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Mustang V6  (Source:
Ford's Mustang V6 finally gets some balls

When it comes to increasing the fuel economy of vehicles to meet more strict CAFE regulations, automakers are looking at a variety of possible scenarios. Many like Toyota and Honda are pushing hybrid powertrains with vehicles like the Prius and Insight. Others, like VW and Audi, are heavily invested in diesel technology.

Ford is no stranger to relatively expensive hybrid powertrains or turbocharging, but it is using an off-the-shelf, normally aspirated V6 to boost fuel economy in its 2011 Mustang. Base Mustangs have long been the laughing stock of the sporty coupe market with drivers limping along with a "whopping" 210 hp (240 lb-ft of torque) from a 4.0-liter V6 engine. That engine is rated at 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway with a 5-speed manual transmission (16 mpg/24 mpg with a 5-speed automatic transmission).

Ford's base 2011 Mustang, however, should be able to give a little more dignity to those who choose not to go the GT route. The 2011 Mustang is now powered by a smaller, all-aluminum 3.7-liter V6 which pumps out an impressive 305 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque (at 6500 rpm and 4250 rpm respectively). The new engine is also 40 pounds lighter than the outgoing unit.

For the eco-conscious folks out there, fuel economy is up as well despite the 31 percent improvement in power. This time around, it's the automatic transmission (6-speed) that gets the best fuel economy at 19 mpg city/30 mpg highway. The 6-speed manual transmission is not far behind at 18 mpg city/29 mpg highway.

With the V6 Mustang now within 10 hp of its more expensive GT brother, Ford is expected to announce a new V8 engine for the vehicle that will be rated at around 400/400 (hp/lb-ft).

For comparison, the Mustang V6's arch enemy -- the Camaro V6 -- is rated at 17 mpg city/29 mpg highway. Considering that the new Mustang V6 now offers relatively the same punch as the Camaro V6 while weighing around 400 pounds less means that a whole new round of pony car wars is likely to begin.

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By bradmshannon on 11/30/2009 9:20:25 AM , Rating: 4
I miss my 66 Mustang :( Those were the good days of the "Pony Wars"

RE: Sad...
By Iaiken on 11/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: Sad...
By 306maxi on 11/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: Sad...
By Chaser on 11/30/2009 10:38:39 AM , Rating: 5
I'll take digital fuel injection, solid state ignition systems, Electronic Control Units that adapt to weather, air pressure and speed, automatic adjusting values, synthetic oil for longevity and performance and not to mention folding energy absorbing crush zones, front and side air bags and ABS brakes.

The key word here is "maintaining."

RE: Sad...
By FITCamaro on 11/30/2009 10:50:24 AM , Rating: 3
I'll take the ability to work on my freakin car, the ability to smash through your car, and less weight so I can stop BEFORE I hit something.

Don't get me wrong I love the power and efficiency of modern engines. But nothing beats the simplicity of old cars.

RE: Sad...
By xti on 11/30/2009 11:14:44 AM , Rating: 5
i guess you could copy kenny loggins - danger zone to a tape.

RE: Sad...
By B166ER on 11/30/2009 10:40:47 PM , Rating: 1
+ fuckin 6, man.

RE: Sad...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/30/2009 11:35:08 AM , Rating: 5
I suppose you haven't seen the front offset crash test of a modern Chevy Malibu versus a 59 Impala. The Impala was creamed. Dead. The Malibu passengers would have walked away.

I was around for the tail end of the old muscle car days and I worked in car dealerships in the 1970's. I keep thinking about getting one of those old cars, but I can't justify the purchase given the safety issues (drum / disc combos, no passenger protection, lap belts, no steering, no suspension, solid rear axles, no stops on the front seats, bad tires back then but better now, etc, etc). Even given maintainability (gas, oil, points, plugs) I wouldn't own one on a bet. I would by a 2010 Camaro SS in a second, or even this V6 Mustang before I would consider ANY pre-1990 vehicle.

