2011 Ford Mustang V6 convertible
2011 Ford Mustang V6 convertible. Click image to enlarge

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Ford Motor Company of Canada

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Review and photos by Greg Wilson

Photo Gallery:
2011 Ford Mustang

Restyled only last year (as 2010 models), the Ford Mustang Coupe and Convertible models have been given further upgrades for 2011, most of them under the hood. While the new lightweight aluminum supercharged 5.4-litre V8 in the Shelby GT500 and the new 5.0-litre V8 in the Mustang GT have been getting most of the media’s attention, the new 3.7-litre V6 in the base Mustang is equally newsworthy. Replacing the previous 4.0-litre V6, the smaller 3.7-litre V6 has 45 per cent more horsepower and approximately seven per cent better fuel economy. It features dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder instead of the 4.0 litre’s single overhead cams and two valves per cylinder, and a new variable valve timing system. The sportier 3.7-litre V6 makes 305 horsepower at 6,500 r.p.m. compared to 210 hp at 5,300 r.p.m. for the 4.0-litre V6. In addition, the new V6 engine has about 17 per cent more torque (from 240 lb.-ft. to 280 lb.-ft.)

As well, last year’s five-speed manual transmission has been replaced by a new six-speed manual, and the optional five-speed automatic has been replaced by a six-speed automatic.

New electric power-assisted steering replaces the previous hydraulic power steering, helping to improve fuel economy by eliminating the drag of the belt-driven power steering pump. The Mustang’s new electric power steering also includes “Pull-Drift Compensation” which automatically adjusts the steering during crosswinds and on high crowned roads to pull the car back into line; and (rather humorously) new “Active Nibble Control” that helps eliminate the shimmy when a wheel is slightly out of balance.

2011 Ford Mustang V6 convertible
2011 Ford Mustang V6 convertible. Click image to enlarge

All of these mechanical improvements have helped fuel consumption improve by about seven per cent, from 11.7/7.6 city/hwy to 11.1/6.9 city/hwy (according to Natural Resources Canada Energuide (L/100 km) figures).

As it was given a styling makeover for 2010, the 2011 Mustang coupe and convertible haven’t changed much, but to improve aerodynamics and fuel economy, there’s a new underbody shield, a new front fascia and bigger front air dam, wind deflectors near the rear wheels, and new rear trunk seal.

Ford has also been doing some work on the Mustang’s body structure. The company says the 2011 Coupe’s unit body is 31 per cent stiffer and the Convertible’s is more than twice as stiff as the 2010 model’s. Crashworthiness has been improved, they say, and the company expects the 2011 Mustang to be given the same NHTSA five-star crash rating as the 2010 Mustang.

Other changes for 2011 include a new limited slip differential to help improve traction when cornering and accelerating on slippery surfaces, and larger standard four-wheel disc brake rotors: 11.5 in. front and 11.8 inch rear. 2011 Mustang GTs get bigger 14-inch front brakes from the Shelby GT500.

2011 Ford Mustang V6 convertible
2011 Ford Mustang V6 convertible. Click image to enlarge

Inside, there is a new message/information display with info such as average fuel economy and distance to empty, and Ford’s MyKey system which allows the vehicle owner to program the ignition key to limit top vehicle speed and audio volume, prevent traction control deactivation, and program speed-limit chimes. To reduce noise in the cabin, there are new door seals and new rear wheel arch insulation. And the side mirrors now have small convex mirrors integrated into them to check your blind spots.

2011 pricing and standard equipment

According to the manufacturer’s price sticker on our test car, the base price of the 2011 Ford Mustang V6 convertible is $31,399 (a $1,200 increase from its 2010 MSRP of $30,199.) However, a quick look at Ford of Canada’s web site this week reveals the base price of the 2011 Mustang V6 Convertible to be $28,965. As well, there is currently a $3,039 “Employee pricing discount” plus a $2,000 “Delivery Allowance”.

It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that Canadian vehicle prices are in a state of flux right now. With so much competition in the marketplace, many vehicle manufacturers have lowered their prices significantly, and prices are changing constantly depending on rebates and incentives. For the time being, it’s a buyer’s market.

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