A Transient Historical past in Zero to 60 MPH

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Greg Pajo and FordAutomobile and Driver

Through the years, we have examined a plethora of American muscle automobiles and have been there for every drastic refinement because the Sixties. Straight-line pace is one apparent enchancment. And it is unfair to explain muscle automobiles as one-trick ponies, as they’ve began carving up corners at speeds unthought of even 10 years in the past. Particularly as a result of a few of at present’s Mustangs are fully-electric. However, if you happen to’re a benchmark that precisely displays how a lot a single mannequin, such because the Ford Mustang, has improved over the previous few years, you possibly can’t go incorrect with the old school zero-to-60-mph time*. It is simply relatable and comparable, in contrast to a skid pad quantity or a Nürburgring lap time.

Because of our intensive historical past of gathering our personal efficiency knowledge, we now have a long time of unveiling numbers captured by our editorial employees that not solely supply a novel look right into a automobile’s evolution but in addition function a efficiency barometer of kinds for any given period. Bounce in and flip by means of greater than 5 a long time of Mustang acceleration numbers pulled from among the hottest (and never so scorching) efficiency ponies ever strapped with C/D check gear.

*Acceleration occasions utilizing 3-mph rollout, not our present rollout commonplace of 1 foot with the exception 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and newer.

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1964.5 Ford Mustang Convertible: 8.2 seconds

It’s simply the most effective factor to come back out of Dearborn because the 1932 V-8 Mannequin B roadster. However for all Ford’s speak of Whole Efficiency, it’s nonetheless clear that the Mustang has been designed and constructed to a value. The need of assembly value objectives meant that it needed to share a most variety of elements with different fashions within the Ford line. Out of this case sprang the benefit of an especially vast availability of choices for the Mustang, chosen from the Falcon, Fairlane, and Galaxie sequence.


1967 Ford Mustang GT : 7.3 seconds

You’d assume that dropping an anchor just like the 390 engine into the Mustang would overload the entrance finish and make it deal with like an actual canine, wouldn’t you? The puristi will look on the specs and hoot derisively on the 60.3/39.7 p.c weight distribution and inform you the rig won’t ever fly, proper? In fact, even we anticipated the Mustang 390 GT to plow like an Ohio farmer. It doesn’t. The automobile we examined had over 400 kilos extra weight on the entrance wheels than the final Mustang we examined—a 271-hp 289. There have been no fundamental modifications within the Falcon-inherited suspension, but the Mustang 390 GT has steadiness and dealing with.


1968 Ford Mustang Coupe: 5.4 seconds

The Mustang engine was all enterprise. No chrome air cleaner or valve covers. Simply plain outdated blue paint. Even the headers had been form of pale blue. Proper on prime was a super-tall aluminum, two 4-barrel inline consumption manifold with a pair of 540-cfm Holleys and a paper-element air cleaner. There it was, tunnel-port followers, proper in entrance of our very eyes. The true factor. “Nicely, sure, that is your common 12.5 to 1 compression ratio, dry-deck, tunnel-port 302,” allowed Ford Man, nonetheless a bit defensive from the tire dialogue. “What number of do ya need?”


1969 Ford Mustang Mach I: 5.7 seconds

It might simply be that this time the stylists have achieved too good a job. Have a look at the Mustang Mach I, and also you anticipate miracles—drive it, and they don’t seem to be forthcoming. The items are there—most of them anyway—however the sum is way in need of its elements.


1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351: 5.8 seconds

To race or to not race? Ford has lastly determined. To not. With all of the stress from ecologists and auto-safety advocates, Ford was discovering it not possible to justify dropping 4 or 5 million on the tracks yearly the place folks might see it. So no extra racing. That type of leaves the Boss 351 dangling from the top of the limb that has been minimize off. The principle goal of its existence has been to meet the SCCA manufacturing requirement in order that the manufacturing facility racers would have one thing from which to construct a juggernaut for the Trans-Am. But when the manufacturing facility isn’t going to race them, who will?


1974 Ford Mustang II Mach I: 12.2 seconds

Whereas the Mustang II shares some commonplace compo­nents with the Pinto, it’s not simply one other model of that econ­omy sedan—not more than the unique Mustang was merely a Falcon. It has been constructed with the particular intention of coming into the market as a Tremendous Coupe and, by way of “really feel,” it’s a hit. Versus the sterile practicality and cost-trimming measures so dispassionately evident in American-made financial system automobiles as much as this time, the Mustang II on no account appears to be an affordable automobile.


1976 Ford Mustang II Cobra II: 8.9 seconds

You possibly can’t deny its preliminary attraction—a wonderful sobriquet from the previous, Carroll Shelby paint job, scoops, spoilers, white-letter tires, V-8 motor, and 4 on the ground. Sounds neat, however what you get is a mini Mark IV all dressed up in efficiency gear with nothing to make it go. Your mother-in-law deserves greater than 105.7 mph. To strangle a 302-cubic-inch motor right down to a sickly 134 horsepower is a tremendous—however embarrassing—feat of contemporary know-how.


