2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package Review

2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package Review


last time I was
driving a Ford Mustang it
was a 2019 Shelby GT-350,
and I got to hammer that
thing around a racetrack.

Best Mustang ever.
Now, I’m with this Ford Mustang.
And while it has MagneRide
suspension, a big brake kit,
and summer high
performance tires
it’s missing a few
things, like cylinders.
Welcome to the 2020
Ford Mustang EcoBoost
with the high
performance package.

So what do you get when you
get a high performance package?
Well, I should note that
this particular car has
the optimal handling package
on top of the high performance
package, so you
get these wheels,
which are specific to
the handling package.
You also get these
Pirelli P Zero
course of four tires, which
are unique to just this car,
and we’ll talk more
about this later.
But behind these wheels
is a big brake kit,
and these brakes are
straight off of a V8 GT.
And they had to put
these on the car
because the level of
performance is so much higher
and so is the top speed.
It’s now 255 miles an
hour, so the brakes
are important on this car.
Because it has
these brakes, they
re-profiled the front of
the car and the belly pan,
that’s also off of a GT,
to allow for brake cooling
at both high and low speeds.
And they also added that front
splitter on the front of it.
Hopefully that works too.

So this engine is essentially
out of a Focus RS.
Rumor has it that they
had an old Focus hanging
around the proving grounds.
One night they asked
themselves, will
that engine fit in this car?
They tried it and it fit.
So they went to
Valencia, Spain where
they make the RS engines, asked
them if they could make one,
and they made it.
It fits.

Makes 332 horsepower,
which is less than
what the Focus RS made,
but that’s largely
because the engine
is longitudinally
mounted in this
car, so that means
they didn’t have as much room
for the intercooler in front
of it.
Also that horsepower figure,
is quoted on 93 octane gas.
We don’t get that in California.

This engine actually runs
a larger turbocharger,
63 millimeter twin scroll, that
was designed and engineered
in-house by some guy at Ford.
Carl Widmann, the chief engineer
for Mustang, asked the guy hey,
do you have any free time
left over to work on this?
The guy went, yeah.
Do you have any like Mustang
swag I could have in return?
Seriously, that’s how
they design the turbo.
I really hope that
story is true.

This engine makes 350
foot pounds of torque,
and 90% of that is available
between 2,500 and 5300 RPM.
That’s a broader
torque range than what
was available in the Focus
RS, but it suits the character
of the Mustang pretty well.
It also works really well
in the 10-speed automatic.
We had a chance to
sample that car earlier
and I was very surprised.
You don’t lose anything
driving the automatic,
but I kind of prefer the manual.

Ford’s claiming that 0 to
60 time, with the automatic,
should be in the mid to
upper four second range.
Think about that for a second–
mid to upper four seconds
for a four cylinder Mustang.
I should mention
these Recaro seats.
These are fantastic.
They’re comfortable, hold
you well, they breathe well.
No complaints.
If you can get these
seats, get these seats.
By not having that
V8 in the nose,
there’s actually 200 pounds less
weight in the front of the car,
and that might not
seem like a lot,
but you notice it immediately.
The car turns in with
an eagerness that’s
really similar to the GT-350.
That’s amazing.

Also part of the
handling package
are Pirelli P Zero
course of fours,
which are unique to this car.
But those tires provide a
great balance of grip and fun
and they’re very predictable.
I can tell where the
limits are all the time
and that’s just great
on a road like this.
They say all good
roads are bad roads
and this central California
road is no exception.
I think it’s gotten worse
since the last time I was here.
But it serves to highlight how
stiff this car suspension is,
but it also highlights how
good the MagneRide shocks are.
There’s very little compression,
not a lot of body movement,
and the tires are always
planted on the ground, which
is what you want in this road.

Another part of
the handling pack
is a 355 Torsen limited slip.
It gives you good
acceleration but also
gives you excellent traction
coming in and out of corners.
They’ve retooled the
MagneRide they’ve
re-tuned the stability
control and the ABM system
to allow you to
trail brake the car.
It’ll actually rotate just the
tiniest bit going into corners
and it’s a lot of fun.
It’s something you wouldn’t
expect that a car this size.
With this car’s broad power
band, excellent traction,
quick front end,
really good brakes,
Ford has essentially
built a momentum Mustang.
Who would’ve thought
that was possible?

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