2011 Ford Mustang
More Power, Better Efficiency
The 2011 Ford Mustang has arrived, and along with it a brand new engine and some impressive updates. For the 2011 model year, the Mustang reaches a new level of sophistication with a new DOHC 3.7-liter V-6 that is vastly improved over the previous engine. The Mustang also receives new V8 engines and six-speed manual and automatic transmissions for 2011. Ford expects the manual to deliver 18/29 city/highway mpg, up from 18/26 in 2010, and the automatic to yield 19 mpg city and at least 30 mpg highway, a huge bump over the 2010 auto's 16/24 mpg. Other changes for the 2011 Ford Mustang V6 include electric power-assist steering, which surely contributes some efficiency gains and comes with Ford's anti-drift compensation that can automatically steer into a crosswind to keep the car on the straight-ahead. The Mustang also gets some further aerodynamic improvements and some additional dash-mounted acoustic insulation and rear-wheel liners to hopefully make the drive more pleasant. Furthermore, all V6 Mustangs get a standard limited-slip differential. The Mustang continues to be offered in coupe and convertible body styles, and its primary competitors include the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger.
Powering the 2011 Mustang
The newly standard 3.7-liter V-6 in base Mustangs makes 305 hp and 280 pounds-feet of torque, while the 5.0-liter V-8 that powers GT models produces 412 hp and 390 pounds-feet of torque. The new powertrain is refined, highly efficient, smooth, and powerful. Using a version of the Duratec six that also powers the Lincoln MKS and the Mazda CX-9, among others, the Mustang 3.7 boasts such advances as twin-independent variable cam timing (TiCVT, which provides up to 60 degrees of control on the intake side and up to 50 degrees on exhaust), a forged-steel crank, piston-cooling jets, and a die-cast aluminum deep sump that allows 10,000-mile oil-change intervals. Horsepower jumps into a different league entirely, from a wimpy 210 in the 2010 car to a romping 305 horses in the 2011. The 3.7 also features such welcome extras as one-touch starting and efficiency-enhancing fuel shutoff during aggressive deceleration. Also new are six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Combined with the 3.7's 95-horsepower boost in output, the six-speeds, Ford says, help drop 0 to 60 mph times by around 1.5 seconds. An optional 3.31 rear axle should improve acceleration even more. In comparison, the 3.7-liter V6 produces 1 hp more in peak power than the well-regarded 3.6-liter V6 in the Chevy Camaro V6.
There will be a 2011 Ford Mustang V6 Performance Package, a model that will come with the same stiffer, more aggressive suspension as the Mustang GT. It'll wear 19-inch wheels with summer tires and the brakes will have heavy-duty pads from Performance Friction. The car will have a strut tower brace, a 3.31:1 rear axle ratio (2.73:1 is standard), and its stability control system will have a specific sport mode for performance and track driving. ABS brakes, traction control and AdvanceTrac yaw control are standard on all models. For track work, both the traction control and the yaw control can be turned off (but not the ABS), and there is a Sport mode which allows higher handling limits before traction and yaw controls are called in to save the day.
Design of the new Ford Mustang
Styling changes last year gave the Mustang a more modern, less retro appearance. It still features a forward-swept grille, but it has a compressed look and a power-dome hood. The grille gained a new Mustang badge, and the front fenders featured smoother styling. For 2011, GT models get a small but significant styling feature: 5.0 badges on the front quarter-panels. The 2011 Mustang body design includes integrated multi-element headlamps, a power-dome hood that droops over the grille at its leading edge, chamfered three-element taillamps that house sequential turn signals.
Inside the 2011 Mustang
New standard features include a message center integrated into the instrument panel and lane-changing mirrors - small, wide-angle mirrors that provide a better view of traffic - incorporated into the side mirrors. The Mustang's cabin makes use of premium materials, including a soft-touch dashboard surface, but it carries over relatively unchanged from 2010, when it was significantly updated. The Mustang can be equipped with alloy wheels, automatic headlights, heated power leather seats, satellite radio, navigation system and more. Interior and entertainment features for Mustang include a rear-facing video camera, the Sync voice-activated hands-free system for the first time in a Mustang, featuring Sirius satellite radio and satellite navigation with Sirius Travel Link. The leather-clad steering wheel is a massive affair with six brushed metal spokes in three groups of two, with cruise controls switches and controls for the sound system, a wheel that gives a very big feeling of command.
Who doesn't love a speedy vehicle, with loads of power, along with great fuel efficiency?
Thanks to a variety of improvements large and small, Ford estimates that the 2011 Mustang V6 will get 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. These figures are achieved with the new six-speed automatic transmission, which Ford says is good for a 3 to 5 percent improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing five-speed automatic. Meanwhile the old five-speed manual transmission has also been swapped out for the Getrag/Ford MT82 six-speed manual. With the manual in place, Ford says the Mustang will achieve 18 mpg city/29 mpg highway. For the latest updates and more information, visit the official Ford Mustang site. Standard safety features include all-disc antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats and an electronic stability system. The Mustang remains one of the most widely recognized, respected, and desired nameplates in the automobile business. It may be retro inspired, but the Mustang is a thoroughly modern car. Today's Mustang still delivers the bold styling, rear-drive performance and affordability that have been Mustang hallmarks for decades. Looking for information on the new Mustang RTR? Read Inside Line's Mutang RTR reivew for a detailed look.
Some information for this review was obtained from NewCarTestDrive.com.