Mustang V6 owners will now get high-tech power, six speeds.
11-30-09: The days Mustang fans have been waiting for is here. Ford is unveiling the new generation of powerplants to the 2011 Mustang this week, starting with an all new V6. It is safe to say that Mustang V6 owners will no longer feel the need to cower in the shadows at car shows with 305 horses. The new engine will be a new all-aluminum dual-overhead cam (DOHC) engine that delivers a projected 30 mpg on the highway with a six-speed automatic transmission.
For 2011, Mustang’s new 3.7-liter Duratec 24-valve V-6 uses advanced engineering to deliver its power and economy: Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) adjusts the valvetrain in microseconds. Aluminum construction means light weight. It’s an engine designed to crank out torque down low and rev to an eye rolling 7,000 rpm. Ford promises it will deliver "mechanical music" sports coupe lovers crave everywhere in between.
“Mustang is completely transformed with this new engine,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Everything people love about the car is still there and now under the hood is a V-6 engine that uses premium technology to deliver the power, the feel, the fuel efficiency, even the sound of the best sports coupes in the world.”
With Ti-VCT operating its four valves per cylinder, the new Mustang V-6 powerplant sends significantly more horsepower and torque (305 hp and 280 ft.-lb.) to the rear wheels than its predecessor – despite its smaller displacement. The behind-the-wheel feel is unlike any Mustang ever produced.
The high output is due largely to Ti-VCT which allows variable control of valve operation across the rev range. The variable cams operate on a Direct Acting Mechanical Bucket (DAMB) valvetrain using polished buckets to reduce friction. The end result is as much as a 3 percent improvement in fuel economy and a 10 percent improvement in power output versus traditional engines without these advanced features. This also allows a very compact head design.
Ti-VCT is complemented by special-tuned composite upper and lower intake manifolds for efficient air delivery and lighter weight. Ignition power is delivered by a high-energy coil-on-plug design, while piston-cooling jets and a lightweight die-cast aluminum cylinder block improve the durability and efficiency of the 3.7-liter V-6 design.
Engineers also worked to ensure aggressive, high-performance sounds come from the new engine, from intake to exhaust. Not only does the retuned air intake system minimize losses, it also provides the driver with a satisfying intake rush on hard acceleration. The all-new dual exhaust system is mellow at idle but opens up with a howl at full-tilt, letting Mustang drivers know they’re behind the wheel of a world-class sports coupe. We will be looking to hear it for ourselves.
“This car marks a new type of Mustang,” said David Pericak, Mustang chief nameplate engineer. “We’re using a high-performance quad-cam V-6 with all the bells and whistles in a car that’s become legendary for its handling and roadholding; it’s really going to get a lot of new sports coupe fans excited about Mustang, some for the first time ever.”
Drivers can get the most out of the new V-6 engine’s output using either an all-new six-speed manual gearbox or a six-speed automatic transmission. This is another huge announceent for Mustang. Enthusiasts and owners alike have been clamoring for a 6-speed transmission for over a decade.
Drivers who prefer a manual gearbox will enjoy the short throws and direct feel of the shifter along with the relaxed cruising permitted by the extra top gear ratio. Customers choosing the automatic will be pleasantly surprised to find the advanced six-speed 6R60 transmission does not sacrifice fuel economy – or performance – for convenience, delivering an expected 30 mpg highway with crisp, quick shifts that maximize torque and horsepower.
The automatic transmission also features a grade-assist or “hill mode” to improve drivability on hilly terrain. This technical innovation uses vehicle input – acceleration, pedal position, vehicle speed and brake status – to automatically determine the correct gear ratio while on an incline or decline. Hill mode eliminates sixth gear, extends lower gear operation on uphill climbs, and provides additional grade or engine braking for coast downs.
The standard 2.73 rear axle provides an ideal blend of cruising fuel economy and acceleration, aided by the wide ratio spread permitted through the use of six forward speeds in the gearboxes. Performance enthusiasts can select an available 3.31 rear axle ratio for better off-the-line launch characteristics.
Extra horsepower and refined engine operation will be the most noticeable features to new 2011 Mustang 3.7-liter V-6 buyers while projected class-leading fuel economy. The auto will see 19 city, 30 highway, the manyal 18 city, 29 highway. Not bat for a 305hp V6. This is achieved with a number of new technologies for Mustang including Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system which eliminates the drag of an engine-operated hydraulic power steering pump, aerodynamic improvements such as a new front fascia, tire spats on the rear wheels, modified underbody shields, a taller air dam and an added rear decklid seal
With so much additional horsepower standard, the 2011 Mustang received enhancements to its chassis to maintain the outstanding balance and driving behavior Mustang owners expect. Damper tuning and spring rates were revised to provide a smooth highway ride while a new rear lower control arm and stiffened stabilizer bar bushings improve stiffness and handling for better cornering response.
While Mustang’s aerodynamic improvements were designed mainly to improve fuel economy, engineers also adjusted the vehicle’s front/rear lift balance. The result is a car that tracks more securely and feels more “planted” to the road surface at higher speeds, helping to keep the tires in better contact with the pavement.
The addition of EPAS marks a new era in driving dynamics for Mustang owners. Steering effort at parking lot speeds is reduced, while high-speed and highway feel is improved for more precise steering and handling. Because the belt-driven power steering pump is eliminated, EPAS provides a quieter vehicle with fewer components drawing engine power.
EPAS also enables new technologies that adjust for minor driving annoyances. Pull-Drift Compensation adjusts the steering to correct for crosswinds and minor road crowning, while Active Nibble Control helps eliminate the “shimmy” felt at high speeds when a wheel is out of balance or a brake rotor is warped. Both conditions are alleviated by EPAS independent of driver input, helping ensure Mustang delivers a smooth, comfortable driving experience in all conditions.
No more one-legged burnouts. Mustang buyers choosing the new V-6 will also get a standard limited-slip differential. When the time comes to slow things down, the 2011 Mustang is also equipped with larger four-wheel ABS disc brakes, with 11.5 inch front and 11.8 inch rear rotors.
To reinforce the sporty nature of the 2011 Mustang, all V-6 models will come standard with new instrument cluster graphics, including a speedometer that reads up to 160 mph and a tachometer that reads to 8,000 rpm, reflecting the free-revving style of the new engine.
Like the new Chevrolet Camaro, enthusiasts who want a premium performance-oriented Mustang V-6 can opt for the new Performance Package, which will be available August 2010. Designed for driving enthusiasts, the Mustang V-6 Performance Package comprises the better 3.31 rear axle ratio, Mustang GT suspension, 19-inch wheels, summer performance rubber, strut tower brace, andu unique electronic stability control calibration with sport mode for performance driving. Nice.