"We set out to create an all-new Mustang that would go, handle and stop better than any previous Mustang, while also being a better all-around daily driver." -Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer.
Well, then, that escalated quickly. At least Mustang fans can be sure Ford was aiming high with its latest design. Ford Motor Company's (NYSE:F) 2015 Mustang has been one of the company's most highly anticipated new design in quite some time, maybe even decades.
While the hype could never match the original Mustang's debut in 1964, Ford is giving the 50 year old pony car as much of a chance as possible. The folks at the Blue Oval have been releasing details, albeit slowly, as the launch of the 2015 Mustang approaches and today we finally got what we've been asking for: engine performance specs.
EcoBoost engine delivers
The most controversial engine in the 2015 Mustang's lineup, the 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder, will generate 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque – not to mention, it's the first Stang since the 1986 SVO to be turbocharged. Make no mistake, this wasn't an engine designed for the Focus or Fiesta cars and merely dropped into the Mustang; Ford designed this EcoBoost for the Mustang, specifically.
Sure, many of the Mustang purists have scoffed at the idea of an EcoBoost engine, yet the 310 horsepower nearly matches what my very own 2010 Mustang GT V8 puts out at 315 horsepower and 325 lb.ft of torque. Furthermore, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost has the best-ever power density from a Ford engine.
The EcoBoost engine also outperforms the 2015 Mustang's base 3.7-liter V6 which is rated at 300 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. My intention isn't to hype the EcoBoost option, and my next Mustang will certainly have a V8 under the hood, but the EcoBoost engine's performance is intriguing and should open the doors to an entirely new customer, provided the fuel-economy is a big improvement.
Show me the power
For those Mustang purists, Ford's 5.0-liter V8 will push out as much as 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft of torque, which is about 15 additional horsepower and 10lb-ft of torque than Ford hinted at previously. Ford's V8 has a slew of new upgrades including larger intake and exhaust valves, revised intake and exhaust camshafts, redesigned piston tops, a rebalanced forged crankshaft to support higher rpm's, among other upgrades.
If you're a Mustang purist, you might recognize some of the upgrades in the 2015 Mustang's V8; many of the changes are from the lessons Ford's team learned while developing the special-edition Mustang Boss 302, back in 2012.
"Even with all of that extra hardware, smart engineering throughout every component of this car enabled us to achieve a base curb weight of 3,524 pounds for the new Mustang EcoBoost fastback – just six pounds more than the lightest 2014 Mustang V6, and still the best power-to-weight ratio of any car available in the United States for under $50,000." -Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.
Outside of the engine specs, the 2015 Mustang will also feature a new fully independent front and rear suspension with a lighter platform to help improve the muscle car's handling and ride quality.
The Mustang's peak selling days are long gone, but that doesn't mean the iconic ride's importance is lessened -- far from it. The Mustang remains one of the most discussed, most searched for, and most glamorized vehicles in America. Because of the 2015 Mustang's slightly smaller size, more modern design, and supposed improved fuel-economy, the new model has a chance to export its American cult following and popularity onto the global stage when it hits the markets in Europe, China, and even in the Middle East & Africa regions, essentially for the first time, ever.
Maybe the Mustang's peak selling days are gone, but its journey could be just beginning.