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mustang ecoboost engine

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Engine

The Ford Mustang gets an exciting redesign to celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. While the media will concentrate on the new styling, Mustang lovers everywhere have to be excited about what’s new under the sheet metal.

Size matters — or doesn’t it? The 2015 EcoBoost engine is going to be smaller in displacement, while still delivering quality performance for Mustang drivers in a variety of conditions. A flat torque curve will deliver strong power for highway speeds.  Under the hood, the base V-6 and the latest iteration of the “Coyote” V-8 return. In a move that is sure to stir the most vigorous discussion in the Mustang community, these two engines will be joined by a 2.3L EcoBoost I-4.

How Does EcoBoost Differ From the Average Mustang Engine?

EcoBoost is Ford’s appellation for its family of turbocharged, small-displacement engines. Every EcoBoost engine is turbocharged and features direct injection technology. On the EcoBoost engines, the fuel is injected directly into the combustion chamber, rather than the intake manifold. This allows engineers to exercise much more precise control over the fuel delivery, which improves efficiency and allows for higher compression ratios. As a result, Ford has created an engine with some impressive power and efficiency numbers.

2.3-liter ecoboost engine

Mustang Models

This year, Ford will offer multiple engine models for Mustang-enthusiasts to choose from. These include:

mustang engine comparisons

  • Mustang V-6

Returning to the 2015 Ford Mustang is the 3.7L V-6 “Cyclone” engine from the previous generation. The engine has undergone some minor changes for the new car, and basic power and performance numbers are down a bit.

This engine helped the previous Mustang V-6 make history by becoming the first production car to produce 300 HP and an EPA-certified 30 MPG highway. It occupies the bottom rung of the engine ladder here as the least powerful and least expensive option. It will be available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, the latter coming with standard paddle shifters.

The spec line for this engine runs like this: 300HP @ 6500 RPM, 280 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM. Fuel economy takes a hit as well, checking in at 19/28.

  • Mustang GT

The 5.0L V-8 “Coyote” engine also returns in the Mustang GT, but not without some substantial changes. These improvements bump power output up 15 HP from the previous motor. The GT will start $8500 higher than the base model, but the engine will be accompanied by several chassis and braking improvements to justify the premium — this is everything we have come to expect from the GT.

The spec line is 435 HP @ 6500 RPM, 400 lb-ft at 4250 RPM. Fuel economy estimates are 16/25. It will also be available with both manual and automatic transmission.

  • Ford Mustang EcoBoost

This year, Ford has included its 2.3L I-4 EcoBoost engine as an option. This is a brand new engine, although it was introduced in a less-potent form in the 2015 Lincoln MKC crossover a few months before the Mustang. This means we’ll have a 4-cylinder Mustang for the first time in less than thirty years. This isn’t merely a play for fuel efficiency, as Ford has worked up this turbo motor to produce a robust 310 HP @ 5500 RPM, and 320 lb-ft at only 3000 RPM with a remarkably flat torque curve. At 5500 RPM, the engine is still cranking out 296 lb-ft.

The twin-scroll turbo sports a compression ratio of 10.5:1. The engine also makes use of Ford’s twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) technology, so they are busting out every trick in their book on this one. The Mustang EcoBoost will tip the scales at 3532 pounds with base trim and a manual transmission. The automatic transmission shaves 8 pounds off that figure, at 3524 pounds.

If you’re keeping track, this engine produces 10 more HP and 40 more lb-ft than the base V-6. EPA ratings for the 2015 2.3L I-4 Ford Mustang EcoBoost clock in at 21/32/25. The Mustang EcoBoost’s price tag will carry a $1570 premium over the base model V-6. It will prefer 93-octane fuel, but can run just fine on regular.

Ford has offered a 2.3L Turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in a Mustang before, in the forms of the Mustang Turbo GT and Mustang SVO from 1983 to 1986. That engine suffered problems with reliability — it was also more expensive than the V-8 option. Car enthusiasts don’t pay more for less, so it was a bit of a failure.

Why Buy the Mustang EcoBoost?

