American muscle coupe gets cleaner 5.0-litre motor for 2011

This is the new Ford Mustang, revealed at the Detroit motor show with an engine update for the range-topping V8 version of America's much-loved muscle car.

It gets more power, more torque, and better economy and emissions.

The eight-cylinder Mustang's mill will grow from 4.6- to 5.0-litres next year. The new 4951cc engine measures just over 302 cubic inches - a number that will conjure fond memories for Mustang devotees.

However, fitted with an aluminium block and head, twin overhead camshafts, four-valves per cylinder, and developing 412bhp at 6000rpm and 390lb ft at 4000rpm, there's nothing 'old tech' about this new motor.

Ford started afresh when designing the Mustang's new 5.0-litre engine; it shares nothing with the outgoing modular 4.6 except its bore spacing and deck height.

The latest computer engine design software allowed Ford to design-in strength to the block only where it's required, so that the new engine is hardly any heavier than the outgoing one, while tighter tolerances within the mill mean that it can run a compression ratio of 11:1, to the benefit of both performance and economy. While it produces 31 per cent more power and 20 per cent more torque that the 4.6, the new 5.0 should also return 5 per cent better fuel economy.

The V8 model will continue to be comprehensively outsold by the Mustang V6, which as of next year gets a 3.7-litre double-overhead-cam engine in replacement of the single-overhead-cam 4.0-litre it used to be saddled with. Producing 315bhp at 5250rpm and 275lb ft at 3500rpm, the new six actually produces as much power as the old V8.

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DKW

29 December 2009

I like both the external styling (but not the ubiquitous American bloated nose) and the lighting on the instrument dials.

But can anyone explain to me why someone, given free choice of all materials and finishes in the world, has actively chosen dashboard plastics no better than Ford used in the Fiesta 25 years ago? And then their boss must have said 'That looks fine'. And then the Management must have looked at it and thought it was OK too.

Ford don't do it in Europe (thank God). I can't think of another explanation - Americans must actually want their plastics to look like that. Is looking cheap and tinny an active virtue or something in America?

DKW

29 December 2009

Brownie points for anyone who can provide a link for an American production car with a classy interior not spoiled by cheap plastics.

I think some of the velour interiors in the fin-tailed Cadillac pimpmobiles were atmospheric, but I can't think of anything modern, at any price.

29 December 2009

[quote DKW]Ford don't do it in Europe (thank God). [/quote]

Well, there's no doubt that Ford's European cars use better quality interior materials than those in North america, but that's not saying much. Compared to nearly all other European cars Ford's plastics are average at best! Even most Japanese cars are better!

29 December 2009

[quote DKW]But can anyone explain to me why someone, given free choice of all materials and finishes in the world, has actively chosen dashboard plastics no better than Ford used in the Fiesta 25 years ago?[/quote]

They're American, silly. If a product can't help Americans to shoot someone, blow-up something or fly to the moon, they don't really bother with the luxury of engineering.

29 December 2009

Ah, if only it was an American Hyundai. They have diamond encrusted dashboards that are lined in mink and are the next big thing, eh HS?

Where has all Japanese design went to?

29 December 2009

If you look at the plastics used by peripheral manufacturers - keyboards, mice, joysticks, gamepads, mobile devices and the like - many of which cost £14.99 or less, the feel, fit and finish is so far ahead of anything you might find in almost any vehicle on sale today that there must be a reason car makers prefer to stick with their depressingly familiar brand of shiny, tinny, inferior feeling crap. It can't be a durability thing: your average joystick or gamepad gets far more sustained abused than some random piece of dashboard trim.

Basically, if Logitech can use soft touch plastics on a pair of £25 speakers, why can't Ford do the same?

31 December 2009

[quote DKW]But can anyone explain to me why someone, given free choice of all materials and finishes in the world, has actively chosen dashboard plastics no better than Ford used in the Fiesta 25 years ago? And then their boss must have said 'That looks fine'. And then the Management must have looked at it and thought it was OK too.[/quote]

Maybe the average American has not yet reached the stage where he/she judges a car on the quality of plastic inside the car? Perhaps we Europeans are paying thousands of pounds more than we need for transport because the manufacturers and their suppliers are spending billions on developing special touchy-feely plastic polymers and heavy duty bulkheads to support them without vibration.

It was not that long ago when some European manufactures marketed sports models on their performance and handling and were excused a slightly shabby fascia on the basis that the rest of the car waas quite enticing. One of my old 1970s Renaults had a cardboard shelf under the dashboard and it was still there and rattle free after 250,000 miles.

31 December 2009

Jerry99, you have answered the question. The Mustang has always been marketed as a low-priced sporty car. It was released before muscle cars were termed muscle cars in 1964, and were aimed at young buyers. Of course, young buyers aren't expected to have alot of money, so corners have been cut throughout the Mustang's life to keep the price low.

I am not sure what a Mustang costs in the UK, but they go for between $20k for the V6 to $32k for a V8. US buyers are cost-conscious buyers for the most part, so American manufacturers have always tried to offer what is perceived as the best value for the money vehicle. If someone wants a higher-quality car, they pay for it. An equivalent BMW, for instance, would cost $40k or more here; of course an M3 with a V8, much more than that.

So, for someone like me who doesn't have $50k+ for an M3, or even $40k+ for a decently fast 3 series, $30k is more likely what I can buy a car for, and would consider the Mustang, poorer plasics notwithstanding.

11 January 2010

[quote VirginPower]

[quote DKW]But can anyone explain to me why someone, given free choice of all materials and finishes in the world, has actively chosen dashboard plastics no better than Ford used in the Fiesta 25 years ago?[/quote]

They're American, silly. If a product can't help Americans to shoot someone, blow-up something or fly to the moon, they don't really bother with the luxury of engineering.

[/quote]

Just wondering, have you ever SEEN one in person? I have, and can guarantee that the plastics and dash material used in the new Mustang is of higher quality than the new Mercedes C series. Go have a look, see for yourself. Don't make a comment you know nothing about because you saw a picture of it. That's like saying you read it on the internet so it must be true.

Here's another suggestion. Go look at a Corvette ZR1 (in person - not in pictures), if you can find one in the UK. Compare the dash and interior to any Super Car that it rivals in performance. How many ZR1's can you purchase for the similarly performing Ferrari or Lamborghini? Go look at a Cadillac CTS and compare it to a similar Merc, BMW or Jag. What is the difference in cost? And does the huge difference in cost justify the marginally, and subjectively nicer interior?

It's pretty easy to "engineer" something that looks good and performs well where cost is of little concern. It is very difficult to "engineer" this type of product for a third or half of the cost. That's real engineering expertise.

And really, "they don't really bother with the luxury of engineering?" Right, and you can honestly say that about a country that gave us the Personal Computer, Intel, Microsoft, the Hubble Space Telescope, Moon landings, Mars Rovers, iPods, iPhones, Google and on, and on...?

Finally, go read about the history of World Wars in Europe. You may then be grateful that America knows how to "blow things up", and is a friend, not a foe.

12 January 2010

I rented the 2009 Mustang in the US last year and the quality of the dashboard did not bother me at all. Actually, I thought it was rather decent. Anyway, the car has plenty of character and its a pity that it isn't offered here in Europe.

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