out of 10

On one hand, the 2012 Ford Mustang is a capable, even sophisticated coupe or convertible with a big range of talents, including 31-mpg highway fuel economy. On the other hand, it's a tire-smoking pony car rechristened last year with new powertrains and given a jolt of throwback goodness for this model year with the return of the Boss.

Mostly on the strength of the GT, the new Boss and the returning Shelby GT500, we're giving the Mustang a solid 8 out of 10 for its performance strengths, and even for its upscale luxury and tech features.

Last year, Ford brought back the "5.0" Mustang, with that displacement netting it 412 horsepower in the Mustang GT. Base models gained a new corporate 3.7-liter V-6 with 305 horsepower. The GT is our clear winner: it's a torque-happy engine with good throttle response and a sharp attitude, something the old modular V-8 strained to deliver even while it turned out decently competitive numbers.

The 2011 updates also brought a set of upgraded brakes,...

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UPDATENHTSA Ends Investigation Into Mustang Manual Transmission

The NHTSA has ended its investigation in shifting issues with Mustang manual transmissions, finding no reason to issue a recall notification. Read Update

UPDATESo That's Why The Mustang V-6 Is Limited To 112 MPH: Video

Removing the electronic speed governor from the Mustang V-6 can have severe consequences, as demonstrated by a YouTube video. Read Update

UPDATE2012 Best Car To Buy Nominee: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

The 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is a potent, track-ready car with a bargain price, retro-classic styling, and unique features. It's also a nominee for Motor Authority's 2012 Best Car To Buy award. Read Update

UPDATEThe 2012 ROUSH Stage 3 Mustang Premier Edition: Premium Pony Car

ROUSH's new Stage 3 Premier Edition Mustang blends just enough show with just enough go to appeal to a wide range of pony car fans. Read Update

UPDATECustomized 2012 Ford Mustang Lineup Ready To Storm SEMA

Ford will be bringing a handful of 2012 Mustangs to SEMA, with tuners like Creations n' Chrome, Forgiato Wheels, and MRT Performance being called to work on the cars. Read Update

UPDATEHennessey 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302: Gone In 10.9 Seconds

The tires used a super-slick drag radials but otherwise the Mustang you see here is what you get from Hennessey's HPE700 Supercharged package for the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302. Read Update

UPDATE2012 Mustang Boss 302 TracKey Comes At Expense Of Warranty?

The 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302's TracKey feature is cool, but owners should be aware of potential warranty implications. Read Update

UPDATEOne Of One: School Bus Yellow 2012 Mustang Boss 302 Up For Auction

A unique 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302, painted in School Bus Yellow and fitted with the Laguna Seca package, will be auctioned off to benefit the Henry Ford Health System. Read Update

UPDATESMS Supercars Unveils 2012 302 Mustang Convertible

The SMS 302 Boss is based on the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 but gets a host of updates, including in this case a convertible body. Read Update

UPDATE2013 Ford Mustang To Get Performance Gauges: Report

Rumor has it that the 2013 Ford Mustang will have gauges that can measure performance on an in-depth level. Read Update

UPDATEFord Mustang Customizer Website Urges Fans To Design Duel

Ford Mustang fans can put their favorite finishing touches and upgrades together with a new online feature, and use their best designs to battle with other fans. Read Update

UPDATEHenneyssey Performance HPE650 Supercharged Mustang Boss 302: Dyno Video

Hennessey Performance supercharges the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 for 563 horsepower at the rear wheels. Read Update

UPDATEFound On Ebay: Crashed 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

A wrecked 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is on sale on eBay. Read Update

UPDATE2012 Ford Blue Angels Mustang GT Fetches $400,000 At Auction

The 2012 Ford Blue Angels Mustang GT was sold at the 2011 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh to a buyer from California for $400,000. Read Update

UPDATEVaughn Gittin Jr. Drifts Saudi-Style: Video

Vaughn Gittin, Jr. shows off the Mustang's drift abilities in both the road-going production version and his highly modified pro drift car. Read Update

UPDATE2012 Ford Blue Angels Mustang GT For EAA Young Eagles Unveiled

The 2012 Ford Mustang Blue Angels edition will be sold at charity auction to benefit the EAA Young Eagles program. It's also one mean Mustang, with Ford Racing upgrades, including a 624-horsepower Ford Racing supercharged V-8. Read Update

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