The news also signals a return to muscle car wars after the reintroduction of the Chevy Camaro earlier this year.
"The 5.0 carries with it a connotation of performance and an aura of street cred," says Steve Turner, editor of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords magazine. "It harkens back to a day when the Mustang was regarded as a performance icon."
(...) The automaker decided to improve the Mustang's engine about two years ago, and turned around the 5.0-liter in record time.
(...) "It's a thoroughly modern engine for the times, delivering the performance and fun-to-drive factor that enthusiasts want, while improving fuel economy," says Derrick Kuzak, group vice president for Ford global product development.
One of the technologies on the new engine, twin independent variable camshaft timing, or Ti-VCT, will be available on 90% of Ford's nameplates by 2013, the company says. The Ti-VCT makes the engine more responsive at a variety of speeds, so when you step on the gas at any point, the car should take off.
Plus, Ford says the 2011 Mustang GT will get 25 miles per gallon on the highway, even while delivering 412 horsepower. "That's pretty stunning, really," says Dan Pund, senior editor at Edmunds.com's InsideLine.com.
The 2011 Mustang will look the same on the outside, but the new engine might help sales.
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