Ford is no stranger to relatively
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,
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
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
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.