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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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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.

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