Ford unveiled the 2011 Mustang with the new 3.7L V6 at the Los Angeles auto show late last year but for the debut of their all new 5.0L Mustang GT, they kept the Mustang in its own back yard and introduced the 2011 Mustang GT at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show. There was plenty of information and a few cars to show off the 2011 Mustang base model but the key attraction of the Mustang Alley was the 5.0.
Mustang Alley featured a 2011 Mustang GT with a glass roof turn onto its side, giving everyone a close up look at the engine, interior and undercarriage of the new Mustang. Next to that was a special edition silver V6 Mustang and on the other side, the unveiling of the 2011 Mustang GT California Special. Enclosing the Mustang Alley from the rest of the massive Ford Motor Company display was a long countertop with a variety of interactive displays starting at one end with a simulated ¼-mile dragstrip run and finishing on the other with a video explaining the roots of America’s longest running pony car. Between those two areas was a closer look at the gauges, interior options and exhaust system of the 2011 Mustang GT and finally a chance to superimpose a picture of yourself into a spread of unique images of the new Mustang.
Ford also put a handful of 2011 Mustangs out in their main area with a gorgeous gold GT on one of the turntables and a 2010 Mustang convertible next to it for attendees of the show to experience up close. Flanking the Mustang Alley was a 2011 Mustang V6 with decals boasting of the new 3.7L engine and a 2010 Mustang base model for people to climb around in. Also, the huge screen layout running along the ceiling of the Ford display offered a video of the 2011 Mustang GT doing burnouts, drifting, road racing, and drag racing to show off the performance capabilities of the newest Mustang GT.
The 2011 Mustang V6 – Mustang Club of America Edition
Shown in bright silver with the blue lights and backdrop of Mustang Alley, this 2011 Mustang V6 featured the Mustang Club of America package. This begins with the new 3.7L V6, offering 305hp and 280lb-ft of torque; mated to either an automatic or manual 6-speed transmission. The Mustang Club of America Edition package adds a Mustang tape stripe, a billet grill, body colored mirrors, a rear spoiler, special Club badging and finally 18″ stainless wheels.
The 2011 Mustang V6 is the most powerful entry level Mustang ever offered by Ford and there are a wide variety of options to make the base model Mustang even faster. The V6 performance package includes the Mustang GT suspension, a front strut tower brace, electronic stability control, 3.31 gears, 19″ wheels and summer performance tires. Also, Ford expects the 2011 Mustang V6 to offer a best in class 30 miles per gallon with the manual transmission option (29mpg with the automatic) on the highway.
Those who wanted to get a better look at the new 3.7L V6 were in luck, as Mustang Alley featured a cut-a-way version of the engine with key points printed on round placards all over the engine.
The 2011 Mustang GT
Ford teased everyone when they didn’t bring the long-awaited return of the 5.0L V8 to the Los Angeles Auto Show but when the specs were announced – 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque was enough for everyone to wait for the Mustang GT to hit the floor of the Detroit Auto Show. There is no more fitting place to unveil the awesome new Mustang GT packed with the new “Five-O” and Ford went above and beyond what was expected in the launch of the new V8. There was a Grabber Blue 2011 Mustang GT convertible on a turntable in Mustang Alley and a bright gold coupe near the center of the Ford display but the Mustang GT that got everyone’s attention was parked in Mustang Alley between the V6 model and the new GT California Special. The most interesting feature of Mustang Alley was actually how this 2011 Mustang GT was parked…on its side.
The Mustang mounted on its side had the hood removed, a glass roof and a ton of circular placards highlighting the key aspects of the new Mustang GT. This gave you an interesting downward view of the interior through the see-through top and a view of the underside like only mechanics generally see. It also gave a good look at the fitment of the new 5.0L V8 and how the exhaust headers lead into the full dual exhaust. This look also confirmed that with this current setup it would be hard to make room for a twin-turbo setup on the next generation GT500 but Mike Harrison (lead engineer on the 5.0 project) did add “unless we mounted the turbo on top of the motor like the new diesel” after he pointed out that a traditional turbo setup wouldn’t fit. Maybe that was a hint?
Much like the 3.7L V6, Ford’s Mustang Alley also featured a cut-a-way version of the new Coyote 5.0L V8. This is the public’s first good look at the workings of the new five liter Mustang GT engine and more round placards stressed the key features of the newest V8 from Ford.
Finally, along the front of the Mustang Alley there was a long counter mentioned above and throughout that area the Mustang GT was the focus vehicle with the bulk of the information referencing the V8-equipped 2011 Mustangs.
The 2011 Mustang GT California Special
Since introducing the S197 body style of the Mustang in 2005, Ford has used the retro style to bring back some vintage trimlines. One of those old school monikers was the California Special in 2007 and the “GT/CS” is the first trimline (other than the base V6 and GT) to receive the 5.0L V8. The 2011 Mustang GT/CS is primarily an appearance package, receiving all of the mechanical aspects of the Mustang GT including the 6-speed manual or automatic transmission and of course the new 5.0.
The California Special package features unique 10-spoke wheels, an aggressive front fascia with integrated fog lights, a bright polished horizontal grill wearing the tri-bar pony logo, a rear diffuser similar to that found on the Shelby GT500, an enlarged rear spoiler and the GT/CS badges inside and out.
For an in-depth look
at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show from the Detroit Autos Examiner click