Evan J. Smith
March 30, 2015

Remember, about 25 years ago when you got your new 5.0L Mustang? It had 225 ground-pounding horsepower and could cover the quarter in mid-14s. Tweak it with a cold-air intake, gears and you could nail low 14s. Hey, that was fast for 1990. If we told you 25 years ago a V6 Mustang could smoke your 5.0L, you’d think we were mad. But Ford’s latest V6 is no joke. The amazing six in the 2015 Ford Mustang can produce really quick elapsed times, not to mention knocking down almost 30 mpg and keeping those insurance rates nice and low.

Recently, at the NMRA Spring Break Shootout, we watched a handful of 2015 V6 Mustangs rip deep into the 14s, which we found to be ultra impressive. The best being a black auto-equipped “rental” that blistered to a 14.209 at 99.73 mph! We remember this being a pretty quick elapsed time back in the day, when even our 1987 5.0L LX five-speed Mustang had nothing more than the basics.

The base model 2015 V6 Mustang starts at $23,800 and clearly offers excellent performance. Of course you can upgrade with the 310 horsepower 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder or the venerable 435 horsepower 5.0L Coyote, but for many the low price of the V6 is the best choice.

The Mustang V6 is Ford’s latest 3.7 liter making 300 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 280 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. It utilizes with Ti-VCT (variable cams) and composite intake and can be mated to a six-speed manual or six-speed Selectshift automatic.

Looking at the specs, the V6 has many high-performance traits. There’s an aluminum block with aluminum heads using DOHC and four valves per cylinder. Cast-aluminum pistons, forged steel rods, 10.5:1 compression and coil-on-plug ignition. The 3.7 liters translates to 227 cubic inches and it can run on 87 octane.

Helping acceleration is a steep 4.17:1 First gear in the auto transmission, followed by 2.34, 1.52, 1.14 gearing with 0.87 and 0.69 overdrives. Rear gear is a tall 3.15 with an optional 3.55.

On track, the V6 brigade at the SBS tore it up, with multiple 14-second passes. And not surprisingly, those runs came with zero drama. Other than staging shallow to maximize rollout, our driver, whose name we’ll change to protect the innocent, was super stoked with the performance.

“I’ve ‘borrowed’ 5.0L Mustangs in the past to run True Street at the Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords Spring Break Shootout,” said Max Rockatansky. “I was bummed at first about getting a V6 this year, but is was a 2015 so that was cool. And I couldn’t believe it when I got to the track and ran 14s. Then, we got some great weather on Saturday morning. It was around 50 degrees and we had a slight tailwind. I was shocked when my black S550 ran a 14.20 at just under 100 mph,” he added.

While much of the focus has been placed on the 5.0L and the EcoBoost, don’t count out the V6 as a suitable performer. No doubt you could get one running 13s with ease, and 12s with mods.