The 2011 Ford Mustang Finally Gets Some Balls

2011 Ford Mustang

With competitors out there like the excellent 2010 Chevy Camaro and Nissan 370Z, you’d think Ford would be as competitive as possible with the ultra-popular Mustang. The Chevy Camaro’s 3.6-liter V6 engine, for example, produces 304 horsepower, while the Nissan 370Z’s 3.7-liter V6 makes a very impressive 330 hp. The 2010 Ford Mustang’s 4.0-liter V6, on the other hand, gives us a measly 210 hp. Even the Mustang GT’s 4.6-liter V8 only gives us 315 horses. WTF, Ford?

Not only that, but the engines are routed through an outdated 5-speed auto or manual gearbox and get terrible fuel economy. The Mustang GT’s V8 gets a combined 18 mpg while the awful V6 is barely any better at 19 mpg (20 mpg with the manual.) It makes me wonder how they’ve managed to sell any V6 Mustangs in the last few years to anyone but rental car companies and image-whores. But now that’s all changed…

2011 Ford Mustang rear

For 2011, Ford finally wised up and upgraded their V6 to a competitive level. The new 3.7-liter all-aluminum powerplant produces 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque – 95 hp and 40 lb-ft better than its predecessor. Despite the engine’s smaller size, the new V6 is expected to get 30 mpg on the highway – 4 to 6 mpg better than the outgoing engine – thanks in part to the engine’s lighter weight (40 lbs lighter, in fact,) and a proper 6-speed auto or manual transmission.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Self, but now the V8 only has 10 more horsepower than the V6; who would buy the GT?” And you’d be right. Well, now that Ford has their collective heads out of their ass, I expect to see an announcement within the next few months about an upgraded V8 engine in the GT trim. Here’s hoping the V8 exceeds 400 hp.

Update: Indeed, here is the info for the 5.0 Liter 2011 Mustang GT.

2011 Ford Mustang instrument cluster

So, now we have a powerful V6 Mustang that can finally compete with other cars in its class. The 2011 Mustang will receive some other upgrades as well. In the engine bay, Ford added a cold-air intake, a new dual exhaust, and re-tuned the engine’s exhaust note. I’m actually looking forward to getting into one. The 2011 Ford Mustang will also be available with a Performance Package, which adds an upgraded suspension and chassis stiffening, bigger 19-inch wheels, a 3.31 rear axle ratio, stickier tires, sport mode, and brakes from a Mustang GT.

I’m glad to see the Mustang back in the game for next year. While the handling still leaves something to be desired (though that might be improved for 2011 too,) it’s a lighter car than the Camaro. Now that it and the Camaro are neck-and-neck in terms of power, it will be interesting to see Chevy’s next move. And don’t forget about the superb 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe which sports a 3.8-liter, 306 hp V6 and is more nimble than either of the two.

Chris Burdick

Chris Burdick

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Hi! I founded Automoblog.net in May of 2006. I'm an avid sports car and supercar enthusiast. My favorite cars include the Audi R8, Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 VT, and Koenigsegg CCX. I think the Ferrari 360 Spider is still one of the most beautiful cars in existence. For “normal” cars, I tend to lean towards imports - Nissan, Audi, and of course the Italians. I'm in love with my Pearl Yellow (don't judge) 1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo and plan to get around 550 HP to the rear wheels one day. I'm also a world traveler and have been backpacking Europe since March 2012, writing about cars along the way
Chris Burdick

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Filed Under: Car NewsFordMustang


  • http://www.automoblog.net/ Chris Burdick

    You're right Tyler, I'd be interested to see how it would fare around a track though. 0-60 numbers can be a bit misleading when judging performance.

