Basic Pony vs. Boosted Pony - How Does The Ecoboost Compare? - 2015 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Road Test

2015 Ford Mustang GT Long-Term Road Test

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2015 Ford Mustang GT: Basic Pony vs. Boosted Pony - How Does The Ecoboost Compare?

April 27, 2015

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Our 2015 Ford Mustang GT is quick. But the big news surrounding this latest pony is the four-cylinder version, which we've recently tested. Below, for your perusal, are the details of both tests.

The detail that matters, based only on my track driving, is obvious: The GT is the driver's car. Yes, it's heavier than the Ecoboost, but that extra 140 pounds vaporizes when it's up against the additional 125 horsepower the GT produces. Sure, the Ecoboost bears 131 fewer pounds on its front axle alone, and it's noticeable, but it's not an advantage that would sway me to the turbo four, even at less cost.

The GT is easier and more fun to drive because its additional power provides a meaningful influence over its chassis. Want to rotate the car on throttle? The GT obliges. Need to crawl out a slow corner one gear too high? The GT is your willing partner. Want engine sound with soul? Get the GT.

Both our long-termer and the Ecoboost came equipped with the Performance Package ($1,995 on the Ecoboost and $2,495 on the GT), which adds 19-inch summer tires, larger brakes, unique suspension tuning, a numerically higher axle ratio and more. As-tested prices are $45,490 for the GT and $38,455 for the Ecoboost.

Here are the results:

2015 Ford Mustang
Ecoboost 6MT

2015 Ford Mustang
GT 6MT

Curb weight as tested:

3,656

3,796

0-30 (sec.):

 2.2

 2.1

0-45 (sec.):

 3.9

 3.4

0-60 (sec.):

 5.9

 4.8

0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec.):

 5.7

 4.5

0-75 (sec.):

 8.4

 6.8

1/4-mile (sec @ mph):

 14.2 @ 96.7

 13.0 @ 111.4

30-0 (ft):

 27

 27

60-0 (ft):

 107

 108

Skid Pad Lateral Accel (g):

 .96

 .96

Slalom:

 70.2

69.5 

Vehicle: 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost 6MT
Odometer: 6,202
Date: 4/14/2015
Driver: Mike Monticello/Josh Jacquot
Price: $38,455
Specifications: 
Configuration: Longitudinal front-engine rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed manual
Engine Type: Turbocharged, direct-injected inline 4-cylinder, gasoline
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,300/140
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 310 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 320 @ 2,500-4,500
Brake Type (front): 13.9-in one-piece ventilated cast-iron discs with 4-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13.0-in one-piece ventilated cast-iron discs with 1-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts with dual lower ball joints, coil springs, monotube dampers, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, monotube dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 255/40ZR19 96Y
Tire Size (rear): 255/40R19 96Y
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: PZero
Tire Type: Summer
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,656
Test Results:
Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.2 (2.5w/ TC on) 
0-45 (sec): 3.9 (4.4 w/ TC on) 
0-60 (sec): 5.9  (6.5 w/ TC on) 
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 5.7 (6.3 w/ TC on) 
0-75 (sec): 8.4 (9.1 w/ TC on) 
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 14.2 @ 96.7 (14.8 @ 94.9 w/ TC on)
Braking 
30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 107
Handling
Slalom (mph): 70.2 (68.0 w/ ESC on) 
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): .94g (.96 w/ ESC on) 
RPM @ 70 mph: 2,100
Comments
Acceleration: I want to like this engine because I always wanted a Mustang SVO turbo four-cylinder from the 1980s. But this EcoBoost four is soul-less. It never sounds exciting, nor does it seem all that excited for the task at hand. It makes nondescript whirring noises rather than a nice engine or exhaust note. That said, there's plenty of torque, it gets out of the hole with lots of wheelspin if you want. The shifter isn't the most positive-feeling piece ever, but I never missed a gear. The drivetrain didn't seem happy with quick-shifting/quick clutch action. Feels like there's some kind of torque reduction with hard shifts. Sometimes after a quick 1-2 or 2-3 shift, power would be dramatically reduced, ruining the run. It happened several times, but never both shifts in the same run. Very frustrating, especially when it followed a good launch. The rev limiter cuts in initially at 6,800 rpm, but if you leave it bouncing there it drops back down to 6,500 rpm.

