As much as we love Camaros, Mustangs and Challengers for their bulging V8 performance, it is the base model vehicles that make the brands money. Most of the muscle cars sold throughout the decades have been the cheaper, less edgy V6 models driven by high school cheerleaders and secretaries.

But the battle of the V6 pony cars is heating up, as Jalopnik reports that the new V6 Mustang makes more horsepower AND torque than the Camaro. Also details will soon be found at Ford.

Photo credit: Ford

While not officially official yet, sources close to Ford have discussed what many of us have speculated about for some time now - the 2011 Mustang will get both a new V8 and V6 engine, putting it in league with the Camaro SS. While the 400 horsepower Coyote 5.0 engine is big news, the new 3.7 liter V6 for the base model Mustang is even more important. We already knew it would make more horsepower, 315 versus the Camaro’s 300, but it will also make 275 ft-lbs of torque compared to the Camaro’s 273.

The graph by Jalopnik shows the horsepower ratings of the V6 Mustang vs. the V6 Camaro

It may not sound like much, but consider the fact that these two engines make more power than any Mustang or Camaro did throughout the 80s. It also represents bang-for-your-buck marketing as the base model cars become increasingly more powerful. Both the V6 Mustang and Camaro are in the same price range (around $20,995 for the Mustang and $22,245 for the Camaro), but have enough power now to be considered genuine performance cars. These six-bangers make almost as much power as the Nissan 370Z (332 horsepower), but cost $10,000 less.

It also represents a genuinely important performance standpoint, as the aftermarket has generally ignored supporting the V6 motors. However, it will be hard to ignore such potent powerplants now. Well, except the Challenger and its 276 horsepower 3.5 liter corporate V6.

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