  • Tyler

    I agree that ford needs to get some better engines, but this article fails to mention that the mustang gt keeps up quite well with its comptitors, especially considering the horsepower difference. It is about equal with the srt8, faster than the r/t challenger, and a little slower than the ss camaro. .3 seconds 0-60

    • tim

      new 5.0 smashes all 12.8

  • Tyler

    i dont know about the gt but the gt500 whooped the srt8 and the camaro ss in braking distance slalom and figure 8 tests

  • http://www.automoblog.net/ Chris Burdick

    Well let’s be fair here :) We should compare classes correctly:

    Mustang GT | Challenger R/T | Camaro SS

    a class up:

    GT500 | SRT8 | … (nothing yet for the Camaro, rumored to be the Z28)

  • Tyler

    i think the ss is kind of a grey area. its only a little faster than the gt, however it has the same horsepower as the srt 8, plus the planned z28 will have 550+ horsepower. Im not sure what to consider that as of right now

  • http://www.automoblog.net/ Chris Burdick

    Plans for the Z28 were (sort of) canceled, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do it. In the mean time, Hennessey did the HPE550 Camaro to make up for it. They also have the HPE700 Camaro, a 705 hp variant!

  • Tyler

    Hennessey also has mustangs, either 620 650 or 750 horsepower
    and I’ve read some articles about the z28 being back on track

  • Rash

    Lovely car , great new engine specs, thanks Ford for putting in a new engine and the amazing gearbox.. :)

  • Rash

    Super stuff, I just wish they are working on a hybrid Engine for the Mustang, Rolls Royce has already produced the Electric Phantom! why cant the others!

  • http://www.automoblog.net/ Chris Burdick

    Here's more info on the 5.0 Liter 2011 Mustang GT

  • Sack

    ^ Who gives a **** about electric cars, ill burn 3 tanks worth for every 1 your electrics save.

    Mustang still looks like garbage, though. At least now it will have a 5.0 v8.

  • Michael O

    The 370Z is a lot more expensive then the V6 Mustang. I wouldn't consider it to be in the same class as the V6 Mustang. Its more of a competitor to the Gt. The Camaro boasts having 94 more hp yet only gets to 60 a half a second faster then the current Mustang… Thats pretty sad. The current V6 Stang is low on horsepower but it doesn't lack in the torque department.

  • Michael O

    The current V6 does 0-60 in 6.5 seconds. The only car in its class that beats it is the Camaro which does 0-60 in 6 seconds. The 2005-2010 Mustangs all have “balls”. Yes this is a good improvement to the Mustang but its not like the previous generation Mustangs were dreadfully slow.

  • http://www.automoblog.net/ Chris Burdick

    Considering how much lighter the Mustang is, it should be faster than the Camaro.

    Nissan 370Z: 4.7 seconds
    Hyundai Genesis Coupe: 5.5 seconds

    • Cruzer

      Not bad for the Genisis, but the Car & Driver comparo has the Mustang at 5.1 in the 0-60. While the the Genisis wound up on top because of a "true sports car feel" the Mustang was on top on all three categories that mattered most.

  • jesse

    what is the factory invoice on the 2011 svt mustang hardtop when is this vehicle available in 2010 please advise jesse cerda

  • Allen

    Very true. You can not just look at horsepower or even torque, the only thing that really matters is cost to performance.

    The Current Mustang GTs performance falls in line EXACTLY with its current cost structure.

    The v6 mustang however when compared to the V6 Camaro, comes out lacking in the cost to performance depeartment.

    Adding in refinement, reputation, build quality, political considerations, financial stability, availabilty of options and durability further ups the ante in Fords across the board over chevy by leaps and bounds however.

    The Mustang GT also competes favorabley against cars like the 370 and the Genesis coupe when you factor in cost to performance ratios…and yes..that includes handling as it handls better than a Camaro even WITHOUT the track pack and competes "so so" against the 370 etc WITH the track pack.

  • shawn

    I dont no what you guys are reading but the new mustang gt kicks the srt and the camaro asses!!!

  • Tyler

    The new 5.0 does destroy everything, I was talking about the 4.6L GT