New engine for 2011 Mustang will be built in Ohio

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The pony car wars are heating up! The Camaro has been outselling the Mustang recently, but the new 2011 Mustang will be getting a nice engine upgrade from Ford’s Brook Park plant in Ohio.

Ford Motor Co. will make a new 3.7-liter V-6 engine for the popular Mustang sports car at Cleveland Engine Plant No. 1 in Brook Park next year, replacing an engine built in Germany.

The new engine, similar to one built in Lima for use in the Lincoln MKS luxury car, should go into production next year to be ready for 2011 Mustang production, said Mark Payne, vice president of the United Auto Workers Local 1250 in Brook Park.

Ford says the new engine will be more fuel-efficient and more powerful than the 4-liter V-6 it replaces. That engine, built in Cologne, Germany, produces 210 horsepower and gets 26 mpg on the highway. The upcoming 3.7-liter engine produces 305 horsepower and should get up to 30 mpg on the highway. Those power numbers are only a little bit shy of the 4.6-liter V-8 now offered in the Mustang.

“Mustang is completely transformed with this new engine,” Ford product development chief Derrick Kuzak said in a news release. “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.”

Ford will showcase the 2011 Mustang this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

  

Back to the future

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For years, the Big Three automakers fought efforts in Congress to increase mileage standards. Now we’re all paying the price.

Given the gas price shock last summer and the current economic crisis, Ford is rediscovering some old techniques to help them improve gas mileage in its vehicles.

As fuel-economy standards get tougher, auto companies are peering into a future where next-generation electric vehicles and advanced hybrids beckon. But these days, Ford Motor executives have one eye on the future and one on the past. Ford is dusting off a host of old ideas for boosting gas mileage and slashing emissions. Some of these concepts were dreamed up decades ago, deployed in lots of small European cars, and vigorously promoted by environmentalists. But in Detroit, the technology has mostly sat on the shelf.

Not anymore. Ford now emphasizes fuel economy across its whole lineup. And for its 2011 Explorer the company is making prominent use of such “retro” green technology as lighter-weight steel body parts and “direct injection” engine technology. This technique, which dates to the 1940s, feeds gas and air straight into the engine cylinder instead of premixing it, resulting in a more efficient fuel burn. Together, the technologies could allow the new Explorer to reach highway fuel economy of 30 miles per gallon, upstaging Toyota’s Highlander hybrid, which gets 25 mpg. “There is a lot we can do to get meaningful fuel-economy improvements without going all the way into electrics,” says Ford’s global product development chief, Derrick Kuzak.

It’s about time.

  

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