The Ford Mustang is the original pony car, and the fifth-generation car started it all once again by reviving retro looks which caused other American carmakers to dig out old catalogues. But the Mustang is facing some stiff competition from its eternal nemesis, the hot new Chevrolet Camaro which captured the imagination of many with muscular looks and some help from Hollywood. The 2010 model year Mustang GT, with its 315 bhp 4.6-litre Modular V8 also has no answer to the 426 bhp 6.2-litre V8 Camaro SS.

To save face Ford needed to do something – and this 2011 5.0 V8 Mustang is what they came out with. The ‘Stang gets an all-new “Coyote” engine with 412 bhp and 530 Nm of torque, a massive increase of 97 bhp and 90 Nm! This new engine has dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder (old V8 was SOHC 24v).

It comes with Ford’s Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) which advances and retards intake and exhaust cam timing independently of each other for better power, reduced fuel consumption and emissions. The current 315 bhp Mustang does the 0-60 mph (96 km/h) sprint in 4.9 seconds, so perhaps this 5.0 can manage 0-100 km/h in 4.5 seconds?

The 2011 Mustang GT also gets EPS steering, bigger diameter vented disc brakes and an improved lower control arm and stiffened stabiliser bushings for its rear live axle suspension. A Brembo brake package with 19-inch wheels is available.

More pictures after the jump!

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VIDEO: Hear the Mustang’s 5.0 V8 rumble!