We’ve finally got the full skinny on Ford’s new entry-level performance Mustang, with the Blue Oval unveiling its EcoBoost High Performance model on the eve of the NY Motor Show.
The new High Performance ‘Stang still packs a 2.3-litre, four-cylinder engine (this one borrowed from the brand’s Focus RS hot hatch), which unlocks 246kW and 475Nm - up from the 224kW and 441Nm on offer in the standard car.
Now we should point out that's still less power than the Focus RS, but Ford in the USA classifies that as a hot hatch, hence its claim that the Mustang is the "the most powerful four-cylinder sports car offered by an American automaker".
The new (and more affordable) performance rung on the Mustang ladder began as a five-person skunkworks project, with engineers “experimenting” with an RS engine swap. Some 10 months later the EcoBoost High Performance was born.
The extra urge is complements of a larger twin-scroll turbocharger, and there's a new radiator and the a new engine calibration to partner with the Mustang’s 10-speed automatic or, happily, the car's six-speed manual.
The result is a claimed sprint to 100km/h in the “mid-four-second range”, and a flying top speed of 250km/h.
“The Ford Performance Focus RS 2.3-litre engine is a high-revving marvel, and anyone who’s driven this EcoBoost engine instantly loves how quickly it responds and delivers power,” says Mustang chief engineer, Carl Widmann.
“When our team got the chance to try this specially built engine in a Mustang, we immediately agreed that we had to do this.
“It’s not just the horsepower gains…it’s the broader torque curve that delivers 90 per cent of peak torque between 2500 and 5300 rpm, which is 40 percent wider than the base EcoBoost engine.
“Plus, power holds stronger up to the 6500-rpm redline – enabling more usable power and torque.”
Other performance perks include a quad-tipped exhaust, as well as a 53/47 weight split and extra body stiffening and sharper steering courtesy of new alloy strut tower brace and sway bars front and rear. And for more brutal stopping power, the EcoBoost Performance adopts the braking package from the GT-badged cars.
All Ford Mustangs in Australia arrive with a limited-slip differential and Brembo brakes as standard.
While the vehicle is yet to be confirmed for Australia, Ford here does have form in offering international performance upgrades to local product, and with the Mustang the brand's flagship muscle car, their hands would be expected to be in the air.
Would these upgrades tempt you into a four-cylinder 'Stang? Or is the V8 still the standout? Tell us in the comments below.