2009 LA Auto Show: 2011 Ford Mustang V6 Puts Out 305 HP & 30 MPG on Highway

2011 Ford Mustang

Even though Ford just completed a model refresh of the Mustang for the 2010 model year, that hasn’t stopped the Blue Oval from pushing forward with significant platform upgrades. It’s nice to think that Ford initiated this at its own behest,  but a more likely scenario is that it’s due to stiff competition from the six-cylinder Chevy Camaro, Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Nissan 370Z. In any case, the new 2011 Mustang sports a 3.7-liter V6 engine putting out 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, which is a HUGE improvement over the 2010’s rather pathetic 210 hp and 240 lb-ft torque. What’s even more impressive is that displacement has been reduced from the previous generation’s 4.0L powerplant, and fuel efficiency increased to 30 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city (automatic). This compares to 16 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway from the outgoing model.

Ford has definitely done its homework on its new transmissions for the 2011 Mustang. The new six-speed 6R60 automatic provides consistent fuel economy and comes with a hill-mode to assist with inclines. Performance remains crisp with a mapping scheme that provides quick shifts to keep the 2011 Mustang hauling. The manual gearbox features short throws and direct feel of the shifter for a better driving experience. The standard 2.73 rear axle provides a good balance between fuel economy and acceleration while an optional 3.31 rear axle ratio is available for better launches off the line.

2011 Ford Mustang V6

Fuel economy and performance both benefit greatly from the new 3.7-liter V6 engine, but are not solely responsible for the vast improvement. A new cold air intake system and dual exhaust provide better throughput and help establish a 7,000 rpm redline. Drag has been reduced by some aerodynamic tweaks which include a new front fascia, taller air dam, rear-wheel tire spats, reworked underbody panels and a new rear decklid seal.

With performance significantly improved, Ford made the requisite updates to the chassis and suspension system of the 2011 Mustang to follow suit. Damper tuning and spring rates were increased to create a nicer highway ride while a new rear lower control and stiffer stabilizer bar bushings help in the corners. The front/rear lift balance was revised so that the car is better planted to the road at higher speeds. Braking was also fortified with 11.5-inch rotors up front and 11.8-inch discs in back, both derived from the current GT. And a limited slip differential comes standard to help deliver all this new power to the ground.

2011 Ford Mustang V6

The 2011 Ford Mustang enjoys a host of other upgrades. Some of the highlights include electronic power steering with a substantial feedback loop (or so they say); some computer wizardry with names like Pull-Drift Compensation and Active Nimble Control; new safety features like integrated blind-spot mirrors, improved crush zones and high-strength steel intrusion beams; a revised instrument cluster with a 160 mph speedometer; and better interior soundproofing.

Ford is also offering a new Performance Package beginning August 2010 for those people who are looking for a little something extra. This kit includes a 3.31 rear axle ratio, the firmer suspension system from the GT, 19-inch wheels with summer tires, a strut tower brace for improved chassis rigidity and electronic stability control calibration with sport mode.

Overall, the 2011 Ford Mustang V6 is a solid upgrade to a platform that just received a pretty significant revamp. This is shaping up to be one of the best Mustangs of the current era. Pricing information and performance stats are unavailable but we’ll provide an update as soon as they are released. We can’t imagine that the cost structure will differ very much but the 0-60 mph times will certainly be a vast improvement.

We can only assume that a new V8 engine is also in the works as this latest update puts the 2011 Mustang V6 engine pretty close to the current Mustang GT’s performance stats, not to mention the fact that the Camaro SS has a 6.2-liter V8 spitting out 426 hp with 420 lb-ft of torque, which blows away the Mustang’s current V8. Things are one again starting to get interesting…

Source: Ford