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Top 10 Quickest Factory-Built Mustangs


Developed as an affordable, sports-oriented vehicle that was relatively lightweight for its era, the first-generation Mustang wasn’t too fast. Sure, its 0-to-60 mph sprint of nine seconds and quarter-mile run of 16.5 seconds wasn’t very slow either, but it wasn’t mind-boggling either.

It wasn’t until 1969 that Ford came up with a production model capable of hitting 60 mph in less than six seconds and running the 1,320 in less than 14 clicks. The car in question was the Cobra Jet, and completed the said benchmarks in 5.5 and 13.9 seconds respectively, thanks to its 335-horsepower and 440 torque.

However, no factory-made Mustang was able to hit 0-60 mph in five seconds or less until the late 1990s. If you ever wondered which Mustangs are the quickest, the Top 10 list below will provide you with the answer.

2009 Bullitt Mustang2008 -2009 Mustang Bullitt

The slowest pony car in this list is the 2008 Bullitt. A tribute to the iconic 1967 model featured in Steve McQueen’s “Bullitt” film, this fifth-gen model packed a 24-valve, 4.6-liter V8 engine rated at 315 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Although it wasn’t the most powerful version at the time, it was more than capable of hitting 60 mph in five seconds and running the quarter-mile in 13.7 clicks at 102.7 mph.

2003 – 2004 Mustang SVT Cobra

Five years before the S197 Bullitt, Ford made the SVT Cobra and turned the 4.6-liter V8 into a 390 HP and 390 TQ  monster by adding a supercharger. The sprint to 60 mph took an impressive 4.8 seconds in this car, while the quarter-mile was completed in a scant 13.1 ticks. But as impressive as it may sound, the 2003 SVT Cobra wasn’t the quickest Mustang to wear the “Cobra” badge.

2000 Mustang SVT Cobra R

The meanest Cobra of them all was launched in 1999 with the mighty 5.4-liter V8 under the hood. At 385 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque, the Cobra R wasn’t more powerful than the 2003 model, but the track-oriented gear ratios and sporty chassis made it significantly quicker from 0 to 60 mph and on the quarter-mile. While the former was achieved in 4.4 seconds, the latter came in at 12.9 clicks at 110.8 mph.

2011 Mustang GT Burnout2011 – 2014 Mustang GT

As quick as the performance-oriented SVT Cobra R, the 2011-2014 Mustang GT is proof of how much car technology evolved over the past decade. Even though it wasn’t created with extreme performance in mind and it’s 5.0-liter V8 has only 22 extra horses compared to the Cobra R, the standard GT needed only 4.4 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start and ran the quarter-mile in 12.8 seconds, a tenth-second quicker than the Mustang above. Pretty impressive for ‘Stang devoid of special badges and specific performance upgrades.

2015 Mustang GT in Orange2015+ Mustang GT

On the flipside, the redesigned GT model that Ford launched in 2015 didn’t bring any significant updates performance-wise. Even though the “Coyote” V8 gained 24 horsepower and 10 pound-feet torque, the 0-to-60 sprint remained unchanged at 4.4 seconds, as did the quarter-mile time at 12.8 ticks. The only notable improvement is the higher trap speed at 112.2 mph. The updated 2018 model could do a bit better, but output figures aren’t yet available as of this writing.

2012 Boss 302 Mustang 2012 -2013 Mustang Boss 302

To find a quicker Mustang we have to go back to the fifth-generation model and the bonkers Boss 302 from the 2012 – 2013 model year. A tribute to the iconic coupe from 1970, the modern Boss 302 had a beefed-up 5.0-liter V8 rated at 444 horsepower and 380 pound-feet. Not surprisingly, this output made it quicker than the standard GT, with 60 mph coming in only 4.3 seconds and the quarter-mile covered in 12.7 seconds. For reference, the original Boss 302 was two seconds slower in both departments (in case you were wondering where all the progress is).

Boss 302 Laguna Seca2012 – 2013 Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca

The Mustang became even faster when Ford upgraded the Boss 302 to Laguna Seca specs. Essentially made to bridge the gap between the regular Boss 302 and the racing version, the Laguna Seca had a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, revised suspension tuning with unique spring and damper rates, and a larger rear stabilizer.