I owned a 1966 327 SS Impala that I really enjoyed back then, but I wouldn't put myself or especially a family member in one of those death traps without significant modification.

RE: Sad...
By Jeffk464 on 11/30/2009 2:04:20 PM , Rating: 2
This sounds like good judgement to me. There is no doubt about it modern engineering is most excellent.

RE: Sad...
By 306maxi on 11/30/2009 3:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'm going to get downrated for this but anyway.......

American cars of the 60's and 70's were apallingly bad creations BUT European cars of that age are far better. Ditto for lots of Japanese cars.

This is my old 1977 Peugeot 504, a car which was in production from the late 60's onwards

4 wheel disc brakes, independent rear suspension all 3 point seatbelts.

Sure it's not a modern car in terms of tech but it's far better than American cars of a similar age and certainly something you can run as a daily driver and I did until I moved from Australia to the UK.

RE: Sad...
By Iaiken on 11/30/2009 1:23:05 PM , Rating: 5
I'll take the ability to work on my freakin car, the ability to smash through your car, and less weight so I can stop BEFORE I hit something.


Recently a driver in my car club was hit head on by an 1971 Impala in a 2002 Mini Cooper when it's driver hydroplaned into oncoming traffic. Both cars were traveling at ~70kph at the time of the impact. He walked away with nothing more than some cuts and bruises. The driver of the Impala was killed instantly and the remaining two passengers had to be air ambulanced to St Joseph Hospital where they died from their injuries.

Interesting items of note:

- The mini had zero deformation of the passenger compartment
- The the engine of the impala was pushed INTO its passenger compartment.
- The fuel tank of the impala had become disconnected by the impact and was leaking fuel.
- The impact sheared the lugs off both cars front wheels.
- Mini had no broken glass
- All of the impala's glass was broken or dislodged.
- The impala's rear windscreen had dislodged and struck the rear passengers before breaking.

Pretty crazy considering that the Impala had a 1300lb weight advantage going into the fight.

So yeah, I call BS.

RE: Sad...
By inperfectdarkness on 11/30/2009 2:05:16 PM , Rating: 1
nostalgia must be a bitch.

guess what? an engine's still an engine. pistons, rods, cams, lifters, etc. same stuff we've been using in IC engines for 50+ years. unless you drive a hybrid--your logic is the stupidest thing i've ever heard.

never mind the fact that technology has progressed 40 years since pony-car inception. never mind that practically any SEDAN today will out-corner, out-brake, out-survive, out-protect, and in many cases out-ACCELERATE those cars of old.

each generation loves the cars pertaining to it's youthful days. that's fine; but let's call it for what it is--nostalgia. climb into any new sports car (g37, c6 vette, camaro, etc) and compare it to driving any 60's muscle-car. the only thing a muscle-car can win on is asthetics.


RE: Sad...
By Iaiken on 11/30/2009 2:49:55 PM , Rating: 1
Not to side with FIT on this one, but you are incorrect:

New Engines:
- Fuel Injection (direct injection is gaining a lot of ground)
- Solid state ignition coils
- Variable valve timing
- Electronically actuated throttle bodies
- Twin spool turbochargers
- Electronically actuated thermostats

- Programmable ECU which provides:
- Idle speed control
- Electronic rev limiters
- Temperature control
- Pressure compensation & compression control
- Wastegate control
- Throttle control
- Variable intake/exhaust
- Gear control (blips the throttle during a down shift)
- Multiple performance profiles
- traction control
- active stability control

So while the basic principle is the same... they are NOTHING like the much 'simpler' engines of old. The biggest problem with modern engines is that they are extremely difficult to tune and toy with.

So difficult in fact that when I swapped out my supercharger pulley, intake, injectors, headers & exhaust, the car ran like shit on the OEM ECU. I had to have it reprogrammed by a technician from Janspeed. Traditionally, these would have all been bolt on power upgrades.

