Finally, the Mustang we've all been waiting for. It has the power to embarrass Camaros and Challengers (despite still having a slight horsepower disadvantage) and the 5.0 badge now matches the engine's actual displacement. Oh, don't forget the new six-speed manual transmission that finally comes standard in all Mustangs and also helps the 412-hp 5.0 give up only 1 mpg to a V-6 Fusion on the EPA fuel economy cycles for city, highway, and combined mileage.
While a Camaro SS feels a bit heavy and slow, the Mustang GT is incredibly fast and feels much, much lighter behind the wheel. Ford managed to make the Mustang GT 244 pounds lighter than the Camaro without major sacrifices. Some detractors will point out the inherent complications of a live axle, but those disadvantages are largely irrelevant thanks to years of chassis and suspension tuning on this platform. If you want a true sports car, take your $36k to a Nissan dealer and buy a 370Z. For the muscle-car fan, the 2011 Mustang GT is about as good as it gets.
I can't wait until people start putting more aggressive exhausts on the new GT. Although the factory exhaust system is a good compromise between muscle and relaxed cruising sounds, a pair of Flowmasters would really let the 5.0 sing.
Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor