The Internet exploded after it was reported that Ford might be replacing the V6 with an EcoBoost four cylinder in the lower-end Mustang models. Passionate and devoted fans started to cite history, heritage and the market position of the Mustang being a real muscle car. Four-cylinder boosted engines are best left for import cars. If given one of these motors, the allure of the muscle car would be taken away from the original pony car.
This 2014 Ford Mustang has a 3.7L V6 that puts out 305 horsepower. An impressive number considering the fact that the 4.6L V8 of the fourth-generation Mustang was rated at a meager 260 horsepower. But yet, I’m hesitant to jump into the debate.
I haven’t driven a V6 Mustang since the retro re-design in 2005. My 2013 test car was a bit of a homecoming by featuring a convertible top with an outstanding colour. “Gotta Have It Green” is a definite eye-popper and has twin exhausts to further that muscle car feel.
Completely optioned out with the Technology package as well as the “Mustang Club of America” appearance packages, my tester had all the proper bells and whistles possible on a V6 convertible.
I do find it odd that Ford opts for a different layout with their SYNC system in the Mustang as opposed to the MyFordTouch unit shared with virtually every other model they produce. I much prefer the one in the Mustang. Instead of a four-quadrant breakdown, the Mustang pushes the Nav to the left side and shows two sub-windows on the right, music and climate. It’s much easier to use and is infinitely more responsive when trying to do anything.
I liked the new Mustang Convertible overall but I can’t say I loved it. It didn’t captivate me like the 5.0L Mustang did. Having an as-tested price of $43,000 I just had problems wrapping my head around the value proposition over that 5.0L GT I drove last summer.
I’ve also had a chance to drive the 2013 Ford Taurus SHO with the EcoBoost setup and I wasn’t a huge fan of that either.
Yes, this is a convertible rather than the hardtop and I did average a relatively thirsty 12.4L/100KM in combined driving but with technology being offered by other manufacturers like cylinder shut off, auto start/stop I think Ford continuing on with the V6 or EcoBoost power in the Mustang would be a mistake.
The Ford Mustang; the original pony car, should be made a V8-only model.
Between the Mustang GT, the Mustang Boss 302, and Shelby GT500, Ford has enough to differentiate between each of those products. There’s also a market for every single one of those cars. People don’t question packages, options and when it comes to stallion shopping, they purely focus on the horsepower to decide. Except for rental fleets of course; where the automatic transmission V6 Mustangs are pretty commonplace.
A detuned version of Ford’s older 4.6L V8 with 350 horsepower or so coupled with the fuel efficiency capabilities would easily match the fuel economy of the current 3.7L V6. Plus, it would have the sound, rumble, and exhaust burble of an 8-cylinder. Ford could focus exclusively as marketing the Mustang as being the iconic American muscle car and essentially the brand’s ambassador.
I understand that Ford currently sells one Mustang with the V6 engine for every variation of the V8 and provides a profit center for the company. But my personal opinion skews to the perception that most would opt for the V8 over the V6 if given a choice at the same price point.
There’s an old adage, if you’re going to have a cannibalization of your sales, be the one to do it yourself. If Ford is worried about the competition provided by the Camaro, this would not only be a shot across their bow, but rather a nuclear bomb being dropped.
2014 Ford Mustang Convertible Gallery
2012 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible