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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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Final Gear
By robertisaar on 11/30/2009 1:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
"The standard 2.73 rear axle"

did someone forget to mention this? tall rear gears are awesome for fuel economy, not so great for getting pinned back in the seat from a standstill though.




RE: Final Gear
By Jeffk464 on 11/30/2009 2:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't having a 6 spd transmission pretty much solve the problem of awkward gear ratios? With a 6 spd the only thing the manufacturer can really screw up is how they program in the shift points or by putting in a mushy torque converter. Mushy torque converters are great for 50 year old + women who test drive the car and say boy does this thing shift smooth. :(


RE: Final Gear
By robertisaar on 11/30/2009 2:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
considering most corvettes made since ~1997 have had 3.54:1 rear gears and regularly achieve this kind of fuel economy with the 5.7 LS1 and a T56 6 speed, i'm somewhat surprised the mustang can't do any better.

2.xx ratios were for the 70s and 80s, we finally started getting back into decent gears in the 90s/early 2000s until the fuel crunch. at least this time around, we'll know what's going to happen.


RE: Final Gear
By Spuke on 11/30/2009 3:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
regularly achieve this kind of fuel economy with the 5.7 LS1 and a T56 6 speed, i'm somewhat surprised the mustang can't do any better.
The Corvette is NOT rated by the EPA to get 30 mpg. There are WAY too many variables to use personal experiences as a comparison for gas mileage. It'll work for you but it won't work for anyone else. At least with the EPA ratings, you can compare different cars because the same test methods and conditions were used. If YOU drove a 2011 Mustang, you could probably do better than the 30 mpg rating but the next guy might only see 28. Driving style, environmental conditions, fuel quality and a host of other variables determine your actual mileage.

My car is rated at 19/28. I get 28 mpg on commutes, 30 mpg on longer drives, and when the planets line up I can get 33 mpg. Some drivers can't get past 25 mpg. And others can't get past 19 mpg. Different drivers, different conditions.


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