2011 Ford Mustang V6 burnout – Click above to enlarge

Right now our man Jonny Lieberman is bombing around Southern California in both the 2011 Ford Mustang GT and Mustang V6. Both cars have received major mechanical upgrades for model year 2011 in the form of two new engines: The return of the fabled 5.0-liter V8 for the GT and a new 3.7-liter V6 for the base model.

Jonny's not allowed to talk about his experience behind the wheel of either car until early next week, but that won't stop us from giving you a sneak preview of the Mustang V6 and its upgraded motor. The 3.7-liter V6 has already been used in such everyday fare as the Mazda CX-9, Lincoln MKS and MKT. It's also destined for duty in the 2011 Ford Edge. The 2011 Mustang V6, however, will give this work-a-day engine an opportunity to shine.

Producing 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, the Mustang's version of the 3.7-liter V6 will be the most powerful available. Paired with a six-speed automatic, it will also make for the most fuel-efficient muscle car on the market with a highway rating of 31 mpg. But we're not interested in fuel economy today. We're interested in evidence of how much better the new V6 model will be compared to the current one, which has used the 210-horsepower "Cologne" 4.0-liter V6 since 2005. We think the image above is all the evidence we need. Stay tuned for our full First Drive reports of both models early next week.

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