Ford certainly hopes you opt for the Mustang EcoBoost. Output for the base model V-6 engine is mysteriously down 5 HP from last year, perhaps to create some breathing room for the new EcoBoost motor. The EcoBoost also tops the fuel economy pyramid in the Mustang stable, posting better EPA numbers as the previous Mustang’s V-6.

ecoboost engine stats

Improved fuel economy and reduced carbon emissions are great for the environment, but Mustang owners refuse to compromise on performance. With the Mustang EcoBoost, they won’t have to. The Ford Mustang has always been a performance bargain, and 310 HP for a base price around $25,000 is hard to beat. Ford also hasn’t even come close to maxing out the potential of this engine. Gearheads should have plenty of upgrade options in the aftermarket.

The Drive

With the introduction of an independent rear suspension, the handling and cornering characteristics of the car have changed pretty dramatically. Previous Mustangs have been at their best in a straight line, true to their muscle car personas. The 2015 Mustang — thanks to its modernized rear suspension setup — has earned true sports car credibility. Cornering and braking characteristics are much flatter, and body roll, squat and dive have all been reeled in.

The massive torque of the EcoBoost propels the Mustang with authority both off the line and at highway speeds. Skeptics and purists should be satisfied by the performance of this engine. For those pony car purists who require an authentic soundtrack, a 4-cylinder engine is never going to have the throaty growl of a V-8 or the banshee wail of a V-6. But Ford is still working on ways to give the EcoBoost engine a voice that can fit with the big boys.

Other EcoBoost Variations

Ford has created even more variations to its prized EcoBoost engine:

  • 1.0L 1-3

This 3-cylinder engine makes 123 HP, and it is EPA-rated 31/43/36 when dropped into a Ford Fiesta with a 5-speed manual. Getting the balancing right to keep the engine from rocking straight out of its mounts was a bit of an engineering marvel, and the results have been solid. Ford is planning to offer this engine as a more fuel-efficient option in the Ford Focus starting in 2015.

  • 1.5L I-4

To explain the existence of this engine, we must look to the world of politics. Chinese vehicle regulations draw a line in tax rates at 1.5L. Since its overhaul in 2013, the Ford Fusion has carried the 1.6L EcoBoost I-4 (below). However, Ford is hoping to follow up the Focus’s surprising success in the Chinese market with its big brother Fusion.

By shaving a mere 100cc off the displacement of the 1.6, Ford can save themselves a tremendous amount of money in importation taxes just to get the cars into the market. The 1.5L I-4 makes 181 HP in the Fusion, and it has replaced the 1.6 entirely in the model’s lineup.

  • 1.6L I-4

Capable of making 197 HP in the Ford Fiesta ST, this engine has seen duty pushing out 180 HP in the Ford Fusion and Escape. When paired with FWD in a 2014 Escape, the 1.6 is rated 23/32/26 by the EPA, which is excellent for a Crossover.

  • 2.0L I-4

The most widely-used of the EcoBoostengines, Ford includes this 2.0L variation in five different models. Putting out 240 HP, the 2.0L can be found in the Escape, Fusion, Taurus and Edge. Tuned up to 252 HP, this engine provides the heartbeat for the wicked Focus ST.

  • 2.7L V-6

A newer variation, the 2.7L will be found in the 2015 Ford F150 EcoBoost and 2015 Edge Sport, making 325 HP. The 2015 F150 will still offer the 3.5L V-6 EcoBoost, but the 2.7L will offer a more fuel-efficient option for owners who won’t need to tow as much or as often.

  • 3.5L V-6

Available in several vehicles, the largest of the EcoBoost engines makes 365 HP in its most common configuration. In the F150, it equals the tow rating of the larger, naturally-aspirated 6.2L V-8. This engine also pulls double duty as the power plant for the Taurus SHO and Interceptor police cruisers. It also serves as an optional engine for the Explorer Sport, Flex, Expedition, and several Lincoln models.

EcoBoost Goals

The term EcoBoost suggests the two primary goals of this family of engines: Increased performance (boost) in a much smaller and more efficient package (Eco).

