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Mustang V6  (Source: allfordmustangs.com)
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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Current 4.6L V8 is capable of 30 mpg highway.
By iFX on 11/30/2009 10:01:50 AM , Rating: 2
This isn't news to anyone who actually owns a Ford 4.6L V8 (in a car, not a truck). With a mild degree of restraint the Mustangs since 1996 as well as Crown Vics, Town Cars, Mark 8, etc. have been capable of 30 mpg highway.




By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/30/2009 10:16:44 AM , Rating: 2
The 4.6 in the Mustang is rated at 24 on the highway. The jump to 30 mpg is a pretty big one unless you drive like grandma, but I'll take your word for it.

That being said, it's not like the 30 mpg EPA rating for the new V6 is a stationary rating -- I'm sure others will get higher numbers.


RE: Current 4.6L V8 is capable of 30 mpg highway.
By iFX on 11/30/09, Rating: 0
RE: Current 4.6L V8 is capable of 30 mpg highway.
By donxvi on 11/30/2009 1:28:49 PM , Rating: 3
Perhaps we'll just have you drive every car in the world to get us your fuel economy rating. Start building a database and we can all start quoting your highway fuel economy numbers, tested your way.
Until then, there are only a handful of agencies worldwide that set conditions to measure fuel economy of passenger cars in a controlled environment on a consistent cycle. Anecdotal fuel economy data is worth less than the gas burned deriving the numbers.


RE: Current 4.6L V8 is capable of 30 mpg highway.
By iFX on 11/30/09, Rating: -1
By donxvi on 11/30/2009 10:16:30 PM , Rating: 2
Let me fill you in on how EPA fuel economy ratings are derived. The EPA never sees the car, manufacturers "self certify" which means that the EPA has agreed that the tests run at that OEM are acceptable. Some facility/test methodology cross-check was performed in the past (before I arrived). But this part is a minor detail.

The EPA city/highway numbers are derived from driving a specified cycle on a chassis dyno. The highway number isn't what you'll get if you fill up and hit the highway then get off when the tank is empty and refill. You can google the EPA cycle if you're actually interested. Every car is tested on the same drive cycle under similar conditions. No tailwinds, no traffic, no hills.

Give your car to one of these hypermiling champions and he'll smoke your best fuel economy. Do you really want Ford advertising 81.5 MPG because they were able to squeeze that out of one in a publicity stunt ? That's why a standardized cycle exists.


RE: Current 4.6L V8 is capable of 30 mpg highway.
By JediJeb on 11/30/2009 2:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
Definately not a stretch to believe 30+ from the Mustang V8. The 99 T/A that I owned with the LS-6 could easily get 27mpg on the interstate on long trips.

I never understood why you couldn't drop something like that into some small car, gear it up and knock down 30-35mpg easily. Most small cars lose milage because they are underpowered. The 79 mustang I had with a 2.3L 4 cylinder got worse milage than my friends with a 5.0L V8 by about 3mpg, mainly because it was so underpowered. Same with trucks, I know plenty of old F150s that get better milage with the 400cid V8 then with the 300cid I6.


RE: Current 4.6L V8 is capable of 30 mpg highway.
By Jeffk464 on 11/30/2009 7:44:11 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think I buy into your theory because of engine friction. The larger the displacement the more gas gets wasted to engine friction/idleing. Smaller displacement with more gears should give better mileage all other things being equal. The new Honda Accord V6 "shuts down" cylinders when driving conditions require less HP, but the 4 cylinder still gets significantly better mileage.


By Runiteshark on 12/1/2009 12:34:59 AM , Rating: 2
You are seriously comparing idling consumption between engines? I'll agree larger displacement will equal a bit more friction, but you're delusional to think that punching out a block or stroking it will make you use more fuel if you don't throw on any breathing mods.

I think you're misunderstanding whats trying to be said. Getting a midsize car with a small engine will mean you'll be taking that engine to around 4krpm or so constantly to accelerate into traffic. Putting a larger v6 in with significantly more torque will mean you'll barely tap 3k usually if you aren't beating on it.

Most v8's can drive around below 2000rpm comfortably.

Adding shorter gears to the first 3 has been done for quite some time, and does indeed help with fuel economy, however most cars are set up for just basic driving in mind, not custom turned to each enviroment.


By donxvi on 12/1/2009 7:56:10 AM , Rating: 2
One should compare idle fuel consumption characteristics. Manufacturers sure do. You'd be shocked at how much effort goes into getting idle speeds down a couple dozen RPM to improve fuel economy.
Go back to the controlled testing. To say that your friend with the small engine gets worse fuel economy than you with a bigger one brings an infinite amount of uncontrolled variability.


By Konenavi on 12/1/2009 5:37:12 PM , Rating: 2
True most inline seem to be a little more peppy, the 2.5L I5 in the Jetta wasn't a screamer but you didn't need to "push" it to keep up with traffic, plus when my Dad owned it, he got about 32. Same goes for the 4.0L inline six that Chrysler axed in the Jeeps. The 2010 Liberty 2WD gets about the same mileage as my 1991 Cherokee with 31" BFG All-terrains, a 3.5" lift, and a full 4x4 system. I bet it works much harder to stay in traffic too. Quite sad really. It is nice to see the Mustang with a decent V6 engine though.


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