Interestingly enough, the tech from Janspeed didn't go to school for anything to do with cars. He had a bachelors degree in mathematics and statistics.

RE: Sad...
By inperfectdarkness on 11/30/2009 3:42:08 PM , Rating: 1
i take it you've never flashed an ECU?

EPROM ECU's are one of the best things to ever happen to automobiles. proven tune + flash drive + 20 min in the home depot parking lot = higher performance.

you may have "enjoyed" being able to tune your car yourself with a timing gun, dyno & several hours of spare time; but what about being able to tune it for multiple scenarios in the span of just a few minutes...without copious amounts of tools/equipment.

then again, maybe i'm jaded. my '95 only has fuel injection & ignition coils--none of the other bells and whistles. the reason your car ran like shit is because you don't have a carb. in years gone by--you'd simply turn a screw on the carb to compensate for the mods. if you did nothing to the ecu--it's like leaving the default setting on the carb.

seriously, i don't know who these heathens are that live in the dark ages. tuning an ecu isn't witchcraft. even on a non-EPROM ecu, it's as simple as hooking up an SAFC & tweaking. tweaking...not in a dis-similar manner to how the carbeurator was tweaked.


RE: Sad...
By Iaiken on 11/30/2009 5:03:12 PM , Rating: 1
Mini computers are a little too complex for that as the OEM ECU will start doing weird things if you have a Unichip, Shark, Blufin, or Evotech remap and over time it will retard things to near stock parameters.

We wound up having to run it on a dyno with a linked fan assembly and reprogram all of the fuel/air curves for each and every gear from idle to 7000rpm. After that, the my Cooper S was up to 265hp and 229ftlbs at the wheel. Best of all, we were able to bring up low end torque by 59lbs starting at idle. This allowed us to tweak the idle speed control and bring idle down to 1100 rpm from 1500. We were also able to diagnose a problem with the thermostat valve not being able to open up all the way.

I figure the biggest reason for this is that BMW doesn't want you fucking with their cars.

RE: Sad...
By Spuke on 11/30/2009 2:55:52 PM , Rating: 2
each generation loves the cars pertaining to it's youthful days. that's fine; but let's call it for what it is--nostalgia.
I used to be a classic car hater but after 10 years of watching Barrett Jackson and other shows about old cars I began to appreciate them for what they are. Hopefully, someday I'll be able to afford a '55 or '56 Porsche 356 or maybe an early 70's 911. But it won't be a daily driver, it'll be a weekend toy.

I like the simplicity and the differing mentality that went into building those cars. They were more interested in the drive back then. Generally, you have to spend a ton of money to get that same feel nowadays.

RE: Sad...
By jjmcubed on 11/30/2009 7:54:55 PM , Rating: 2
You think the old drum/drum disk/drum cars stopped shorter than the modern cars? Okay. Handle even close to how the newer models handle? You might want to take a quick trip back to the 1970s to remember how bad they were STOCK. And stock I'm talking about a Boss 302 not a lesser model.

I'm not a modern pony car fan, but what your stating isn't true.

RE: Sad...
By FITCamaro on 11/30/09, Rating: -1
RE: Sad...
By zerocool84 on 11/30/2009 10:07:06 PM , Rating: 2
Can't put ABS on an old car. You will just lock your wheels and slide all over the place. Modern cars are infinitely better than an older car in a crash. Sure the car will be all steel but it won't do well in a crash like a newer car will do. I have various old cars that I have restored and keep but only drive those to cruise on the weekends. I drive my modern car every day cus it's safer, gets better mpg, easier to drive, and much more comfortable.

RE: Sad...
By jjmcubed on 11/30/2009 11:14:08 PM , Rating: 2
Are you talking about stock cars, or cars that we buy then put 5k of mods on. I understand you can make an old car handle/brake/acc better than new with major money spent, but not stock. RestoMod is great, but your talking about putting 5-10k on one before you put in the price of the car.

