The pony car wars are about one-upsmanship if nothing else. The Ford Mustang held court for years while Chevrolet and Dodge had their horses on hiatus, but times have changed. The new Camaro has been whaling on the Mustang ever since its return, beating the Ford in sales for nine months straight and offering a range engines that are at once more powerful and efficient than the Blue Oval's aging mills. Advantage: Camaro.
The Mustang, however, received a nicely executed redesign for its 2010 model year and, as is Ford's way, the automaker waited another model year to introduce its new range of engines. You already know all about the return of the storied 5.0 moniker on this year's new Mustang GT. You also know that the V6 model is replacing its Civil War era 4.0-liter engine with a more powerful and efficient 3.7-liter. Powerful as in 305 horsepower, but how efficient? We didn't know before but we do now. The 2011 Ford Mustang V6 will achieve 19 miles per gallon in the city and, more noteworthy, 31 mpg on the highway.
The V6 model's rating of 30 mpg highway (when paired with the six-speed auto mind you, the manual version achieves 30 mpg) is noteworthy because, well, it's 2 mpg more than the slightly less powerful 304-hp Camaro V6. Also, it's a record for being the first 300+ hp vehicle to be officially rated at 30 mpg or more. Wow, think about that. It's never been done before. Sure, the new Mustang V6 is only marginally more powerful and efficient than its Camaro counterpart, but clawing above that 30 mpg mark will no doubt get Ford's thoroughbred some extra ink in the press.
Follow the jump for Ford's official press release on the matter, in which it explains a little more how those magic numbers were achieved (Spoiler: aerodynamics, super smart six-speed auto and electric power assisted steering).
- New 2011 Ford Mustang V-6 final fuel economy certified by EPA this week at 31 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city
- On sale this spring, Mustang with new 3.7-liter V-6 achieves 305 hp with available six-speed automatic transmission; first car ever to achieve 300-plus horsepower and 30-plus mpg
- New Mustang already has more than 11,000 orders, half for the new V-6
DEARBORN, Mich., March 4, 2010 – The 2011 Ford Mustang today breaks new ground, cracking the record books as not only the most fuel-efficient Mustang ever, but also the first production car in history to produce more than 300 horsepower and more than 30 mpg highway.
The Mustang's official EPA ratings – completed this week – certify that models equipped with the 305-hp 3.7-liter V-6 and available six-speed automatic transmission achieve 31 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city. The standard six-speed manual transmission is rated at 30 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city.
Mustang is powered by a lightweight, all-aluminum 3.7-liter dual-overhead-cam (DOHC) V-6 engine that uses advanced engineering to deliver its combination of power and economy. Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) adjusts the valvetrain in microseconds depending on driver inputs, further contributing to the engine's overall efficiency.
The fact that Mustang achieves its top fuel economy rating with the convenience of an automatic transmission also marks a shift in conventional wisdom. Ford engineered a modern six-speed automatic transmission with carefully calibrated gear ratios and shift programs to maximize economy, while still delivering high-horsepower driving fun.
"Advanced powertrains like our Ti-VCT V-6 and six-speed automatic really speak to the future of Mustang," says Barb Samardzich, Ford vice president of Global Powertrain Engineering. "We've proven that, using technology, Ford can deliver both power and fuel economy."
In addition to engine improvements, upgrades to Mustang's body, powertrain and chassis design contribute to the higher fuel economy numbers for 2011. Examples include:
- New Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system eliminates the drag of an engine-operated hydraulic power steering pump
- Six-speed manual and automatic transmissions allow lower cruising revs without sacrificing off-the-line performance
- Aerodynamic changes include improvements like a new front fascia, tire spats on the rear wheels, modified underbody shields, a taller air dam and an added rear decklid seal
The new 2011 Mustang already has more than 11,000 orders. Half of all the nationwide orders are for the car's fuel-efficient 3.7-liter V-6 engine. The 2011 Mustangs are also being equipped with record levels of technology, giving customers the option of choosing navigation, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and rearview cameras.
The new 2011 Mustang goes on sale this spring and will be built at the AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.