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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012 Ford Mustang V6

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My first car was a used 1981 Ford Mustang. It was a complete piece of garbage, but it was the best I could do with $900 worth of hard-earned busboy tips. It only had one side mirror, the power steering fluid had to be filled every two weeks and there was a nail in the dashboard. I would have removed that last bit of nonstandard hardware, but whenever the Brown Bomber didn't want to turn over, touching the nail for luck seemed to work. But compared to my friends' cars, mine at least looked the fastest. Looks don't win at the stoplight, though, and my rust-colored 'Stang featured the double whammy of a 109-horsepower 2.8-liter V6 and an automatic transmission.

To say that my Mustang's powertrain was a disappointment could be the understatement of the century, but I wasn't the only V6-powered Mustang owner suffering from horsepower humiliation. It would be another 30 years before Ford would offer a V6-powered Mustang with anything more than mule muscle, but that's where we are today. The 2012 Mustang boasts a legit 305 horsepower, or more punch than the 4.6-liter V8 under the hood of the 2009 Mustang GT. I have no doubt that the 2012 Mustang is vastly superior to my 1981 shame machine, but does that 305 horsepower and a vastly improved rear-wheel-drive chassis make this Mustang one of America's great performance bargains? Hit the jump to find out

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