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Video: Motortrend pits the 2011 Ford Mustang 5.0 against the BMW M3

By - August 24, 2010 – 2:51 pm2 Comments | 768 views

A comparison test between the 2011 Ford Mustang GT and the BMW M3 doesn’t make sense at first, but a closer look at both their specs reveals that maybe it’s not such a crazy idea. Both have aluminum block V8s with nearly identical outputs – 414 horsepower for the M3 and 412 horsepower for the Mustang. Despite a $30,000 price difference, Motortrend thought it was a good idea to put the two head-to-head in a performance test.

Even though the Mustang weighed nearly 100 pounds more than the M3, it edged out the BMW in straight line performance thanks to its higher torque rating. Both cars reached 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds, but the Mustang reached the quarter mile mark one tenth of a second ahead of the M3.

ACCELERATION TO MPH BMW M3 Ford Mustang GT
0-30 1.7 1.7
0-40 2.4 2.6
0-50 3.4 3.3
0-60 4.4 4.4
0-70 5.6 5.5
0-80 7.1 6.8
0-90 <8.7 8.4
0-100 10.3 10.1
Quarter Mile 12.8 @ 110.9 mph 12.7 @ 111.6 mph

While it was perhaps expected that the Mustang would win out at the drag strip, most would think that the M3 would dominate when it comes to tackling a road course. The Mustang held its own, though and put up some impressive handling numbers. It provided more overall grip than the M3 – .96g compared to .95g, and it actually out-paced the BMW on Motortrend’s figure eight course with a time of 24.9 seconds compared to 25.1 for the M3.

On the Streets of Willow the BMW just narrowly edged out the Mustang with a lap time of 1:27.67 compared to 1:27.76. Even so, racecar driver Randy Pobst commented that “the Mustang is better balanced with less understeer. The Mustang is actually more fun as a result of that.” He also praised the Mustang braking, calling it “superior” to the M3. While Motortrend eventually ranked the M3 first, they say that the Mustang’s second place finish has “never felt so much like a win. From not once being considered to full-blown contender, 5.0 officially puts the world on notice.”

You can watch Motortrend’s comparison of the 2011 Ford Mustang and BMW M3 in the videos below:

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