1980 Ford Mustang Cobra: 10.8 seconds

First the dangerous information: The large motor’s gone. We are saying “large” with tongue firmly planted in cheek, as a result of 1979’s 302-cubic-inch V-8 sucking life by means of a two-barrel straw was hardly what you’d name muscle certain. Nonetheless, this 12 months’s plan is a smaller cylinder bore and fewer displacement to wring yet one more mile out of each treasured gallon of fuel. The brand new, 255-cubic-inch (4810 cc) V-8 additionally trims 25 kilos off front-end weight. What this prices you is roughly 10 horsepower in contrast with the 302 V-8’s 140 web horsepower output. Ford claims the change brings a fuel-economy enchancment of 1.2 mpg.


1982 Ford Mustang GT: 8.1 seconds

Press on the Mustang’s fuel pedal, and nice issues occur. An authoritative growl from beneath the hood is accompanied by screeches of rubber in the back of the automobile. This Mustang is in the meanwhile the quickest machine made in America, and our inner sources on the Ford Motor Firm counsel that efforts are afoot to maintain Mustangs and Capris that manner.


1983 Ford Mustang GT: 7.0 seconds

The third-gen Mustang GT marked the beginning of a protracted climb out of the Darkish Ages for American carmakers. Two oil shortages within the earlier 10 years and the ratcheting up of emissions requirements had diverted engineering sources into constructing smaller, extra environment friendly automobiles. By 1983, although, the Camaro/Mustang efficiency race was on once more. That rivalry was, like now, about extra than simply straight-line pace, so Ford additionally retuned the ’83 GT’s suspension for higher dealing with and widened its Michelin TRX rubber for extra grip.


1996 Ford Mustang GT: 6.6 seconds

Now that the year-old redesign of the Ford Mustang has some miles on it, each Ford and the Mustang’s obsessed clientele are prepared for a couple of vital modifications. A Mustang Cobra making greater than 300 horsepower is definitely welcome. And eventually banished from the ’96 Mustang GT is the traditional overhead-valve 4.9-liter V-8, which—in numerous guises—has powered Mustangs since their inception. Sure purists could wail and gnash their enamel over this one, however it’s a transition we like.


1999 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra: 5.5 seconds

Who ever thought a manufacturing facility Mustang would command a value of $28,000? Extra stunning, who might have imagined {that a} Mustang would have an impartial rear suspension? Nicely, the 1999 SVT Mustang Cobra lays declare to each these surprises and makes a robust case that the latter (abetted by a brand new 320-horsepower model of the four-cam, aluminum-block 4.6-liter V-8) justifies the previous.


2003 Ford Mustang Mach 1: 5.2 seconds

The Mach 1 earns its silver medal as a result of it’s brute enjoyable. Drop the hammer, and with no particularly refined method, 60 mph is yours in a scalding 5.2 seconds, simply 0.7 second behind a $34,750 SVT Cobra and the quickest time on this check by a full half-second. The primary two shifts of the notchy field go away skid marks, and the fourth shift places paid to 151 mph.


2005 Ford Mustang GT: 5.2 seconds

It doesn’t occur usually, however the hens within the henhouse typically kill the fox. That’s apparently what occurred over at Henry’s glass henhouse in Dearborn. The GT’s 4.6-liter SOHC modular V-8 now options 24 valves fairly than 16. The three-valve heads allow a rise of 40 horses and 18 pound-feet of torque, though each enhancements are realized at loftier revolutions.


2010 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: 4.6 seconds

Bear in mind when 540 horses had been sufficient to win Indy or set a Bonneville file? The Shelby lunges ahead with a fearsome roar once you mash it, the acceleration making you startlingly heavy within the seat. Even so, Ford thought our 12.9-second quarter-mile was gradual by a half-second, however after two check classes in imperfect circumstances—and after letting Ford’s personal scorching shoe take the wheel—we had been unable to raised the occasions. Ford figures the automobile ought to run 12.5-second quarters, possibly faster. Perhaps so—we await the proof. In the meantime, it’s no faster than a Chevy Camaro SS, which is about $17,000 cheaper.


2011 Ford Mustang GT: 4.6 seconds

The 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque, the latter on a gloriously flat curve that peaks at 4250 rpm, are achievements. It’s sufficient to knock out a 60-mph dash in 4.6 seconds, and the quarter-mile in 13.2 seconds at 109 mph, that are roughly Camaro SS occasions. Lastly, a Mustang engine that doesn’t need to eat mud from a small-block.


2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca: 4.2 seconds

Two. That’s what number of occasions this writer regarded beneath the 2013 Boss 302 Laguna Seca to verify some artful Ford worker hadn’t changed the strong axle with a fancy-pants independent-rear-suspension setup. It’s not as if the Boss had been instantly devoid of axle hop or radically extra expert at navigating off-camber curves and uneven pavement than are different present Mustangs, however Ford has finessed the stick axle to the purpose the place it now not spoils an in any other case good time. Nonetheless, we wished to be 100% certain the corporate hadn’t slipped us a ringer.


