Ford Mustang

2015 Ford Mustang: Not a One Trick Pony

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Yes, of course you want the GT version of the new Ford Mustang with its 5.0-liter V8 engine pumping out 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Ideally through a six-speed manual gearbox, though the six-speed automatic with its paddle shifters might prove more ideal for your daily commute.

Well, that is unless you’re willing to wait for the 2015 Shelby GT350 Mustang with a 5.2-liter V8, the most powerful normally aspirated powerplant ever in a Ford production vehicle. Just like race cars and some exotic European sports cars, the engine features a flat-plane crankshaft — a first in a Ford. What this does is locate the connecting rods not at 90-degree intervals but at 180 degrees for alternate-bank firing for reduced overlap of exhaust pressure pulses.

OK, for some that’s TMI, but the result is more than 500 horsepower and a torque plateau rather than the typical torque curve.

2015 Ford Mustang
But don’t turn up your nose to the new EcoBoost version of the new Mustang. This one may carry only a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, but turbocharging bumps it up to 310 very satisfying horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque, which can be wonderfully exercised especially if you equip yours with a manual transmission.

There’s also a standard 3.7-liter V6 version of the new Mustang. It’s rated at 300 hp and 280 pound-feet.

Oh, and the presence of that turbo four does something else for the new Mustang: It boosts fuel economy. With an automatic transmission, the GT is rated at 16 mpg city and 25 highway. The V6 at 19 and 28, respectively. But the EcoBoost comes in at 21/32, and is a blast to drive.

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I recently drove the EcoBoost and GT versions of the new pony car. The turbo four was quick and light, and the one I drove featured the upgraded Sport interior option, with a brushed metal dash and a row of retro-style toggle switches.

Yes, where the EcoBoost was quick and light, the GT was just you-better-pay-attention fast. But maybe the best news is that with the 2015 model year, there are Mustangs to meet a variety of needs and driving styles. Well, actually, we think the best news is that the most fuel efficient of these new Mustangs is a lot of fun to drive.

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