011


My love with cars started with a Big Wheel and the sweet drifts I would pull on our cement patio as a kid. It moved up beyond the dumb Huffy bikes I had to my Dad's 1985 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Convertible. It cranked out 210 hp of high school stupidity. I've had a soft spot in my heart for Mustangs ever since.

When I saw this video I thought here is a kid who that now hooked on the car bug. He's got a big head start with a Mustang and a young lady riding shotgun. What was the first car that got you hooked?

Scott Jacobs, Sr. Mgr, Photographry

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Kulinary Mille, Part Two

August 02, 2011


Santa Maria is a small city just about 150 miles north of Los Angeles. Our route from Dodger stadium would double that distance, making use of some of the most challenging roads in this region. As I noted in the last Kulinary Mille post, I was feeling that our long-term Mustang might come up short against the many exotic cars that assembled in the morning. As it turns out, my fears were unfounded.

The Mustang was a champ, as were the new Michelin Pilot Sports we just had installed. As a precaution, I took the tail-end position of the multi-million dollar train as we headed north on the Golden State Freeway. The first driving section was on a serpentine strip of pavement called Lake Hughes Road, but some of the other drivers exited the freeway one offramp too early and the group I was with seemed unsure of where to go.

I know this road quite well, as it's the fun way to get to Willow Springs Raceway, so I took the lead. We kept speeds on the straights to sane levels, but still managed to have a helluva time in the curves. My mirrors were filled with a silver Bentley Continental Supersports the whole time, but the Corvette ZR-1 and a few 458 Italias seemed to be trailing further back.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Kulinary Mille, Part One

August 01, 2011


Last week, I participated in the inaugural Kulinary Mille, a celebration of gasoline and gastronomy, as the organizers put it. I knew going in that our beloved Mustang 5.0 would be outclassed by the serious exotic machinery in attendance, but what was surprising was the quality of the cars that participated.

The Kulinary Mille start point was Dodger Stadium. Seeing the other cars roll in was, I admit, a bit intimidating. Among the 20 or so participants, there were a few Ferrari 458 Italias, a Porsche 911 Cabriolet, a Mercedes CLK63 AMG Black, a Bentley Continental Supersports and a twin-turbo Nissan GT-R. That sinking feeling in my gut intensified when one of the Mille's sponsors, Midway Car Rental, tossed in a Corvette ZR-1. Somehow, the Mustang's 412 horsepower seemed inadequate.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Peaks and Valleys

July 26, 2011


Sometimes the requirements of the job are as simple as shuttling a car from the office to location X. Last week I was asked to do such a mission. It just happened that the shuttle mission early the next morning was with our Mustang. A vehicle I hadn't driven yet. I picked the keys after a very long day and all I pretty much cared about up to that point was getting back home.

But this time would be different. I didn't want to "just get home"and relax. Thankfully my chariot had a 5.0.The Mustang was an espresso shot for my night time commute.

My mom used to own a Mustang convertible back in the late 80's with the 5.0. I loved that thing for obvious teenage reasons. Hearing the beast under the hood gurgle brought back a lot of silly high school memories. So I thought, why not honor those times and lay a small patch from the stop light.

The streets were empty at 11pm. I'm no driver by any means. I've learned this fact by being around people who can drive. But a small blaze from a stop light is pretty easy for me. Revs up, light turns green and I let this thing go. There were no smoke trails and but I made a bunch of noise. That was all the satisfaction I need.

Sometimes the hours can be a real grind, but the perks more than make up for it.

Scott Jacobs, Sr Mgr, Photography

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Kulinary Mille

July 25, 2011


I love food and wine. I love cars. Put the two together (not the drinking and driving part, obviously) and I'm a happy happy man. Imagine my delight when I was given the green light to attend the Kulinary Mille, a road rally spanning three days with food stops that should put any gourmet in full drool mode.

I'll be covering the first day of the Mille in our Mustang GT. If our Porsche 911 had air conditioning, I probably would've opted for that. According to one of the organizers, I'm in store for an incredible night of fine dining, amazing wines, cigars and, oh yeah, Playboy bunnies! As expected, there will also be an impressive lineup of classic and exotic cars. Yup, this will be right up my alley.

The event kicks off Thursday morning at Dodger Stadium. Look for pictures and my recap either on Friday afternoon or Monday morning.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Wheel Wobble

July 25, 2011

Mustang Wheel.jpg

I was cruising along on the 101 this weekend after a sunny Malibu beach picnic when I noted that for perhaps the first time ever, I was doing freeway speeds on the 101 on a weekend. It was kind of shocking, actually. There was traffic, of course, but it was moving at or ever-so-slightly above the posted speed limit. It was the most refreshing thing since carmageddon cleared the streets of wussy drivers.

But then a Plymouth Neon decided that freeway speeds were as unacceptable as his lane choice so, without a blinker and with only one brake light, he quickly swerved into my lane and reduced his speed to less than 20 mph. Good times. The Mustang's got brakes so I didn't panic, I just pressed very, very firmly and very quickly while I reached my right hand down for the hazards. (Hitting the hazards when you're going to come to a random, pointless stop on a highway is a solid idea.) Just as I hit the button, and got deep into the pedal, the wheel started shaking and wobbling like I'd lost a tire.

Stopping distance wasn't a problem (as this post isn't about how I rear-ended a Plymouth) and sub-emergency braking is as good as ever, but this will be investigated.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 11,900 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Inspiration for My First Mustang

July 21, 2011

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In the great Camaro/Firebird versus Mustang civil war, I've always leaned towards the F-body camp. That's not to say I don't appreciate (or would've loved to own) a '66 hi-po 289 convertible, a '69 Boss 302 or a '70 Mach 1. It's just that as it turns out I have never owned a Mustang but have owned three F-bodys: '69 Firebird convertible, '79 Trans Am, '89 GTA. But the more recent generations of Mustangs, with their more sensible sightlines, trimmer bodies and fantastic powertrains made me reconsider my next car purchase. And our impressive long-term GT had me considering another, older 'stang with a deep-breathing, 32-valve V8...

Around the mid-'90s, the Mustang started to catch my attention, starting with the 1996 SVT Cobra that sported a special 32-valve, 4-cam V8. There's just something about a sweet, high-revving V8 that gets to me. Having had a string of bad luck with my '89 Trans Am GTA that just ended up collecting dust in the garage, I recently decided to sell it and check out other weekend toy options.

My tastes are all over the map -- I considered everything from Miatas and second-gen MR2s to Corvettes, with F-bodies and Mustangs in between. This generation ('94 - '98) of the Mustang hits a sweet spot for me, as I was never a fan of the original Fox, or more accurately, "Box"body '79 - '93 nor the bloated '99 - '04. The '96 to '98 Cobra, specifically, is my pick here for that 4-cam V8. After a few months of perusing Craigslist, eBay and Autotrader, I came across this really nice, no stories, 27,000-mile '98 SVT Cobra on Craigs. At $9,000, it was way too tempting to pass up...

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Installing the PS2s

July 21, 2011


Our 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 is much happier now. Yesterday we finally got around to installing those Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s we picked up the other week. So what took us so long? A Mustang with worn rear tires is fun. We were enjoying ourselves.

The real challenge was persuading 4 tires to fit into the Mustang. Take a look.

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2011 Ford Mustang: Brief Encounter

July 15, 2011


A while back I parked to do some grocery shopping and saw this eighth-generation Mustang GT. Figuring it might make an interesting photo, I made a point to park next to it. I also took a quick look; five-speed, aftermarket exhaust and lowered, but otherwise seemingly stock. The lack of a front badge was a nice touch, I thought.

Later on as I was about to leave, the owner came up to his car. He was a young guy, still in college, and had actually just bought his car the day before. He was pretty impressed with our Mustang, though when he asked how much it was ($32,845), he was a bit taken aback. He had paid $5,000 for his.

Mustangs are so common that it's hard to feel much of an affinity to other owners. If you tried to do "the wave"like Corvette owners do, you'd be waving every other minute. Still, in a smaller setting like this, it was nice to have a brief chat with a fellow owner and Mustang GT enthusiast.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Sounds Good Too!

July 14, 2011

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Sure, the engine of our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 looks good with its massive air intake and big shock tower brace. But like our long-term Ford Raptor, it sounds good too.

Hit the jump for the shaky video with the windows down.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 11,450 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: I Couldn't Own It

July 11, 2011

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It's really a shame I couldn't own the 2011 Ford Mustang GT because, well, I really like it. (Rex, the car wrangler, said I'm a weird guy because it's either Volt or Mustang with me lately. ::shrug::) The trouble is that I really like driving it. And the Mustang really likes being driven hard.

This means that the Mustang gets me into two types of trouble: First is fuel economy. You see 13.1 mpg up there? Yeah, that's because the guy before me had it on a bit of a road trip. I managed 11.3. I know that living in the city means more terrible mileage than normal, but this V8 begs for revs and revs beg for fuel. It's the price you pay for fun, though, so I'm okay with that.

The second thing, and the one that would keep me away from the Mustang is the simple nature of the beast. I can control myself with the Dodge Challenger and with the Chevy Camaro. I can be a good boy in a 1-series or a 370Z. But, like the BMW M3, I can't drive this thing like a normal person. I powerslid the Mustang out of my driveway EVERY TIME I left it this weekend. Who does that? I've rarely been happier.

