2020 Mustang could get mid-range EcoBoost option with more power
Ford has been promoting its EcoBoost engine options for quite some time now, replacing larger engines with smaller, turbocharged EcoBoost engines in all of its offerings. The Mustang wasn't safe in the 6th Generation redesign (code named S550) when it debuted in 2014 for the 2015 model year. It gained a turbocharged 2.3 litre 4 cylinder EcoBoost engine making 310 hp.
The previous base engine, a 3.7 litre V6 making 305 hp was down-rated to 300 hp to create a larger gap and position the EcoBoost firmly as a mid-range engine. But since the refresh for 2018, the V6 has been dropped all together, leaving the Mustang lineup with only two engine options, the 4 cylinder EcoBoost with 310 hp and the upgraded 5.0 litre V8 making 460 hp. But It seems like Ford may be ready to insert another option in the 150 hp valley between those two options as a mid-range engine.
Hagerty recently discovered a document filed by Ford to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the US and dated Feb 8, 2019, just over a week ago. The document lists the various VIN (vehicle identification number) codes, including the engine codes and there are more engine options than you'd expect.
Engine code 'H' is the familiar 2.3L EcoBoost engine making 310 hp. But there is another engine option, code 'D', that is also a 2.3 litre option with horsepower figure To Be Determined (TBD). The chances of the other engine option having lower hp are basically slim to none. Ford already sells a version of that engine with much higher hp, of course, namely in the Focus RS with 350 hp.
Moreover, there are already various upgrade packages for that engine through aftermarket partners such as mountune in the UK or tuning arms such as Ford Performance in North America. Both offer packages that boost power by 25 hp to 335 hp and torque goes from freight train to steam liner up to 390 lb-ft in the Ford Performance pack and 490 Nm in the mountune pack (361 lb-ft). In fact, for 2018, Ford already boosted the torque of the little 4 cylinder engine from 320 lb-ft to 350 lb-ft (474 Nm), although power was unchanged.
Other Juicy Bits?
There could be more to that document too. Judging by the engine descriptions, naturally aspirated engines get a TIVCT designation (short for Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing, meaning camshaft timing is variable for both intake and exhaust cams, and they are independent). Boosted engines don't.
There's a 5.2 litre TIVCT V8 making 526 hp, which is the naturally aspirated Shelby GT350 engine. There is also a 5.2 litre V8 without a hp rating or TIVCT designation, indicating it's likely the GT500 supercharged engine (more details on that here). Then there is the 5.0 litre rated at 435 hp, which was the rating for model years 2015-2017 but it was updated to 460 hp and it is also missing TIVCT... it's not clear what this could mean.
It certainly won't be getting boost since that would be higher hp. Could it be getting a mild hybrid system? Ford already confirmed a hybrid Mustang is coming but that was expected to be after the current generation is redesigned.
The other 5.0 litre engine labelled TIVCT also has the hp figure TBD, which could indicate that the Mustang GT could be getting another hp boost in 2020. Another possibility, however, could just mean two 5.0 litre options , one in the 'base' GT and the other in the 'Bullitt' if it returns in 2020. Only time will tell.
For now, though, it seems all but guaranteed that there will be a more powerful mid-range option of the 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine. Would you like to see a more powerful EcoBoost engine option added to the 2020 Mustang lineup? I'm not one to say no to more horsepower so that would be a resounding 'YES' from me.