Ford has priced the '11 Mustang GT starting at $30,495. Some fully loaded variants will tip the scale as high as $48K, but when you consider some of the spectacular options that are going to be available (glass roof, convertible, satellite navigation, Brembo brakes, upgraded wheels and tires, premium leather interior, MyKey, Sync), it's easy to see how the price could go stratospheric. In talking with Ford engineers and PR reps, the subject of an LX 5.0 kept popping up. It seems that Ford has been giving serious consideration to a de-contented 5.0L V-8 version in six-cylinder trim, just like in the old days. That might make an appearance in a year or two, and we pressed them to keep the price under $28K. They sounded optimistic, so we'll keep our ear to the ground and report back.

The '11 Mustang GT can wear any hat it wants. You name it-fuel-efficient daily commuter, cross-country hauler, drag racer, open-track brawler, autocrosser-this hot rod can do it all. It's not just a quantum jump forward for the Ford faithful, or even the hot rodding population in general, but to the whole automotive world. It sends a message that we can have our performance, our efficiency, our safety, our budget, and our comfort all in the same car without guilt. If that's not a quantum jump, we don't know what is.