as a long time ford fan, i have to have some admiration for the new 5 liter engine that's going to debut in the 2011 mustang. five liters of fun, along with 32 valves and 412 horsepower. it wasn't long ago that the old "302" was putting out 225 horses, and the pumped up cobra version was good for 240. recently, 32v 4.6 cobra and mach I engines were topping 300 and supercharged 32v 4.6 cobra's were at 390 hp.
there is certainly a horsepower race going on out there, too. the new camaro's 6.2 liter is doing the 426hp dance, while the 6.1 in the dodge srt products is good for 425. but both the camaro and the challenger are well on their way to 4000 pounds, and the mustang is hanging in there around 3600.
while i'm a fan of all of the pony cars now (and would own all three if i won the lottery), i must say that ford has met the typical competitive challenges of this class head on.