Ford gives Mus­tang a facelift

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Ford will bolt a big­ger twin­scroll tur­bocharger from the Fo­cus RS onto the four-cylin­der Mus­tang’s 2.3-litre en­gine to squeeze a lit­tle more power and torque out of it for the grandly named High Per­for­mance 2.3L to be launched in Aus­tralia in Fe­bru­ary next year.

The new vari­ant – avail­able in both fast­back and con­vert­ible – will re­place the cur­rent four-cylin­der Eco­boost Mus­tang in the 2020 range that kicks off with the re­vised V8 GT in Novem­ber.

Ford Aus­tralia hopes the changes – in­clud­ing much-needed safety up­grades – will help to keep the Mus­tang at the fore­front of Aus­tralian sales into the next decade.

Changes to the four-pot ver­sion in­clude the V8 GT’S bolder front split­ter, fat­ter anti-roll bars, shorter gear ra­tios, stag­gered tyre sizes and a num­ber of vis­ual tweaks such as dif­fer­ent badg­ing and grey bon­net ‘spears’ and mir­rors to con­trast with some fresh body colours that will in­clude ret­rostyle or­ange and lime green.

Thanks to the big­ger, 63mm blower, the re­vised en­gine will pro­duce 236kw of power and 448Nm of torque – gains of 12kw and 7Nm re­spec­tively over the cur­rent model.

Ford says the big­gest boost to per­for­mance

will come from the meatier torque curve that holds at least 90 per cent of peak torque from 2500rpm to 5300rpm.

Mus­tang chief pro­gram en­gi­neer Carl Wid­mann said the power curve also holds longer, to the 6500rpm red line.

While the High Per­for­mance 2.3L be­comes the most pow­er­ful four-cylin­der Mus­tang, the power falls short of the 257kw gen­er­ated by the 2.3-litre en­gine in the most re­cent ver­sion of the hard­core Fo­cus RS that is now in hia­tus be­tween mod­els ahead of pos­si­ble re­place­ment in a cou­ple of years. No per­for­mance fig­ures have been prof­fered for the Mus­tang, but ac­cel­er­a­tion times are likely to ben­e­fit from shorter gear ra­tios for both the six-speed man­ual gear­box and 10-speed automatic trans­mis­sion.

The man­ual vari­ant also now shares the automatic’s shorter 3.55:1 fi­nal drive, down from 3.31:1. While the cur­rent four-cylin­der Mus­tang has iden­ti­cal 9.0-inch-wide tyres all round, the new ver­sion gets a stag­gered tyre ar­range­ment like the GT, with nine-inch­ers at the front and 9.5s at the back.

The front sta­biliser bar has been boosted to 31mm, while the rear bar goes up to 24mm in a move to im­prove con­trol and compliance.

Like the GT, the Mag­ner­ide magnetic sus­pen­sion is op­tional.

In­te­rior changes in­clude a spun alu­minium in­stru­ment panel with oil pres­sure and turbo boost gauges, plus a se­ri­alised dash plaque for each num­bered ve­hi­cle.

Car­ry­over fea­tures in­clude leather up­hol­stery and a sports steer­ing wheel.

The Mus­tang has been Aus­tralian’s top-sell­ing sportscar since 2016, and with 2442 sales in 2019 to the end of June, it is well on track to take the crown again in 2019, de­spite a 16.4 per­cent de­cline in vol­ume com­pared with the first half of last year.

The Mus­tang cur­rently holds a 56.4 per­cent share of the sportscar seg­ment un­der $80,000, well ahead of the sec­ond-placed BMW 2 Se­ries with 12.4 per­cent.

PONY UP: Ford Aus­tralia will drop the Eco­boost moniker from the four-cylin­der Mus­tang when it in­tro­duces an up­graded ver­sion in Fe­bru­ary 2020.

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