Saturday, November 21, 2009

2010 Ford Mustang V6-Second Short Take

The 2010 V-6 Mustang may have been redesigned, but its specific output makes it seem like a relic. In this segment, both the Chevrolet Camaro and the Hyundai Genesis couple offer V-6s of smaller displacement that nevertheless make more horsepower and more torque.

Chevy gets 304 horsepower and 273 pound-feet from 3.6 liters; Hyundai gets 306 and 266 from 3.8. The Ford manages only 210 horses and 240 pound-feet from 4.0 liters.

That may be because the Mustang' s V-6 dates from the first Bush administration. Ford reengineered the six in 1997, switching the valvetrain from pushrods to overhead cams.

The output was, and has been horsepower. In 13 years, don' t you think Ford should have been able to find-we don' t know-10 more ponies?

In this 3421-pound Mustang, 210 horses produce a 6.6-second 0-to-60 time (V-6 Accords will walk all over this pony car).

The Genesis and the Camaro are both quicker to that mark by 1.1 and 0.7 second, respectively. And although the Mustang is 386 pounds lighter, it stops nine feet later than the Camaro, at 182 feet. We got 19 mpg for both American; the Korean got 18.

The GT model, when fitted with the Track package, effectively hides the Mustang' s cost-conscious solid rear axle. The base suspension in the V-6 occasionally sounds like a John Bonham drum solo as it works to keep the tires in contact with the road.

When pushing the Mustang to its limits, initial turn-in is preceded by a healthy change in pitch, then a change in vector. Fact is, we prefer those operations in the converse order.

Starting at $21,845, the Mustang undercuts the Camaro by about $2000 and the Genesis coupe 3.8 by almost $4000. And that makes the Mustang a great value to the demographic group that cares only for looks. We are not among it.

By K.C Colweell,

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