Turbocharging technology is designed to maximize the power output of an engine. Turbos have traditionally been used to bump up performance in the realm of sports car and super cars. The technology was expensive and unreliable, so only the luxury brands and fast-car makers found it economically feasible to spend the engineering dollars on bringing them to the market. Automotive history has seen a few turbo engines find success in the mass consumer segments, but when given the choice, the American public has opted for the larger-displacement option. Bigger is better, right?

This reveals the heart of the matter: Why the recent renaissance in turbo technology? Put simply, a turbocharger can boost the performance of any size engine. What it does for a massive 5.3L V-8, it can also do for a 1.4L 4-cylinder. Previously, auto makers haven’t seen the need for these small engine sizes. However, with the specter of CAFE hanging over the industry’s collective head, turbocharged, small displacement engines are proving to be a compelling solution for the power/efficiency quandary.

Advancements in technology and engineering know-how have led to higher compression ratios, better reliability, and other improvements designed specifically to fight turbo lag. These factors have all contributed to increased manufacturer confidence in turbo technology.

Corporate Average Fuel Economy

In the wake of the Arab Oil Embargo in 1975, Congress enacted a set of regulations known as Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) — a ridiculously complex set of equations that set standard MPG figures for each manufacturer, with penalties for falling short.

The standards remained in place until 2006, when amendments were attempted. Those specific amendments were rejected in the courts, but the next year, President George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act. This raised the target to 35 MPG, and it changed the way the CAFE targets were computed. In 2011, the Obama administration announced an overhaul of the CAFE fuel standards, introducing a new target of 54.5 MPG for all passenger cars and light duty trucks. However, the regulations aren’t nearly as cut-and-dry as one single MPG figure.

First, the new CAFE regulations have changed the way standards for specific vehicles are calculated. The target each individual model has is determined by its “footprint.” The footprint is a vehicle’s wheelbase multiplied by its track width. The individual model targets are then multiplied by its sales figures and fed into a larger equation to determine the CAFE target for the manufacturer.

As a result of this fancy regulatory footwork, no two automakers have the exact same real-world CAFE target. That 54.5 number is just a “sound byte” figure. And because the procedure for determining the CAFE figures has not evolved with the EPA procedures, the CAFE targets do not hold a 1:1 correlation to EPA fuel economy numbers. Confused yet?

Ford’s Response to CAFE

The bottom line for any CAFE confusion is that Ford has aggressively implemented its line of EcoBoost engines across its entire vehicle lineup. While the regulations are more forgiving for larger vehicles, the fact that the F150 is Ford’s best-selling vehicle puts Ford at a disadvantage when compared to companies like Honda and Toyota. As a result, Ford must pursue every available possibility when it comes to improving the fuel efficiency of its popular pickup.

Ford has implemented aluminum extensively in the new 2015 F150, trimming a claimed 700 pounds off the outgoing model. This can be attributed at least partially to the increased use of aluminum. The addition of the EcoBoost engine to the F150 lineup will also help push the fuel economy further up the scale.

ecoboost f-150

The Ford F150 Ecoboost and the Ford Mustang EcoBoost will definitely be front and center in Ford’s marketing campaigns for the coming year. When considering CAFE, it becomes clear that Ford will do just about anything to ensure that these fuel-efficient versions of their two flag-bearers see healthy sales numbers.

Keep Up With EcoBoost News

Ford hasn’t set an exact release date for the 2015 Mustang, but the rumors indicate that Ford is already taking orders for dealer inventory. This means the official release date can’t be too far away, depending on the size and volume of the dealer.

When the dust settles, the 2015 Ford Mustang should join the ranks of the original 1965 and the Mach II as the best cars in Mustang history. It is certainly the most anticipated Mustang we can remember.

Browse our selection of EcoBoost parts, and shop for the parts you need to get even more out of that EcoBoost motor — make your 2015 Mustang the baddest pony on the block. Or browse our collection of Mustang accessories and show everyone a piece of American automotive history. You won’t find a better selection or better prices for your Mustang parts than at CJ Pony Parts. Shop our online store, and receive free same day shipping anywhere in the Continental United States!

We’re constantly adding new inventory, so check back often for the latest deals and news about the 2015 Mustang Ecoboost Engine.


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