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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 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.

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