As much as we love performance and horsepower, these days fuel efficiency is an important part of any new car conversation. The automakers are keenly aware that new CAFÉ standards mean they must meet a fleet-wide average of 35 mpg by 2020. That means even the muscle cars must pull their weight, lest they go the way of the dodo bird.
The official EPA numbers are in for the Ford Mustang, and they are better than expected. The 2011 Ford Mustang V6 with the new 3.7 liter engine gets 19 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, making it the first car with over 300 horsepower to get over 30 mpg claims Ford.
Fuel economy and performance dont have to be mutually exclusive. With 305 horsepower on tap, the V6 2011 Mustang makes nearly as much horsepower as the outgoing 2010 Mustang GT. Now it can even serve as a reasonably priced, fuel efficient commuter car as well. The 31 mpg rating is available when the Mustang is mated to Fords new six-speed automatic transmission and the 2.73 stock rear end gear ratio.
Ford is also planning a performance package for V6 model, which adds more aggressive gears, and a dual exhaust among other enhancements. The new MPG rating beats out the Camaro by 2 mpg, while edging out the horsepower rating by 1 pony. While it isnt much, it is enough for Ford to give itself a pat on the back. Now we wonder what company will be the first to break 30 mpg out of a 400 horsepower car. It might be closer to happening than you think.
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.