In a recent episode of Autoline After Hours, top Mustang engineer Dave Pericak commented on what it might take to bring the iconic American sports car to Europe, raising the possibility that a diesel engine could help solve emissions and fuel economy issues. After all, currently Ford builds a capable V6 diesel engine for the Jaguar XF and XJ in Europe, where it makes 370-hp and 443 ft-lbs of torque. That engine also gets 34.6 mpg combined, on the European test cycle.
Unfortunately, even with all that torque, a diesel V6 Mustang isn’t likely to deliver the same sort of performance as a gasoline V6 and certainly not as much as the V8 – which is really what the Mustang is about any way. And besides, Ford is likely to sell so few of them that fuel economy and emissions regulations are the least of the automakers problems, as it will cost far more just to prepare the car for sale overseas. Then there’s the reality that selling the U.S.-built car in Europe is likely to jack up the price, not to mention the attached American “stigma” the car carries with it. Let’s not forget, if Europeans haven’t warmed to the Corvette even after watching it stomp all over Astons, Ferraris and Porsches at Le Mans, there’s not a lot of hope for the Mustang.
Recently Ford has made big fuel economy improvements to the Mustang, with the new 2011 model V6 now making 305-hp and rated at 31-mpg highway.