There was a time in the illustrious history of the Ford Mustang when having an engine from the Cleveland Engine Plant meant that you were sporting a 351 cubic-inch V8 underhood. Times have changed quite a bit over the past 35 years, as Ohio's newest Mustang engine contains but six cylinders yet produces an impressive 305 horsepower and an even more brow-raising 30 miles per gallon highway.
Ford expects the 3.7-liter-powered Stang to account for two thirds of Mustang sales, and The Blue Oval is so confident in customer demand for its six-cylinder offering that it's hiring 60 new workers to assist production. To prep the Cleveland plant for its newest engine, Ford is also investing an additional $155 million to bring the plant up to speed.
Ford Powertrain Manufacturing Director Bill Russo appears to be pretty high on the Cleveland facility, adding that it is "not only building fuel-efficient engines for some of our most popular Ford products, it's becoming a hub for the future of Ford powertrains." A hub with a Help Wanted poster on the front door, no less.
While the news at Cleveland appears to be very good, the state of powertrains at Ford is even better. The Oval reportedly pumped a staggering $1.8 billion into powertrains for the 2011 model year, and has nine total new engines on the way. Three of those new powertrains will find their way under the hood of the Mustang, as the 3.7-liter, 5.0-liter and supercharged aluminum 5.4-liter powerplants are all new for 2011. Pony car powertrain fans can revel in the fun by pouring over the horsepower-centric press release after the jump.
The investment and jobs at Ford's Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 brings the company's investment in powertrain engineering and facility upgrades in North America to $1.8 billion to support its 2011 vehicle launches – with more to come. The total number of jobs being added as part of these investments is 1,260. The new Mustang engine is one of nine new or upgraded engines or transmissions for 2011 model Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.
"Ford is absolutely committed to delivering class-leading fuel efficiency with every new vehicle we introduce, and this investment in Cleveland provides further proof," said Bill Russo, director of manufacturing for Ford's powertrain operations.
On sale this spring, the 2011 Ford Mustang delivers 305 high-performance horses for V-6 coupe buyers. The all-aluminum dual-overhead cam (DOHC), 3.7-liter Duratec 24-valve V-6 engine delivers a projected 30 mpg on the highway with a six-speed automatic transmission and fun for drivers on nearly every road.
"Mustang is completely transformed with this new engine," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. "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."
Also available for the 2011-model year are the Mustang GT – with an all-new 5.0-liter V-8 delivering 412 horsepower and projected unsurpassed highway mileage of 25 mpg – and a no-compromises Shelby GT500 powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 and 550 horsepower.
The new 3.7-liter V-6 is built at Ford's Cleveland Engine Plant 1. The 5.0-liter V-8 engine is built at Ford's Essex Engine Plant in Windsor, Ontario. The 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 is built at Ford's Romeo, Mich., Engine Plant.
Cleveland Engine Plant 1 Retooled
Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1's V-6 engine is expected to represent two-thirds of Mustang's volume this calendar year.
Ford's $155 million investment there includes $121 million in manufacturing investment at the plant and $34 million for launch and engineering. Sixty new jobs have been added to the plant to support the new engine.
Specifically, the $121 million for the manufacturing facility supports continued investment in developing and re-tooling the plant's flexible manufacturing systems in the assembly and component (cylinder block, head and crankshaft) areas.
"The Cleveland Engine Plant is not only building fuel-efficient engines for some of our most popular Ford products, it's becoming a hub for the future of Ford powertrains," Russo said. "This facility has the flexibility and the expertise to help us meet customer demands for fun, fuel-efficient vehicles, and it represents the future of advanced manufacturing in North America."
Ford's investment at Cleveland Engine Plant is supported by Ford's green partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. This Ohio plant is one of 11 Ford facilities in the U.S. participating in the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentives Program initiated by Congress and implemented by the Obama administration. The program is helping to develop advanced technology vehicles and strengthen American manufacturing across the country. This project is also supported by Ford's state and local government partners primarily through training funds.
The investment represents the latest in Ford's ongoing commitment to the Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1. Opened in 1951 as Ford's first engine plant in Ohio, the facility has produced more than 35 million engines.
In 2004, Ford invested $350 million into the plant for redesign and installation of an all-new assembly line as well as block, crankshaft and cylinder head machining lines. The plant also led the way in 2009 with the introduction of Ford's first EcoBoost engines, which use gasoline turbocharged direct-injection technology for up to 20 percent better fuel economy, 15 percent fewer CO2 emissions and superior driving performance versus larger displacement engines.
Nine New or Upgraded Powertrains This Year
Ford is introducing nine new or upgraded powertrains in North America for its 2011 model vehicles, representing $1.8 billion worth of investment in engineering and facilities. Among the nine powertrains are:
* 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine for the F-Series Super Duty
* 6.7-liter Power Stroke Diesel for the F-Series Super Duty
* 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift® automatic transmission for the F-Series Super Duty
* 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V-6 engine for the Mustang
* 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V-8 engine for the Mustang
* Six-speed automatic transmission for the Mustang
The 2011 Mustang is the most technically advanced model yet of America's favorite sports car. Both V-6 and V-8 models feature Twin Independent Variable Valve Timing (Ti-VCT), double overhead cams, four-valves per-cylinder and free-flowing exhaust systems. Both models are available with six-speed manual or an upgraded 6-speed automatic transmission.
With so much additional horsepower standard, the 2011 Mustang received enhancements to its chassis and suspension to maintain the outstanding driving behavior Mustang owners expect. The addition of new technologies and features, including segment-exclusive electric power assisted steering will mark a new era of driving dynamics for Mustang.
"We're focusing on every single detail of our engine and transmission lineup to speed class-leading fuel efficiency to our customers as quickly as possible, affordably and in high volumes," said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Powertrain Development.
The 2011 Mustang is a strong example of Ford's industry leading fuel economy gains. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Ford's combined car and truck fuel economy has improved nearly 20 percent since 2004 – almost double the next closest competitor.
Additionally, Ford has lowered its tailpipe CO2 emissions more than any other automaker. Ford's fleet-wide average of 434 grams per mile is 37 grams lower than the 2007 total and 25 grams lower than 2008.