We all have that one friend, usually from college, who makes you do stupid things. The Mustang is the vehicle equivalent of that for me. I can't be trusted with it or around it. Not for long periods of time without adult supervision at least.

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 11,307.8 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Whoa

July 08, 2011


A Southern California freeway at evening rush hour is no place for a high-powered pony to show its stuff. Stop. Go. Wait. Sigh. The Mustang was champing and raring -- with nowhere to go.

After 15 or so miles at a crawl, there was an opening enough for a little bit of speed. But it was a short run. Suddenly, it was red lights lighting, me downshifting and a romp-stopping halt to the fun. The Brembos did their thing nicely, delivering braking that was "straight, short and highly fade resistant,"as our track test notes put it.

Speed is good. Stopping with confidence is good, too.

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @11,156 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Still Going.

July 07, 2011

2011 Ford Mustang GT Premium Picture.jpg

Perhaps you remember the little bet commentor bodyblue and I have going about the durability of our long-term Mustang. He says either its clutch or transmission will die before 20,000 miles thanks to all our burnouts.

I say they will not.

Although I can't seem to find the exact post where this wager was leveled (I'm sure you'll help me), I've vowed to eat my words publicly, in this blog, if proven wrong. But if I'm right, old bodyblue will surrender his right to be the fun police on any burnout post.

At least those are the terms as I remember them, but that's not the point of this post. Rather, the point of this post, is to gloat that at more than 11,000 miles, the Mustang's powertrain bits are holding up just fine.

Josh "Just Here to Gloat"Jacquot, Senior editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: The Road Ahead

July 06, 2011


June was a good month for the Mustang, as sales figures show that it outsold the Chevy Camaro by about 350 units. And that's just fine in my book, since I'd much rather have a badass Mustang in my driveway than a bitchin' Camaro. But what's next?

Late 2014 marks the Mustang's 50th anniversary. You've got to expect that a new model is being developed as we speak. Personally, I'd like to see a more modern interpretation that has just a hint of some heritage styling cues. I'm not that thrilled with retro themes, especially when it comes at the expense of usability and function.

That said, I think I'd still want a solid rear axle. To me, that's part of the essence of the Mustang. But what about the engines? Eco-friendliness is obviously going to be a factor, but to eliminate a V8 option would be sacrilegious. What to do? Forced induction? Probably. Hybrid powertrain? Probably not.

Once my schedule clears, I'll start working on some 2014.5 concepts in Photoshop. I encourage you to do the same. I'm assuming that Ford already has a solid contender in clay by now, so this is really just for our enjoyment. In the meantime, let's ponder the engine and transmission choices. Alright? Discuss.

Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Sacrilegious Soundtrack?

July 02, 2011

Mustang Camaro.jpg

I was headed to a gig at the legendary LA music club The Troubadour one night this week. It was a private "showcase"performance by actor Jeff Bridges to celebrate the release of his upcoming record, and British speaker company (and Jaguar branded audio supplier) Bowers & Wilkins was one of the sponsors. Hence my invite. And, yes, Bridges talks just like The Dude. And it doesn't sound at all like he's acting.

I had the choice between taking the Mustang 5.0 or the Odyssey. So it was a no-brainer considering I was heading solo to West Hollywood to rub elbows with the rich and famous. Plus, I could take the windy part of Sunset Boulevard on the way home.

The Troub is one of my all-time favorite music venues and I've caught lots of acts there before they moved on to much bigger rooms: Wilco, Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams, to name a few. I was reminiscing about those great gigs as I drove along with my iPhone connected to the Stang's Sync system and pressed the voice-activation button and said "Play artist Kings of Leon."

Pictured above is the song that popped up, a track from the Followill boys' 2007 album Because of the Times. I mused whether this would be considered a sacrilegious soundtrack by hardcore Mustang owners. Then cranked it up and soaked in the combination of the car's V8 growl and the song's siren-like guitar riffs. But with the Shaker sub turned off.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Michelin Pilot Sport PS2s FTW

June 30, 2011


When we asked you what tires we should get for our Long Term 2011 Ford Mustang GT, we took your responses to heart. After some 10,000 miles of, uh...spirited, driving, our Pirellis are getting a little weak in the grip department and as we own this one, we have no obligation to stick with OEM tires. We did, however, want to stick with OEM fitment and that, sadly, meant no Pilot Super Sport.

We also seriously considered the Goodyear Eagle F1, the Continental ExtremeContact and the Sumitomo HTR Z IIIs. But something brought us back to the PS2s every time. Maybe it was test-driver Chris Walton in our ear going "ps2! ps2! ps2!"They were some of the most expensive of the bunch running $1,572 for the set from Tire Rack, but they are, as one commenter asked, the tires we'd buy for our own car. Decision made.

They've yet to be installed. We're still trying to figure out a proper sendoff for the old ones. Ideas?

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Burnout Super Test Part 4

June 28, 2011


Our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 leads a charmed life. For example, recently, while many Mustangs out there in the world were sitting around in crowded supermarket parking lots or being signed out at Hertz counters, our Mustang was competing in the Edmunds.com Burnout Super Test Part 4, taking on the new 2011 BMW 1M and the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8.

Make sure you watch the video.

The bad news is that our 5.0 came in third, with a best run of 89 feet, 1 inch. But the good news is that our car out burned the Mustang 5.0 we used in the original Burnout Super Test, which could only muster 72 feet, 5.5 inches of stripe.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: One of Four(?)

June 23, 2011


Backing into a parking stall this morning and seeing a distant relative in the reverse camera got me thinking: Besides the Ford Mustang--now in its 47th year of continuous production--what other car(s) have remained in continuous production for nearly 50 years? Off the top of my head, I came up with Chevrolet Camaro (44 years), Chevrolet Corvette (58 years), and the Porsche 911 (47 years). Am I missing any? This also got me thinking that there are likely 50th-Anniversary Editions of the 2014 M.Y. Mustang and 911 already in the works. Can't wait.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: First 10,000 Miles

June 21, 2011

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We made it to 10,000 miles without blowing up our 2011 Ford Mustang GT. Regular maintenance and a topoff quart of oil were the only wallet shrinking items of note this far. And together they set us back less than $75. That's affordable fun. Well, technically we haven't paid for those new tires yet...

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 10,000 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Too Many Burnouts

June 16, 2011


Too many burnouts.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Sick Burnout Video and 3D

June 14, 2011


Burnouts are sick in 3D.

Video after the jump.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: What Tires Should We Get Now?

June 09, 2011

GT tires.jpg

Our 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 currently wears Pirelli P-Zeros sized P255/40R19. But, as you know, they're a little tired and the car is just a little looser (read: more fun) than it used to be. So new tires are in our future, what should we get?

Bridgestone Potenza RE050?
Continental ContiSportContact 2?
Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT?
Goodyear Eagle F1?
Eagle F1 GS-D3?
Pilot Sport PS2? (My vote here.)
More Pirellis?
A set of Sumitomo HTRZ IIIs like on our old M3?

Something else? No promises, but make your case in the comments and we'll consider.

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: School of 'Stang

June 08, 2011


I had a really great English and speech teacher when I was in high school. We'll call her Miss D for reasons that will be clear in a moment. She was a proponent of tough academic love. She introduced me to "The Elements of Style,"which I still use. She quite rightly critiqued me for hanging over the lectern "like a fishwife"during a campaign speech for student body VP. She staged a pre-prom dinner at her house, complete with menus and faux French service, for my friend and I me and our dates. She knew those pimply boys were too broke to afford anything but the dance tickets.

And she drove an absolutely bitchin' 1968 Ford Mustang in the rich shade that I now know is Royal Maroon. God, but she loved it. I think it was her first new car, bought right after she graduated from college. It conveyed her sense of independence and joie de vivre. And when you're 24 years old, teaching freshman English at a school where nuns dominate the faculty, you need all the joie you can get.

I thought about Miss D immediately when I got into our 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 for the first time last night. I don't know what engine her car had. Given what she was getting paid in those days, I'm going to guess she went with the standard 120-horsepower, 200-cubic-inch V6 inline 6--a far cry from what's under the hood in our car.

I don't need to tell you that our car rocks. I will tell you that I had sweaty palms before I started it up. I'm not a power-hungry girl (when it comes to cars), and I had visions of the Mustang going bat-out-of-hell with me metaphorically dangling from the bumper. But the car was well-mannered when it needed to be and a beast when it had the chance. I think Miss D would really, really appreciate this Mustang's power and speed. In fact, I know she would.

I spent some time on Google yesterday, trying to see where Miss D might be these days. Well, it turns out she's been in court recently, sorting out the minor matter of a speeding ticket. I'm not sure what she's driving now, but I'll put out the question. Hey, Miss D: Want to race?

Carroll Lachnit, Features Editor @9,313

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Don't Hate 5.0 Owners, They Can't Help It

June 07, 2011


That is my public service announcement for the day. I felt compelled to write it after driving the GT home last light. You see, I wasn't more than a few feet our of our parking garage before I felt the urge to wind up our GT and lay some rubber. It does that to you, it is inescapable.

