Thread: 2011 Pony Car
01-08-2010, 10:26 AM #1
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2011 Pony Car
HOLY PONY RACES BATMAN!
Mustang 5.0 returns to roots
By Clare Dear, Canwest News Service January 8, 2010
Mustang enthusiasts, prepare to rejoice -- the Boss is back. In response to ongoing requests from the faithful, Ford is bringing back one of the marque's most revered badges. It's just a couple of digits, but "5.0" means the world to this league of Ford pony-car fans.
The five-litre V-8 was the engine that powered the Mustang to glory in the 1980s. Now it's being revived in the 2011 Mustang GT being introduced this month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
While this completely new engine shares the same displacement, it's a huge step up from the pushrod small-block that initially cranked out about 175 horsepower decades ago. This new iteration is a sophisticated, lightweight (174 kilograms) DOHC gem that delivers an impressive 412 ponies and 390 pound-feet of torque, plus an expected fuel rating of 9.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway and 13.8 L/100 km in the city. It also produces fewer emissions.
In a video shown during an early media sneak peek, the engine spooled up to 7,000 r.p.m. with ease. "And it can run at that speed all day," says Mike Harrison, an engineer who has spent the past 2 1/2 years leading the 5.0 development team.
"The heart of this engine is in its breathing," Harrison says. Its aluminum four-valve-per-cylinder heads have been configured to allow more room for high-flow ports, while the head structure has been designed to support higher cylinder head pressures and cross-flow cooling for sustained high-rpm use. Even the size of the head bolts has been increased one millimetre to 12 mm to keep the higher combustion pressures contained.
A technology developed by Ford engineers called twin independent variable camshaft timing (helpfully shortened to the acronym Ti-VCT) capitalizes on the improved head design, resulting in a substantial increase in torque and more immediate engine response across a wide rpm range. Basically, it works like a ratchet, using the torque of the four camshafts (two intake, two exhaust) to advance or retard the camshaft timing.
Ford says the abundance of available torque and increased responsiveness will be immediately noticeable when the driver pushes the go pedal -- and improved fuel efficiency will be obvious, too.
Ford first used Ti-VCT on its 3.0L V-6, and plans to expand the availability of this powertrain technology to about 90 per cent of its products by 2013.
It has been common practice for enthusiasts to toss out the original cast-iron exhaust manifolds of their Mustangs, replacing them with custom-built high-flow tubular headers to improve the engine's breathing and boost horsepower. Well, owners of the 2011 Mustang GT won't have to take that hot-rodding step -- the new 5.0 engine comes from the factory with specially designed tubular headers. And this footnote will warm the hearts of enthusiasts: Ford says those headers were initially fabricated by an engine team analyst in his home workshop.
The core of the 5.0 engine is an aluminum block that has been specifically designed to withstand the demands of an enthusiast, such as a day at the drag strip or weekend lapping sessions at a track. The main bearing bulkhead widths have been increased and the iron cross-bolted main bearing caps have been secured with upsized bolts to safely handle the increased performance.
In addition to improved oil circulation within the block, the capacity of the deep-sump steel oil pan has been increased and baffling has been added to endure sustained high-rpm use. As a bonus, the additional pan capacity enables the lifespan of the engine oil to be extended to 16,000 kilometres before changing. Oil jets that squirt lubricant on the pistons are another performance-oriented feature -- they also result in faster oil warm-up on cold starts.
The new 5.0 engine will be available with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.
The 2011 GT will offer more than a new powertrain; its driving dynamics have also been upgraded. An electric power steering system, specifically tuned for the Mustang GT, will deliver quicker response. The rear lower control arm has been improved to add stiffness and sharpen handling while reducing noise and vibration from the powertrain. The rear stabilizer bar has been stiffened and the spring rates and dampers at all four corners have been retuned.
Serious enthusiasts can upgrade to a Brembo brake package that includes 14-inch vented front discs from the GT500 Mustang, plus special 19-inch alloy wheels and summer performance tires.
In addition, a special limited-edition Mustang commemorating Ford's success in Trans Am racing in the 1970s will be offered. Fifty turnkey race cars, dubbed Ford Racing Boss 302R, are being built for Ford by Multimatic of Markham, Ont. They're replicas of the Mustang driven by U.S. racing legend Parnelli Jones and can be ordered by quoting a part number (and providing the appropriately sized cheque) at any Ford dealer.
More details regarding the 2011 Mustang GT, including an availability date, are expected to be announced at its unveiling at the Detroit auto show.
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
01-08-2010, 01:28 PM #2
I'd still rather have the '65 Mustang! True Heavy Metal!
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