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A Look at Why the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Matters

While Ford Motor Company is expecting the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost to be fairly popular both in the United States and overseas, some are brushing off this new turbocharged engine as little more than a short-run redeux of the old SVO Mustang – but there is a good chance that this engine could play a very big role in the future of the model.


As soon as the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost was made official, the comparisons to the SVO and Turbo GT Mustangs of the fox body era were rampant…and for good reason. Like the SVO and Turbo GT models, the 2015 EcoBoost Mustang serves as a midlevel model between the base V6 and the Mustang GT. Like the SVO and Turbo GT models, the 2015 EcoBoost Mustang is powered by a 2.3L 4-cylinder engine that relies on advanced (for the time) turbocharging technology to make impressive levels of power for such a small engine.

However, unlike the Fox Body SVO and Turbo GT Mustangs, the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost is likely to become far more than just a future collectable sold simply to show off what the automaker is capable of relative to its competitors. The SVO and Turbo GT models were very short lived and sales of those models played a very small part in the success of the Mustang during those years, but the modern turbocharged 4-cylinder model is very likely to make a big splash…one that could make it the better selling option over the base V6.

No Shame in Driving a Turbo 4 Mustang
There are people in the muscle car world who believe strongly that any American performance car should only have a V8 with a manual transmission so while the 2015 Ford Mustang with a V6 is “bad enough”, the idea of a 4-cylidner muscle car is literally blasphemous. They don’t think that there is any real advantage in offering the EcoBoost 4-cylinder into the Mustang since it offers only minor advantages in power and fuel economy, so why bother at all?

Ford Mustang Gallery
The 2015 Ford Mustang in Triple Yellow
A look at the similarities in styling across the 2015 Ford Mustang trimlines

It should be kept in mind that more than half of all of the American muscle cars (Mustang, Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger) sold in America are powered by the base V6 engine. In other words, more than half of the people who buy a Mustang aren’t worried about driving a V8 or about driving the most powerful muscle car on the street. Those buyers care more about the look of the Mustang so for them, something like a touch more power and a slight advantage in fuel economy is an attractive improvement. A guy who has owned 4 Mustang GT models over the years might not understand, but more than 50% of new Mustang buyers aren’t interested in the V8 and the EcoBoost is just plain better than the 3.7L V6…even if only by a small margin.

The V6 is in Need of Replacing
The 3.7L V6 that will serve as the base model engine in the 2015 Ford Mustang has been the entry level engine in the fabled pony car since 2010 (for the 2011 model year) and this Duratec V6 has done an excellent job of proving solid power and efficiency for base model buyers. However, the Duratec V6 engine is getting to be sort of old as engines go and it is time for something new. After Ford basically promised that there would be a EcoBoost Mustang at some point, many expected to see an EcoBoost V6 similar to the one at work in the Ford F150 and Taurus SHO, but the Motor Company shook things up by introducing the new 2.3L EcoBoost.

As the life cycle of the 3.7L V6 comes to an end, the future Ford Mustang will need a new base engine. Ford could have engineered a new V6 that offers comparable horsepower, but with the spread and success of EcoBoost technology it makes much more sense for Ford to introduce a 4-cylinder engine that offers more horsepower, more torque, better fuel economy and lower emissions. The improvements aren’t massive, but they are more than enough for the new 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder to serve as the successor for the 3.7L V6.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the fact that the 3.7L V6 is still in the 2015 Ford Mustang line, but with fewer standalone options and no Premium package offered it looks as though Ford might be phasing the V6 out – or at least steering prospective non-GT buyers towards the new EcoBoost model. However, provided that the new 2.3L EcoBoost engine does as well as I expect it to do, I wouldn’t be surprised for one second to see the V6 removed altogether in the near future.

EcoBoost Gives Mustang a Global Advantage Over Camaro
While the United States is the biggest market for the Mustang, the 2015 models will mark the first time that Ford Motor Company has marketed the Mustang on a global level. The engine emissions and fuel economy levels of the 3.7L V6 make it an unattractive option for European buyers, but that market is far more accepting of a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Because of that, the 2015 Mustang in Europe and other select non-US markets will not get the base V6 but they will get the EcoBoost in addition to the 5.0L V8.

