Finally our first drive of the all new 2015 Mustang takes us for a raw stint in the all-new pony equipped with the 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine. What’s it like? How does it drive? Read on.
The 2015 Mustang styling has been seen and talked about widely so I wont belabor it here with a long walk around. A few quick points here are that our tester here is the EcoBoost Premium which gives it the larger 18”x8” wheels which come standard on the Mustang GT.
EcoBoost Mustangs get a different upper and lower grille treatment than both the V6 and the GT. Out back the EcoBoost has the same dual exhaust pipes as the GT and our Premium model has the two tone lower fascia instead of the monotone body color one that comes with the base trim.
Other stylistic differences between the EcoBoost and GT are the running pony on the rear deck-lid panel and on the hood there are no heat extractor vents. This is actually curious since the turbocharged four likely could use them.
Under that hood is what many are curious about. The all new 2.3 liter turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder roasts out 310 horsepower. That’s just a tad bit more than the V6 in horsepower but it has a good deal more torque at 320 lb-ft.
The turbocharger is right at the side and easy to see. The engine cover could have been a bit more pleasing to the eye, something I imagine the aftermarket will be on pretty quickly. So how does it sound?
Upon start-up it sounds and feels like a four-cylinder engine, which is a strange sensation in a Mustang. Once you get past that initial change of pace, the EcoBoost has a raw performance growl that transmits well into the passenger compartment. There is surprisingly no turbo whistle at all.
Power comes on strong with little or no turbo-lag. The six-speed automatic in our tester worked well at giving up snappy shifts in normal and sport modes. Sport mode will give you rev-matched down shifts and will hold your gear for corner to corner romps.
Using the paddle shifters is a realistic exercise as they work rather well. While there is a few fractions of a second delay, they are pretty responsive and are actually worth the effort. The console shifter itself has a nice sport detent as well.
The interior of the 2015 Mustang like the rest of the car is all-new. The first impression you get behind the wheel is the heightened sense of design and material quality. While our premium tester was fully decked with infotainment and leather, even the base models rise above rental car grade.
The fit and finish are substantially improved, the quality of the switch gear from another world. Not a single button, knob, or lever seems to have been brought over from the last generation. Genuine metal trims and soft touch padding really raise the bar.
Ironically despite this cabin being 100% new, the design theme feels remarkably familiar. A dual cowl design returns for another generation and the instrument cluster retains the same large two-dial design with large center information screen.
The view from behind the wheel is classic muscle car with a long hood with a rather tall power bulge. I might go so far as to say it is strongly reminiscent of the 1971-1973 Mach 1 and BOSS Mustangs in its overall feel. I mean that in a good way.
Underneath it all is where I really think this car has its greatest news. The all-new platform as we all well know has not only a new dual-ball joint front suspension but finally the live axle has given way to a modern independent rear suspension.
The new chassis feels remarkably fresh. Gone is the truck like driving persona of the S-197 chassis. The steering is lighter and more accurate feeling. With the new dual ball-joint front suspension, it offers a rather tight feeling turning circle.
While the EcoBoost doesn’t have the V8 torque that will test the rear suspension, the new independent set up has a nice feel in response to sudden burst of power. It plants tight and snappy, simply sending the car forward without a feeling of twist or bobble.
It will be nice in a more extended drive test to take this up on a windy road and really wring it out, but our first drive took us only on local streets and freeways for a short time.
It was enough time however to know that this car is completely different than what it replaces. For more news and test drives of Fords and Mustangs see our partner channel TheMustangNews.com.