2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0

2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0

Spy shots of a turbocharged Mustang have hit the Web, and this car doesn't appear to be a one-off SEMA special.

Inside Line, the in-house blog for Edmund's, has shots of what appears to be a turbocharged 'Stang. How did Inside Line arrive at that conclusion?

Well, the exterior has some minor tweaks, but Inside Line took a look at the interior and determined that the higher redline on the tachometer (9,000 RPM as opposed to 8,000 RPM on the GT and 7,000 RPM on the GT500) plus a "premium fuel only" sticker on the dash means that the car is likely turbocharged. Not to mention that Ford has a 365-horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine available in its 2011 Ford F-150 pickup truck.

So does this mean that a turbocharged V-6 will replace the V-8 in the GT? Edmund's speculates that it would either vanish into history or go the supercharged route, and the latter idea makes sense given that the 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 will pump out 470 horsepower--almost 60 more than the 2011 Mustang GT. On the flip side, if the GT gets supercharged, it could cannibalize sales of the GT500 (granted, GT500s are already a bit exclusive) or become too expensive.

Edmund's is simply speculating that Ford would bump the horsepower of the EcoBoost engine to around 400, putting it in range with the current GT. But Ford could opt to set the numbers close to where they are on the truck engine, giving the Mustang a third trim level between the base 305-horsepower V-6 and the 412-horsepower GT.

Or it could just be a powertrain test on Ford's part, with no production plans. Or the future car could be meant as something positioned above the GT and sold in limited numbers. There's no way to know, of course, but it's fun to let the imagination run wild.

[Inside Line]