The 2015 Ford Mustang will come with a pair of non-V8 engines with the return of the 3.7L V6 and the introduction of the new 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder. Official power figures haven’t been announced just yet but the estimated numbers from Ford suggest that the 2.3L EcoBoost and the 3.7L V6 will have similar power numbers in the range of just over 300 horsepower. We can expect that the EcoBoost will have quite a bit more torque than the V6 while also offering better than the 30mpg that is returned by the V6 Mustang,. When looking strictly at the two engines on paper, it doesn’t make much sense for Ford to offer two engines that are so similar in their capabilities so why not kill off the aging V6?
The 3.7L V6 engine that will power the base model 2015 Ford Mustang is an “old” engine featuring very little cutting edge technology. On the other hand, the 2.3L EcoBoost coming to the 2015 Mustang is a brand new engine with very fresh technology and that hot technology comes with a bigger price. If you look at any model offered by Ford Motor Company across the Ford or Lincoln brands, EcoBoost engines are always either a mid level or premium engine option and while there will certainly come a time when there are pure base model EcoBoost vehicles in the Ford lineup – the technology is still new enough to demand a premium price. Because of that, every vehicle in which Ford offers an EcoBoost engine also has a lower cost engine option for those who want the least expensive model possible.
At one point, the base model engines in vehicles like the Ford F150, the Ford Explorer or the mighty Ford Mustang were the least expensive while often being the most efficient but the introduction of EcoBoost technology across the Ford lineup has made these turbocharged models the most efficient and – in many cases – among the most powerful. That combination of power and efficiency comes with a price and that added price is what makes these EcoBoost’d vehicles too expensive to exist as base model engines.
If Ford was to remove the V6 engine option right away, the base price of the 2015 Mustang would likely climb by at least a couple thousand dollars. The 2014 Mustang V6 base model has a starting price of $22,510 while the least expensive Mustang GT starts at $31,210. The EcoBoost model will almost certainly fall between the V6 and the 2015 Mustang GT when it hits showrooms so based on current prices (which are likely to change for the 2015 models), the EcoBoost will likely cost somewhere in the area of $25,000-26,000 if the EcoBoost package costs $2,500. While most buyers upgrade from the base price of the V6 Mustang, most of those buyers are enticed to visit the dealership by that low $22,510 price tag. If you visit your local Ford dealership you aren’t likely to see many 2014 Mustang coupes on the lot with that base price but the fact that someone CAN get a Mustang for that price is what draws people into dealerships. Once there, they often spend far more than that original value when they upgrade to the Mustang GT or even to the more loaded up V6 packages.
Even if the take rate for the 3.7L V6 version of the 2015 Ford Mustang is incredibly low and the take rate for the new 2.3L EcoBoost is incredibly high, Ford would be smart to continue offering the V6 models for those folks who want the least expensive Mustang possible regardless of the power or fuel economy – and that low price helps generate sales even when the models that carry that price are slow sellers.
That all being said, the V6 option in the Ford Mustang is sure to be around for those very reasons for years to come. Once the cost of EcoBoost technology has come down, we could see a turbocharged 4-cylinder Mustang with the same low price as the V6 models but in the meantime, the V6 model will continue to serve as the budget option while those who want the power and efficiency of the new EcoBoost drivetrain will pay a premium.