Five things I learned riding in the 2015 Ecoboost Mustang
By Steve Turner
In case you didnâ€™t believe that I rode in the 2015 Ecoboost Mustang, itâ€™s time to share a little video of our experience. Your author had to overcome some technical difficulties to recover this video, but I think youâ€™ll agree it was worth the extra effort.
Now, while I am showing off my first date with the S550, it seems like a good time to elaborate on what I experienced during those fleeting shotgun blasts around the autocross. Since we still have to wait quite a while to get behind the wheel a 2015 Mustang, here are the five things I learned during my brief stint in the carâ€¦
1. Ecoboost Belongs: Not that I ever doubted it, but finally getting to ride in the Ecoboost â€™Stang confirmed that it is the start of a fun new era in Mustang performance. Sure the turbo four isnâ€™t going to blow away V-8 fans, but our ride in the Ecoboost auto felt a lot like riding in an automatic Three-Valve. Plus, there is such a fun upside to modding the Turbo Gas Direct Injection engines. From what we have seen so far, many aftermarket outfits are ordering an Ecoboost and a GT, so look for the Mustang modding world to expand here in the states and internationally.
2. Drive-Mode Magic: During the tutorial on the drive modes in the new Mustang, I learned that moving the settings from Normal to Sport Plus to Track and to Wet & Snow not only alters the behavior of the Electronic Stability Control, but it influences the PCMâ€™s throttle mapping and the shifting of the automatic transmission. As our driver toggled through the performance levels of the drive modes with each lap around the autocross, the changes were clearly beneficial to the carâ€™s performance.
3. Automatic Envy?: Since the beginning of the Coyote era, the factory automatic transmission has become a legitimate performance option. However, that legitimacy looks to move forward another step in the 2015 model. Not only does the automatic feature steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters, but it offers matched rev downshifting, so it will work well whether you are carving corners or cutting quick e.t.â€™s. In our ride it seemed to shift briskly with little perceptible lag. Letâ€™s just hope it is a durable unit, because Mustang modders will find the weak spot.
4. Balance to the Force: I was never one of the media mainstreamers constantly demanding an independent rear suspension in the Mustang. Ford engineers did a wonderful job refining the solid rear axle to a performance levelâ€”with the Boss 302â€”that even I hadnâ€™t expected. However with the new Performance Pack GT expected to eclipse Boss performance, the IRS (along with the other improvements, like the double-ball joint front end) clearly offer better performance. The lighter Ecoboost Mustang certainly exuded confidence and balance on the autocross. It should be a sharp handler in any environs.
5. Familiar Feeling: I am fortunate to have spent more time in an S550 than most people outside of Ford and its contractors. First I sat in a life-size model in the design studio, and then I was chauffeured around the autocross and to and from a photo location in this preproduction Ecoboost. Clearly the new interior is one of the carâ€™s best facets. However, it wasnâ€™t really until I was sitting in the back seat of the 2015 Mustang that it finally sunk in. This car is familiar. Despite all of its new styling, the car simply feels like a Mustang. It is comfortable and I felt right at home in it. Ahhhâ€¦
Now before we go for a ride, letâ€™s check out a brief but informative walkaround hosted by my friend, Tom Barnes, the Vehicle Engineering Manager.
This is the moment youâ€™ve been waiting for. It is time to ride along with me in the 2015 Ecoboost Mustang.
What did you think about the sights and sounds of the turbocharged S550?
13 thoughts on “Video: 2015 Ecoboost Mustang Ride”
I just spent a few days with the new 1.5L EcoBoost Fusion. The power from such a small mill is surprising. I think it’ll be interesting to see the new 2.3 Mustang takes to mods.
Modding one will be fun! 🙂
I’m surprised how good the Ecoboost sounds.
It seemed kind of quiet at the time, especially outside the car, but it does sound good in the video.
Keep in mind that this was a pre-production vehicle and Ford engineers stated they were still working on the tuning of the exhaust sound. I’d expect a quieter final product.
Still waiting for information on the driveshaft as well as how wide you’ll be able to go out Terry Fair at Vorshlag took some measurements of a pre-production (it did have a VIN) car a few days ago. Rear track was 75.75 inches and front track was 73.50. Wheel base came in at 107 inches. Car had 255/40/19’s at all four corner. Somewhat disturbing, with only the 255 up front, the wheel to strut clearance was only about 8-10mm. Still waiting for information on the driveshaft as well as how wide you’ll be able to go out back.
Steve – that’s nuts. EPA certifications for “on-road” CARB executive orders are showing ’15 model year Fords being added to the list almost every week. I’ve yet to see a ’15 Mustang powerplant be added to the system but they have to have already compiled certification data for submission. If they are saying that they were “still working on the tuning of the exhaust sound” that would mean that some Tier One suppliers still don’t know to what spec/design they will be building to (unless they were given numerous specs and Ford is going to choose one for a given engine, etc). That low bidder better be ready to go when the phone rings…
I’m just repeating what I was told, Tob. Keep in mind this was almost a month ago.
I know Steve.:)
I wish I could accompany you on some to some of these venues. I could formulate a line of indiscreet questioning designed to induce cognitive cloaking, whereby a particular “rep” would spew more secrets than Edward Snowden. If that doesn’t work we could always employ the “look – a UFO!” strategy.
Be sure to get me a list of Tobnical questions and email it to me before my next close encounter…
I worked on/drove some a few years ago and Ford didn’t have the calibration 100% right. So 1 car broke down and a few others keep going in to overboost protection but it was a start of a great car.
It sounds great but the Fiat 500 Abrath sounds a little better. They should try to get it closer to that.
I’m going to send you a PM for something for you to look forward too or ask question about.
Sounds good, steeltoe.
Thanks for the heads-up!
I have witnessed the Tobnical questions and tactics first hand.
It is quite impressive to watch.
Also, great write up as usual Steve.
Yes, Tob is detail-oriented to say the least.
Thanks so much, STAMPEDE3!