IN THE USA Ford makes a Mustang with a 3.7-litre V6 and on paper at the very least, it is an embarrassment to six-pot donks.
For a start it’s shamed by its four-cylinder Ecoboost sibling, the four-banger belting out 233kW and 432Nm – 6kW and 54Nm more than the nat-atmo six. It’s just as well we got the four over the six in Australia – the latter is pissweak.
Particularly by local standards. See, blue-bleeding Aussies have long enjoyed one particular engine packing six pistons, twin overhead cams and four litres – one that can pump out an impressive 325kW and 576Nm if it so wishes. And we reckon this locally born and bred mill – The Barra, people – is the one that Ford USA should’ve slotted in the long nose of the Ponycar coupe.
It’s probably best to picture this car as a performance variant, given the (presumably cheap-as-chips) 3.7-litre six is used for hire car duty in the States. And a variant that, much like the XR6 Turbo and XR8 rivalry, would need to be kept on a leash to save face for the 5.0-litre GT.
As to where the Barra engine could be made, well, we’ll leave that to your imagination.
The Barra cops a major upgrade courtesy of a cash injection from Ford USA – and led by Aussie engineers. Costs are amortised over a global product and the engine could even slot into pick-ups in the Land of the Free.
We’d be introducing you to the new Barra Ecoboost – higher compression ratio, direct injection, an overhauled cylinder head and stop-start qualifying the engine for Euro VI emission certification. (Oh, if it was only that easy, every Ford Australia engineer reading this has probably just thought to themselves.)
The car above is the entry-level performance model – think of it as the XR6 Turbo version. With more compression it runs less boost to make more power and for better or worse, junks the transient overboost software. So it rouses 295kW at 5500rpm and 580Nm from 2000rpm to leave headroom for the V8 model. It’s good for 0-100km/h in 4.9sec and, in Australia, starts from a very agreeable $48K in six-speed manual guise. With Drift Mode.
F6 IN THE WORKS
But, aha, Ford is easily able to cook-up even hotter versions for the Aussie, US and all other overseas markets. An F6-equivalent variant pumps out a GT350-scaring 370kW and 670Nm. In Oz, we’re talking $65K starting price and 0-100km/h in the mid fours. Carbonfibre wheels made in Geelong an option, just an expensive one.
YANKS GO NUTS
The more affordable Barra-powered Mustang is a huge hit not just in Australia but in the States, the factory producing the engine – wherever that might be – almost unable to keep up with demand.