So next time you see a 5.0 all twisted up and smoking from the rear, don't look down upon the driver. They are probably a responsible driver just like you. It's the car that's the problem.

If you're prone to such antics, best to steer clear of the 5.0. If you don't, you'll be racking up exhibition of speed tickets faster than you can say "traction control off."

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Nannies

June 06, 2011


I'm not a fan of electronic driving nannies. Traction control, stability control and skip shift are usually the bane of my existence. But in our Mustang, I'm not that opposed to them because I think Ford got it right.

There's a left turn I take every morning and from time to time, I'll goose the throttle to kick the rear out just a bit. This morning, though, I forgot to disable traction control. I was pleasantly surprised at how effective yet non-intrusive it was. It didn't shut down the throttle completely, instead, it felt more like some wheels were receiving selective braking. The rear wheels were slipping ever so slightly (this wasn't a crazy powerslide, after all) and the Mustang tracked right through the turn at a very acute slip angle. Impressive.

Then there's skip shift. In our Corvette Z06, I was contemplating calling it dangerous, because when I actually NEEDED power, it wasn't there. Some evasive maneuvers, after all, require throttle instead of brakes. In fairness to the Z06, the Mustang does benefit from nine years of development. When our GT engages skip shift, it drops smoothly into fourth from first. The Corvette's skip shift felt like you missed the gate and was more of an impediment. Furthermore, the Mustang didn't bog down in fourth gear. Perhaps this could attributed to our optional 3.55 rear gear. In any case, it works.

Yup, my love affair with our Mustang continues.

Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: It's National Doughnut Day

June 03, 2011

Ford Mustang Drift.jpg

But we didn't have any videos of doughnuts, so here's our long term Ford Mustang GT 5.0 drifting around the skidpad.

This might be slightly related to Josh's earlier post.

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Less Rubber? Check.

June 02, 2011


I told you yesterday that we had some plans for the remaining rubber on our Mustang's rear tires. And last night we executed those plans, which meant losing some rubber. Fortunately, we were able to find most of it.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Rubber? Check.

June 01, 2011

Mustang rubber overall.jpg

We've got some plans for what's remaining of the rubber on our Mustang so I thought I'd give you a good "before"look. Make the jump for a close-up.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Memorial Day Weekend on GMR

May 31, 2011


GMR. Glendora Mountain Road. It's The Place to go driving if you live anywhere close to Southern California's San Gabriel Valley and own a car with halfway decent handling and a little bit of torque. If you don't, well then skip right over this blog entry and read about one of our crossover SUVs.

On Saturday afternoon, our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 and I met up with six readers and their cars here, and we went driving. Joe (mptlptr) came with 2007 Corvette Z06, Daniel (silverstang1) brought his 2011 Mustang GT with the Vortech supercharger kit, Dario (ms3fun) drove a black Mazdaspeed 3 (bless his heart), John (trek96) had a MkII BMW X5 (like our old long-termer, but with optional 20-inch meats), Louis (louiswei) arrived with his Lexus IS 350 and our good pal Loren (subytrojan) showed up in his ageless 2004 WRX. Oh, and Magrath turned up in a 1 Series M.

You'll find videos and commentary on the Mustang (from me) after the jump. Keep in mind that it was a busy afternoon on GMR with cyclists and families in minivans. As such, we left quite a bit on the table with our pace -- if you want to see the heat cranked up a few dozen notches, watch Jacquot and Monticello run it in the LFA, or look back at our GT-R vs. the World test when we had the road closed (temporarily) by the CHP.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: The People Have Spoken, So...

May 27, 2011


In our latest Long-Term Road Test blog poll, the 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 was the overwhelming readers' choice for "best car for a holiday weekend."

I already had our 5.0 Mustang signed out for the weekend when the poll went up. And when it won, I realized I better do something a little more special than simply park our long-termer at Dodger Stadium and go watch a game.

So on Saturday afternoon, the Mustang and I and a couple friends will be driving Glendora Mountain Road in Glendora, California. If you're in the area and think you might want to join us, drop me an email (eriches (@) edmunds.com) and I'll send you details.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: An Even Bigger Bang

May 24, 2011

87-93 mustang gt convt.jpg

My colleague, Miss Pardilla, spotted this Mustang GT convertible and was asking me about it relative to our long term GT. So I figured y'all may be interested in what we chatted about.

This version of the Mustang was produced from 1987 to 1993. Yes, the first "Fox body"Mustang debuted for 1979, but I'm talking about these later versions with the flush headlights, lower body skirting and of course the 225-hp version of the 5.0-liter V8. These 5.0 Mustangs were known for their high "bang for the buck"performance...well, straight line performance anyway as the Camaro and Firebird out-handled them. This one has been lightly modified with a different two-tone paint scheme (the lower portion was not available in white), a pair of stripes on the hood, clear turn signal lenses and what appear to be SVT Cobra wheels.

And today's Mustang GT still holds the bang for the buck title. Even more so, actually. If you convert $18,000 of 1991 money -- that's what a well equipped, brand new 1991 GT hatchback went for -- into today's dollars you get about $29,000. A 2011 Mustang GT starts at around $30 grand. So despite the massive advances the Mustang GT has made in terms of performance, safety, build quality and style over the last two decades, it's price hasn't effectively increased.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 8,419 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Family Focus Group

May 23, 2011


Well, fuel economy probably ranks low when considering a 5.0 GT. But 17.4 average mpg isn't too shabby for mixed driving and laying into it on open roadway. Slightly better than the 16.8 month-long average we recorded in March. We managed to leg out 280 miles on this tank before stopping for 12 gallons that cost us $54.

Loaded up the wife and kid for a trip to the grandparents over the weekend. Kid's car seat went in easy like last time, although the rear lip of the base wouldn't sit flush. Yanking the latch straps to the point of mercy kept it tight and immovable, though. Unfortunately, the Missus had to sit a little more bolt upright and forward than she'd have liked. She suffered well.

"Loud, bumpy, and I'm not comfortable,"she grumbled.

"But this is a classic American muscle car,"I said. "All your heroes used to drive them"(she being quite taken with American metal bands, fronted by tattooed guys named Vince and Sebastian, as a wayward Japanese teenager). The Kid didn't need swaying, though. She raised a thumb in the rearview mirror.

Took my Dad for a quick run up and down the freeway. Pops used to have a '70 Mach 1 with the 351 Cleveland, orange with black striping. He's a fan of the new 5.0, particularly impressed with the refined engine noise and power delivery. Says the passenger lumbar support is a little too aggressive, though.

I've waxed too long on this car, so you know where I stand. There's not a car in the fleet I like better right now, although this is pending an overdue drive in the 911. I'm prepared to go weak-kneed for the 911 like everyone else; Pops also had a 911SC for awhile, and I remember as a grommet the thrill of riding shotgun in that car.

But if I needed a daily driver and worked 10-15 miles from home, the 5.0 would rank near the top of my list.

It's not perfect. Don't dig the SYNC interface. The menu logic is pretty batty. And I gotta check with Newcomb on this one, but the sat-radio quality is pretty awful. Sounds like MP3s burned at 96kbps, full of warble and artifacts. Have noticed this a couple of times recently in different cars, hoping it's not sat-radio cheaping out on its bandwidth.

Sound quality is also pretty mediocre; muddy and ill-defined bass and midrange, further swamped by the dual Shaker subwoofers. You can turn off the subs, but then the bottom end disappears.

If you're thinking about a 5.0, skip the audio system and have your local autosound place install new speakers and a single 10"on plenty of power instead.

Readers here and elsewhere have alluded to catastrophic transmission failure, but no problems with ours after 8,000 miles. It's still slick and greasy, with quick engagement and light action. We haven't exactly been soft on the gearbox, either.

Dig this car. You should get one.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Love Bites

May 19, 2011


We've flogged it at the track, and we've forced it to stand still and spin its wheels. We've driven it through coastal, central and high desert California. We've hooned it up in painted parking lots and rescued it in Arizona during its first days with us. We've driven our kids in it, and nearly delivered one in it.

We love our Mustang. And at 8,000 miles, our Pirellis are just startin' to show it.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Wants for Nothing

May 18, 2011


Reunited, and it does feel good. Had gone a long spell without driving the 5.0. Not since I'd found a member of its clan in a Newport parking lot. Resident Mustang expert Giovanni DiPietro says it's a '67. Classic, meet Instant Classic.

Here's what I find most remarkable about the 5.0: it's totally indifferent to class conventions.

Sure we all daydream about the Italian, German and old Detroit metal we'd fill our 10-car garages with. But goose the Mustang throttle in fourth gear for an open lane blast, and you're pretty much impervious to badge envy.

That guy in the 335i might scoff. Might even hang on your tail a little bit. But deep inside, he knows he paid too much for a pretty shell, a lusty keyfob and probably more car than he can handle. While your 5.0 never looks out of sorts at a gooch sushi-ya or steakhouse, his car just can't get comfortable parked in front of a rock club on Sunset Boulevard.

The guy in the CR-V meanwhile, he'll give you a haughty glare. He's responsibly trying to lessen his impact, but there you go lumbering past him with your loud V8, flouting the new reality. You may as well go do some donuts in a strawberry patch and slalom through a litter of kittens.