RE: Sad...
By mikeyD95125 on 12/1/2009 3:14:12 AM , Rating: 2
Well ABS will help you stop before you it something. One other thing that helps is called "paying attention". A simple technique that appears to be slipping away in the age of cars with in dash media consoles and Mercedes' that stop themselves in case you forgot you were driving.

RE: Sad...
By Calin on 12/1/2009 5:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
ABS will help you stop before you hit something only if you are on treacherous conditions. ABS will allow you to steer the car while braking "pedal to the metal" - without ABS you will only start sliding away

RE: Sad...
By Samus on 12/1/2009 5:43:48 AM , Rating: 2
i have an 82 mercury capri r/s (basically a mustang gt from that era) that origimally had a carburated 302 with a 4 speed manual. over the years ive put a few motors, trannys and rear ends through it.

these days it runs a 5.4l italian-built cobra motor with a tremec t56 6 speed transmission, hydrolic clutch and a modern independant rear subframe. i have driven it daily for years and put over 60,000 miles on the motor...the frame has nearly 200,000 miles on it. torn down and repainted in 2004 before this motor went in, you wouldnt know it, though :)

old cars can be reliable, but will never be as safe. in an era where windshields were designed to eject in a crash so your head wouldnt hit them and crumple zones were unheard of, you will always be safer in a modern kia over anything from the 60s or 70s.

RE: Sad...
By jonmcc33 on 11/30/2009 10:37:33 AM , Rating: 1
Lack of airbags anywhere, lack of anti-lock brakes, lack of any electronic stability control, lack of better transmissions for better fuel economy and lack of minimum 3-point seat belts.

I agree. Drive it at a parade but only a fool would use one for daily driving. You'd be driving in your own coffin.

RE: Sad...
By mtcoder on 11/30/09, Rating: -1
RE: Sad...
By FITCamaro on 11/30/2009 10:52:22 AM , Rating: 2
My first three cars lacked ABS, air bags, and stability control. And the last of the 3 had more horsepower than most cars today. Did I need any of those three things to daily drive my car? No. Even in pouring rain I was fine. Properly inflated tires, properly maintained brakes, and knowing how to drive your car are far more valuable than a bunch of computers.

RE: Sad...
By The0ne on 11/30/2009 11:32:00 AM , Rating: 2
going to have to agree with knowing how to drive your car. Compare to most drivers I see I'm pretty good, but in my own opinion I could do with some track lessons sometime soon. To this day I still follow the 3sec rule of the old days. And it's saved me many many many times from stupid drivers.

But while I do appreciate the classics I'm a techie and I love electronics! What EE doesn't! :) But if I had enough time, I would definitely consider a classic as my main cruiser and probably save the rally cars for a bit more thrilling mountain driving :D

RE: Sad...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/30/2009 11:42:59 AM , Rating: 3
That 3 second rule is actually 1 second for every 10 miles per hour. If it has changed to 3 seconds, its only because of anti-lock brakes.

So you are good at avoiding collisions, but once you are in one, I would rather be in a modern car than one of those old ones any day. I used to manage a body shop, and I saw the damage that you could do to those old cars - even in normal commuting collisions. The passengers used to really take a beating. And its true that most collisions are rear-enders that you are taking special pains to avoid, but the low probability incidents have high catastrophe risk, which those old cars won't protect you from. Why risk it when you can get the same engine and better performance, safety and fuel mileage with a car that costs less (let's say showroom quality 1969 Camaro SS versus showroom quality 2009 Camaro SS)?

RE: Sad...
By The0ne on 11/30/2009 11:57:19 AM , Rating: 2
The 3sec rule was the start of checking your mirrors with the first being the rear and then the sides. It's been over 25 years now that I do it unconsciously. Just last week I avoided a 55+MPH crash to my car's behind because as soon as I caught the driver in the rearview not slowing I turned, moved forward and to the side and avoided the dumbass.

It must have taken his aging little car a good 20 yards or so to stop. I was surprise the car didn't turn and slide, very surprise. All other cars behind him also turned sideways to avoid crashing into the dumbass.