The fact that the 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost is available outside of the US gives foreign buyers an option that they do not current have with the Chevrolet Camaro. The Camaro has been available overseas for a few years now, but it is only offered with the 6.2L V8. This gives the Camaro a much higher entry level price since there is really no entry level engine. On the other hand, the 2015 Mustang will have the EcoBoost engine that will give European buyers a more efficient and less expensive option than the Mustang GT.

In the world of the American muscle car, the entry level, non-V8 models are a major player considering a take rate of better than 50% and Ford’s rollout of the new 2.3L EcoBoost for the 2015 Mustang will give it an advantage overseas while giving American base model buyers a more exciting and more efficient engine option.


edsellj (not verified)    July 1, 2014 - 5:57PM

The ease of upgrading and the fact that Cobb will probably support this ecoboost version is enough to get rid of the v-6

Kevin (not verified)    August 6, 2014 - 6:46PM

In reply to by edsellj (not verified)

I was just talking to COBB today. They can't wait to get their hands on one. Trust me... the turbo Mustangs are going to kill the V8s since it is so inexpensive to pull 150 more HP out of a turbo car. Two years from now, when aftermarket parts are abundant, you will see aftermarket stock frame Mustang turbos that easily push 500 + hp from those cars for under $5K investment. My stock Evo X dynos at 236 HP at the wheels, which will be similar for the Mustang. I spent $1,500 in parts and tune, and got my car to 340 HP at the wheels. If a 2.0 liter Evo can make 1,000 HP, so can a Mustang. It will very much upset the general V8 population to see 4 bangers blow away their cars on straight line and the track. I, for one, welcome our tuner overlords.

tony (not verified)    November 16, 2014 - 6:54PM

In reply to by Kevin (not verified)

Mustang ecoboost already has the jump on your evo and many other v6 engines. .. i saw a you tube video where they took a stock 2.3 ecoboost slapped it on the dyno and it pulled 280ish in hp and 270ish in tq... it has a twin scroll turbo and it wont take much to get 100 to 150 more at the wheels. A bigger down pipe , intercooler, a cold air intake will probably get you 320 to 325 at the wheels... a tune and a boost on psi will put you at the door step of a coyote 5.0

Kevin (not verified)    November 17, 2014 - 3:10PM

In reply to by tony (not verified)

The problem with the mustang is going to be cooling. That IC is the size of the Fiestas, and the people at COBB have noticed big power drops due to heat soak. There is no room height wise to make it bigger, so double wide cores will be needed.

Up yours (not verified)    July 1, 2014 - 9:26PM

Get your facts straight. 3.7 v6 was not offered until 2011 model. The 2010 mustang used the old iron block 4.0 v6 which is pathetic in power and mpg. 3.7 v6 will serve ford and Lincoln for another half decade. Try a Honda v6 then.

G... (not verified)    July 22, 2014 - 9:35PM

In reply to by Up yours (not verified)

"The 3.7L V6 that will serve as the base model engine in the 2015 Ford Mustang has been the entry level engine in the fabled pony car since 2010 (for the 2011 model year) "
They got the facts right you just read what you wanted to read. Honda V-6, they're ok but Mustangs and Accords are totally different animals.

