The 2011 Ford Mustang isn’t all new. Rather, the steed now features a new 3.7L DURATEC V6 engine, replacing the 4.0L V6 that had long served as the Mustang’s base engine.
The all-aluminum 24-valve dual-overhead cam engine is light years ahead of the engine it replaces and, thanks to being paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, will yield 31 mpg on the highway and 305 horsepower. The latter achievement marks a 50 percent performance increase and putting the Ford in the same territory of its Chevy Camaro arch-rival.
Ford significantly improved the Mustang for the 2010 model year, but one improvement sorely lacking was a modern engine. That hurt Mustang sales just as the Chevy Camaro returned to the market after an eight year absence. Today, the Camaro outsells the Mustang due in part to pent up demand for the car as well as better engine choices. Indeed, the V6 Camaro gets 29 mpg on the highway while producing 304 horsepower, numbers Chevrolet is expected to improve upon as the 2011 Mustang hits the market.
Ford believes that customers will flock to the Mustang’s new V6 as it offers exactly what fans have been clamoring for. Said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development, “Mustang is completely transformed with this new engine. Everything people love about the car is still there and now under the hood is a V-6 engine that uses premium technology to deliver the power, the feel, the fuel efficiency, even the sound of the best sports coupes in the world.”
A cold air induction system and dual exhaust helps the standard engine breathe better enabling the Mustang to redline at 7000 RPM and enjoy faster responses to throttle inputs. Ford says that the V6 equipped Mustang will be able to go 10,000 miles between oil changes, saving customers money while also reducing the need to dispose of waste oil.
Fans will also be glad to know that Ford engineers worked to bring out aggressive, high-performance sounds from the new engine, something noted from intake to exhaust. The returned air intake system has been designed to minimize losses, while providing the driver with a stimulating intake rush on hard acceleration. Mellow when idle, the dual exhaust system opens up with a howl at full-tilt, affirming that this car is all about performance.
As usual, various performance packages are available with the Mustang, enhancements such as larger tires, firmer suspension, tweaked stability control and other improvements. In all, the lack of oomph with the base Mustang no longer applies, giving drivers the thrill they want in the steed they long admire.