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Mustang gets a New High Performance Package: Comments

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large.2020-mustang-ecoboost-hpp-08.jpgFord pulled the wraps off the 2020 Ford Mustang 2.3 Performance Package Mustang today ahead of the New York International Auto Show.  As we reported previously, the Mustang will get an upgraded 2.3 liter Ecoboost Turbocharged 4-Cylinder heavily borrowed from the now dead to the U.S. Ford Focus RS.  The new motor will produce 330 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque when fed with 93 octane fuel. The engine will produce 90% of peak torque between 2,500 rpm and 5,300 rpm a 40% broader torque band than the standard Ecoboost 4-cylinder. That performance is achieved with a larger turbo and some additional cooling capacity from a larger radiator.  Customers will be able to choose between a 10-speed automatic or a 6-speed Getrag manual transmission. 

large.2020-mustang-ecoboost-hpp-02.jpgThe new setup will allow the Mustang 2.3 Performance Package to run to 60 in the mid-4 second range and have a top speed of 155 mph.  Weight distribution is a near perfect 53/47 front to rear.  Stopping distance is shortened with the help of new 4-piston calipers and 13.9 inch front rotors. The suspension hardware is beefed up as well.  There is an active exhaust package as well.

An additional available package adds special semi-metallic brakes, specially calibrated MagneRide shocks, a limited slip rear differential and wider wheels with Perelli PZero Corsa4 tires. This handling package is only available on the fastback coupe. 

We will have more for you on the 2020 Ford Mustang 2.3 Performance Package from the New York Auto Show on April 17th.  It arrives in dealerships Fall of 2020.

Ford Press Release on Page 2


  • 2.3L High Performance Package provides entry-level Mustang buyers the first EcoBoost® engine powered by Ford Performance to deliver a projected 330 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque – the most powerful four-cylinder sports car offered by an American automaker
  • Poised to attack at autocross, 2.3L High Performance Package adds Mustang GT brakes and Mustang GT Performance Package aerodynamics and suspension components to make it the highest-performing production four-cylinder Mustang ever
  • Initially a passion project that began with a Focus RS engine swap, the High Performance Package became a green-lit production program to strengthen Mustang’s entry-level performance offering in under 10 months – just in time for Mustang’s 55th anniversary


DEARBORN, Mich., April 15, 2019 – Strengthening Ford’s performance reach for 2020 and just in time for the pony car’s 55th anniversary, the new 2.3L High Performance Package for the entry-level Mustang EcoBoost® creates the most powerful four-cylinder sports car offered by an American automaker. This is the result of a unique EcoBoost engine powered by Ford Performance and upgraded handling components from the Mustang GT Performance Package.

“The Ford Performance Focus RS 2.3-liter engine is a high-revving marvel, and anyone who’s driven this EcoBoost engine instantly loves how quickly it responds and delivers power,” said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer. “When our team got the chance to try this specially built engine in a Mustang, we immediately agreed, ‘We have to do this.’”

Reminiscent of development of the original Mustang in 1964, the car began as a five-person skunkworks project in the Ford Performance garage. Following an experiment with a Focus RS engine swap, the Mustang team leveraged Ford’s quickening product development times to accelerate and complete the design-to-approval process for the 2.3L High Performance Package in under 10 months.

Available on the entry-level Mustang EcoBoost fastback coupe or convertible models this fall, the Mustang EcoBoost package was developed to feel at home both on thrilling mountain and coastal roads and even on the most precise autocross courses thanks to its Mustang GT brakes, performance tires, and chassis and aerodynamics hardware from the Mustang GT Performance Package.


Most powerful EcoBoost engine yet in a Mustang

To make their project a reality, members of the Mustang team traveled to Valencia, Spain, home of the Ford Performance-tuned 2.3-liter engine, to convince plant management to build a new variant of the turbocharged four-cylinder specifically for Mustang. Then, with the Ford Performance-designed engine as a starting point, they tuned the EcoBoost to more broadly and responsively deliver a projected 330 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque achieved with premium fuel (per the SAE J1349 standard).

