Over the years, we"ve tested a plethora that American muscle cars and also have to be there for each correct refinement since the 1960s. Straight-line speed is one apparent improvement. And also it"s unfair to define muscle cars together one-trick ponies, together they"ve began carving increase corners at speeds unthought of also 10 years ago. But, if you"re looking in ~ a benchmark that accurately reflects exactly how much a single model, such together the Ford Mustang, has improved end the past few years, friend can"t walk wrong with the old-fashioned zero-to-60-mph time*. It"s conveniently relatable and also comparable, uneven a skid pad number or a Nürburgring lap time.

Thanks to our extensive history of gathering our own performance data, us have decades of revealing numbers caught by our editorial employee that not only offer a distinctive look into a vehicle"s development but likewise serve as a power barometer of sorts for any type of given era. Run in and flip through more than five decades of Mustang acceleration numbers pulled from several of the hottest (and not so hot) performance ponies ever strapped through C/D test equipment.*Acceleration times utilizing 3-mph rollout, not our current rollout standard of 1 foot v the exception of the newest 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 time.




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1964.5 Ford Mustang Convertible: 8.2 seconds


It may just be that this time the stylists have done too good a job. Look at the Mustang Mach I, and also you suppose miracles—drive it, and they are not forthcoming. The pieces space there—most of castle anyway—but the sum is far brief of the parts.

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To race or no to race? Ford has lastly decided. Not to. V all the push from ecologists and also auto-safety advocates, Ford was finding it impossible to justify dropping 4 or 5 million at the tracks each year where people could view it. Therefore no more racing. That type of pipeline the boss 351 dangling indigenous the finish of the limb that has been cut off. The key purpose the its existence has been to meet the SCCA production necessity so the the manufacturing facility racers would have something indigenous which to build a juggernaut for the Trans-Am. But if the factory isn’t walking to race them, that will? Review


While the Mustang II shares some conventional compo­nents v the Pinto, the is not just one more version of the econ­omy sedan—no much more than the initial Mustang was just a Falcon. It has been developed with the details intention of coming right into the market as a super Coupe and, in terms of “feel,” it’s a success. Together opposed to the sterile practicality and cost-trimming actions so dispassionately noticeable in American-made economic situation cars up to this time, the Mustang II in no method seems to be a cheap car.

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You can’t refuse its early appeal—a glorious sobriquet native the past, Carroll Shelby repaint job, scoops, spoilers, white-letter tires, V-8 motor, and also four on the floor. Sound neat, yet what you obtain is a mini mark IV all dressed increase in performance gear with nothing to make it go. Your mother-in-law deserves much more than 105.7 mph. Come strangle a 302-cubic-inch motor down to a sickly 134 speech is one amazing—but embarrassing—feat of modern-day technology. Overview


First the bad news: The large motor’s gone. Us say “big” through tongue steady planted in cheek, because 1979’s 302-cubic-inch V-8 suck life with a two-barrel straw was hardly what you’d contact muscle bound. Nevertheless, this year’s arrangement is a smaller cylinder bore and also less displacement come wring one more mile out of every precious gallon that gas. The new, 255-cubic-inch (4810 cc) V-8 additionally trims 25 pounds turn off front-end weight. What this costs you is roughly 10 horsepower compared with the 302 V-8’s 140 net horsepower output. Ford insurance claims the change brings a fuel-economy improvement of 1.2 mpg.

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Press on the Mustang’s gas pedal, and great things happen. An decisive growl from under the hood is accompanied by screeches the rubber in ~ the ago of the car. This Mustang is at the minute the quickest device made in America, and our internal sources at the Ford Motor firm suggest that initiatives are on foot to store Mustangs and Capris that way.

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The third-gen Mustang GT significant the begin of a long climb out of the Dark periods for American carmakers. Two oil shortages in the previous 10 years and the ratcheting up of emissions standards had actually diverted engineering resources into structure smaller, more efficient cars. By 1983, though, the Camaro/Mustang performance race was top top again. That rivalry was, favor now, about more than simply straight-line speed, therefore Ford additionally retuned the ’83 GT’s suspension for better handling and also widened the Michelin TRX rubber for more grip.

Test Drive


Now the the year-old redesign of the Ford Mustang has actually some miles on it, both Ford and also the Mustang’s i heard clientele are ready for a couple of important changes. A Mustang Cobra making an ext than 300 speech is definitely welcome. And also finally banished native the ’96 Mustang GT is the old overhead-valve 4.9-liter V-8, which—in various guises—has powered Mustangs since their inception. Specific purists might wail and gnash their teeth over this one, but it’s a change we like.

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Who ever before thought a manufacturing facility Mustang would command a price of $28,000? much more surprising, who could have imagined the a Mustang would have an independent behind suspension? Well, the 1999 SVT Mustang Cobra lays case to both those surprises and also makes a strong case that the latter (abetted through a brand-new 320-horsepower version of the four-cam, aluminum-block 4.6-liter V-8) justifies the former.

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The Mach 1 earns its silver medal since it is brute fun. Fall the hammer, and also with no particularly refined technique, 60 mph is yours in a scalding 5.2 seconds, simply 0.7 2nd behind a $34,750 SVT Cobra and also the more quickly time in this test by a complete half-second. The an initial two shifts of the notchy crate leave skid marks, and the fourth shift puts payment to 151 mph.

