2011 Ford Mustang V-6 Preview

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The 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show is about to kick off and already we have information on one of the hottest models set to appear at the prominent event, the 2011 Ford Mustang.

While Ford is keeping much of the details for the show, we can confirm that the latest muscle car in base trim will come with a new 3.7-liter V-6 engine and a 6-speed manual transmission. Better yet, it is expected to deliver up to 30 mpg on the highway.

The new V-6 is an all-aluminum Duratec with variable valve timing and a healthy 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Output matches that of the Chevrolet Camaro but is down on the 330 horsepower of the Nissan 370Z.

The high performance is due to variable control of valve operation across the rev range. The variable cams operate on a Direct Acting Mechanical Bucket (DAMB) valvetrain using polished buckets and roller finger followers to reduce friction.

The end result is as much as a 3% improvement in fuel economy and a 10% improvement in power output versus traditional engines without these advanced features. Furthermore, a cold air induction system and dual exhaust give the 3.7-liter mill its free-breathing style with a 7,000 rpm redline and near-instantaneous response to throttle inputs.

Expected fuel economy is 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with the 6-speed automatic, a substantial 25% improvement over the 2010 model. The manual gets by with 18 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Further reducing fuel consumption is an electronic steering system and minor aerodynamic improvements such as the new front fascia, tire spats on the rear wheels, modified underbody shields, a taller air dam and an added rear decklid seal.

With so much additional horsepower standard, the 2011 Mustang received several enhancements to its chassis as well. Damper tuning and spring rates were revised to provide a smooth highway ride while a new rear lower control arm and stiffened stabilizer bar bushings improve stiffness and handling for better cornering response.

While Mustang's aerodynamic improvements were designed mainly to improve fuel economy, engineers also adjusted the vehicle's front/rear lift balance. The result is a car that tracks more securely and feels more "planted" to the road surface at higher speeds, helping to keep the tires in better contact with the pavement.

Mustang buyers choosing the new V-6 will also get a standard limited-slip differential. When the time comes to slow things down, the 2011 Ford Mustang is also equipped with larger four-wheel ABS disc brakes, with 11.5 inch front and 11.8 inch rear rotors.

Inside, the changes include some additional soundproofing and new door seals, plus an upgraded instrument cluster, including a 160 mph speedometer and 8,000 rpm tach. Ford's MyKey system will be offered on the Mustang for the first time for 2011, along with a garage-door opener, message center, and new blind-spot aids for the mirrors.

Beginning in August, a Performance Package will be offered on the V-6, bringing the lower axle ratio plus 19-inch wheels, a strut tower brace, summer performance tires, a sport mode for the stability control, and the firmer suspension from the Mustang GT.


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Comments (8)
  1. Yep, about time but nonetheless it's exciting to finally see the Mustang packing a modern V6 engine. Now if this whole Mustang vs Camaro competition keeps up maybe someday we'll finally see a Mustang with an IRS, lol.

  2. wow. crazy how the v6 makes more than the v8 did just a few years ago, and with much better fuel economy!

  3. Never was a huge Ford fan, but these last few years have been slowly changing my mind. No, mustang is not my cup of tee, but it is a serious contender,and Fords powertrain lineup and quality are putting them in my heart more and more. I am a Buick, Audi, and Honda (acura as well) fan, someday Ford may be joining the ranks as well. I already recommend Ford to people when they are looking at buying new cars- they have some great alternatives.

  4. Why is a photo of a Chevy Volt rear door included in the Mustang V6 gallery???

  5. "Expected fuel economy is 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with the 6-speed manual, a substantial 25% improvement over the 2010 model. The manual gets by with 18 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway."
    So which is it - and what MGP for the Automatic?
    Does anyone proofread?

  6. Despite the updates, the Mustang is really and old and tired design. A bit like a guy in his 40s, packing on those extra middle-aged pounds who thinks he's still the hot jock he was in college.
    This franchise needs a reboot.

  7. That is one snazzy looking Mustang!

  8. Dude, really? I'm 40, packing a little extra around the middle, but always thought it was the useless folks like you that generalize things that was the joke.

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