Having secured production of the die-cast alloy block and high-performance cylinder head, the engineering team specified a 5 percent larger 63-millimeter twin-scroll turbo compressor and a larger radiator, then calibrated the engine to run both Ford’s 10-speed SelectShift® automatic and 6-speed Getrag manual transmission.

The 2020 Mustang 2.3L High Performance Package is designed to run 0-60 in the mid-four-second range on premium fuel, with top speed increasing to 155 mph, a 10 mph gain over the 2019 EcoBoost Performance Package and 34 mph faster than the base EcoBoost Mustang.

“It’s not just the horsepower gains over the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost, it’s the broader torque curve that delivers 90 percent of peak torque between 2,500 and 5,300 rpm, which is 40 percent wider than the base EcoBoost engine,” said Widmann. “Plus, horsepower holds stronger up to the 6,500-rpm redline – enabling more usable power and torque for enthusiasts and weekend autocrossers to enjoy.”

Helping to deliver 143 horsepower per liter, the new 2.3L High Performance Package includes a fully active quad-tip exhaust system with a signature tuned sound.


Packed with enthusiast hardware

The new 2020 2.3L High Performance Package feels sharp and nimble, with an aggressive road-holding stance, near-balanced 53/47 weight distribution and fully independent suspension, plus chassis and aerodynamic upgrades from the Mustang GT and its Performance Package.

For greater steering precision, the team added an alloy strut tower brace to stiffen the chassis at the front. To improve stopping power and fade resistance, the 2.3L High Performance Package adds larger four-piston fixed calipers with 13.9-inch front rotors from Mustang GT. It features a 32-millimeter sway bar up front and a tubular 21.7-millimeter bar at the rear.

New performance calibration tuning is applied to the electronic-controlled power steering, antilock braking, stability control and five driver-selectable drive modes. For improved cornering, a 3.55:1 limited-slip rear axle is included, plus package-specific 19x9-inch machined-face aluminum wheels and 255/40R summer tires.

For an aggressive look, the new EcoBoost 2.3L High Performance Package includes a large black front splitter and belly pan, plus brake cooling ramps from the Mustang GT Performance Package – add-ons that also work to reduce front-end lift and improve brake cooling. A blacked-out grille with offset Mustang tri-bar pony emblem, 2.3L High Performance Package side badges and magnetic gray side mirrors and raised blade rear spoiler add to the performance look, while a unique metallic gray stripe crosses the hood.

An engine-spun aluminum instrument panel with oil pressure and turbo boost gauges, plus a serialized dash plaque highlight the interior.


New EcoBoost Handling Package

Increasing lateral acceleration grip and stopping power, the available EcoBoost Handling Package includes semi-metallic brakes, specially calibrated MagneRide® dampers and a TORSEN® 3.55:1 limited-slip rear axle. Wider 19x9.5-inch premium painted aluminum wheels with 265/40R Pirelli P Zero Corsa4 summer tires provide traction, while a 24-millimeter solid rear sway bar, up from 21.7 millimeters, improves handling balance.

The new EcoBoost Handling Package is available exclusively on the 2020 Mustang EcoBoost fastback coupe with the 2.3L High Performance Package with either 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission.


New smart technology, colors and more for 2020

FordPass Connect, now standard on Mustang for 2020, allows owners to interact with their vehicles via a smartphone. Using FordPass Connect’s phone application, owners can locate their parked car, lock and unlock it, and check vehicle status, such as fuel, oil levels and maintenance alerts. For automatic transmission-equipped Mustang models, the system has a remote start feature. The availability of these features varies by market.

Available SYNC® 3 with AppLink adds enhanced voice recognition communications, 911 Assist and two smart-charging USB ports.