And that old fella there, driving the S65 with the 11-99 Foundation plate frames? Yep, he makes more money than you. Wants you to know it, too. But don't mind him; he's just bitterstones because you're having the fun of the unwashed and your girlfriend does things his wife won't.

Yep, one day I'd love to house a 911, a 356 and almost anything from Maranello in my garage. And like I imagine those machines also do, the 5.0 never leaves you wanting.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Formula Ford

May 17, 2011


Rain is a rare occurrence in L.A. -- rarer still in the middle of the month of May. Imagine my joy when I signed out our long-term Mustang GT last night. On my way into the office I stopped by a secret location of mine -- a place I lovingly refer to as an automotive Slip 'n' Slide.

It's a concrete parking lot with a painted surface. When it rains, it's like driving on ice. That means low-speed sliding 90s, and drifting at 5 mph. Great fun. I don't know what the contractor or architect was thinking, but I thank them whole heartedly. Sorry, no photos or videos, I don't want like-minded drivers shutting down my fun.

Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Badass

May 13, 2011


"Badass"would not be an apt descriptor for one James Riswick. And yet, there are fleeting moments when driving our black-on-black Mustang GT in all its menacing, V8-roaring glory when it makes me feel like one. Somehow, I think that's the car's point. If a high-performance car can't make you feel a little badass, I don't think it's doing its job.

James Riswick, Not Badass @ 7,794 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Bring Back the Bullitt

May 06, 2011


I've always thought the two iterations of the Mustang Bullitt (2001 and 2008-2009) were super cool. If Ford were to offer one based on the latest model, I'd be very tempted to buy one should fortunes ever allow. The way our long-termer is equipped comes close to what I think a new Bullitt should get. Actually, a Boss 302 but without all the visual extravagance would make a great Bullitt.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Familiar Look

May 04, 2011


As much as I enjoy driving our Mustang, I do see a reason to buy a Camaro or Challenger instead: current-generation Mustangs are everywhere. I guess you could say the Mustang is a victim of its own success - it had a monopoly on the muscle car segment for about seven years.

Considering how good the 2011 Mustang is, it really deserves more attention. Yet our long-termer barely registers with other motorists. I attribute this to the fact that look that the 2005-and-up Mustang styling is very familiar and commonplace. In contrast, our Camaro and Challenger long-term cars received a lot more head-turning. I even catch myself noticing new Camaros and Challengers on the road a lot more than Mustangs.

While "look at me!"isn't much of a reason for me to buy a Camaro, it could be for other people. Or maybe they just like the Camaro's styling better. Either way, I suspect it ties into the Camaro's sales dominance. In the latest sales figures through April of this year, Chevy has sold 10,872 Camaros compared to Ford's 8,180 Mustangs.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: The Best Affordable GT Car?

May 02, 2011


In prior years, I wouldn't have given much thought to the Mustang GT being a "grand tourer."The GT badge had about as much relevance as "heavy duty"applies to heavy-duty batteries. But thanks to 2010's interior and suspension improvements and this year's new 5.0-liter V8 (plus additional suspension fine tuning), the Mustang GT finally lives up to the meaning. So much so, in fact, that it could be the best grand touring car for $30,000.

In my mind, the term "muscle car"or "pony car"means a focus on performance, with refinement taking a back seat. Yet our Mustang just doesn't drive like a traditional muscle car. Ford dialed in a very nice balance between ride comfort and handling, which suits a grand tourer's dual-purpose role. The interior isn't anything special, but it's put together well and doesn't seem cheap. Even the V8 doesn't seem like it's a muscle-car V8 -- it's so smooth and linear in its delivery that it might as well come out of our departed Audi S5.

So what's the best grand touring coupe for $30,000? Of course that all hinges on what "best"entails and even how strict you want to be with the GT definition. But I asked myself the following question: "What $30,000 new "grand touring"car would I want to drive cross country and hit everything America's roads have to offer, from eight-lane super slab to curving canyon roads?"I thought about it and figured the Mustang would be at the top of my list. It's more livable than the Camaro, sportier than the Challenger and more easily fits into the traditional GT mold than cars like the VW GTI.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 6,870 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: The Downside To Black Paint

April 29, 2011


I washed the Mustang yesterday and already its paint looks like this. Admittedly, I left the car outside overnight and it's been very windy and dusty where I live. Even so, black is just the worst for showing dust and dirt.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Baby Delivery Vehicle

April 29, 2011


Alright, so I have to apologize for the blurry photo. It was taken at a hospital emergency parking lot about 4 a.m. on Tuesday. That's my very pregnant wife in the photo. After I saw it came out so poorly, I tried taking another, but at that point my wife said: "Wait, you're taking a picture for work?! Come on already!"I guess she was a bit annoyed seeing as how she was having contractions and ready to give birth, and I was screwing around trying to take another picture.

Read on for a couple mildly amusing anecdotes about using our long-term Mustang as a baby delivery vehicle.

[Precursor: my wife was very much preggers, with a due date of last Sunday.]

So on Tuesday morning around 3:15, she woke me up to tell me it was time to go to the hospital. Her contractions had started about an hour before. The interesting thing about baby delivery experience -- if you haven't gone through it before, that is -- is that it's nothing like what you see on TV. Unless there's an emergency, there's really no need to frantically drive to the hospital at 140 mph with a police escort and your wife screaming in the passenger seat. OK, yeah, that would have been a pretty awesome story to tell here. But the reality is that once contractions start, you've typically still got plenty of time.

As I was getting my stuff together, she asked me what vehicle we were taking to the hospital. Umm… I hadn't really thought about it. Taking the Mustang seemed more appealing than her SUV. Besides my wife, I had to take a small suitcase and a rear-facing child safety seat. No problem, I thought.

Well, I thought wrong. The suitcase was no problem going into the trunk. But then I realized that there was no way I was going to get the safety seat installed. The Mustang's rear seat cushion is so heavily bolstered that the seat's base wouldn't fit, and to make room for the actual child seat it I'd have to move the front passenger seat so far forward there'd be no room for my wife. But I didn't want to go back to the SUV, so I just threw it in the back of the Mustang, figuring I'd worry about it later.

I knew I made the right choice as soon as I fired up the Mustang and heard the rumbling 5.0-liter V8. As a car enthusiast, it just seemed right going to the hospital for the delivery of my son in a Mustang. My wife seemed to be mostly agreeable to the Mustang, too. I kept to about 70 mph. But about half way in on the 25-minute freeway drive to the hospital, her contractions quickened from a 5-minute interval to a more serious 1- or 2-minute interval. Even knowing we had time, I suddenly thought: “What if her water breaks while in the car?” That's one clean-up I wouldn't want to have to explain. Consequently, I kicked up the Mustang's speed a bit after that.

Thankfully, we made it just fine to the hospital and the delivery went great. I ended up having to go back to our house by myself later on, and eventually I just switched out the Mustang for my wife's SUV. That was a bummer, but there just wasn't a way to get the three of us comfortable and safe. All in all, though, I'm glad I had our long-term Mustang on that memorable morning.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Sunday Drive

April 25, 2011


It was Easter afternoon. Family obligations were done, and there wasn't much going on at my house. I probably should have done some chores like a good little suburbanite home owner (mow the grass! Fix the squeaky door!) but instead decided to take the Mustang out for a drive. I needed it. And the Mustang needed it, having prior done little more than mindless errands all weekend. In the end, I think we were both much better for it.

I didn't really have a plan to go anywhere other than to drive around on some country roads in Central California I hadn't been on before. Anytime you find yourself with a car that you want to drive for no other reason but to drive, you've got a winner on your hands. Our Mustang is such a car.

What surprised me most was how complete the Mustang has become. I don't have the exhaustive experience that Michael Jordan has with older cars, as my Mustang driving lineage only goes back by about 10 years. But in the past decade, the Mustang was always down on power (relative to its nemesis, the Camaro) or down on interior refinement (relative to everything except the Camaro). Now, both of those issues are gone. The 2011 Mustang is a no-excuses car.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Better Than

April 25, 2011


Driving this Mustang makes me realize that I’ve actually been driving cars like it for a very long, long time.

And this made me think about them all and where the Mustang fits in on my list of favorites.

Unfortunately it’s a long, long list.

The Mustang GT 5.0 is better than the 1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 that belonged to Skip Robidart’s dad and which we drove down to Laguna Seca with Mary Stuart and Ann Scholey to see the races. (And way better than the 1964 MG Midget that Robidart and I had driven down there to the races six months before.)

The Mustang GT 5.0 is better than the 1967 Firebird 326 H.O. which belonged to Analissa Anastasia’s boyfriend that I drove after we swam that race on the Russian River. (Wonder if he ever found out?)

Better than that 1969 Mustang Boss 302 that belonged to the Marine helicopter pilot at El Toro. (It had all the trick stuff, too.)

Maybe not better than that 1977 Firebird Trans Am with the black-and-gold package, designer John Schinella’s screaming chicken decal on the hood, snowflake wheels, four-speed manual transmission and clanking Detroit-locker limited slip. (Drove it cross-country about a week after the release of Smokey and the Bandit and never could figure out why all those truckers kept hailing me on the CB.)

Better than the 1982 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 (The only one of the Fox-platform Mustangs that I can remember even being close to good.)

