As if it weren’t sweet enough to bring back the epic 5.0-liter Mustang, Ford has got another great news bit to share with everyone: for the first time ever, a Mustang will pace the Daytona 500! That’s right, for the first time in 40 years, a Blue Oval will lead the pack around the oval at the Daytona International Speedway. The 2011 Mustang GT, rollin’ with a five point oh, will be marked with a special “race red” Daytona 500 paint scheme and will include several updates to the suspension, exhaust, wheels, and interior. Just 50 of these cars will be built in the series to commemorate the exciting honor and achievement for Ford, so get your wallet and/or credit applications warmed up, folks.
The actual Pace Car of the 2010 Daytona 500 will be auctioned off for charity via the Barrett-Jackson auction house (January 23rd, 2010) before the actual race (February 14th, 2010). Each 2010 5.0 Mustang Pace Car in the production series will receive a tuned Ford Racing suspension, strut tower brace, mufflers, and unique painted wheels coupled with a special edition interior treatment, including specialized lit sill plates.
“Having the opportunity to pace America’s biggest auto race with a Ford icon like the 2011 Mustang GT is truly an honor,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsports. “And to have the new 5.0-liter engine powering the car will be a great way to demonstrate its power and class-leading fuel economy.”
In addition to the race-day pomp & circumstance, the 2011 Mustang GT Pace Car also receives the specially tuned Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system, 11.5-inch front and 11.8-inch rear vented disc brakes, and an enhanced suspension featuring an upgraded rear lower control arm and stiffened rear stabilizer bushings.
In case you’re worried about the 2011 5.0 Mustang being able to hold its own on the aggregate, there is also a Brembo brake package, with larger rotors and calipers from the Ford Shelby GT500® Mustang, the styled 19-inch wheels and summer performance tires, and of course, the cherry on the sundae: new fender badges paying homage to the 5.0-liter engine.
As for pricing, there’s not been any official word…yet. Our guess is they’ll wait and see just how much someone ponies up for #1 in the series at the Barrett-Jackson auction this weekend.Categories: 2011 Mustang, Events, Ford