Jon Smith (not verified)    February 26, 2015 - 7:00PM

In reply to by Up yours (not verified)

He said 2010 then in parentheses said 2011 model year. Read more carefully before you start spewing your ill words and hate and making yourself look like a moron. Not to mention it is a known fact Ford is pushing the Ecoboost line very hard and with government requirements making automakers produce higher MPG every year, turbo 4 cylinders are the way of the future. Kia has a 1.6 turbo that puts out 201 hp stock and requires only regular unleaded fuel, VW has a similar 1.8 that does 170 and also requires only regular unleaded fuel as opposed to premium. Whether you like it or not, your only options are going to be turbocharged 4 cylinders or V-8's in the very near future.

jpowell1983 (not verified)    July 2, 2014 - 7:54AM

Above poster beat me to it- 3.7l was an all-new engine for Ford in the 2011 model Mustang. All aluminum, high-tech, and first appeared in the 2007 Lincoln MKZ. It is FAR from being considered outdated and in pony cars it is widely accepted as the best base model engine. With evolutionary refinement nobody would be shocked to see highway MPGs in the mid-30 range while delivering peak hp numbers around 350. All without the extra mechanical & moving parts of a turbo.

KC (not verified)    July 2, 2014 - 10:34AM

I bought my 2011 V6 Convertible in May of 2010. I believe the author was referring to the calendar year of its application rather than model year. However, since model years are how cars are discussed, he should have noted "2011 model year Mustang". So mistake of omission rather than commission. Either way, no, I do not believe my engine is in any way outdated. There is a large modding community for all things Mustang including my 3.7. And my engine is NOT stock. :-)

Patrick Rall    July 2, 2014 - 8:13PM

My apologies for not being more specific...the 3.7L V6 became available for purchase during 2010 for the 2011 model year - not for the 2010 model year. Ive edited that segment to reflect the proper years and availability.

brody (not verified)    July 2, 2014 - 11:03PM

I am a ford technician and own a 2011 3.7l mustang and a 2013 f150 3.7l. I love both of these vehicles. And in my professional opinion the 3.7l v6 is the most reliable engine that ford offers right now. Given the fact that its only been a few years and were only now starting to see high milage 3.7l vehicles come in for sevice but still no issues. The 3.7l is a rock solid power house that is not going anywhere but up. Im looking to buy the 2015 when it arrives, id like to test the eco boost but im still leaning towards the 3.7l. The power difference on paper isnt enough to sway me from what I know to be a great power plant in the 3.7l

Nathan (not verified)    July 16, 2014 - 6:51PM

I would not be embarrassed at all to be seen driving an i4 mustang. I love the coyote v8 to death, but if I could buy a track pack 4 cyl and fit it with an aftermarket chip to bridge the gap (as I'm sure you all know most factory turbocharged engines are not put into production at any where near their peak of potential) while I wait for the warranty to run out, I'd be happy. After the warranty goes apply a larger turbo and you would be well over the 420hp a coyote makes and still get better gas mileage. By the way, what a great looking car! The trunk lid looks weird to me, but if that's the greatest diminishing factor of the car then they did a fantastic job.

Patrick (not verified)    July 17, 2014 - 2:07AM

The SVO was not a mid-level model slotted between the base and GT. It was a top-end model slotted above the GT and was considerably more expensive.

ak-Mustang (not verified)    July 19, 2014 - 5:01PM

When I heard of the eco-boost engine I was hoping Ford would put in the SHO of F150 engine in the Mustang. This would fit nicely at 365hp between the 305hp V6 and he 400hp+ of the 5.0/GT.

I currently have a 2013 V6 and love its power and light, and precise handling. I really wanted the 50th Anniversary edition to be special. I guess I am UNDERWHELMED. What are the weight differences between the v6 and 2.3L 4 in-line. And therefore, what are the differences between the two models in 0-60mph times.

PLEASE Ford, make the eco-Boost SHO engine available and use the 2.3L turbo 4 for the EU and as the base car. Are we all Americans here. Let's support American Muscle... Thanks.

