Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Ford Mustang

Base Price: $22,145

Last year, we picked the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 as the best performance car, and we didn't expect to bestow the honor on the original ponycar again for quite some time. After all, the performance category is brimming with dynamic-handling, powerfully motivated competitors from around the globe—the BMW M3 and the Chevrolet Corvette were recent winners—and they're all improving, all the time. But over the course of the past few months, Ford has re energized the entire Mustang lineup. First, the new GT arrived with an astonishingly versatile V6 engine that developed 305 hp while attaining more than 30 mpg. Alongside that entry-level engine, we witnessed the rebirth of the 5.0, a nostalgic number that represents high performance—by virtue of its 412 hp—like none other. Except, perhaps, for the 302. Ford reincarnated the Boss 302 nameplate for 2011 as a naturally aspirated 440-hp race car you can drive to the racetrack. You can manually tune the adjustable shocks to their hardest settings, win the race, and then revert to the softer street settings and drive home. Finally, the 2011 Shelby GT500 still sits at the extreme side of the spectrum, featuring a new, lighter aluminum block for its supercharged 5.4-liter V8 (which makes 550 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque). Race ya' for pinks?

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