I’ve had the jones for a new Mustang GT since the 2011 models were launched. The 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 is superb, but the car is just a bit above my current price range (so is a Radio Flyer wagon, but that’s another story). I’ve often wondered if I could be happy with a new V-6 Mustang, since it does crank out 305 horsepower in stock form. It’s lighter, and it’s closer to the 50 / 50 weight distribution that Mazda MX-5s have made me accustomed to. Sure, it’s electronically limited to 112 miles per hour, but there are plenty of aftermarket companies out there to solve that particular problem.
Good news, sports fans: Ford has announced a new performance package for the Mustang V-6, and it’s chock full of track day goodness. Called the “Mayhem Mustang Package”, Ford bills it as “fun, fast and affordable”. We can’t comment on the fast or affordable part, since Ford has yet to toss us the keys and hasn’t given us pricing, but the ingredients certainly sound like fun. Ford starts with a V-6 Mustang, then adds a 3.31 rear axle ratio for quicker acceleration, Mustang GT front and rear sway bars, Mustang GT dampers and rear springs, Shelby GT500 rear lower control arms, 19” wheels wearing Pirelli high performance tires, Mustang GT brakes (the Brembos, I presume), a strut tower brace and a unique stability control calibration with a sport mode.
It’s far too early to speculate on performance, but consider this: a bone stock 2011 Mustang V6 with the 3.31 gears and a six speed manual ran from zero to sixty in 5.6 seconds, yet still returned 31 MPG on the highway. If the Mayhem Mustang is more than just a trim package, it should pull harder, stop quicker and corner flatter than a stock Mustang V-6. Sure, a V-8 equipped Mustang will still go faster (in a straight line, at least), but those two cylinders cost you $3,500 each, not to mention how much more fuel the V-8 drinks. If your idea of a track day involves turning left and right instead of racking up mileage 1/4 mile at a time, you may want to take a closer look at the Mayhem Mustang; I know I do.