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With a continuous 50 years in production, the Ford Mustang has gone through many changes throughout six generations. An all-new platform was given to the fifth-generation Mustang – the D2C Mustang codenamed the “S197.” Starting in 2005, the S197 would start an era of larger platform Mustangs. In the process, Ford seemingly took its cues from the aftermarket in adding a “fifth-link” to the rear suspension. And the Two-Valve Modular V-8 in the GT was put to pasture in favor of a brand-new Three-Valve 4.6L. Quite easily the most striking change to the Mustang, though was in the aesthetics, which managed to capture a whole new audience. With the idea to design a modern car with a retro feel, the S197 was born sporting retro cues with modern feel and comfort. Cosmetic changes in 2010 and 2013 helped refresh the look of the S197, however, the retro cues mostly remained intact. Engine upgrades were given to the 2011 Mustang GT with the rebirth of the 5.0L engine known as the “Coyote,” which replaced the 4.6L that powered the 2010 and earlier GT models.
Starting in 2005, the heart of the Mustang consists of Ford’s cast iron block, the 4.0L Cologne SOHC V-6 capable of 210hp and 240 lb-ft of torque, an upgrade from the 3.8L Essex OHV V-6 (and 3.9L) used in earlier models. Also new to the fifth-generation Mustang is the 24-valve, Modular 4.6L V-8, capable of 300hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. Transmission choices consist of the Tremec TR-3650 five-speed manual or the automatic 5R55S five-speed with a stock drive ratio of 3.31:1.
Suspension components consist of MacPherson-strut front with reverse “L” lower control arms. Rear suspension is a live-axle three-link system with a Panhard rod controlling vertical and lateral movements.
Standard equipment includes power windows; dual power mirrors; remote keyless entry; front air bags; AM/FM radio with CD player; 16-inch painted aluminum wheels, larger brake discs with twin-piston calipers in the front.
Optional equipment include Ford’s MyColor (part of the Interior Upgrade Package consisting of color-configurable instrument cluster); brushed aluminum panels (also part of Interior Upgrade Package); Shaker 500 (500 watt peak output) or Shaker 1000 (1000 watt peak output) premium audio systems with a 6-disc MP3-compatible CD changer; leather seats; power-adjusting six-way power driver seat; four-channel anti-lock brake system with traction control which is standard on GT models.
For the 2010 model year, a revised interior and exterior graced the new Mustang. Options added for this model year included a backup camera, voice-activated navigation, and standard 19-inch wheels. While the V-6 engine remained the same, the 4.6L V-8 produced 315 hp and 325 ft-lb of torque.
For 2011, Ford brought back the 5.0L for the GT models to replace the 4.6L V-8. Referred to as the “Coyote,” the new 5.0L includes Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) capable of 412 hp and 390 ft-lb of torque.
The GT wasn’t the only revised engine for the 2011 Mustang. The base Mustang was given a new 3.7L V-6 engine that was good for power and fuel economy with 305 hp and 280 ft-lb of torque and maintaining 30+ miles per gallon. Not much changed for the 2012 model year except the edition of Lava Red Metallic and deletion of Sterling Gray Metallic.
For 2013, the Mustang received a minor facelift and a few exterior changes such as LED tail lights with halo roping. The GT was bumped up to 420 hp and a six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission became an option. Ford Track Apps are accessible through the in-dash 4.2-inch LCD screen.
2014 marks the last year for the S197 and not much changed for this year except a few exterior color changes and package changes. Interior and equipment remained the same.
Shelby GT500 (2007 – 2014) – In 2007, the Shelby GT500 was introduced along with the Shelby GT, a Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT) and Carroll Shelby collaboration. While the Shelby GT produces 319 hp out of the 4.6L V-8, the Shelby GT500 is powered by a supercharged 5.4L Modular V-8 generating 500 hp and was called the most powerful production Mustang to date. The Shelby GT500KR was brought back in 2008 with a supercharged 5.4L V-8 and upgraded with a Ford Racing Power Pack, capable of producing 540 hp.
Through the years, the Shelby GT500 received bumps in horsepower. From 2007-2009, the GT500 boasted 500 hp and 480 ft-lb of torque. The 2010 Shelby GT500 was bumped up to 540 hp/540 ft-lb of torque, the 2011-2012 Shelby GT500 generated 550 hp/510 ft-lb of torque, and in 2013 over 100 horses were added giving the new GT500 an insane 662 hp and 631 ft-lb of torque thanks to a brand-new 5.8L Trinity V-8.
Boss 302 (2012-2013) – The Boss 302 is a well-balanced track beast that made a two-year run from 2012-2013 just like the classic Boss 302 that ran from 1969-1970. The new Boss 302 is powered by the 5.0L Coyote V-8 engine capable of 444 hp. The Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition is track-ready, stripped of a few creature comforts and bridges the gap between the Boss 302 and the track-only Boss 302R.
Almost countless special-edition Mustangs were produced throughout the years of the S197. Some of them are listed below.
Other Special Editions include: Bullitt (2008-2009), Shelby GT, Warriors in Pink (2007-2009), Shelby GT-H (2006-2007), California Special (2007-2009, 2011-2014), Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition (2009 ½), Shelby GT350 (2011-2013), Barrett-Jackson Shelby GT (2007), Shelby 1000 (2013-2014), Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition (2009 ½), Saleen Mustangs including Parnelli Jones Edition (2007) 281, 351, 302, 620, 570/640, Dan Gurney Edition (2008), Ford Racing’s Cobra Jet, Roush (427R, BlackJack, Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3), Chip Foose edition, Shelby Terlingua (2010), RTR by Vaughn Gittin Jr., 500S Sherrod, DUB (2011), Steeda Q525 (2006), Shinoda Boss 302, etc.