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Today, Ford announced details of the 2011 Mustang V6, which will receive substantial upgrades in the powertrain.  Gone is the SOHC 4.0L Cologne V6, which has powered the V6 Mustang since the present generation (S197) was introduced in 2005 (and which traces its lineage back to 1968).  In its place will be the newest version of the Cyclone engine family, a 3.7L V6 with Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT), which can adjust the valvetrain “in microseconds”. With Ti-VCT operating its four valves per cylinder, the new Mustang V6 powerplant sends significantly more horsepower and torque (305 hp and 280 ft.-lb.) to the rear wheels than its predecessor (210 and 240, respectively) – despite its smaller displacement.

While the extra horsepower and refined engine operation are great, the 2011 Mustang 3.7-liter V6 also achieves projected class-leading fuel economy:

  • 19 mpg city/30 highway with six-speed automatic transmission, up from 16 mpg city/24 highway on the 2010 model with automatic – a 25 percent improvement
  • 18 mpg city/29 highway with six-speed manual transmission, up from 18 mpg city/26 highway on the 2010 model with manual

Refinements throughout Mustang’s body, powertrain and chassis design also contribute to the improved fuel economy numbers, including the new Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system which eliminates the drag of an engine-operated hydraulic power steering pump (it also reduces noise), six-speed transmissions that allow lower cruising revs without sacrificing off-the-line performance and aerodynamic improvements such as a new front fascia, tire spats on the rear wheels, modified underbody shields, a taller air dam and an added rear decklid seal.

Enthusiasts who want a premium performance-oriented Mustang V6 can opt for the new Performance Package, which will be available August 2010. Designed for driving enthusiasts, the Mustang V6 Performance Package comprises:

  • A 3.31 rear axle ratio for quicker off-the-line acceleration
  • Firmer Mustang GT suspension
  • 19-inch wheels (1st time available on a V6 Mustang)
  • Summer performance tires
  • A strut tower brace for increased chassis rigidity
  • Unique electronic stability control calibration with sport mode for performance driving

For 2011, Mustang also includes new technology and convenience features, including a standard driver’s message center in the instrument cluster, integrated blind-spot mirrors in the side-view mirror housings, Ford’s MyKey™ system, designed to encourage safer teen driving and safety belt use, also is newly available on Mustang.

So where does this leave the V8 Mustang?  While today’s announcements did not discuss the V8 Mustang, Ford will obviously have to do something. The new V6, as noted above makes 305 hp and 280 ft.-lb. of torque, while the present 4.6L V8 makes 315 and 325, respectively. The torque difference is enough to notice, but the horsepower is way too close. While Ford has not yet announced the details, word has leaked that the 2011 V8 Mustang will be powered by a new 5.0L V8 that will make at least 400 hp and 400 ft.-lb. – stay tuned for more details.

So who’s on top in the latest chapter of the Pony Wars? It’s a complex comparison, but the Mustang, which already beats the Camaro and Challenger in several areas besides power, will now be very competitive in power as well. As you can see, all 3 vehicles are about the same size, with the Mustang smallest in most dimensions and the Challenger the largest in every dimension. If the 2011 Mustang GT matches the Camaro SS in power, it will indeed be a very compelling package – especially if they hold the line in pricing.  Sadly for Dodge, it will now be underpowered in a bigger, heavier package.

2011 Mustang

2010 Camaro

2010 Challenger

V6 HP/Torque

305/280

304/273

250/250

V6 Fuel Economy

19/30

17/29

17/25

V8 HP Torque

400+/400+ (est.)

426/420

372/400 (5.7L)

425/400 (6.1L)

V8 Fuel Economy

TBD

16/24

16/25 (5.7L)

14/22 (6.1L)

Base MSRP

$21,845 (2010)

$23,530

$23,460

Length

188.1″

190.4″

197.7″

Wheelbase

107.1″

112.3″

116.0″

Height

56.1″

54.2″

57.0″

Width

73.9″

75.5″

75.7″

That’s what I think – how about you?  Please leave your comments below.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] The Slandy Report » Ford Announces 2011 Mustang Upgrades […]

    Pingback by What Should You GoSee? » Blog Archive » 2011 Mustang — 2 December 2009 @ 2:15 am

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