2011 Ford Mustang GT 5.0: Is there a Hi-Po EcoBoost on the way?
January 26, 2012
With the new year, we learned the 5.0L V8 in the 2013 Mustang GT will be rated at 420 hp (from 412 hp in the current model). For track-day regulars, a new Track Pack package for manual-transmission GT models will include an engine oil cooler, an upgraded radiator, a 3.73 rear axle ratio, performance brake pads, and the same limited-slip differential now found on the Boss 302 model. That's just 24 horses shy of the Boss (assuming the 2013 model doesn't also receive some performance upgrades) with a lot of the same bits. This news kind of puts a great big target on the trunk of the Boss. Considering how close our long-term 5.0 already is to the last Boss we tested, what is Ford going to do?
It's been confirmed that there will be some sort of EcoBoost version of the Mustang, but exactly what that means is still a mystery. Do you think Ford is going for CAFE numbers and will offer some sort of frugal 4-cylinder turbo in the range of 270 hp like the Buick Regal? Or do you think it'll be something like the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 from the Lincoln MKS in the neighborhood of 355 hp? Finally, and here's the plea: How about shoe-horning something between the current Boss 302's 444-hp naturally aspirated V8 and the 2013 GT500's 600-hp supercharged V8? Is there a chance of a turbocharged V8 making something around 500 hp. If so, what should Ford call it? Will they resurrect the Mach 1 again?
Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton