Way to go Ford, showing you A-game
Starting off with saying I don't own the car, but I am a technician at a Ford dealership, and have had the opportunity to drive a few of the new 5.0L Mustangs right off the truck onto the street.
Now I've driven PLENTY of the old 4.6L Mustangs, working at a Ford dealership, so I have a pretty good idea what to expect from a Mustang. I've even had the privilege to drive a GT40.
OK, so I'm sitting in a brand new 2011 5.0L Mustang premium coupe with 4 miles on the odometer in the lovely grabber blue. It's equipped with the Brembo brake and 3.73 gears packages, and a 6-speed manual transmission. 2nd gear, roll out of the dealer lot onto the street.
I give it a light amount of throttle, and was surprised by the instant response of the engine. I was convinced the new throttle by wire would slow the response. Wrong. Lightly up to 40mph, just getting away from the dealership before I make some noise. Onto the back street, 25mph, quick heel-toe shift into 2nd and floor it. Almost violently thrown into the back of my seat as the Mustang takes off with a VERY pleasant exhaust note and NO hesitation. I just blip the clutch and mash it into 3rd, CHIRP, but the mustang's not complaining.
Before I know it I'm doing 60 coming up to a turn. Smash the brake and instantly get thrown from the back of my seat forward and the seat belt catches me. Quickly throw it back down to 3rd with no throttle, and get no complaints from the clutch or trans. Around the turn, very nice, car feels 500 pounds lighter than it is, and very nicely balanced. Doesn't feel front heavy like a lot of V8's out there. Just point the Mustang where ever you want, and it goes. Only complaint is the shocks could be a hair stiffer.
Throttle out of the turn into a long straight away. Barely touching the clutch pedal between shifts, and the clutch doesn't slip at all. Up to 90mph in no time coming up to a stop sign. Hit those Brembo brakes again and come to a stop in no time flat. The nose doesn't even dive that much, and you still have full control of the wheel. Very impressed. Now I'm practically shaking from the excitement.
Now back to the dealership at a normal pace. For handling as well as it does, the Mustang is surprisingly comfortable down the road. Good visibility, heated leather seats on my back, and you don't feel every imperfection on the road like you would expect. The clutch and throttle are very tame if you want them to be.
I was VERY impressed by this car. I knew last year Ford had the chassis and suspension to take down the new Camaro, but not the powerplant. Now the Mustang accelerates, corners, handles, and brakes better than the Camaro and Challenger. Not to mention it gets better MPGs on top, and most importantly, COSTS LESS than both of em (base GT starts at ~$28k). The $40k+ Challenger SRT-8 can't even keep up with them. I just love this new 5.0 engine and the new 6-speed manual. Looks pretty sharp too, although I'm not too fond of the rear end. But overall, a very easy choice if your in the market for a sports car.
I STRONGLY suggest the Brembo brake package (it's not just brakes but suspension upgrades too) and the 3.73 gear package.
And have fun, this is the best bang for your buck Mustang Ford has ever made, and boy did they do it right.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 5th January, 2011