FORD Australia’s facelifted 2.3-litre EcoBoost Mustang has lost 9kW of power compared with its predecessor, but performance is expected to be much the same, according to the model's chief program engineer Carl Widmann.
Speaking to GoAuto at the local launch of the V8-powered Mustang, Mr Widmann chalked the drop in power from 233kW to 224kW in the updated pony car to vehicle examination.
“The exhaust system is unique on Australian units, South Africa and New Zealand – it’s a unique system on EcoBoost – we basically do one test and one test only on homologation, and because we’re so happy, because the paperwork is so simple, we just submit that report,” he said.
“And so that’s why from the old ‘15, (which) was done on the old European process, that’s why the numbers are different, it’s the same horsepower, it’s just test-to-test variation.”
Mr Widmann explained small changes across the range added up to the modest bump in torque in the 2.3-litre turbocharged engine, which is up 9Nm from 432Nm to 441Nm.
“On torque, what we did was we took the truncation out, so we upgraded the manual transmission in this model year … the 10-speed can now take more torque (compared with the outgoing six-speed automatic), and we added overboost,” he said.
“Those combined mean we actually deliver more torque in actuality across the line-up, so everybody’s torque went up by a measurable amount.
Left: Ford Mustang chief program engineer Carl Widmann
“That particular engine tested a little bit lower than what we did in this great homologation strategy and that’s why the horsepower number is different, but the torque is more because the calibration actually changed.
“Engine hardware is all the same throughout all the model years, except we’ve upgraded bearings and some other things no one will notice, so that’s the real scoop on why that is.”
Although what the turbocharged 2.3-litre EcoBoost’s new 224kW/441Nm figures will translate to in the zero to 100km/h acceleration test is yet to be determined, expect to see it slightly better its predecessor’s 5.8 second figure.
For reference, the manual V8-powered Mustang, which received a substantial 33kW/26Nm bump to 339kW/556Nm, improved 0.3s from 4.8 to 4.5s, while the 10-speed automatic version will hit the landmark triple digits in as little as 4.3s thanks to the Drag Strip launch control mode.
Ford claims the US-spec 10-speed automatic EcoBoost Mustang will accelerate from a standstill to 97km/h (0-60mph) in under five seconds.
Mr Widmann explained that the new 10-speed automatic was designed to be more user friendly than before, and added that it is expected to account for a greater mix of sales.
“What we wanted to do was make it approachable, that it was not a decision that you’d regret (for) areas like Melbourne and Sydney where a manual is a little bit of work,” he said.
“The Europe team believes that will happen … in the US our automatic performance pack sales are higher than we anticipated … so that would tell me that there were people who didn’t want to, who were intimidated maybe or didn’t feel their Mustang they wanted was the manual we offered.
“Here, here has always been an automatic (market), so I think people will be pretty happy with its capability from that perspective, it is a lot more aggressive than the six speed, a lot more technology in the transmission.”
The EcoBoost Mustang will to land in Australian showrooms in September, three months after the V8, due to production scheduling, while the local engine mix is still expected to heavily skew 85:15 towards the 5.0-litre V8 motor.