Better than the 1982 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. (Though it’s a close thing, as this Fred Schaafsma-developed car was a breakthrough, a 1,000 percent better than the car that preceded it.)

Better than the 1993 Chevrolet Camaro. (Stiffer structure than before, but soggier engine.)

Better than 1993 Firebird Firehawk SLP. (No grip from those trick tires.)

Better than 1994 Mustang. (Fox-4 platform was cheap at least and engine went for hp.)

Better than 1999 Mustang. (Then they made it ugly and engine went for lb-ft.)

Better than 1999 Firebird Trans Am 30th Anniversary. (Speaking of ugly.)

Better than 2001 Mustang Bullitt. (Great Steve McQueen TV commercial, though.)

Better than 2004 Pontiac GTO. (Well, actually, it’s not better, but it certainly matches up at a more affordable price.)

Better than 2005 Mustang. (Almost there, but still missing the lightning in a bottle that has been captured by the new V8.)

Better than 2009 Dodge Challenger. (Nice car, but the size of a school bus.)

Better than 2010 Chevrolet Camaro. (A mess in too many ways to list.)

So that seems to make the 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 pretty good, doesn’t it? (Wait, do I have to include all those Mustangs from McLaren, Roush and Saleen? What about those cars that wished they were the Mustang, like the Ferrari 550 Maranello and Porsche 928?)

Michael Jordan (Executive Editor, Edmunds.com)

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2011 Ford Mustang: Crime Fighting Machines

April 22, 2011


All I need now is a black motorcycle and a Bat Cave. Should be a fun weekend.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Crossing Jordan

April 22, 2011

2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Jordan 1.jpg

This is my friend's son Jordan, who is 6 and is pictured about to head out to his baseball game. I visited his parents a few weeks ago and asked him to check out our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0.

He said it was Nice and sounded Cool. What he didn't mention was that the Mustang GT's ride is choppy over bumpy freeway sections. And that you can get the rear end to step out a bit going around corners even without defeating the traction control.

It's too bad he probably won't get a chance to buy a new V8 Mustang when he's older. With the New World Order, I don't see how the affordable V8 muscle car can survive. It's the end of the road after this gen of the Mustang, Challenger, and Camaro.

Is there a hybrid I4 Mustang in Jordan's future? Perhaps. But I'll bet he won't find that Cool.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~6,400 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Runaway Shopping Cart

April 18, 2011

Shopping Cart Mustang.jpg

I went to Costco last week in our Ford Mustang GT. It was a windy night and there were several unattended shopping carts in the parking lot. After loading my groceries in the car, I noticed a runaway shopping cart headed straight towards the pristine, four-month-old car.

I frantically tried to put the car in reverse, but by the time I was in gear, my wife was halfway out of the car, hoping to head off the cart. I couldn’t move the car -- if I had reversed, my wife would’ve been hit by the door. She wasn't able to reach the cart in time and I cringed as the oversized Costco cart (above photo was a re-creation) hit the passenger side front fender.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Our Favorite Caption

April 15, 2011


Thanks to questionlp for this week's favorite caption.

Our award-winning blog went haywire today. Sorry you had so much trouble commenting.

Here are the others that had us laughing:

Steamed in 60 Seconds (ergsum)
Mustang GT 5.0: a lot of mussel for not a lot of clam. (ergsum)
Don't be shellfish, there is mussel enough here for everyone. (technetium99)
Shucks! (altimadude05)
Mussel bound. (ergsum)
No need to feel clammy, heated seats are an option! (altimadude05)
This looks fishy; who's horsing around with the road signs. (mnorm1)
It could be worse; if we were in the Camaro we would need a mullet inspection... (roadburner)
Approved by Inspector 5.0. (seth111976)
SEA HORSE. (vt8919)
When asked about any mussel-enhancing drugs, Magrath clammed up. (teampenske3)

What was your favorite?

To the winner:
You can select one of these three prizes:

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: You Write the Caption

April 15, 2011


Sorry I didn't post a caption contest photo last week. Scott and I were in New York collecting an award for you.

I'm sure this one was worth the wait. Associate Editor Mike Magrath sent me this photo of our Ford mussel car.

What is your caption?

We'll post our favorite this afternoon.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Why I Love It

April 13, 2011


Video after the jump.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Mustang Meet-Up

April 12, 2011


Edsel Ford II was scheduled to speak today at the L.A.-based Motor Press Guild's monthly lunch meeting. Rumor was Parnelli Jones would also be in the house, and possibly Carroll Shelby.

We took our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT to meet these lengendary heroes. Unfortuantely, this was as close as our car could get.

See a couple of the Mustangs from the Ford display after the jump.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Its Evil Brother (Video)

April 12, 2011

Red Key Black Key.jpg

OK, so this isn't our Mustang. But it's still a Mustang. It's still black (well, partly). It still has a 5.0-liter V8.

But, the Boss 302 also has two keys: one black, the other red. Watch the video after the jump to answer, which one will you choose? I suddenly feel like Laurence Fishburne.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Somedays ...

April 05, 2011

Ford Mustang at Pier 16 of Port Romulus.jpg

Two days Fiat 500 -- fun, but zero to 60 in "eventually."

Three days Toyota Sienna -- SE model sure, but still a living room on wheels.

Three days Toyota Prius rental car -- do I need to explain this one?

Somedays you just need a Mustang GT. Aaaaah, that's better.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Brakes Work Well, Feel a Bit Soft

April 04, 2011


Don't get me wrong, our Mustang stops short as well as anything in its class. But the pedal? It's not exactly what I would call firm.

In most situations there's adequate heft and it's reasonably precise. Get on it with any sort of conviction, though, and it goes from pleasantly firm to all sloppy and hard to read.

It's been that way with Mustangs for years, so I wasn't exactly surprised. Still, when I see Brembo calipers up front I expect something more. They certainly deliver the power, just not the precision.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Monterey Trip Fuel Economy and Notes From the Road

April 03, 2011

Ford Mustang GT Fuel Monterey.jpg

The EPA rates the 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 at 17 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. With its 16 gallon fuel tank, that gives a max range of 416 miles. And as all the long term readers will know, I'm not a fan of early fills.

Unfortunately, thanks to sub-EPA fuel economy numbers and a gauge and warning light prone to hysterics, the furthers I managed on one tank of gas was....

...a pathetic 276.3 miles. Lame! And then, despite the annoying light and panicked range, the thing only took 12.475 gallons. Disappointing.

The trip took me across 939.7 miles of California and I had to fill up -- including one to top it off to deliver it to the boss full -- 5 times. My best MPG was on the sub-speed limit crawl down the 101 which resulted in a 22.1 mpg rating. Well below the EPA estimates. I blame gearing. And my use of second to pass.

Overall MPG was 18.4 with the low tank being my cruise into LA traffic via Rt 1. The whole trip used up 51 gallons of fuel.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Tron Shoes!

April 03, 2011

Tron Shoes.jpg

I'm not going to take up a ton of time here as we've determined that the interior accent lights on the 2011 Ford Mustang GT are one of those things people, generally, don't care about. That said, as soon as it got dark on my drive back from Monterey, the white portions of my black Oakley race shoes (NFPA 2112 certified but I wear them daily because they're freaking comfy -- and no, this isn't an Oakley ad, but with their shop being in the SL caption contest and my collection of O products I don't know what they're waiting for...hint) looked like they were glowing Tron style. It was so cool I kept looking down instead of ahead.

It's the simple things, right?

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: 4,951cc of Antidepressant. STAT.

April 02, 2011

Mustang monterey front 34.jpg

I don't have any data to back this up, and I'm certainly no doctor, but after putting 939.7 miles on our LT Mustang, I'm pretty convinced that nobody who owns or drives a 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 with the six-speed manual and 3.73 gears can possibly be depressed.

First there's the start-up. After the key-twist, there's a rev and a rumble that sort of says, "let's go!"It's not even moving and there's a sense of urgency from the new 5.0. And then once you get moving --- Yeee HAW! When rolling along in first gear between 10-20 MPH, treating the gas pedal like a spider on linoleum results in tire spin, a terrific noise and best of all -- the traction control lets it all happen! Of course, if it goes too far off course, the orange light flashes and intervenes, but having some proper Mustang fun is possible even without turning off the nannies. Plus, drive it right and it'll chirp the tires into third. Love that. My Porsche-driving passenger at the time was shocked cars could do that. Welcome to 'Merica, friend.

And things don't get worse if you want to drive it like a grown up....

As we've seen in our recent Mustang v. Mustang v. Mustang v. Mustang comparison, the stock Mustang GT aint too shabby on a racetrack. Yes, there have been some changes to the track (most notably a re-paved hump that allows for more speed down the back), but the last time we lapped an STI there, it did 1:32. The GT? 1:28.2. The steering is good, the brakes are good and there's enough visibility to comfortably haul some ass.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Milestone

April 01, 2011

milestone 5003 Mustang GT.jpg

Sorry for the late milestone picture, but I was in a construction zone and couldn't pull over.

Anyway, just two and a half months after we introduced our long term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0, here we are celebrating its 5,000th mile. Awww. They grow up so fast. Especially when some 30 of its miles are running around the Streets of Willow.