As for getting into one, I've avoided all since now and am thankful. With preference to which cars, I think luck has something to do with how the crash would happen than just the type of car. But as I said, I would use the classic for a cruiser and the newer cars, since they are rally cars, for DD or more exciting drives out in the country and mountains.

RE: Sad...
By invidious on 11/30/2009 12:42:00 PM , Rating: 3
You seem like a safe driver, but driving while unconscious sounds dangerous.

RE: Sad...
By LordanSS on 12/1/2009 2:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, sometimes things just happen and there's nothing you can do about it.

Years ago, I was stopped at a red light, when a speeding truck couldn't break in time and got the back of my car. I wasn't doing anything wrong, but still someone managed to hit me.

Knowing how to drive, and doing everything 100% right, goes a long way on preventing an accident. But even then, sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. Still, better safe than sorry.

RE: Sad...
By Noya on 12/11/2009 2:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
Why risk it when you can get the same engine and better performance, safety and fuel mileage with a car that costs less (let's say showroom quality 1969 Camaro SS versus showroom quality 2009 Camaro SS)?

Well, if it's not a daily drive and just a weekend toy the 1969 SS will only go up in value (investment). The 2009 SS will be worth jack in a few years, just like the last GTO and G8.

RE: Sad...
By Jeffk464 on 11/30/2009 2:08:25 PM , Rating: 2
Most people get away with riding a motorcycle, whats your point. Some of it is good driving, and some of it is not being in the wrong place at the wrong time(luck).

RE: Sad...
By FPP on 12/1/2009 11:07:50 PM , Rating: 2
Hogwash. These new cars are better in every way, from power (actual at-the-wheels power) quality, handling, amenities and most of all, safety than your 70's rattle traps. Honestly, I suspect that you do not really own 70's cars.

RE: Sad...
By iFX on 11/30/2009 10:06:52 AM , Rating: 2
Classic cars are nice to drive in a parade or around a car show, but modern cars are just more capable in every way.

Surprise Surprise. I'm sure no one has thought of that until just now.

RE: Sad...
By mtcoder on 11/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: Sad...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/30/2009 11:49:12 AM , Rating: 3
Well jing blang and con sarn, pardner, I would say you make a convincin' argument, darn tootin' *spit*. Care to take that Olds (don't make those anymore, do they?) around a curve in that mountain road?

RE: Sad...
By robertisaar on 11/30/2009 1:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
interestingly enough: my father's 1970 Monte Carlo with the factory 350 is getting around 20MPG highway as well. as long as you can check timing, adjust the carb and not be a complete dumbass, it's amazing what almost 40 year old vehicles can do compared to how far we've come today.

RE: Sad...
By Jeffk464 on 11/30/2009 2:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
Probably has to do with it being a high compression engine. Leaded fuel was high octane so you could run higher compression without the dreaded pre-detination. If they start putting more ethenal in our fuel we might be able to go back to higher compressions as ethenol is higher octane that gasoline.

RE: Sad...
By robertisaar on 11/30/2009 2:39:25 PM , Rating: 2
according to GM documents, it is a 9.5:1 motor, which wasn't anything special back then considering what the BBCs were running, but it is respectable considering the ancient iron heads. he runs premium with some occasional lead substitute due to it having the original valve seats.

as a comparison: 95 Monte Carlo with the 3100 engine is also running 9.5:1 compression, but with aluminum heads. mileage is about 20 in the city, around 31-35 on the highway. but with about 1/2 of the torque and horsepower of the 350, it's a fair trade in my world.