Additionally, the rear seats were replaced by a cross-car X-brace, which reduced weight and increased structural rigidity by around 10 percent. As a result, the Laguna Seca was a tenth-second quicker from 0 to 60 mph and at the drag strip. The first benchmark came in 4.2 seconds, while the second one was achieved in 12.6 ticks at 114 mph.

S197 2009 Shelby GT500 Mustang2007 – 2009 Shelby GT500

In order to find an even quicker Mustang, we need to step into Shelby territory. The iconic GT500 name returned in 2007 and brought a supercharged, 5.4-liter V8 into dealerships. Rated at 500 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of twist, the GT500 was tested to a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 4.1 seconds. The fastest quarter-mile recorded for a stock model was at 12.4 seconds with a speed trap of 115.8 mph, moving the factory-built Mustang even closer to the 11-second run.

S550 Shelby GT3502015 – 2017 Shelby GT350

Although the sixth-generation Mustang has yet to spawn a GT500 version, it did get a GT350 that’s impressively fast. Motivated by a naturally aspirated, 5.2-liter V8 capable of producing 529 horsepower and 429 pound-feet, the GT350 has an official 0-to-60 mph sprint of 4.3 seconds.

However, independent tests revealed that the Shelby can hit 60 mph in less than four clicks, with the quickest benchmark achieved at an amazing 3.8 seconds. The current Shelby GT350 is also quick enough to run the quarter-mile in less than 12 seconds, with it best performance at 11.9 ticks at 116 mph.

2014 Shelby Gt500 Front End2013 – 2014 Shelby GT500

However, it’s the previous-generation GT500 that takes the crown here. Upgraded in 2013 to a supercharged, all-aluminum, 5.8-liter V8, the GT500 hit the streets with a whopping 662 horsepower on tap. The enormous output and the revised chassis pushed the coupe form 0 to 60 mph in a scant 3.6 seconds. The quarter-mile time was equally impressive at 11.6 seconds, while trap speed was set at an unprecedented 125.7 mph.

Granted, the 2013 Shelby GT500 may seem unbeatable for now, but it’s just a matter of time until Ford introduces a quicker and more powerful pony car. The only mystery here is whether it will also have a GT500 badge.

7 comments

    1. Roush Mustangs are technically a post-title built vehicle, like the Saleen and Shelby (non-Gt350) cars. The Roush mustang is not built at the Ford plant.

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  1. I really enjoyed reading this and was somewhat amazed by what I read. I admit that yes, I was a chevy and Pontiac guy since way back. Mainly trans ams. I owned over 30 cars most were sport cars, 3 of which were trans ams. Yet I really regret selling my 76 T/A firebird which had a 455 BB and a Borg-Warner 4sp trans with a 4.11 posi rear. I bought my first mustang in 2010, which is a 2001 mustang gt and I got all the bolt-ons and pretty much every upgrade done that one can do to a mustang, plus its got upgraded stage 4 clutch, lots of suspension upgrades, as well as other parts I have in my garage I’m gonna install hopefully this year. Like bigger mass air flow sensor, bigger injectors, fuel rails, stage 4 cams and a massive 0.87 trim turbo-charger. All I gotta say is I love cars and street racing, as well as working on them, talking about them or helping friends with them. I love my mustang gt, since the first day I test drove it, I fell in love with it. It has a fast get up and go and the sound, all my god. I was in heaven, it sounded so mean and aggressive, not to mention people heard me coming way before they could see me. I’m diffinetly a mustang guy now and I don’t think I’ll ever sell it. A lot of my friends are into tuners and the v8 guys are into who has the biggest engine when theres way more to it then that and I did my research and my 01 gt with the 4.6 aspirated motor and 5sp tranny has really great power and snap to it. Besides racing 1/4 mile it comes down to how good the driver is or if anything goes wrong cause the slightest mistake good cost u the race. I just wanna say I love what AM does and the parts and prices are unbeatable. I always dreamt about working there cause see how a lot of you girls and guys got stangs of your own and just being around car people and assisting others with help on parts or their cars would be my dream job forever.

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