Ford Motor Company announced this morning that on June 23rd they will send a 2011 Ford Mustang powered by the new 3.7L V6 engine onto Bristol Motor Speedway with the goal of running at least 1000 laps. Seems like an easy task for a brand new car running laps by itself right? Well, “the catch” is that Ford plans on having their new V6 Mustang loop the 0.533 mile track at least one thousand times on a single tank of gasoline.
Ford’s goal is to see how many laps the 2011 Mustang V6 can go on one 16 gallon tank of gasoline with 1000 laps being their benchmark for success in this project. If you aren’t good with numbers, 1001 laps of Bristol would be just under 534 miles and with a 2011 Mustang holding 16 gallons of gasoline Ford will be hoping for the new base model pony car to exceed its EPA-estimated 31mpg. That estimated economy figure puts the V6 Mustang atop its market segment but in order to go 534 miles on 16 gallons of gas the new Mustang will need to achieve around 34 miles per gallon.
Do you think that the 2011 Mustang can exceed 1000 laps on NASCARs fastest short track? Ford has made the program a little more interesting for Mustang fans by turning the 1000 lap challenge into a contest and the winner will get a 2011 Ford Mustang. All you have to do is go to www.mustang1000lapchallenge.com and fill out the form, entering in your guess at how many laps the 3.7L-powered 2011 Mustang will make around Bristol Motor Speedway on a single tank of gas. If you guess the correct number (Ford is suggesting that you guess between 900 and 1500), you will be entered into a drawing to win a 2011 Mustang V6 similar to the one used in the 1000 lap challenge. The contest begins today and Ford will accept entries until the day that the “racing” begins. This challenge is based on a similar attempt one year ago by NASCAR driver Carl Edwards where he was able to reach 1000 MILES on a single tank of gas in a new Ford Fusion Hybrid – giving the Fusion Hybrid an average fuel economy of 81.5mpg during the 1000 mile drive.
In my experiences with EPA mileage ratings, those numbers certainly can be exceeded and considering that Ford is having their own test drivers who know what needs to be done to achieve optimal fuel economy; I expect Ford to succeed in their goal of 1000+ laps. Trained drivers, lapping a closed circuit with no stops or traffic? Imagine what kind of mileage you would get in your car if you only drove on the highway with no traffic and no stops? I don’t want to give away how many laps I guessed the 2011 Mustang will make but if I were to guess at the economy of the Mustang during the run, I would expect it to be at least 38 mpg. If the Mustang gets exactly the mileage expected by the EPA, those 16 gallons would leave the Mustang around 70 laps shy of 1000 but when the day is over I wholeheartedly expect the new Ford Mustang V6 to eclipse the 1000 lap mark.
Click here for a look at today’s press release from Ford courtesy of MustangForums.com and stay tuned to the Detroit Autos Examiner for all of your automotive news from around the world, including continuing coverage of Ford’s Mustang 1000 Lap Challenge!