Glenn (not verified)    July 26, 2014 - 12:02AM

I am anxiously awaiting the I-4 Turbo Mustang, a convertible. I have owned a '66 2+2 Mustang, '70 Mach I w/351 Cleveland engine, '95 5-0 GT, 99 GT convertible and for my 50th birthday bought myself an '02GT convertible. It has a Vortec Supercharger and 400+rear wheel horsepower. I also own a 2013 Genesis Coupe 2.0 Turbo, 274hp, an awesome ride, very powerful and quick. Cruising @ 80mph on the interstate I get 29.9-30mpg. So I anticipate from the new Turbo Mustang, great power and performance and great mileage. I've driven the '14 5.0 GT and the V6 Mustangs, they both perform very well, especially the GT, but I want the mph and performance. I've seen the 'old' 2.3 Turbo Mustang's blow the doors off many modified V8's. I love my 4.6 supercharged V8 '02 Mustang, the performance, the sound of the 40series flowmasters, but the gas mileage sucks. So I'm planning on the '15 Turbo Mustang convertible, it will be my next 'badhorse'.

eric (not verified)    August 4, 2014 - 5:13PM

The new 2015 mustang looks real nice but the designer has turned it into a two seater unlike the mustang I had long ago. It had a under powered big 3.8 v-6 engine. The automatic I first had was slow so when i brought my second mustang with a manual transmission ''big difference''. Any way I had room for four adults in my car back then but this new mustang you can't fit but short people in the back seat. People expect power from a mustang so this ecoboost had better have a strong boost. I think that ford needs to impove the mustang by adding all wheel drive to the car just like the audi and subaru cars have for that much better year round traction like in the winter snow so you won't get stuck. I'd love to buy another mustang but I got stuck back in the day because it was rear wheel drive. People should check out the 2016 mustang the doors on that model swing up. I do miss my old mustang model that could fit two adults in the back with the manual transmission.

Richard Baker (not verified)    August 5, 2014 - 12:24PM

This engine will change minds about 4-cylinder engines but folks remember the Mustang II when it had an I-4. My opinion is that eventually the Ford line will be all EcoBoost except for diesel applications.

Diego M (not verified)    August 13, 2014 - 12:47PM

"EcoBoost is just plain better than the 3.7L V6…"...MY ASS. A 4 cylinder is far less balanced as an engine than a V6...anyone in the motor world will tell you that...who cares about the extra 5hp if you are squeezing the hell out of 4 cylinders. Moreover you will be extremely limited on mods...I foresee the classic Euro car issue...after 40k miles the engine is yesterday's garbage! ...and I am someone who owned numerous sports cars back in Europe that were all 4 cylinder supercharged or turbo. The great thing about American cars is their longevity...we'll see about this engine...

Jon Smith (not verified)    February 26, 2015 - 7:12PM

In reply to by Diego M (not verified)

You sir, clearly know nothing of engines if you posted is what you believe to be true. There are turbocharged 4 cylinders that run 9 second 1/4 miles! I'd like to see a v-6 do that! Even getting a v-8 to do that you have to go large Cu. In. Big block. You get way more than just 5 hp turbocharging a 4 cylinder slick. I owned a GST Eclipse, easily drove for over 100k miles and blew the doors off of every v-6 that got in my way and many v-8s. Not to mention I could outlast them on long road trips due to my great gas mileage. Educate yourself before you speak next time.

William Steele (not verified)    April 7, 2015 - 8:33AM

In reply to by Jon Smith (not verified)

You need to rethink your position before you speak. You seem to know very little yourself about engines. There are V6 motors that can at least hit the low 10's in the quarter and they can go over 100k miles. As for this new Ecoboost 4cyl, remember that it is direct injected and will suffer from the same problems inherent with the design, IE carbon buildup, not to mention that it is an unproven block so we will have to see how it will hold up under mods. Educate yourself before you decide to write about something you clearly do not know about.

Rick (not verified)    September 17, 2014 - 8:53AM

In My opinion the 3.7 V6 is the greatest base engine ever put in a Mustang. I love it. I hate that Ford is trying to water it down to push this boosted 4 banger Chevy will have a good year if they keep their 323 Horse Power V6.

[email protected] (not verified)    June 26, 2015 - 10:56AM

The V6 with a ProCharger set to 9 lbs of boost makes 457 RWHP and 30 mpg on the highway which is more HP than the V8 at 435 HP at the fly wheel! The ProCharger is an additional $5000 which is still cheaper than the V8. Ford is making a mistake if they remove the V6.