2011 Ford Mustang Gets New V-6: 305 HP, 30 MPG Highway

November 29, 2009

An all-new engine promises to make the base V-6 Ford Mustang a lot more exciting for 2011.

Today (and in advance of the LA Auto Show pressers), Ford officially announced that a new all-aluminum 3.7-liter DOHC V-6 will power the 2011 Ford Mustang, producing an impressive 305 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. Two new six-speed transmissions (versus five-speeds for 2010) will pair with the engine, and a limited-slip differential and new suspension settings will help take advantage of the boost in power.

2011 Ford Mustang V-6 - new Duratec 3.7-liter

2011 Ford Mustang V-6 - new Duratec 3.7-liter

Enlarge Photo

2011 Ford Mustang V-6 - new Duratec 3.7-liter

2011 Ford Mustang V-6 - new Duratec 3.7-liter

Enlarge Photo

The new 3.7-liter engine in the 2011 Mustang, part of Ford's Duratec family, uses Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) and a Direct Acting Mechanical Bucket (DAMB) valvetrain to vary valve control through the rev range (up to 7,000 rpm) and achieve a three percent improvement in fuel efficiency and ten percent more power versus the same engine without this technology. Highway ratings with the new engine will be as high as 30 mpg, and it uses regular, not premium, gasoline.

The engine also gets a number of other measures to improve efficiency, power, and durability, including tuned composite intake manifolds, coil-on-plug ignition, and piston-cooling jets, plus a cold-air induction system and a deep-sump oil pan.

In a press release accompanying the announcement, Ford made special note of the engine sound, saying that engineers have worked to on the engine's breathing with satisfying performance sounds in mind.

Both of the new six-speed transmissions get improvements in addition to their extra ratios. The manual gearbox has a short-throw linkage, while the automatic comes with a "hill mode" that helps to provide more engine braking on steep grades. A lower 3.31 rear axle ratio will be offered for improved performance, especially from a standing start.

With the new six-speed automatic, the 2011 Mustang carries anticipated EPA fuel economy ratings of 19 mpg city, 30 highway with the automatic (up 25 percent versus 2010) and 18/29 with the manual transmission. Also contributing to these improvements are a new electric power-steering system and a host of small aerodynamic enhancements.

To help handle the added power, the 2011 Mustang V-6 gets revised damper tuning and spring rates, plus a new rear lower control arm and stiffened stabilizer-bar bushings; Ford also adjusted the car's front/rear aerodynamic balance to help the Mustang feel more "planted." It also gets larger brake rotors—11.5 inches in front and 11.8 in back.

2011 Ford Mustang V-6

2011 Ford Mustang V-6

Enlarge Photo

Inside, the changes include some additional soundproofing and new door seals, plus an upgraded instrument cluster, including a 160-mph speedometer and 8,000-rpm tach. Ford's MyKey system will be offered on the Mustang for the first time for 2011, along with a garage-door opener, message center, and new blind-spot aids for the mirrors.

Beginning in August, a Performance Package will be offered on the V-6, bringing the lower axle ratio plus 19-inch wheels, a strut tower brace, summer performance tires, a sport mode for the stability control, and the firmer suspension from the Mustang GT.

Up through 2010, the Mustang continues with an updated SOHC version of the Cologne V-6, which dates back decades and is otherwise used in the Ranger and Explorer. We drove a Mustang Coupe with that engine just this past summer and found the torquey but uncivilized engine satisfying with the legendary pony car but not very pulse-quickening.

With the 3.6-liter V-6 engine in the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro producing 305 horsepower and getting EPA ratings of up to 18 mpg city, 29 highway, the lighter Mustang should be considerably quicker than the base Camaro while also more fuel-efficient. That's our kind of muscle car.

2011 Ford Mustang V-6

2011 Ford Mustang V-6

Enlarge Photo

A hat tip to our fellow High Gear Media site MustangBlog.com for first reporting on this new engine many months ago.

Ford is heavily rumored to have other powertrain surprises in the works for the 2011 Ford Mustang GT, which might take the form of an EcoBoost V-6 version or one with the upcoming 5.0-liter 'Coyote' V-8. We'll bring you more details on that, as well as on pricing and on-sale dates for the 2011 Ford Mustang V-6, as soon as we have them.

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Stay connected with the latest from TheCarConnection.com, MotorAuthority.com, and GreenCarReports.com as we report directly from the LA Auto Show press previews later this week. 

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