2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: 3.5 seconds

With a automobile like this, you inevitably deal with the numbers. The $54,995 GT500 coupe turns in a zero-to-60-mph dash of three.5 seconds. Ferociously tall gearing means third gear is sweet for 140 mph and first gear is lengthy sufficient to succeed in freeway speeds. Even so, the quarter-mile passes in 11.8 seconds. Slam a redline shift from second to 3rd, and also you’ll hear the rear tires chirp. We additionally noticed a good 1.00 g on the skidpad.


2015 Ford Mustang GT: 4.5 seconds

With a six-speed guide sprouting up between the seats, the V-8 makes very quick work of the primary three gears. The accelerative rush is such that the considerably tacky Floor Pace label on the speedometer makes some sense, and the needle swings into triple digits in a short time. Zero to 60 mph is achieved in 4.5 seconds, and the quarter-mile lights tripped in 13 flat; our Mustang additionally hit 150 mph in effectively beneath 30 seconds. Additionally, there’s no Muzak model of the Daytona 500 performed by means of the audio system within the Mustang. The GT’s V-8 soundtrack, though extra subdued than we anticipated, is generated solely by combustion occasions and never electrons. We got here away from this hushed GT excited about refinement, not tinnitus.


2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 / GT350R: 4.3 / 3.9 seconds

Not that the brand new Shelby isn’t fast, however it’s not a devoted quarter-mile eater, both. The bottom GT350 reaches 60 mph in 4.3 seconds after a considerably tough launch and does the quarter-mile in 12.5 seconds at 117 mph. Maybe not gorgeous numbers lately, however the check automobile did weigh 3796 kilos. With its 18-pound carbon-fiber wheels and stickier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, the R (at 3710 kilos) makes it to 60 in 3.9 seconds and thru the quarter-mile in 12.2 seconds at 119 mph. Guess what? Porsche 911 GT3 drivers don’t soar up and down about drag-strip occasions. Stats that matter to them extra are skidpad grip and braking distances. There, the 350 and 350R pull 0.98 g and a startling 1.10 g, whereas stopping from 70 mph in 152 toes and 146 toes. Ford’s priorities develop into clear once you verify the track-sheet knowledge.


2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost: 5.0 seconds

The Ford Mustang’s punchy turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four EcoBoost engine was obtainable with its personal Efficiency Pack for the 2018 mannequin 12 months, and like at present, comes with a 10-speed computerized. For those who recall, the final EcoBoost we examined was a 2015 instance that had 4 fewer gears to fiddle with. The additional speeds assist in a straight line, because the 2018 EcoBoost goes from zero to 60 mph in 5.0 seconds flat. That is an enchancment of 0.2 seconds over the 2015 mannequin.


2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt: 4.4 seconds

We have been in love with the Ford Mustang Bullitt since we first noticed it on display with Steve McQueen. As an alternative of constructing us pine for our personal, Ford despatched one for a 40,000-mile long run check, and we not too long ago bought our automobile out to the check observe. It makes good use of its 480 horsepower on the best way to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. It is slower than the much less highly effective GT to 60 mph as a result of the Bullitt comes with a candy guide transmission with a cue-ball shifter, a concession that is definitely worth the half-second loss.


2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500: 3.4 seconds

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1: 4.3 seconds

A 480-hp all-motor throwback, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 is what’s leftover now that the Bullitt and Shelby GT350 have been discontinued. The Mach 1 has 20-hp greater than the usual Mustang GT, makes use of the six-speed guide transmission from the GT350, however will even supply a 10-speed computerized. Our check automobile used the correct six-speed, and sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for a 4.3-second acceleration run to 60 mph. Though not as fast because the GT Efficiency Package deal 2 or GT350, the Mach 1 trailed behind by solely a pair tenths of a second.


2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E: 5.1 seconds

Fords use of the Mustang identify for its all-electric crossover was controversial. The twin-motor Mach-E we examined has 346-hp, however in contrast to earlier Mustangs, you possibly can’t hear any of it. It tipped the scales at 4856 kilos; the second-heaviest Mustang ever behind the Mach-E GT Efficiency. It is 5.1-seconds to 60 mph beats the 300-hp fifth-gen Mustang GT and went from 50–70 mph in simply 2.8 seconds. We managed 350 miles of freeway vary on this all-wheel-drive Mustang, and whether or not you agree with the identify or not, saddle up as a result of the Mach-E received our EV of the Year award for 2021.


2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Efficiency: 3.7 seconds

Imagine it or not, the electrical Mach-E GT Efficiency is the third quickest Mustang we have ever examined, behind solely the 2013 and 2020 Shelby GT500s. That is additionally regardless of it being the heaviest Mustang ever at 5001 kilos. Its mind-bending acceleration comes from a pair of electrical motors that immediately ship 480 horses and 634 pound-feet of torque to all 4 wheels. The catch is that the Mach-E GT Efficiency’s acceleration occasions are much less spectacular after about 80 mph, with it edging the 346-hp Mach-E by solely 0.9 second by means of the quarter-mile. Nonetheless, the mightiest electrical Mustang will beat most V-8 fashions to 60 mph, which is value bragging about, proper?


A Transient Historical past in Zero-to-60-MPH for the Chevrolet Corvette

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