Doing some quick maths, we're on pace to hit 24,000 miles with this one. Though that should be eclipsed as you'll no doubt remember, our 'Stang was out of commission for a bit dealing with some annoying fueling issues.

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor Edmunds.com @ 5,003.3 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Easy Fuel

March 31, 2011

2011 Ford Mustang GT at fuel station.jpg

Our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 has Ford's Easy Fuel system. As most of you know, Easy Fuel is a capless fuel-filler system that instead has an integrated spring-loaded flapper door -- no screw cap is required. Easy Fuel automatically seals after the fuel nozzle is removed. Ford claims Easy Fuel emits fewer evaporative emissions into the environment, perhaps because it's quicker to close up.

What I do know is that it's fast and convenient. And that it's simple and inexpensive idea that adds value for me.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 4,950 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: At Global Rallycross

March 29, 2011

2011 Ford Mustang GT at Global Rallycross.jpg

This weekend I rolled over to Global Rallycross at Irwindale Speedway in our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0, the first time for me to drive it for an extended distance.

The Mustang has a good highway ride, but it can get a bit busy over bumps. That 5.0 engine is quite flexible on the highway: 4th, 5th, 6th, how loud do you want the exhaust? And it will pull in 6th too, although I didn't try any I-15 Vegas-to-LA style grades. A reader also asked about heel-and-toe shifts: the pedal layout is decent enough for that.

As you would expect, the parking lot at the racetrack was full of Subaru STIs.

But myself, I'd take a Mustang GT 5.0 over those, anyday.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 4,900 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Mustang To Monterey

March 27, 2011


I'm so happy I could do a burnout. Oh, wait, done that.

Anyway, when I suggested the poll that you silly kids would get to pick what I drove to Monterey, I'd expected to take the Outlander, Regal or Mazda 2 (I know James, Ed, Erin and SO tried to make me take something without USB-- my addiction), but overwhelming the vote went to the 2011 Ford Mustang GT....

Wooo! Thanks guys! I leave tomorrow.

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: My Inner Monologue

March 25, 2011

Depressed in Mustang.jpg

It's Thursday night. It's raining. Traffic sucks. I'm in the Mustang GT, but at this pace, I'd be getting just as much enjoyment from our Outlander Sport. Man, that thing's slow. Geez, what should I blog about tomorrow? There's the seating position or Sync not including a podcast menu. That Mustang logo on the door trim's kinda cool. Screw that, I don't want to nitpick this thing, I want to drive it. How come we can't move the office to somewhere with 11 million fewer people? I hear people dig Provo -- we could do well there.

Yeah, traffic's opening up. Hey, third gear! Oh man this thing sounds awesome. The shifter is fantastic -- so tightly spaced. Fourth gear. Crap on a cracker, highway's stopping again. Yes Los Angeles, this light drizzle sure is terrifying. Really best to slow to 3 mph just to be on the safe side. Jerks.

This thing needs a telescoping steering wheel ... nope, not going to nitpick. Hmm, would I take this instead of the Challenger? I liked the Dodge better in traffic -- comfier, clutch is a tad easier to drive, didn't constantly remind you of how awesome it is and thus depressing you whilst stuck in traffic. I think I'd just get one of each. What, it's my inner monologue, I can't be a rich bastard in my inner monologue?

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 4,769 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: The Soundtrack

March 23, 2011

2011 Ford Mustang GT 5-0 Rear.jpg

Last night was the first time in a while that I rolled in our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0. And yes, I did enjoy it. I've been driving quite a few utiliarian test cars recently. Some of them are boring, but almost all of them sound boring.

I usually get in a test car and immediately crank the radio. But last night, I skipped the Sirus and listened to the 5.0 intake and exhaust sounds instead.

And although it's not as good as the soundtrack from "Bullitt,"our Mustang GT's soundtrack sounds just fine from the driver's seat.

(There has been a lot of discussion as to whether those engine and exhaust sounds from Bullitt are actual or were done in post-production. Muscle car fans: please weigh in on this.)

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 4,730 miles (Bonus: Exhaust note and "Bullitt"pursuit on the jump.)

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: An Engine That Looks Like an Engine

March 22, 2011


People around the office have mentioned this to me, so last night I popped the hood on the Mustang to take a look at its engine.

Sure enough, the new 5.0 looks like an actual engine. There are intake runners, cylinder heads and an awesomely detailed strut tower brace. It's like someone at Ford actually cared.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Lugnut Disaster

March 15, 2011


Some things just don't play well together. Cats and dogs. Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote. And as our 2011 Ford Mustang GT found out, impact wrenches and wheel lock keys. Want to see why?

Our story began harmless enough. We caught a nail with the front tire of our Mustang. It was a slow leaker near the center of the tread, an easy repair. But easy turned complicated when I handed the keys over to the tire shop guy. I forgot the Mustang had wheel locks.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: More Video From Willow Springs

March 14, 2011

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 -- Dodging a...Probe

March 14, 2011

Ford Probe vs Mustang GT.jpg

I was driving into work today when I saw a very clean, shiny and overall attractive Ford Probe. I looked at the car and thought, "You know, that last generation Ford Probe looked pretty good. Clean lines. Nice proportions. And while flip-up headlights have been dubbed passe by the automotive design community I still like them."

Then I remembered I was driving our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT, with 412 horsepower, a superb exhaust note and the correct wheels moving it around.

Suddenly the thought of the Ford Mustang ever evolving into a rebadged, front-drive Mazda made me shudder, and that red Probe didn't look so good anymore.

Even with gas creeping past $4-a-gallon I remain convinced -- Ford dodged a bullet on that one.

Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor at Large @ 4,480 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: So This Happened ...

March 10, 2011


...but if you were following us on Twitter ( http://twitter.com/insideline_com ) you'd already know that.

More later....

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: How to Stall the Minivan Conversation

March 07, 2011

Mustang-lower f34_web.jpg

A sunny and mild Saturday afternoon seemed like reason enough to test the Mustang's family values and I persuaded the Kid and the Missus to take a ride down to Laguna Beach. Had a minor wrestle finessing the child seat in back, but no problems finding and anchoring to the LATCH hooks. There wasn't a ton of room for the Kid's knees, but fortunately the Missus is short and could slide the passenger seat forward.

Setting out south on Pacific Coast Highway, the Mustang lets loose the sounds that draw men to machines.

Crystalline intake whistle. Perfect midbass rumble. Clearly some acoustic engineers spent time ensuring that the thick fullness of 5.0 exhaust pulses make it into the cabin. There's something primal, and not gender-specific, about the synthesis of these sounds. The Kid was an immediate fan of the noise, her mother not so much.

Laguna Beach is full of hills, a small coastal village nearly pushed into the sea by plate tectonics. It's also full of tourists, which makes for a fun crawl through town, dodging jaywalkers and killing time at signals on sharp inclines. The 5.0's clutch uptake is terrific. Apply the throttle, ease out the clutch pedal, and almost immediately the transmission engages and surges the car forward. No unease about rolling back.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Straight A Student

March 04, 2011

Mustang 50-BW_web.jpg

Not long after I'd gotten my license, I got my Dad to agree to help me buy an '89 Mustang GT 5.0 convertible. But there was a catch: I'd have to maintain a solid 4.0 GPA throughout my junior year. Pops being a sensible fella -- realizing that no 17-year-old boy should be piloting a 5.0 on public roads, but willing to give me a chance to prove myself -- was sweatin' a little when I hit the target through first semester. I ripped a center spread advertisement from a car mag and stuck it on the wall next to my desk for motivation.

But then came Calculus and a cute little South American baton twirler in the marching band. My second semester performance was derailed and Dad breathed a little easier. I felt a little dejected come summer. No 5.0 droptop. But it was all good in the end. My old Escort GT ran fine and allowed me to show my new friend the beaches of southern California.

Now and then, I still think about the one that got away. The car, I mean. To all my Mustang-desirin' teenage friends…study hard.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: What's Next?

March 03, 2011


As of Tuesday, I've driven every model in the 2011 Mustang lineup. From top to bottom, they're as good as musclecars get. I'd gladly take the V6, but I still lust after the GT500. As I reveled in the afterglow of some of the best internal combustion engines ever built, I was overcome with a feeling of dread...

With the world being what it is at the moment, with unrest in oil-producing countries and the shift to cleaner means of transportation, I'm wondering what's next for the Mustang. When the gas crunch hit in the 1970s, it plunged us into what I called the Automotive Dark Ages. Are we headed for something similar? Or worse?

Would a Mustang powered by anything but a V8 (or the current V6) still be a Mustang? Part of the allure is the sound of a big honkin engine roaring down the road. Is that going to be replaced by the high-pitched whine of an electric motor?

If it does, I think Ford should respectfully retire the Mustang name. At least until some viable alternative comes along. Chevy put the Camaro on hiatus, so did Dodge with the Challenger. I'd rather see it go into hiding than see it neutered into some weak "sporty"car that doesn't deserve the Mustang badge. That day may be further off than I think, or at least, I hope it is. But face it, it's out there. As a self-proclaimed Mustang whisperer, I can't seem to shake that thought.

What do you think the future holds for our beloved Mustang?

Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: I Want The V6 Wheels

March 03, 2011

2011 Ford Mustang V6.jpg

Our 2011 long-term Ford Mustang GT 5.0 is a terrific all-around muscle car. And as good as the V6 version is, the GT is better...because it has a 5.0 V8!

