Is the Mustang Safe From Ford's 2L EcoBoost?


2L_EcoBoost.jpgby Patrick Rall

Ford Motor Company recently invited a group of media members to their Romeo Proving Grounds near Detroit to drive the new 2012 Ford Explorer and Edge, both powered by the 2.0L EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine.  This marks the formal introduction of the 4-cylinder EcoBoost technology to the US market. In these front wheel drive sport utility vehicles, it makes 240 horsepower and 270lb-ft of torque.  This is the same engine that some rumors suggest will be modified for use in an EcoBoost'd Ford Mustang in the next few years - paying homage to the Mustang SVO and Turbo GT of the early 1980s.

While 240 horsepower and 270lb-ft of torque may seem a little light for the Mustang, with the current base V6 making 305hp and the GT making 412hp, these modern SVO rumors indicate that Ford could use a modified version of the 2.0L EcoBoost engine. 

SVO-mustang.jpgThe original Turbo GT and SVO Mustangs used a 2.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder, and while the power output of those engines pales in comparison to today's modern horsepower wars, at the time they put out the same amount of power as the Mustang GT.  Consider that Ford is currently making 240hp (120hp per liter) with the 2.0L EcoBoost engine while also getting 28-30 miles per gallon on the highway; in adding another three tenths of a liter combined with some performance tuning efforts - Ford could build an EcoBoost 4-cylinder for the Mustang that could fit between the 3.7L V6 and the 5.0L V8.

That being said, the 2.0L EcoBoost engine is a powerful little engine in the hefty Ford SUVs.  Turbo lag is cut to a minimum thanks to Ford's EcoBoost technology, but when you really get into the torque band, the new 2.0L EcoBoost forces enough power to the ground to spin the wheels at a stop or at a roll - if doing smokey burnouts are your thing.  While we were cruising around one of Ford's test tracks at the proving grounds, the 4-cylinder EcoBoost provided enough power to hurdle the Edge and Explorer well beyond the suggested speed limits. 

Equipping the new Ford Mustang (a vehicle significantly lighter than the Explorer or Edge) with this new EcoBoost 4-cylinder would make for quite a peppy ride that could offer fuel economy numbers like the industry has never seen.  Ford has offered a 'Mustang E' back in the day that was built to focus on great fuel economy, but with the help of a 2.3L EcoBoost, the new Turbo GT or SVO Mustang could offer comparable power and vastly better fuel economy than the current V6-powered competitors.

As time goes on, Ford is likely to unveil more of their EcoBoost plans which, in the past, have indicated that their entire lineup would someday receive EcoBoost power - including the legendary Ford Mustang.

What do you think? Would the 2.3L EcoBoost be enough engine to truly power a Mustang? Voice your opinion here!




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