Yet another 2011 Ford Mustang is serving as a NASCAR pace car. But this time around, the revised V-6 car — not the reincarnated 5.0 — will lead the pack.
Ford announced today that a 2011 Mustang V-6 is the official pace car at the Food Land 500 at Bristol International Speedway. This is the second time a 2011 Mustang will carry out such duties — the new 2011 GT, with the new 5.0-liter V-8, paced the 2010 Daytona 500 in February.
“This is Mustang that delivers the power and fuel efficiency customers want,” said Fritz Wilke, Mustang’s brand manager, in a press release. “To get 305 horsepower and 31 miles per gallon has never been done before in a production vehicle. In fact this new Mustang could do the entire 500-mile race on one tank of gas.”
The extra thrift comes courtesy of the new 3.7-liter V-6 lurking underhood. The aluminum block helps shave weight, while the new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, to say nothing of the twin-independent variable valve timing and electric power steering rack, help improve the engine’s efficiency.
Enthusiasts will still enjoy the V-6 car. With 305 hp on tap, the six-cylinder is almost as powerful as the outgoing 4.6-liter V-8 in the 2010 Mustang GT. A Performance Package, which adds the GT’s larger brakes, suspension parts from the GT and GT500, 19-inch wheels, and a 3.31:1 rear axle ratio, is also available on the 2011 V-6 car, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see such equipment on the pace car itself.
Look for the latest pacing pony to make its official debut on March 21.