The Turbo High-Performance Package First Drive: 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost
Ford Performance fans may have to think again about dismissing the turbocharged EcoBoost Mustang, as a new High-Performance Package variant has just been announced. Visually, the Mustang HPP gets a larger front splitter, belly pan and brake cooling ramps, all of which come from the Mustang GT’s performance package. I like the old-school red, white and blue badging on the gloss-black grille and rear fascia, another part of the HPP upgrade. Inside, drivers get two additional gauges, on for oil pressure and another for turbo boost. HPP Mustangs also get a chassis-numbered plaque on the dashboard.
Proponents of the V8 will remind you that a 4-banger simply doesn’t sound nearly as good, and they’re right. The exhaust sounded respectable sufficient within the stick, however, it was downright annoying within the automated, for no matter purpose. It does get louder in sport mode, so maybe growing the quantity decreased the sound high quality. No matter – what and the shortage of low-finish torque may be sufficient to entice consumers into the V8.
A standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine runs out of steam at about 5,500 rpm, but the one found in Mustangs equipped with the High-Performance Package pulls vigorously all the way to 6,500. In fact, 90 percent of peak horsepower is available at redline. Peak torque is limited to 350 pound-feet because the drivetrain can’t safely handle more than that, though trust me, that’s still plenty of twists.
The Mustang EcoBoost is powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a 10-speed automatic is optional. Other mechanical equipment includes a limited-slip rear differential, launch control (only with the manual gearbox), and an electronic line-lock to facilitate burnouts (at the track only, of course).
Other than an aluminum dashboard panel, 9012 led bulb and oil and turbo-boost gauges most owners will probably never use, the interior is unchanged. The Mustang’s interior doesn’t have the clean, minimalist look of the Camaro’s, but it doesn’t have the Chevy’s bunker-like feel, either. Neither car can match the spacious feel of the Dodge Challenger’s cavernous interior, but the Dodge is just too big. It isn’t in the same league as the Mustang or Camaro when it comes to driving dynamics, so it isn’t really a fair comparison.
And that four-banger is arguably even more charming in the Mustang than it is the all-wheel-drive Focus. Of course, it isn’t an identical carryover. It benefits from a new head gasket, a larger twin-scroll turbo with 22 pounds of boost (which took just two weeks to design), and a larger radiator. The final output from the HPP’s four-cylinder is a respectable 332 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, which makes it the most powerful four-cylinder sports car ever offered by an American manufacturer.