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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 4:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
You missed 67STANG's caveat that it be of equal or lesser cost (all prices base MSRP from edmunds.com):

2010 RX-8 - $32,660
2009 S2000 - $34,995

Don't know the price on the 2011 Mustang w/ the 3.7L V-6, but the 2010 base Mustang coupe is $20,995, so the gap between it and the RX-8 is more than $11k. The base convertible is $25,995, a $9k discount over the S2000. I doubt that Ford will raise the prices on either of these by anywhere near that amount when the Cologne V-6 is replaced next year. I agree that RX-8 and S2000 are unique cars with great performance and good value, but you do pay a premium for them. I think that the G37 coupe at $35,900 is still compelling even if it falls short of the 100BHP/liter mark. If I had to spend a day driving through typical metropolitan traffic in one of these cars, I'd choose the G37.


By Jeffk464 on 11/30/2009 7:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
My brother has the G35 coupe and I have to say it is a great sport/touring type car. The refinement is pretty unbelievable, sporty handling without harshness, great acceleration while engine stays smooth and fairly silent, its a perfectly balanced sporty car for everyday driving. I know that the mustang and camaro will never match that level of refinement but they are under $25,000. Refinement was never really the point of muscle cars anyways.


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