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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: well done ford
By Manch on 11/30/2009 12:37:02 PM , Rating: 2
The IRS vs solid axle arguement has already been proven BS. Ford was able to make the car handle extremely well and some mags say it handles better than the Camaro. Plus for the core buyers, the solid axle is better. Drag racers knows a solid axle is the way to go. They're cheap durable and light compared to an IRS.

RE: well done ford
By Brandon Hill on 11/30/2009 12:38:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think that part of the reason why the Mustang handles better than the Camaro is because the latter is a fat pig of a car :)

But that is to be expected when the vehicle is based on a sedan platform.

RE: well done ford
By theapparition on 11/30/2009 1:20:52 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, can't engineer around an extra 400lbs of mass.

Even so, the Camaro V6 is only 2mpg/1mpg worst in fuel economy compared to the Mustang.

RE: well done ford
By Jeffk464 on 11/30/2009 2:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Ford already had a 400lbs advantage over the Camaro. The 400lbs drop in engine weight should give the Mustang a nice performance and mileage edge.

RE: well done ford
By theapparition on 12/1/2009 7:52:40 AM , Rating: 2
Wow did you misread the article. Engine only dropped 40lbs, primarily due to it's all aluminum construction.

It's still only 400lbs less, not 800lbs.

RE: well done ford
By chrnochime on 11/30/2009 1:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
IIRC They dropped the SRA back in because the IRS breaks so easily from all the power boost and hard launches, due largely in part to the rubber used in differential mounts, control arms and subframe mount. I guess it's easier to just swap the whole thing out instead of addressing the shortcomings.

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