The new 2011 model V6 Ford Mustang has made a lot of noise, both literally and figuratively – more so than any of the more economical V6 pony cars in history. With it’s 3.7-liter version of the all aluminum 60-degree Duratec V6 pumping out a stout 305 horses and a new six-speed manual transmission, the GT’s little sister isn’t so little anymore. And she’s got a great new upgraded, more intimidating look for 2011 to go along with the performance.

The question on the minds of many thus far has been…how does it stack up against some of the former GT’s? The 2010 GT produced 325 horses; a scant 20 horses more than the new V6. The V6 is a legitimate contender to it, and at a lower price. So the only way to really find out is to line ‘em and let ‘em rip.

Bird-Kultgen Ford, a dealership in Waco, TX, took it upon themselves to match the two cars head-to-head to answer that question. And why not? The outcome could result in some potential sales. In the first race, the GT pulled the V6 hard out of the gate, but the six-speed showed its muscle and pulled to within a car length of the mighty V8. In the second of two races, it was much of the same although the V6 did tighten the gap ever-so slightly.

Clearly the GT is still faster, as expected, but never before has the little V6 been able to tail the V8 so closely. And at a savings of $4,700 and the benefit of an extra 8 miles per gallon, it’s not one to casually stroll past on the dealer lot. But hey, we’re car guys and that throaty V8 sure gets our blood pumping.

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