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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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By ChuckDriver on 11/30/2009 2:38:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What other NA car of equal or lesser cost has 100BHP?


I can't think of any others off hand.

When I first saw the horsepower figure, I thought that they were using the ecoboost engine. I'm really impressed that they're getting that amount of power out of a normally aspirated engine; especially if they're not using direct injection.

I think that it is also about time that the Mustang got a six-speed too, more than 15 years after one was included in the Camaro. Granted the 6th gear in that case is an extra overdrive instead of hemming in the ratios on the other gears. I hope that the GT gets it too. In my opinion, they should have been at least offering it as an option with the V-8 since '99. I couldn't believe that they didn't add one for the 2005 redesign. Things probably would have been different if the GM F-bodies where in production at that time. Just like the Crown Victoria, I believe that is evidence that Ford is content to sit on its laurels in the absence of competition.


By 67STANG on 11/30/2009 4:52:00 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Tip of the hat to GM for lighting a fire under Ford. Ford had 6spd. manuals in their performance cars (ie, Cobras and Shelby GT500's) starting in 2003, but they are just now going into their base models.

BTW: All mustangs will get 6spd. manuals or 6spd. automatics for 2011.


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