Four new Mustang colors for 2020 include Grabber Lime, Iconic Silver, Red Hot Metallic Tinted Clearcoat and Twister Orange. New 17-inch sparkle silver-painted aluminum wheels now come standard on the base 2020 Mustang EcoBoost.

The 2020 Ford Mustang with 2.3L High Performance Package arrives at dealerships this fall.

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Very happy to hear they are not letting the engine from the Focus RS go to waste. I wonder how much of a premium this will be over the normal ecoboost engine?

Interior looks like a lot of hard plastic and fake carbon fiber.

@Drew Dowdell Are you going to go to the show to get first hand impressions and pictures?

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15 minutes ago, dfelt said:

I wonder how much of a premium this will be over the normal ecoboost engine?

This is the best I could find considering they didn't announce anything yet.

"Look for High Performance 2.3L Mustangs to hit dealerships this fall. Pricing will be announced later this spring, but expect to pay more than the $2,495 charged for the outgoing EcoBoost Perf Pack. But rest assured that even with the handling package, it will undercut the $8,960 premium charged for a base GT by a significant margin."


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21 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

I mean, I don't hate it, but I still have no desire to have a Mustang powered by anything other than a V8. 

Yeah, I'd want a V8.  When I think 4cyl Mustang, I think of my '86 LX which felt really underpowered w/ the 2.3.   I know today's 2.3 has plenty of power, but it's still just a 4cyl.  

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^ I certainly get that sentiment, but if I recall the specs correctly, the '86 Mustang 2.3 (my wife had an '87) was 88 HP, the return of the '82 5.0 V8 GT had 225 HP, and the 2019 2.3T has 330! 330 is 3.9 times what your '86 had, and just remind yourself how often you open the hood on your vehicles.

Edited by balthazar
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19 minutes ago, balthazar said:

^ I certainly get that sentiment, but if I recall the specs correctly, the '86 Mustang 2.3 (my wife had an '87) was 88 HP, the return of the '82 5.0 V8 GT had 225 HP, and the 2019 2.3T has 330! 330 is 3.9 times what your '86 had, and just remind yourself how often you open the hood on your vehicles.

Oh I know; it was 88 hp. And loud and buzzy.  I'm sure the new one is smoother.  My '87 GT 5.0 had/has 225hp (I think the 82 5.0 was only 160 hp), and the new 5.0 has 460hp....  I'd still rather have an N/A V8 than a turbo 4. 

Edited by Robert Hall
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2 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

I would literally take a less powerful V8 simply for the noises. 

Agreed.. I mean if it was a screaming bargain and cost 20% less than the V8 model I would probably be happy with it, but not for a 5 grand difference.


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5 minutes ago, balthazar said:

You are correct (and wow does that seem lame) :


Yeah, though my brother's 79 Indy Pace Car edition w/ the 5.0 (140hp) and '82 GT felt reasonably fast to me when I drove them years ago. But my '87 GT felt faster. 

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28 minutes ago, Frisky Dingo said:

The real problem ist hat this engine needs to be in a car that is 6-8 shorter in length, and inch narrower, and weighs 200-250lbs less a Mustang. THAT I would be more than okay with having this engine.

The turbo 4 seems fine to me in a hot hatch like a Focus RS, but I've always associated performance Mustangs w/ V8s...

Edited by Robert Hall
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To be fair 2010 Mustang GT had 315hp and 325 lb-ft, weighted about 3500-3600lbs

This one will have 330 hp and 350 lb-ft and probably will weight around the same.

As I said I would rather have the V8 as well but this new turbo-four will smoke a V8 from less than a ten years ago in a straight and most definitely on a track.

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15 hours ago, frogger said:

Agreed.. I mean if it was a screaming bargain and cost 20% less than the V8 model I would probably be happy with it, but not for a 5 grand difference.


Honestly, I would still just rather have an older model for the V8 noises in a car like this. The sound they make is a whole part of the experience, imo. 

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