The Mustang has always been the American posterboy for affordable power, with the naturally aspirated V8 being its usual cornerstone. When the latest generation of ‘Stang was released however, we had three choices – a 5.0-litre V8, a 3.7-litre V6 and a 2.3-litre Ecoboost inline-four.
Now, if you were shown that list, you’d almost certainly draw your tick next to the 460hp V8. But if you wanted a more balanced, affordable Mustang, the V6 should definitely be an option.
Ford killed the V6 car last year, but scour the secondhand ads and there’ll be a few sitting about. I’ve seen 2015 cars for around $12,000 which are tempting considering the looks and the stats. If you’re lucky, you’ll find one with the performance package which includes track-orientated suspension, bigger brakes and the option of Recaro seats.
The 3.7-litre ‘Cyclone’ V6 produces 300hp, all of which is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed gearbox, with your choice of either manual or automatic. Combined with 280lb ft of torque, the six-cylinder Mustang can get to 60mph in 5.5 seconds and will reach 124mph.
Now if those stats don’t quite do it for you, then do not fret, we’ve found a modification that can lift the much-unloved V6 to something altogether more tasty.
K&N has designed and manufactured a new intake system for this car that increases power by 7.49 horsepower and torque by 7.72 lb./ft. So how does an intake system like this increase the performance of an engine?
The K&N intake specifically for the V6 Mustang is designed to help keep the airflow into the engine as smooth and unrestricted as possible. Clean, smooth and plentiful airflow is vital for strong engine performance, with the cylinders needing to gulp in air to create as large an explosion as they can.
More air entering the engine in an efficient manner allows it to burn fuel more efficiently and thus increase horsepower. One of the ways this system accomplishes this is through a high-density polyethylene intake tube, which provides a smooth path for incoming air, helping increase the amount of air entering your motor.
The shortened intake tubing replaces a rather convoluted and rough standard system, leading to a K&N car sounding much more tuneful and purposeful than a stock motor.
There’s also a steel heat shield that protects the air filter from warm air within the engine bay. This helps keep intake temperatures down which furthers the engine’s ability to increase the size of its internal explosions, increasing power and torque.
The centrepiece of the intake is the high-flow cotton conical air filter. The cotton gauze construction is layered and oiled to provide up to 50 per cent more airflow than a standard paper filter, again feeding your engine with lots of fresh air.
If you fancy a Mustang then, this intake system would make for an awesome first modification. It takes very little time to install and considering that a drawback of a V6 may be its sound compared to a V8, the more raucous induction noise from this intake system will definitely shine through.
The V6-engined Mustang is quickly being forgotten as a pony car icon. But if a big, grunty V8 is maybe a bit much for day-to-day driving and is potentially out of your price range, the V6 is a happy medium that should be given more attention in the secondhand market. A 300bhp+ rear-wheel drive car that looks that good? Deal us in!
To see what K&N parts are available for your car, click the link below: