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American Muscles EcoBoost 2015 Mustang Runs Low 12s with Exhaust (Video)

The American Muscle 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost got a new full exhaust system before hitting the drag strip recently, with significantly better power figures leading to 8th mile ETs that would be in the low 12 second quarter mile range – which is pretty mind-blowing considering how little work has been done to this fuel sipping 4-cylinder.

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When we first features the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost back in December, the AM team had partnered with Bama Performance squeeze a little more power out of the turbocharged 2.3L engine. With a cold air intake and a Bama tune, the EcoBoost Mustang ran an impressive time of 12.9 with 283 horsepower and 342lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. However, the Bama and American Muscle Mustang EcoBoost has gotten another modification to add some power and, as a result, the 4-cylinder 2015 Mustang is running quarter mile times well into the low 12 second range.

The American Muscle EcoBoost Mustang
The 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost being used as the official shop car of the Mustang tuning experts at is fitted with the 2.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and the 6-speed automatic transmission. In bone stock form, this Mustang ran 13.6 in the quarter mile, and that is a mighty impressive time for a drivetrain package designed to be the most fuel efficient muscle car ever.

American Muscle then began adding some extra power, installing a cold air intake setup and a custom dyno tune with the help of the folks from Bama Performance. Those simple mods upped the output to 283 wheel horsepower and 342lb-ft of wheel torque while also helping to cut the quarter mile time into the 12.9 range with the help of some good, sticky drag radial tires. Click here for a closer look at that run if you missed it.

This time, American Muscle has tapped the people at Kooks exhaust to build a turbo-back 3 inch exhaust setup for the EcoBoost Mustang and the results are incredible. When using the same engine tune as they did with just the cold air intake, the AM EcoBoost Mustang with the full exhaust setup turned out 308 wheel horsepower and 379lb-ft of wheel torque. That is an increase of 25 horsepower and 37lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels by just swapping out the factory exhaust for a system that flows better. I would imagine that a custom tune with these components will yield even better power figures, but after the dyno run with the new exhaust, American Muscle and Bama headed to the drag strip to test the real world impact of this new exhaust system.

Deep 12s with Exhaust, Intake, Tune
So, the guys from American Muscle have tested their 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost at a quarter mile track near their HQ in Pennsylvania, but when visiting Kooks in North Carolina, they were unable to find a quarter mile drag strip within a reasonable difference. Instead, they took their EcoBoost Mustang to the local 8th mile track to see what it would run.

On the first run, the AM EcoBoost Mustang ran into some boost issues and turned in a disappointing time of 8.27, but after some adjustments by the Bama team, they hit the track with far better results. On that second run, the tuned EcoBoost Mustang with full exhaust and an intake setup ran a 7.91. Using a simple online calculator, that would be a quarter mile run in the 12.35-12.50 range, which is mighty impressive. However, they went back to the line one more time and with some extra shift point tweaks, the 4-cylinder Mustang ran an incredible 7.71 8th mile. Using the online conversion tables, that would lead to a quarter mile in the 12.05-12.15 range.

So with good tires, a full exhaust setup, a cold air intake and a very good tune, the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost with the 6-speed automatic transmission will get you very near an 11 second quarter mile time. Knowing American Muscle, we will soon see quarter mile runs with these tweaks and when we do, I almost expect to see an 11 second ET.

Check out the video with all of the runs below and congrats to the team behind this build for putting together such a quick car with so little work. Amazing.

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Al (not verified)    February 26, 2015 - 2:34PM

For the cost of the custom tune, cold air intake, exhaust, slick rubber, and presumably lightweight aftermarket rims you could just buy a Mustang GT and still have money left over. All while maintaining a factory warranty. I can't see many people being interested in doing something like this.

Patrick Rall    March 2, 2015 - 9:23AM

In reply to by Al (not verified)

I would say that you are very wrong. Exhaust, intake and a tuning package are easily the most common aftermarket modifications in today's motoring world. In fact, I have already seen some southern drag strips posting pictures of guys racing lightly worked EB Mustangs. When you take into consideration the fact that Ford is offering a warranty-friendly tuning package for the 2.3L EcoBoost, there will be plenty of people looking to spruce up their 4-cylinder Mustang.

Al (not verified)    March 2, 2015 - 7:00PM

In reply to by Patrick Rall

The three you listed aren't the most common mods. Rims and tires are, but they did that too. I agree 100% there will be plenty of people doing mods to the ecoboost, but I'd argue the majority would pick just one or two of the upgrades they did here. As you said "lightly worked" After the cost of exhaust, intake, custom tune. wheels, tires, and labor it'll easily exceed the Mustang GT in price. Many of the cars that people do that many changes to are on cars that don't have such an awesome factory performance option slotted above their car at a very reasonable price increase. I still can't see many people paying more for the modded ecoboost in the article that likely voids warranty over a GT with that awesome 5.0. If Ford does offer a warranty friendly package from Ford Performance than it will definitely be much more popular than what they did here, but I'd still just get a 5.0 and I think most buyers would agree and you'll see more far more GT's that Ecoboosts with the package installed. FWIW I think the Mustang Ecoboost is a great car in its price category.

Brett (not verified)    March 4, 2015 - 8:31PM

In reply to by Al (not verified)

1) Even if it costs as much as a GT, the EB will still be a couple hundred pounds lighter.

2) The upcoming chip mod will get the EB into GT territory alone; these mods would almost get it to GT350 levels (considering the weight savings)

Al (not verified)    March 5, 2015 - 1:33PM

In reply to by Brett (not verified)

You know nothing of the GT350 performance levels it's not even out yet. The GT350 has weight savings on the GT as well and is rumored to have 500hp. I'm sorry but based on that I'd say no these mods will not get it to GT350 levels at all. Besides my argument isn't about gains it's that I doubt many people will bother dropping more money than a GT on a moderately modded Ecoboost.
One other thing I forgot to add to my OP. Many people worry about reliability when modding, especially the more things you change. I'm one of them. Yet another reason I don't see this level of mods being very popular on the ecoboost. They'll be out there, there just won't be very many.

Wes (not verified)    May 14, 2015 - 8:44PM

In reply to by Al (not verified)

Al, Why do you keep saying the cost is the same? Base price of EcoBoosted Mustang = $25,300. Base price of the GT = $32,300. Difference = $7,000. Price of CAI / Tuner combo = $800. Cost of exhaust, I'll estimate to be around $1,500. But let's just say it's $2,000. And let's also bump up the CAI/Tune cost to $1,500 for compensate for a custom tune. We're at $3,500. Well that leaves us $3,500 for tires if we need/want them. I don't swap tires very often but I feel like that purchase should be doable for what's left over. Now let's look at the amount of money saved in fuel an insurance month over month compared to the GT and you're left with a "quick" car that's also cheap.

Now, personally, I'd still rather have the GT and spend the extra money to make that even faster. But the point is, the EcoBoost can be a quick car for less money. Secondly, I'd say for people just getting into the fast car scene, it's a great and cheap way to get in.

Otterrock (not verified)    May 27, 2016 - 3:23PM

In reply to by Al (not verified)

I just bought rims, a CAI, a tuner, a intercooler, charge pipes, down pipe, exhaust and a new Bov. Outran a stock GT on the water, spend about 10k$ less and love the sound with the aftermarket stuff