Braking: Excellent braking performance with some nosedive and a solid-feeling pedal throughout the exercise. Zero side-to-side movement or squirm from the tires. The first stop was the shortest at 107 feet, the fourth stop was the longest at 110 feet and the fifth and final stop was slightly more than 107 feet.

Handling: Slalom: Remarkably sharp. Having 130 pounds less weight on the front axle than the 5.0 makes a big difference. Front end tracks well and is responsive through transitions. Good body control. Well damped. The performance pack makes a huge difference in the Mustang's handling manners. Skid pad: Though it lacks the power to be balanced easily on the throttle, there's still decent response to throttle position changes and really impressive grip here. Offers good control. A fun-handling car.

2015 Ford Mustang GT

Vehicle: 2015 Ford Mustang GT 6MT
Odometer: 1,747
Date: 1/13/15
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $45,490
Specifications: 
Configuration: Longitudinal front-engine rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed manual
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated, port-injected V8, gasoline
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 4,951/302
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 435 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 400 @ 4,250
Brake Type (front): 15.0-inch one-piece ventilated with 6-piston fixed calipers
Brake Type (rear): 13.0-inch one-piece ventilated with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts with dual lower ball joints, monotube dampers, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, monotube dampers, stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 255/40ZR19 96Y
Tire Size (rear): 275/40ZR19 101Y
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: PZero
Tire Type: Summer
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,796
Test Results:
Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.1 (2.3 w/ TC on) 
0-45 (sec): 3.4 (3.6 w/ TC on) 
0-60 (sec): 4.8 (5.3 w/ TC on) 
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.5 (5.0 w/ TC on) 
0-75 (sec): 6.8 (7.0 w/ TC on) 
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph):13.0 @ 111.4 (13.2 @ 110.8 w/ TC on)
Braking 
30-0 (ft): 27
60-0 (ft): 108
Handling
Slalom (mph): 69.3 (69.5 w/ ESC on) 
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): .94 (.96 w/ ESC on) 
RPM @ 70 mph: 2,000
Comments
Acceleration: Though we found it inconsistent, the best launch was executed using the GT's launch control, which is easy to trigger. It launches by default from 3,000 rpm and launch control still bogs the Stang's engine off the line. It is adjustable between 3,000 and 4,500 rpm and was quicker than any launch we could produce using mild wheelspin. It's not easy to feed the Mustang's clutch in without either bogging the engine or boiling the tires. Gear ratios are close and shifts are rapid thanks the Mustang's fantastic short-throw shifter. It barely makes the quarter-mile in fourth gear, however.

Braking: Pedal travel is minimal and fade is non-existent in this test. Though every stop wasn't identical, the difference can't be attributed to heat in the brakes. Engagement, which is solid and high in the travel, never changes. These are confident brakes. There's still ample dive during braking, but the Mustang stops straight every time.

Handling: Slalom: Though its numbers probably don't make it the best-handling Mustang ever (Boss 302, anyone?), the 2015 GT shows how much potential there is in the IRS platform. Surface inconsistencies matter less than they ever have before and this Mustang transitions confidently. Its ESC is tuned remarkably well, too. In "Track" mode the ESC threshold expands enough to allow a moderate slide before it steps in. In fact, you'll be slowing yourself down before it does. Skid pad: Front grip is translated very well to the driver, which is a new trait in the Mustang. This makes it easy to walk right up the limits of the front tires before backing off and balancing the car on the throttle. It also rotates well off throttle. It's a shame this car is so needlessly large because it would be awesome at 7/8ths scale.

Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor


2015 Ford Mustang

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