Giving the V8 a run for its money
Upgraded 4-cylinder Mustang flexes modern muscle
Automotive fanatics are sure to tell you that the only sort of engine that belongs under the hood of a performance car like the Ford Mustang is a traditional V8.
But in the 21st century, efficiency and responsibility matter more than ever. Responding to this situation, Ford chose to offer an efficient Ecoboost four-banger in the S550 Mustang when it launched several years ago, giving customers an engine option that’s still plenty capable but more in step with modern times.
Despite an acute lack of cylinders, Dearborn’s 2.3-litre turbo is well behaved and surprisingly robust, rated at 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of twist. The go-fast goons at Ford Performance, however, were looking to highlight the aftermarket goodies. To this end, they dressed up a ’17 model-year coupe with a range of components with the goal of improving an already good machine.
The Mustang reviewed here was gussied up with nearly $6,000 in Ecoboost-specific goodies. The most important changes are functional, including a $1,953 track-handling suspension kit, Ford’s $1,991 cat-back exhaust system, as well as a retuned engine-control computer and openelement air filter, a combo that checks out at $932 — all figures are estimates.
So, what do all those upgrades get you? The tune and intake add 25 horses and 70 pound-feet of torque, bringing those totals to 335 and 390, respectively.
Focusing on this car’s upgrades, one of the first things you notice is the engine sound ... it actually makes some! Every time you goose the throttle here, you’re rewarded with a burst of throaty intake rumble.
Focusing on the opposite end, Engine: 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Output: 335 horsepower, 390 pound-feet of torque Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Stock Fuel Economy (L/100 km): 12.8 city, 9.5 highway, 11.3 combined
the freer-breathing exhaust system is also more assertive. It gives the car some bark to match its bite, all without droning annoyingly or getting tiresome on long drives. In short, it’s tastefully aggressive.
Acceleration, even when equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, is fast. The torque in this modified Mustang Estimated Price: $46,000
Factory warranty remains Makes nicer noises Increased torque
Ride on the stiff side Still not a V8
starts low and hits hard, surging you ahead.
If you’ve got a four-cylinder Mustang, I’d recommend grabbing that tune and Ford’s catback exhaust system to enjoy a faster, more finessed car. Hell, these changes might even be enough to make dyed-in-the-wool gearheads think twice about getting a V8.