2011 Mustang GT Offers 412 Horsepower

The Detroit auto show was filled with hybrids and electrics as auto manufacturers tried to drum up support for government-mandated high-mileage vehicles.

But that doesn't mean the muscle car will go the way of the passenger pigeon.

The 2011 Mustang GT introduced at the North American International Auto Show featured a thoroughly modern 5-liter V-8 engine that will have all the niceties of twin independent-variable valve timing for its four-valve configuration. This will allow it to deliver 412 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque.

A variety of techniques will mean the new V-8 can escape the gas guzzler tag. In the Mustang, it will offer fuel economy estimated to be 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

It's hard to find space to spell out all the technical advances included in the new V-8, but it'll suffice to say that it includes all-new aluminum four-valve-per-cylinder heads with a compact valvetrain layout that leaves more room for high-flow ports, beefier head bolts and main bearings, and an aluminum block developed for optimized windage and oil drainback under lateral conditions and high RPM -- say, something you might encounter on the racetrack.

The increased capacity and baffling of the deep-sump oil pan supplements that ability, while tubular exhaust headers were developed to maximize exhaust pulse separation and improve flow.

While Mustang fanatics are likely thrilled with the new engine, the 2011 Mustang GT will offer other functional improvements as well.

The Electric Power Assist steering is expected to be a big contributor to improved driving dynamics, delivering quicker on-center steering response, increased effort at highway speeds and reduced effort in low-speed parking situations.

The suspension features a revised lower control arm and stiffer rear stabilizer bar. In fact, all stabilizer bars, spring rates and dampers have been revised. Also aiding the driving dynamics are the Brembo brake package with 14-inch vented front discs previously seen on the GT500 Mustang, unique 19-inch alloy wheels and performance tires.

As you might expect, the Mustang GT will get some unique appearance items as well, among them the 5.0 fender badges and a new engine cover. Three new colors for 2011 are Yellow Blaze Tri-Coat, Race Red and Ingot Silver.



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Driving Today: 2011 Mustang GT Offers 412 Horsepower