Home » 2011 Mustang GT: 26 MPG. Good, not great.

2011 Mustang GT: 26 MPG. Good, not great.

by DrivingEnthusiast

logo - fordThere’s no doubt there was some heroic work inside Ford to revise the almost 20 year old Modular V-8 into the new Coyote 5 liter. And even before that work started there was some heroic thinking to create this engine in the first place, given the financial condition of the company (and of course it wasn’t just for the Mustang – it is first and foremost for the F-150 and will be one of it’s most popular engines when it debuts).  And even before that there was the heroic strategy to create a new base engine for the Mustang that would be anything but “base” (indeed, it blew away most of the V-8s in the Mustang for years into the past).

Ford released the EPA figures today for the GT. Keep in mind the standard V-8 now creates 412 HP form 5 liters. Not the 175 from the 4.9 liter (badged “5.0”) in the ’83 GT, nor the 225 horses that moved the car from ’88 all the way thru ’93, slightly detuned in ’94 and ’95. Nor the first mod motor of the GT from ’96 thru ’98, with it’s wimpy 215.  No. 412. Four-hundred and twelve. Hard to believe?

It’s not so hard to believe. 80 or so HP/liter has been what other companies have been delivering for a long time. It was just a matter of doing it here, with this many cubic inches, and getting a mileage *and* emissions improvement out of it. SO a good piece of work.

Then there is that 268 MPG figure in the press release below. It’s good, but not great. Mustang GTs have been getting 24 or 25 on the EPA cycle for years – with 4 and 5 speed manual transmissions. Part of this mileage is due to the advanced computer on the engine, and part is due to the 6-speed tranny.  It’s nice to see the GT finally got a 6 -speed, and please remember that the T-56 first showed up in a Camaro in 1987 give or take. As poor as a lot of the iterations of that transmission were, it could have been put in a Mustang in the late eighties for a nice economy gain. Granted, the gear ratios in all T-56s were chosen for fuel eocnomy and had little beairng on the actual HP and torque characteristics of the engine.

Also remember that this new 6-speed has the skip-shift feature, just like the Camaro and Corvette do now.  We predict that one of the very first aftermarket products for the 2011 Mustang GT will eliminate this feature. It is hated on the Camaro and Vette, it will be hated here, but all alone it gets at least 1 MPG on the EPA cycle.

The next problem is that 26 MPG is not going to take this car late into this decade.  Mileage regulations already have scheduled increases, and this inexperienced clown we elected will whip a mileage increase out of his bag of tricks to buy back a few liberals who have started to wonder about his lack of ability.

To increase mileage further, direct injection will have to be used (and despite excuses in interviews, it was a cost decision to leave it out now) *and* the Mustang will have to loose some serious weight. And that takes us into a major interest on this website – what the attributes are of the platform that will be used for the next Mustang.

Ford Press release follows:

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2011 FORD MUSTANG GT LEADS CLASS WITH 26 MPG HIGHWAY, 412 HORSEPOWER

  • New 2011 Mustang GT vaults to the top of its class with final fuel economy certified by the EPA this week at 26 mpg highway and 17 mpg city
  • The Mustang GT – carrying a 412-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 engine and six-speed manual transmission – delivers incredible acceleration in addition to fuel economy, thanks in part to the flexibility of the six-speed manual transmission
  • The entire Mustang lineup now achieves segment-leading fuel economy with the Mustang V-6 being the first car ever to deliver 305 hp and 31 mpg and the Mustang GT achieving best-in-class fuel economy of 26 mpg

DEARBORN, Mich., March 16, 2010 – The 2011 Ford Mustang GT, powered by a new 412-hp 5.0-liter V-8 engine, adds yet another notch to its belt: an EPA rating of 26 mpg highway when equipped with the six-speed manual transmission, giving it the best fuel economy in its class.

The 2011 Mustang continues to exceed expectations in every category, and these fuel economy numbers are another chapter in an incredible story,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president, Global Product Development. “To offer this kind of horsepower and class-leading fuel economy in a comfortable, beautiful, tech-savvy and affordable package – it’s really unprecedented.”
With the six-speed manual transmission, Mustang GT coupe is rated at 17 mpg city and
26 highway, while models with the available six-speed automatic achieve 18 mpg city and
25 highway.
The GT’s best in class fuel numbers come on the heels of the Mustang V-6, which just last week cracked the record books as not only the most fuel-efficient Mustang ever, but also the first production car in history to produce 305 horsepower and 31 mpg highway.
Mustang GT is powered by an all-new 5.0-liter double-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) V-8 with a host of advanced features to deliver the combination of power and class-leading fuel economy.
Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) adjusts the valvetrain in microseconds depending on driver inputs. A carefully tuned intake and exhaust system ensures free breathing at all engine speeds. And all-aluminum construction results in a lightweight yet durable powerplant.
A pair of new transmissions, both with six forward ratios, also play a large part in making the 2011 Mustang a breakthrough car. Regardless of whether drivers want to shift for themselves or let the car shift for them, they’re treated to carefully chosen gear ratios to maximize fuel economy while still delivering high-horsepower performance
Mustang powertrain development has reached a point where customers don’t have to choose between fuel efficiency and performance,” says Barb Samardzich, Ford vice president of Global Powertrain Engineering. “Thanks to technologies like Ti-VCT and our six-speed gearboxes, a Mustang driver has the best of both worlds.”
Fuel economy improvements on all Mustang models
Mustang GT shares fuel economy accolades with the new 3.7-liter Mustang V-6 – the first production car ever to offer both 300-plus horsepower and 31 mpg on the highway. Official 2011 EPA fuel economy ratings for the Mustang product line are:
Mustang V-6
  • 19 mpg city and 31 highway (automatic coupe)
  • 19 mpg city and 29 highway (manual coupe)
Mustang GT
  • 18 mpg city and 25 highway (automatic coupe)
  • 17 mpg city and 26 highway (manual coupe)
In addition to powertrain improvements, upgrades to Mustang’s body and chassis design contribute to its 2011 performance. Examples include:
  • New EPAS eliminates the drag of an engine-operated hydraulic power steering pump
  • Combined with the new six-speed transmissions, standard 3.31 (manual) and 3.15 (automatic) rear axle ratios provide an ideal blend of relaxed cruising rpm and all-out acceleration
  • Aerodynamic improvements include a new front fascia on the Mustang GT, tire spats on the rear wheels, modified underbody shields, a taller air dam and an added rear decklid seal
The 2011 Mustang is built at the AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Mich., and goes on sale this spring.
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