REVIEW: Just as the Falcon has a downsized engine for reasons of emissions and economy, the mighty Mustang has to go the same way, writes Dave Moore.
The been-there done-that list for Ford's EcoBoost four-cylinder two-litre power unit has expanded to include the company's Mustang sports coupe and convertible.
Already used by a raft of models on both sides of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the EcoBoost four's Mustang application is probably the most surprising one of all as it becomes just about the most ubiquitous power unit in the automotive industry.
Already used in Ford's American market Edge, Explorer and Fusion as well as some Lincoln offerings, the transverse front-drive version of the 2.0-litre EcoBoost is also employed in the Focus Mondeo, Galaxy, S-Max and Kuga III in Europe, while Volvo and Land Rover have the power unit under the noses of their respective 60-series and Range Rover Evoque models.
So far, the only north-south, rear-drive application of the 2.0-litre power unit is in Ford's just-revealed EcoBoost Falcon in Australia, though by year's end, Jaguar's XF and XJ ranges will also have the engine powering the entry-point models.
Last week, a persistent rumour was confirmed when it was announced that Ford will soon offer the Mustang with the EcoBoost four-cylinder motor.
"Given the success we've had with EcoBoost across the lineup that we've talked about, it's fair to assume that we will have an EcoBoost Mustang in the very near future," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford's group vice-president of global product development.
Kuzak has not yet specified what specific EcoBoost units it would offer in the Mustang.
It is possible that both four-cylinder and V6 EcoBoost engines will be considered, just as they are in the Explorer.
If this is the case, then an EcoBoost V6 Mustang would be the first to use that unit to drive the rear wheels. The maximum power extracted so far from the four-cylinder 2.0-litre direct-injected, turbocharged engine is 185 kilowatts, which Ford says would give the Mustang a good entry point under its current least-powerful model's 227kW 3.7-litre V6.
It is possible that a 2.5-litre EcoBoost four could appear, especially as that is the staple swept volume in its competitor GM's latest four-cylinder naturally aspirated and turbocharged family of engines. Such a unit with, say, 220kW on tap could even eliminate the 3.7-litre V6 unit from the lineup altogether while providing the cleaner emissions and better fuel economy that the EcoBoost unit was created for in the first place.
Four-cylinder Mustangs are nothing new of course, with naturally aspirated four-cylinder Pinto engines featuring in the Mustang II during the early seventies, while a turbocharged four – albeit with just 153kW on tap – was used in the chisel-fronted Mustangs of the early to mid-eighties.
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