A Diesel S550 Ford Mustang is Taking Globalization a Step Too Far
The 2015 Ford Mustang has been controversial since well before last week’s debut both for the new exterior styling and the 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine option. Those folks who are outraged by the exterior likely would have thrown the same fit if the new Mustang had looked different in any way from the previous generation and in the long run, I have seen far more positive than negative on the new look. As for the fuss over the addition of a turbocharged 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine, it can certainly be argued that one of the ultimate American performance cars shouldn’t have a 4-cylinder engine at all but when you look through the history of the Mustang, there have been plenty of 4-cylinder options in the past that were nowhere near as powerful or efficient as the new 2.3L EcoBoost. Also, if you hate that the 2015 Mustang has a 4-cylinder engine option, you probably won’t be buying it anyway so what difference does it really make? Not much…but the push for improved efficiency and globalization will have gone too far if Ford introduces a diesel engine option for the Mustang.
While speaking with Ford’s global powertrain boss Bob Fascetti at the Sydney Australia lunch of the 2015 Mustang Convertible, GoAuto learned that Ford has been looking at new options to make the Mustang lineup more efficient in the future. Fascetti explained that with the constant push for new fuel economy, Ford was considering options for the Mustang that included a hybrid version, a diesel version and new transmissions with 9 or 10 speeds. It seems that everything is coming out with a hybrid package these days so that wouldn’t be all that surprising and with vehicles on the market already with 9-speed transmissions, which also doesn’t seem like a big deal. However, there is just something that doesn’t sit right with me when thinking about a diesel powered Ford Mustang. I am not an anti-diesel person by any means and while I understand the need for both improved fuel economy and globalization – there needs to be a limit. Even though the heavy duty trucks from Ford, Ram and GM are all well known for their powerful diesel engine options, there is something that seems distinctly un-American about a diesel powered Mustang.
I should point out that I am well aware that there are some very impressive performance applications from other automakers around the world and a small turbodiesel engine in the 2015 Ford Mustang would probably offer pretty solid performance. We know that if nothing else, it would offer a ton of low end torque that would cater to the performance tastes of some drivers (particularly drag racers) while also offering what would probably be the best fuel economy of any American muscle car ever. I just can’t imagine being able to get over the chug of a diesel engine when I started it up or when I revved the engine sitting in traffic.
There is, of course, the possibility that the turbodiesel Ford Mustang would only be sold outside of North America but if the Mustang is sold around the world to people who want to own the American icon – does it really make sense to have a diesel engine under the hood? I don’t think so and I suspect that a great many people would agree. A turbocharged 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission will certainly irritate the muscle car traditionalists who would prefer a 3-speed automatic and a carbureted V8 but there have been plenty of American performance cars in the past 30 years with a turbo 4. On the other hand, even a high performance diesel engine in the mighty Mustang would be pushing the “One Ford” program a bit too far – even for those of us who don’t fear change.