So why in the world would anyone want the V6? For the wheels, of course. (Yes, I am completely dismissing fuel economy, torque, and cost from this discussion.)

I loves the wheels on the V6 Mustang (pictured above.) To me they are the best looking factory wheels (on any car!) I can remember. And they come in 19"diameter with the same 255/40R19 sized tires as on our long-term GT.

I checked the Ford website and order guide. Apparently you can't get the V6 wheels on the GT 5.0, so you would have to do a dealer swap, or order a separare set.

Too bad.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~4,000 miles
(Mustang V6 photo by Kurt Niebuhr)

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Rain Is A Good Thing

February 28, 2011

Mustang GT longtermer snowy mountain shot.jpg

Or so says Luke Bryan, in his song of the same name. For him, "Rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey. Whiskey makes my baby feel a little frisky."

Those who are lucky enough to have wives/girlfriends/life partners, etc. who don't need the booze to get their motor running, so to speak, appreciate rain for other reasons:

Here in usually weather-less southern California, rain early in the weekend meant snow on the smaller mountains (those peaks in the background are at about 5,500 feet; you'd be able to see the snow if this photo were at all legible). And rain helps turn at least some parts of our dry and sunburned landscape into an extremely rare shade of green. Nice.

How does any of this pertain to the Mustang GT? Well, rain means near-guilt-free burnouts and powerslides, as the wet roads are much easier on those rear tires. Not that the Mustang GT needs any help breaking the tires loose. And not that I would ever partake in such hooligan antics, of course...

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 3,905.1 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: It's A Live!

February 25, 2011

Mustang GT longtermer pony.jpg

Much has been said about the fact that Ford still uses a live rear axle on the Mustang GT, as opposed to some totally newfangled contraption, I believe it's called independent rear suspension, or something like that.

We usually attribute this to Ford cheaping out.

But maybe it's not about being cheap, but is in fact a totally intentional aspect of the car. How so?

Because a live axle makes the Mustang GT more exciting to drive. Hit a big bump while in the slightest bit of a turn on the highway and you're in for a good bounce. Even better, accelerate hard as you hit that bump and suddenly you're ridin' a buckin' bronc, as the rear just can't cope. Yee-haw!

Sure, the Mustang would be easier to drive and more refined, especially on rough roads, with an independent rear. But it would be less of that Mustang experience.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 3,773 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Giddyup

February 24, 2011

Ford Mustang GT longtermer.jpg

I loves me a good V8. Except the 5.0 in this 'Stang isn't very good; it's awesome. And not just because of the intoxicating music coming from the intake and exhaust.

No, the real reason you want to keep whacking open the throttle is because of what happens when you whack open the throttle: Smooth, luscious, throbbing power. Everywhere on the tach. Regardless of gear.

Yep, the 5.0 is back. And the people rejoiced.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 3,641.9 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: No More Stubby Levers

February 21, 2011

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That's it, let's call a halt to the race to make shift levers totally stubby.

Apparently someone wants every shift lever to look and feel like it comes from a Mazda MX-5 Miata, except this Mustang's shift lever is a poster child for everything that's wrong with the whole idea.

It’s a fine thing to have a short lever and a short-throw shift linkage, but only if you’re dealing with a fairly wispy amount of torque, like from an Austin-Healey Sprite or something. (Actually the Miata’s shift action was patterned after that of a Sprite.)

When there’s a lot of torque – like the 390 lb-ft here — then the gears have to be pretty robust to withstand the forces involved as they mesh. And a short throw linkage simply makes the gears come together a little more rapidly that they might like and puts a lot of stress on the synchros besides. A short-throw linkage also inspires the unimaginative to rip the shift from first to second, and sometimes even second to third. The transmission is pretty much the most complex sub-assembly in a car, and the consequences of abuse involve digits with at least three zeroes behind them.

I’m also not a fan of a short shift lever like this because you have to move the shift lever with your hand on top of the knob, a kind of dexterity test that challenges your ability to find the next shift gate. And when I try to drop down my hand to grasp the lever from the rear, my elbow fouls the center console.

This short shift lever and short-throw shift linkage for this Getrag MT-82 transmission might seem like a good deal, but I’d rather have the shift lever and linkage of the Tremec 6060 gearbox of our former Camaro long-term test car. (Which is the only thing about the Camaro that I like better than this Mustang.)

Perhaps I’ve known too many racers from the 1950s, who have all told me that the transmission is the last place where you try to find lap time in a car. Carroll Shelby says he won lots of races in the crappy old Cad-Allard of his early days because he was smart enough to keep from abusing the Jaguar transmission.

Dan Gurney and his Riverside buddy Skip Hudson used their Ford hot rods to work out that you could take a car out of gear as fast as you wanted, but then you had to be deliberate while engaging the next gear. Gurney says that Ferrari racing cars of the late 1950s were a revelation because you could shift them as quick as you wanted, as they had been engineered to be the most robust part of the car (a reaction to the terrible reliability problems of early Ferrari transmissions).

And Bob Bondurant still teaches his students to be easy on the transmission, a lesson he learned in his early days as a Corvette racer, even though those Borg-Warner T-10s were apparently pretty good.

Every time I drive the Mustang, I think about how long the transmission is going to last.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunbds.com

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Startup Video X2

February 21, 2011

Here's a little Monday morning wake up for you. Our Mustang GT makes some good sounds.

Another video after the jump.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Throttle Pedal Footrest/Stop? Bad Idea.

February 18, 2011


This thing bothers me. Turns out, I'm particular about where I put my heel when I'm driving. I like to bury it under the pedal and use ankle articulation to control the throttle. And now, with complete indifference for those who drive this way, Ford has decided that's not possible.

I'm blaming the lawyers. And here's why.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Skip-Shift Criteria

February 18, 2011

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You, the faithful IL reader, wanted to know exactly what conditions trigger the 2011 Ford Mustang GT's skip-shift function.

Same here, actually. Prior to posting my previous entry regarding the skip-shift, I'd pinged the fine folks at Ford asking that very question.

The Mustang's engineering manager is a busy man, but he did get back to me with the information that I've since laboriously, painstakingly repixellized (I might have made up that word) after the jump.

Skip shift enablement criteria:

Warm engine (greater than 170 degrees F coolant)
Start from a dead stop (approx 1 to 2 secs to stabilize idle)
Vehicle speed between 15 and 19 mph
Throttle pedal less than 25% open (but not closed pedal)
Engine speed greater than 1200 rpm
1st gear validated

So there you have it. Food for your inner geek.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Stolen From General Motors

February 11, 2011

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Initially, I thought I just sucked at shifting our longterm 2011 Ford Mustang GT. Twice it went into 4th gear when I changed up from 1st gear while driving around on city streets.

It turns out that for 2011, Ford equipped the Mustang GT with a 1-4 skip-shift, uh, feature just like that found on so many V8-equipped GM cars.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I found no mention of this system anywhere in Ford's press materials, their website, nowhere.

The idea behind the skip-shift is to plump up the city fuel economy number on the window sticker.

It's a false economy since most/all owners of cars thusly equipped either:

a. defeat the skip-shift entirely, by adding a resistor to the system, or;

b. learn to drive around the skip-shift, thereby erasing any fuel consumption benefit it would have provided.

In the Mustang, the skip-shift is slightly less obnoxious/obtrusive than in those GM cars, owing to the Ford's closer gear spacing. Still, this is too large of a ratio jump to successfully pull off, even with the torquey V8 behind it. The car bogs way down.

Proponents of the skip-shift system argue that if the system helps to reduce the gas-guzzler tax, then it's cool since it saves the customer some cash. However, the Mustang isn't even close to the gas guzzler tax threshold -- which is based on "unadjusted"mpg values rather than the window sticker mpg -- and probably still wouldn't be subject to the tax even in the absence of the skip-shift.

I can only conclude that the purpose of the skip-shift in the Mustang is that it helps alleviate Ford's CAFE requirement, and nothing more.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Time Machine

February 09, 2011


Fair warning, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Mustang fanboy. Having a black GT parked in my backyard last night instantly had me waxing poetic about the pony cars of my past. I've owned two Mustangs -- the first was a 1995 GT followed immediately by a 1998 SVT Cobra. Both were black and convertibles. How does our new 5.0 stack up?

Well, it kills my old Mustangs. This new 5.0 would feast on my old pushrod 302 as well as the 4.6-liter 32-valve Cobra. But the feeling remains the same. I found myself driving just as I did back then -- windows down to hear the big burly V8, revving the engine instead of using the horn, romping on the throttle whenever I could. Yes, I was in heaven.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: A Live One

February 09, 2011

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It probably happened around the time when our longterm 2011 Ford Mustang GT was heading down the assembly line in Flat Rock. A new or revised Mustang is introduced to the media, and the subsequent reports from a half-dozen hacks inevitably gush "you can't even tell it has a live axle!"

Those journalists need to have their asses recalibrated.

The subject of the Mustang's live axle ignites heated arguments among enthusiasts nearly as effectively as do pushrods. Ford's justification for the live axle in modern times has been that their customers that drag race demand it, and, well, it's cheap. Fair enough. Mustang enthusiasts point to the car's impressive handling numbers. Also a fair point. But don't be fooled into concluding that a live axle out-points an independent layout on every pole of the spider graph.

