Ford might soon be slotting in an additional engine to the (non-Shelby) Mustang range, sitting midway between the entry-level EcoBoost four-pot and V8-powered GT. This was previously filled by a 3.7-litre naturally aspirated Cyclone V6 option, though that engine was not made available in most overseas markets and was canned outright by the 2018 model year.
According to correspondence between Hagerty and a Ford representative, the Dearborn-based automaker might be planning to share more news early into Q2 of 2019. However, it was also reported that recent filings with America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show the 2020 non-Shelby Mustangs having 3 engine options.
Since the exit of the six-cylinder Mustang, the range has had a tougher time competing against mid-pack variants of competitors like the Chevrolet Camaro 3LT and the base Dodge Challenger, both of which are equipped with a 3.6-litre naturally aspirated V6.
While the 2.3-litre EcoBoost in the current Mustang is powerful and does outgun the equivalent four-cylinder option from Chevrolet, it doesn't quite measure up to the larger displacement motor in terms of power despite keeping pace with it handily for torque, fuel consumption, and emissions.
There are a couple of possible routes Ford might take with regard to this potentially new mid-spec Mustang. Tuners have been able to extract far more performance from the current EcoBoost, leaving the question of how much the company’s in-house team can (or dare to) offer while still maintaining a factory warranty.
It wouldn't take much to fettling to have it push out 300kW through some strengthened internals and a more robust turbocharger and intercooler setup. However, this approach might also be less exciting, and consequently, less marketable. That said, an engine revision similar to this could see the light of day in the next generation car to offer a substantial improvement over the current EcoBoost’s output.
A likelier path, in this writer’s opinion, would be to use a newer and more advanced V6, and the recently introduced 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged unit being deployed into the 2020 Explorer and Explorer ST seems to fit that bill perfectly.
As a spiritual replacement to the 3.7-litre Cyclone V6, the 3.0-litre bi-turbo EcoBoost already sees action in North America under the bonnets of the Lincoln MKZ and Continental. With Ford starting to introduce it into their larger volume models, the Mustang seems like an obvious choice given the expectations of its would-be buyers.
Depending on tune, the engine produces anywhere between 260kW in the Explorer Limited to 300kW in the Explorer ST with the potential to go even higher, and would neatly fill the gap between the 224kW Mustang EcoBoost and the 339kW GT, all while still delivering impressive fuel economy and relatively low emissions.
We’ll have to wait some months to see how this plays out, though there still is not guarantee that Ford will offer this third engine option for global markets, at least at the outset.