2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Coupe Review By Steve Purdy +VIDEO
REVIEW 2015 MUSTANG COUPE PREMIUM W/EcoBoost I4
...thrust on full throttle to red line and this Mustang will make you gasp with pleasure, keep the revs up on a twisty back road and you might wonder why anyone would need more?
By Steve Purdy
The Auto Channel
The “pony car” that started it all in the mid 1960s just experienced a full makeover to begin its sixth generation. In this reviewer’s view the new car both continues the tradition and takes a bold step forward.
We just spent some quality time with the 2015 Mustang Premium with 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder and six-speed manual transmission. What a hoot! It added some excitement to an otherwise cold and dreary winter week here in mid Michigan. Other than being a struggle to enter and exit the driver’s seat for this bigger-than-justifiable guy we found it a real treat.
The fully updated interior maintains a distinct homage to the original pony car as did the just-replaced car, but this one projects an added simplicity. Like some other Ford products, I found many of the control buttons and screen icons a bit too small to be easily managed. The Mustang has a series of four toggles at the bottom of the center stack that are not well marked for daytime use but light up fine at night. Those seem a bit gimmicky to me. Front seats are well bolstered and comfortable but rears are nearly useless. You may be able to fit a couple of small people back there if the front seats are positioned most of the way forward. The information I have on the car says the rear seat backs fold, but I could not find a way to do it and I’m too stubborn to go dig out the manual.
From every angle the new Mustang projects more design drama, from the more sleek and angular grille and headlight design to the sequential LED taillights. It looks lower and longer with more distinctive character lines all around the car including a more steeply raked C-pillar. Both the grille and the tail slope forward for a more aggressive look. The blackened gaping grille has the simple Mustang badge suspended within.
Having a car that turns heads and enlists comments from strangers in parking lots is part of the charm of this kind of car. In spite of its subdued silver color and lack of embellishments the drama the Ford designers have added to the car is striking enough to attract the eye of folks not generally intrigued by automobiles. One fellow at Zukey Lake Tavern noticed the manufacturer’s license plate and assumed it was a development car. He was surprised when I told him it was off-the-shelf and even more surprised when I revealed that it’s powered by a four-cylinder engine.
So, let’s talk about that engine:
It is hard to imagine a four-banger powering a Camaro or Challenger but this turbocharged, direct-injected 2.3-liter EcoBoost is a sweet power plant for the Mustang boasting more horsepower at 310, and torque at 320, than the normally aspirated, 3.7-liter V6. The EPA rates this powertrain at 21 mpg in the city, 32 on the highway and 25 mpg combined with premium fuel recommended. We managed 24.7 mpg during our week of mixed driving. As you may guess, I was not driving in a style designed to maximize fuel mileage. The 15.5-gallon fuel tank makes for a decent cruising range considering the expected mileage.
Suspension designs both front and rear are all new as well. An independent double ball joint front and integral link system in the rear represent a departure from previous designs but I could discern no substantial difference. This, by the way, is the first independent rear suspension for Mustang.
So, how does it all feel, you ask?
Impressive, I retort.
Thrust on full throttle to red line will make you gasp with pleasure. Keep the revs up on a twisty back road and you might wonder why anyone would need more. The torque comes on early because of the sophisticated twin-scroll (small and large veins within one unit) turbo design. If you pay close attention you’ll feel a wisp of hesitation as the small and large scrolls interact. The six-speed manual provides a certain driving gratification for those of us who treasure that interaction. As an added treat the talented acoustic engineers at Ford have injected a thrilling throaty roar into the exhaust sound when we drive hard and fast. Suspension is firm and consistent. Steering is quick and predictable. I would love to get some track time with this charmer.
Speaking of track use, we have what Ford calls “Track Apps” included with this car. Those include: electronic line-lock (allows the front wheels to lock so you can warm up the rear rubber, or presumably make ‘em smoke), launch control to minimize rear wheel spin on take off, an accelerometer, an integrated stop watch and a memory to save your times on the track.
A base Mustang starts at just under $24,000 with nothing extra. That one would have the 300-hp 3.7-liter V6 with 6-speed manual transmission and 17-inch alloy wheels. Our test car, “Premium” trim level with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost, leather seats, navigation, 18-inch aluminum wheels, cool ambient and accent lighting, premium sound, push-button start and plenty more included content starts at just under $30,000. We have optional enhanced security, a wheel locking kit, adaptive cruise control, premier trim, reverse park assist and voice activation for the navigation system. The sticker for all this shows $34,865.
Ford’s new car warranty covers the Mustang for 3 years or 36,000 miles and the powertrain for 5 years or 60,000 miles.
Reflecting Ford’s new philosophy of going global with just about everything they make the new Mustang will be the first produced with right-hand drive and sold around the globe. Production so far comes entirely from the Flat Rock, MI assembly plant.
While traditionalists tend to complain every time the iconic pony car gets updated I think most potential customers would agree it gets improved each time. This is one of those cars that is instantly identifiable by even those who pay little attention to cars. It is also one of those cars that lends itself to a variety of after-market enhancement. We just got word that world-renowned designer Henrick Fisker is doing a version of the new Mustang in California, and Roush, of course, continues massaging it in a variety of ways as well.
Extra tall or extra big guys and gals might find it too hard to get in and out of, but everyone else, I expect, will find the new Mustang a winner.
©Steve Purdy, Shunpiker Productions, All Rights Reserved
What Ford Says About The 2015 Mustang
All-New Ford Mustang Offers High Performance with Sleek New Design and Innovative Tech
Loaded with innovative technologies and delivering high levels of performance and style, the all-new Mustang is the next chapter in the life of one of the world’s most iconic cars.
“Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford.”
Mustang’s impact goes well beyond the 9 million-plus cars sold in its 50 years of continuous production. It has made thousands of appearances in film, television, music and video games, and is the world’s most-liked vehicle on Facebook. For the first time ever, Ford will bring Mustang to customers in key parts of Europe and Asia.
The Mustang experience
The way Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the visceral experience that makes drivers just want to get in the driver’s seat and hit the road. The Mustang is the first car to offer four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines that each produce at least 300 horsepower. With more powertrain options to choose from, there is a Mustang to fit any lifestyle. The 3.7-liter V6 and upgraded 5.0-liter V8 are joined by an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang.
The Mustang’s EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to deliver plenty of usable performance across a broad RPM range. A unique intake manifold and turbocharger housing enable it to deliver the performance Mustang drivers expect with 310 horsepower* and 320 lb.-ft. of torque.*
“This EcoBoost engine delivers where a Mustang driver expects it to, with a broad, flat torque curve that pours out when you stand on it for easy passing or hustling down a twisty road,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Mustang chief engineer.
Mustang GT continues with the latest edition of the throaty 5.0-liter V8, now featuring an upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads that help boost output to 435 horsepower* and 400 lb.-ft. of torque*. A new intake manifold features charge motion control valves to partially close off port flow at lower engine speeds. This increases the air charge tumble and swirl for improved air-fuel mixing resulting in improved efficiency and idle stability.
With 300 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque on tap from the standard 3.7-liter V6, even the most accessible Mustang delivers the performance customers expect. Drivers will appreciate smoother shifts from the updated manual gearbox, while a reworked automatic transmission features new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for drivers who want the choice between convenience and control.
All-new shape, yet unmistakably Mustang
The clean-sheet design of both Mustang fastback and convertible evokes the essential character of the brand, retaining key design elements – including the long sculpted hood and short rear deck – with contemporary execution.
Several key design features define the all-new Mustang, including:
- A lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and track
- The return of Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile enabled by more steeply sloped windshield and rear glass
- Three-dimensional, tri-bar taillamps with sequential turn signals
- Contemporary execution of the signature shark-bite front fascia and trapezoidal grille
The information and controls an active driver needs are all readily accessible in the aviation-inspired cockpit, which is executed with the highest degree of craftsmanship ever found in a Mustang. Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomier cabin, while improved ergonomics and tactile switches and knobs provide better control. The added width and a new rear suspension contribute to improved shoulder and hip room for rear-seat passengers, and a more usefully shaped trunk can accommodate two golf bags.
Slipping through the air
Design and performance are two of the essential attributes that have made Mustang appeal to millions of fans for five decades. Performance can be improved by increasing the output of the powerplant or reducing the amount of work it has to do. The sleeker shape helps it slip through the air with less effort.
Each of Mustang’s three available engines gets a unique grille that allows in only as much air as that specific powerplant needs. Active grille shutters will help make the Mustang powered by the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine even more fuel efficient by further reducing drag at higher speeds when extra cooling capacity is not needed. The shutters can completely close off the grille, sending air over and around the car instead of through the engine compartment.
Carving up the curves
When life throws drivers a curve, the all-new Mustang sets new handling benchmarks for the brand, delivering world-class dynamics and ride quality.
Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride.
The new double-ball-joint front MacPherson strut system also enables the use of larger, more powerful brakes. The 2015 Mustang has the most capable brake lineup ever offered on a Mustang.
At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension. The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for this high-performance application. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.
Smarter than your average pony
The all-new Mustang features a significant amount of innovative technologies providing drivers with enhanced information, control and connectivity when they want it. From Intelligent Access with push-button start to SYNC® and MyKey® in every Mustang built, plus standard Track Apps™, MyColor® gauges and a new Shaker Pro Audio System, drivers will be able to customize their time behind the wheel.
The feeling of freedom and confidence Mustang instills in its drivers is amplified when they can take control of how the car behaves. On a twisty back road or a weekend track day, the driver can tap the toggle switches on the console to quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings using the available Selectable Drive Modes to create the perfect Mustang at any time.
The advanced new Ford-developed stability control system is tuned to maximize Mustang’s dynamic capabilities. When the time comes to turn up the wick at the track, Mustang GT includes standard launch control on manual-transmission models that enables drivers to achieve smooth, consistent starts every time.
When it’s time to back off and relax for the drive home, available advanced driver-assist features including Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control can help ease the load, while SYNC AppLink™ lets drivers control their smartphone apps to listen to their favorite form of entertainment.
Debuting on the 2015 Mustang are enhancements to the SYNC® 911 Assist® feature. The enhancements will provide the ability to deliver information such as the maximum change in velocity during impact, indication of crash type (front, side, rear or rollover), safety belt usage as detected by the vehicle, awareness of whether multiple impacts occurred and whether airbags were deployed.
More airbags, more high-strength steel
An all-new inflatable airbag restraint design provides the front seat passenger with knee airbag protection while significantly reducing system size and weight, enabling a roomier interior for more comfort. This new airbag is part of a standard comprehensive safety system that includes a more robust package of sensors, safety belt anchor pretensioners, improved exterior lighting and double the total number of airbags on the fastback Mustang.
50 years of Mustang
April 17, 2014, marked the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original Ford Mustang and each 2015 model celebrates the milestone with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.” Mustang will continue to be built in the United States at Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
“From day one, we knew if we were going to build a new Mustang, we had to do it right,” said Pericak. “We built a new Mustang from the ground up that is quicker, better-looking, more refined and more efficient, without losing any of the raw appeal that people have associated with Mustang for half a century.”
*Using 93-octane fuel
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