RE: Sad...
By amanojaku on 11/30/2009 10:50:23 AM , Rating: 2
Why for the love of beer why?
You, sir, are a poet! Bravo!
Classic cars are nice to drive in a parade or around a car show, but modern cars are just more capable in every way.
Unfortunately, that's not always true. The first Mustang was 3,000-3,300lbs and had as much as 375HP. The current generation (fifth) of Mustangs weigh up to 4040lbs and have up to 540hp. The typical first generation Mustang had quarter-mile times of 13 seconds, while the typical current generation does that in 13.5 seconds. The current Mustang does 0-60 in about 4.9-5.1 seconds, while the first generation Fastback did that as fast as 4.8 seconds (GT500), but generally 7 seconds (GT350). Considering it's been 40+ years the current Mustang doesn't perform that much better than its predecessor.

On the other hand, the handling is better, and I would argue that the fuel economy is, as well.

I've read similar statements about certain Le Mans race cars, where the '60s model beat out '70s-'90s models and narrowly lost to 2000s.

RE: Sad...
By FITCamaro on 11/30/2009 10:54:47 AM , Rating: 2
The 1964 Mustang weighed 2556-2600 pounds. You're a bit off.

RE: Sad...
By amanojaku on 11/30/2009 11:09:32 AM , Rating: 2
True. The 3,000lb version was the V8, and those are the performance numbers I was using. The 2,600lb I6 only had 101-120hp, and couldn't possibly make those numbers.

RE: Sad...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/30/2009 11:51:57 AM , Rating: 2
1960's Mustangs also had exploding gas tanks, don't forget those. And if you had a fastback, you had the added treat of the fuel splashing across the headliner and over the passengers when struck in the rear. Those were the days. You don't see many immolations like that anymore. *sniff*

RE: Sad...
By The0ne on 11/30/2009 11:58:15 AM , Rating: 2
Man, sure sounds like a movie the way you put it :)

RE: Sad...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/30/2009 12:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure you can find a youtube video of the rear crash tests showing the fuel tank coming into the passenger compartment. Ford designed the fuel tank so that it could be dropped into the trunk and bolted down from the top to reduce production costs - um, like the Pinto, and the Exploder, etc. So when it becomes detached, it goes up. And up in the fastback, up is into the back seat. Lovely.

RE: Sad...
By The0ne on 11/30/2009 12:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
yes, I'm aware of the the gas tanks placements. Just sounds exciting when you said it initially that it reminded me a movie explosions :D

RE: Sad...
By 67STANG on 11/30/2009 12:45:44 PM , Rating: 2
If you're so concerned with the fuel tanks, they've been selling "Tank Armor" systems for classic mustangs for at least a decade now...

GM 1-upped Ford anyhow with their horrible fuel tank explosions-- which would have cost less than $9.00 to fix at the factory.

RE: Sad...
By Leper Messiah on 11/30/2009 12:42:58 PM , Rating: 5
The thing none of you are considering is safety. How many people died back in the 60's running lemans because their cars turned into airfoils at 250MPH on the straightaways? Same thing applies for production vehicles.

Not to mention, the horsepower ratings you're quoting from the 60's are from leaded fuel, non catalytic engines with SAE gross HP ratings instead of the SAE net ratings. Look at the horsepower ratings from the 'stangs back in the 70's and early 80s. The 5L V8 was making barely 185HP because they had to lower the compression ratio to deal with unleaded fuel and detune it so that it didn't pollute like a motherfucker. The fact that cars these days get similar performance to the cars of 40 years ago while polluting 80% less and being 3 or 4 times safer is where all that engineering went.

RE: Sad...
By AlexWade on 11/30/2009 11:45:19 AM , Rating: 2
My dad had a 1968 maroon red Mustang with the 289 engine. It had no power steering, no power brakes, no AC, one speaker, and it used so much gas that you could see the needle dropping slowly. Oh how I miss driving that car. It was my dad's toy, but I drove it to school. He eventually sold my favorite car. It was the joy in driving a classic that thrilled me.

RE: Sad...
By Jeffk464 on 11/30/2009 11:55:25 AM , Rating: 2
Cool, I was thinking with the new specs of the camaro v6 ford was going to get its ass wooped in sales. Looks like ford came up with a quick and impressive answer to gm's v6.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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