Live axles have loads of unsprung mass, far more than that of an independent suspension. This is the technical description you've heard before, and the way unsprung mass manifests itself in the real world is a busy up-and-down action originating from the rear of the car. It's not really ride harshness per se, it's more of an exaggerated bobbling motion, and it's obvious. You notice it even when cruising down a freeway if that freeway is not completely smooth, a description that includes nearly every metropolitan-area freeway.

On smooth surfaces like racetracks, unsprung mass is far less of a liability (unless the best lines on the track are those that entail driving over berms...). A live-axle'd tire has no camber change due to body roll (i.e. it runs perpendicular to the track surface), an aspect that is no bad thing for grip and traction and is part of the reason drag racers like 'em. Of course, unlike live axles, independent layouts can have the luxury of toe and camber adjustments, allowing the user to take advantage of camber thrust for additional grip.

Roads in the real world are bumpy. When driving on said bumpy roads that also decide to turn, unsprung mass re-enters the equation and the Mustang bucks uncouth-ly. It's like some large, invisible hand is yanking the back of the car to and fro. Ford engineers have gone to some lengths in tuning the rear damper forces in attempt to manage this inherent behavior, and in doing so have extended the effective life of the stick axle layout.

But then you drive a car like the current Camaro over the same section of road and realize just how much less ass-end-derived drama and nonsense there can be (note: I'm not referring to oversteer, which is the kind of ass-end nonsense I can get behind). The difference in chassis control and composure is real.

This is one of the few areas in which I prefer the Camaro over the Mustang.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Boom-Boom Radio Not Required

February 03, 2011

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First off: this is a killer engine. Killer.

Our longterm 2011 Ford Mustang GT's V8 is super tractable, pulls with authority and sounds great.

The honkus you see above doesn't do a thing at all for the first two items. But it does help with the latter bit.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Outlet Placement Win

February 03, 2011

mustang dash.jpg

Sure, the giant cord to my V1 falls over some of the buttons in this shot, but if the Mustang were mine, I'd ditch the giant curley thing in favor of a shorty foot-long power cable.

With most cars, you've got to run this, or the flat cable, through, over and around everything to get it plugged in and out of the way, manual trans = more routing. ( For some cars flat cable up over the sun visor, down the molding on the A-pillar and then around the panel gap for the glove box is the most convenient, out of the way place.)

But not here. Someone at Ford was thinking ahead for dash (there's a sunken area on the dash for a little more clearance dead-center) mounted electronics. Thank ya, Ford.

In unrelated news: MAN is this car fast. It's pretty quick on paper, but on the road it feels light and fast and like a sports car, not a Pony Car.

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com.

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2011 Ford Mustang: Non-Muscle-Car Guy Approved

February 01, 2011

Ford Mustang in Riswick's Driveway.jpg

I actually got to drive the Mustang last night, and although I've begun calling it the Jokermobile, I must say that it's absolutely awesome.

Now, I'm not a muscle car guy by any means. I prioritize sharp handling over straight-line brute force. I like a nice interior over one featuring sheets of hard plastic nailed together. I don't find burnouts to be pornographic. Growing up in the 90s, the Mustangs, Camaros and Firebirds of the day had absolutely ZERO appeal. The ones of yore were (and are) but a mild curiosity.

And yet, I love our new Mustang.

It may look like a muscle car, it may go like a muscle car, but it also feels like a sports car that's great to drive in directions other than a straight line. The electric steering (shockingly) is very good; the shifter is one of the best I've ever used; the clutch is easy in traffic or when hauling ass; the body is controlled through corners and over most bumps. Unlike the Camaro and Challenger, it doesn't feel enormous when behind the wheel; unlike the Camaro, its wheel and shifter are shaped for a human being.

I also appreciate that its interior doesn't need to fall back on the tired excuse of "yeah, but it goes from zero to 60 in X.X seconds and therefore all other criticisms or irrelevant."Oh, there are still a few cheap pieces here and there, but sitting in a Mustang no longer feels like you're being penalized.

Come to think of it, I loved our Challenger too, but for completely opposite dynamic reasons. It looked like a muscle car, it went like a muscle car, but it also felt like a grand American touring coupe that was spacious and comfortable enough to also serve as a daily driver or road trip companion. It too had a nice interior.

Since they're so different, it's hard to pick which I like better. I do know I'd be happy to own either one, but that still doesn't make me a muscle car guy.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 2,660 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Go...Bucks?

January 31, 2011

mustang tach sweep.jpg

(Man, that tach-sweep shot is hard.)

When you first hop into our Long Term 2011 Ford Mustang GT, there are a lot of cool details to take in. The rad metal-ball shifter is first and then, once you start 'er up, you notice the gauges. Now, they're nothing special -- the numbers are big and the needle is easy to read but small enough to be precise -- until someone goes and messes with the color adjustable gauges that come on the premium pack. Like someone here did who is a big fan of the Milwaukee Bucks and their green and purple color scheme.

Follow the jump for a video of the colors for both the gauge, trim ring and ambient lighting. (Note: my camera wasn't thrilled with these colors... they are truer to the color listed than they actually appear.)

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: *sigh*

January 25, 2011


So I guess this is part four.

Never mind how I came to drive our 2011 Mustang GT home, just know that while I was on my way to work I saw the above message about fifteen minutes into my trip. Seeing the message, I paused. I turned the radio off, steadied the throttle and listened for a hiccup. A car can have a lot of problems that can go undetected for a few minutes, miles or months but an issue with fuel will get your attention immediately.

As I wasn't sputtering to a stop or bursting in to flames, I reached for the RESET button located to the left of the steering wheel and cleared the message from the display. When the message failed to reappear after 30 seconds, I whacked the throttle to the floor and tached it out through two gears.

I continued on my way to work.

Not more than ten minutes after I arrived at work, not the least bit on fire, Dan Edmunds was downstairs with a scan gauge in hand, ready to diagnose the Mustang.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: And That's Why You Buy a 5.0 Mustang

January 24, 2011


This car rules.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 -- That Didn't Take Long

January 20, 2011

Mustang GT Odometer.jpg

Seems like just yesterday we got our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT, probably because it was just a couple weeks ago and the Ford still has that new-car smell and sheen.

But the odometer passed the big 2-0-0-0 yesterday, proof of how easy this 412-horsepower performance coupe is to live with. I still haven't decided what I like best: the throaty exhaust roar, the properly-weighted steering, the comfortable seats or the rapid acceleration.

Another 2,000 miles might help narrow it down.

Karl Brauer, Edmunds.com Editor at Large @ 2,000 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Has Brembos, SINGLE Piston Sliding Rear Calipers

January 19, 2011

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This is a screencap from the Ford website. It says the same thing on our window sticker and it says the same thing in every press kit and vehicle specifications page we've seen. The Brembo Brake Package ($1,695) gets you 19-by-9.0 Dark Stainless wheels, Unique ESC tuning and a Brembo Brake Package. This includes 14"Brembo rotors with four-piston fixed calipers and 11.8"rotors with two piston calipers in back.

Trouble is....this Mustang GT (just like the Convertible we tested earlier ) with the Brembo package has single piston rear calipers.

Reader cz_75 called us out on our Ford Mustang GT 5.0 Convertible Track Tested saying, "The rear brakes do have sliding calipers, but they have TWO pistons, not one."Sure enough, the specs say two, but our data sheet, which we compile ourselves, said one.

I scolded the guy who made the sheet and changed the data to reflect the spec chart. When we got our long-term Mustang GT in, I supervised the brake inspection.

"How many pistons."

"One."came the muffled response from under the car.

"how many?"


"Try again. How many?"

"One. Go look."


So a couple of got dirty to check it out. Sure enough, the spec chart was wrong and our car, like the 2011 Ford Mustang GT500, has single piston sliders.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Rear Repeaters

January 19, 2011

Yes, our long-term 2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0 is alive and kicking. I drove it over the long MLK weekend and had no problems at all.

There are some stylish details on the Mustang, including the rear turn signals.

The 3-section repeaters strobe from inboard to outboard when activated.

Very nice.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 1,950 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Nineteens

January 18, 2011

Ford Mustang GT Playa.jpg

When Edmunds Consumer Advice Associate Ron Montoya informed me that we bought a Mustang GT, the first thing I asked him was "Did we get the Nineteens?"When he confirmed that, I responded, "Yesssss." So we did get the 19-inch wheels fitted with 255/40 ZR19 PZeros (all part of the $1695 Brembo brake package.)

We ended up with 18s on our dearly departed Dodge Challenger R/T, and I hated them. That vehicle was huge, and from the back it looked like it rode on bicycle tires.

I'm happier with the Mustang GT and love the look of the 19s; they really improve the stance.

And the ride quality is just fine too.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 1,945 miles

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2011 Ford Mustang GT: Born to Burnout

January 13, 2011


If there's any doubt that our new 5.0 is a burnout machine, just look at the traction control button. The only way Ford could have made this button cooler is by actually labeling it "burnout."

I have plenty more to say about our new 5.0, mostly good things, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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Past Long-Term Road Tests