Facebook has spoken, ladies and gentlemen, and it has decided that the automobile formerly known as “Mustang V6 Performance Package” shall be known as the “Mustang Mayhem V6″. Be sure to tell your insurance adjuster. I suppose “Ford ‘Blood In Tha Streetz’ V6″ was taken.
As fate would have it, we have a “Mayhem” in the metaphorical TTAC garage right now, and it’s leaving for the twisty “Shenandoah” course at Summit Point where we drove its V8 equivalent last year. I’ve only driven it thirty-four miles so far, but I’m smitten already. This is a fast, if not particularly furious, budget ponycar and when you consider that it costs $25,995, the case only gets stronger.
If only Ford didn’t have a little problem… and, naturally, it involves China.
I always get a little nervous when one of my driving students shows up with a C6 Z06, because the ultra-lightweight wheels on that car are made by “Amcast”. Of course, “Amcast” wheels are made in China, the same way the “Chicago Tools” air compressor and “Pittsburgh Products” wrenches you bought at Harbor Freight were made in China. At one hundred and fifty miles per hour, I’d prefer that I be sitting on rolling stock of known quality. To be fair, however, “Amcast” wheels are not known for failure.
If only the same could be said for the Getrag-designed manual transmission that Ford is using in the current Mustang. It’s also made in China and it’s apparently breaking left and right. I don’t like Getrag transmissions anyway — give me a Tremec TR-6060, as found in the GT500 variants — because they are occasionally junk even when they are made in the good old Fatherland. Add Chinese manufacturing to the mix, and it’s no wonder that owners are reporting multiple, diverse failures. What’s Ford thinking? If there is any group in this country known for being hard on transmissions, it’s Mustang owners. What would be the extra cost of using the American transmission? Five hundred bucks? A thousand?
In any event, if you want to shift your new “Mayhem” yourself, I’d recommend a combination of granny-shifting and double-clutching… and I’d recommend showing your insurance agent the window sticker for the car, which will continue to use the value-neutral term “Performance Package”.