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It doesn’t happen often, however the hen in the henhouse sometimes kill the fox. That’s supposedly what happened over in ~ Henry’s glass henhouse in Dearborn. The GT’s 4.6-liter SOHC modular V-8 now features 24 valves fairly than 16. The three-valve heads permit boost of 40 horses and 18 pound-feet the torque, although both improvements are establish at loftier revolutions.

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Remember when 540 horses were enough to victory Indy or set a Bonneville record? The Shelby lunges forward through a fearsome roar when you mash it, the acceleration making girlfriend startlingly heavy in the seat. Even so, Ford believed our 12.9-second quarter-mile was slow-moving by a half-second, however after 2 test sessions in imperfect conditions—and after letting Ford’s own hot shoe take the wheel—we were unable to far better the times. Ford numbers the auto should operation 12.5-second quarters, perhaps quicker. Possibly so—we await the proof. Meanwhile, it’s no quicker than a Chevy Camaro SS, i beg your pardon is about $17,000 cheaper.

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The 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, the last on a gloriously flat curve that peaks in ~ 4250 rpm, room achievements. It’s sufficient to knock the end a 60-mph sprint in 4.6 seconds, and also the quarter-mile in 13.2 secs at 109 mph, i beg your pardon are more or less Camaro SS times. Finally, a Mustang engine the doesn’t need to eat dust from a small-block.

Test Drive


Two. That’s how plenty of times this writer looked under the 2013 ceo 302 Laguna Seca come make sure some crafty Ford employee hadn’t changed the solid axle v a fancy-pants independent-rear-suspension setup. It’s not as if the ceo were unexpectedly devoid of axle hop or radically much more skilled in ~ navigating off-camber curves and uneven pavement than space other existing Mustangs, yet Ford has finessed the rod axle to the suggest where the no much longer spoils an otherwise an excellent time. Still, we wanted to be 100 percent sure the agency hadn’t slipped us a ringer.

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With a automobile like this, you inevitably focus on the numbers. The $54,995 GT500 coupe turns in a zero-to-60-mph sprint of 3.5 seconds. Ferociously high gearing means third equipment is great for 140 mph and very first gear is long enough to reach highway speeds. Even so, the quarter-mile overcome in 11.8 seconds. Slam a redline transition from 2nd to third, and also you’ll hear the behind tires chirp. We also saw an even 1.00 g top top the skidpad.

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With a six-speed hands-on sprouting up in between the seats, the V-8 makes really short job-related of the an initial three gears. The accelerative sirloin is such that the somewhat cheesy Ground speed label top top the speedometer renders some sense, and the needle swings into triple digits an extremely quickly. Zero to 60 mph is achieved in 4.5 seconds, and also the quarter-mile lamp tripped in 13 flat; ours Mustang likewise hit 150 mph in fine under 30 seconds. Also, there’s no Muzak version of the Daytona 500 played with the speaker in the Mustang. The GT’s V-8 soundtrack, although an ext subdued 보다 we expected, is generated solely by combustion events and also not electrons. We come away indigenous this hushed GT thinking around refinement, no tinnitus.

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Not the the new Shelby isn’t quick, yet it’s not a dedicated quarter-mile eater, either. The basic GT350 get 60 mph in 4.3 secs after a somewhat challenging launch and also does the quarter-mile in 12.5 seconds at 117 mph. Probably not stunning numbers these days, but the test automobile did sweet 3796 pounds. V its 18-pound carbon-fiber wheels and also stickier Michelin Pilot sports Cup 2 tires, the R (at 3710 pounds) makes it to 60 in 3.9 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 12.2 seconds at 119 mph. Guess what? Porsche 911 GT3 vehicle drivers don’t run up and also down around drag-strip times. Stats that issue to them more are skidpad grip and also braking distances. There, the 350 and 350R pull 0.98 g and also a frighten 1.10 g, while protecting against from 70 mph in 152 feet and also 146 feet. Ford’s priorities come to be clear when you inspect the track-sheet data.

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The Ford Mustang"s punchy turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four EcoBoost engine was accessible with its own Performance pack for the 2018 model year, and also like today, comes through a 10-speed automatic. If you recall, the last EcoBoost us tested to be a 2015 instance that had 4 fewer gears come mess around with. The extra speeds aid in a straight line, as the 2018 EcoBoost goes indigenous zero come 60 mph in 5.0 secs flat. That"s an development of 0.2 seconds over the 2015 model.

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We"ve remained in love through the Ford Mustang Bullitt because we very first saw the on display with Steve McQueen. Instead of making us pine for our own, Ford sent out one for a 40,000-mile long term test, and we recently gained our vehicle out to the check track. The makes an excellent use of its 480 horsepower on the method to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. It"s slower 보다 the less powerful GT to 60 mph due to the fact that the Bullitt comes through a sweet manual transmission with a cue-ball shifter, a concession that"s worth the half-second loss.

Long-Term Review


Muscle cars are at that age where the need to add fiber to every enjoy the meal is really important. Carbon fiber that is. The new Ford Mustang GT500 is the quickest yet, but even through a horsepower advantage, that is zero-to-60 time that 3.6 seconds is quiet slower 보다 the Chevy Camaro Zl1. However, quarter-mile time comparisons present the GT500 beating both the ZL1 and also the dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye. Have we reached peak front-engine muscle acceleration time? just time will tell.