Just in time for the Mustang’s big double-nickel birthday this week, Ford announced a new 2.3L High Performance Package available on the 2020 Ford Mustang, which leans on the expertise of Ford Performance engineers and the plentiful Mustang GT performance bits in the parts bin to create the “most powerful four-cylinder sports car offered by an American automaker.”
It’s not just the horsepower gains over the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost, it’s the broader torque curve… — Carl Widmann, Mustang Chief Engineer
That power is projected at 330 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, which is 10 more horsepower than the standard EcoBoost 2.3-liter thanks a revised four-cylinder engine built just for the Mustangs. Five engineers began the development by swapping a Focus RS engine into a mule, and eventually traveled to Valencia, Spain, to develop this new engine. Within 10 months, the package was born.
The new color options for the 2020 Mustang include Grabber Lime, Iconic Silver, Red Hot Metallic Tinted Clearcoat and Twister Orange. Those equipped with the 2.3L High Performance Package receive Magnetic Gray side mirrors, a raised-blade rear spoiler and a metallic gray stripe.
“The Ford Performance Focus RS 2.3-liter engine is a high-revving marvel, and anyone who’s driven this EcoBoost engine instantly loves how quickly it responds and delivers power,” Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer, said. “When our team got the chance to try this specially built engine in a Mustang, we immediately agreed, ‘We have to do this.’”
The only real change to the interior on 2.3L High Performance Package cars is the serialized dash plaque. The package is, however, available with both six-speed manual and 10-speed auto transmissions.
Key to this new engine package is a die-cast alloy block and high-performance cylinder head. Engineers also increased the turbocharger size by five percent courtesy of a larger 63-millimeter twin-scroll unit. In all cars equipped with the 2.3L High Performance Package accelerate from 0-60 in the mid-4-second range and run to a top speed of 155 mph, which is 10 mph faster than the previous EcoBoost Performance Package and a whopping 34 mph faster than a base car.
“It’s not just the horsepower gains over the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost, it’s the broader torque curve that delivers 90 percent of peak torque between 2,500 and 5,300 rpm, which is 40 percent wider than the base EcoBoost engine,” said Widmann. “Plus, horsepower holds stronger up to the 6,500-rpm redline – enabling more usable power and torque for enthusiasts and weekend autocrossers to enjoy.”
Numerous details help the EcoBoost 2.3L High Performance Package stand out from the base Mustang. It wears the front splitter and belly pan, and brake cooling ramps from the Mustang GT Performance Package, while a blacked-out grille with tri-bar pony emblem, and 2.3L High Performance Package side badges. Standard on the 2020 EcoBoost Mustang are these 19x9-inch machined-face aluminum wheels fitted with 255/40R summer tires.
Of course, what good is 143 horsepower per liter if you can’t put it to use, and Ford engineers had that in mind when rounding out the package. Playing on the lighter EcoBoost Mustang’s 53/47 weight distribution, they tuned up the suspension to make this package shine between the autocross cones. It receives chassis bracing, stiffer sway bars, bigger brakes, and larger wheels with stickier tires (see sidebar).
Carrying an additional 10 horsepower over the standard 2.3-liter EcoBoost Mustang, the 2.3L High Performance Package wears its credentials on a serialized dash plaque and fender badges.
For even greater corner carving abilities, you can augment a 2020 Mustang with the 2.3L High Performance Package by adding the optional EcoBoost Handling Package. It further sharpens this Mustang’s grip, braking, and precision with better brake pads, a unique MagneRide damper calibration, a TORSEN limited-slip diff, and a thicker rear sway bar.
If this sounds like the car for you, expect the 2020 Ford Mustang with 2.3L High Performance Package to hit dealer lots this fall.
2020 Mustang EcoBoost High-Performance Package Features
• 2.3L High Performance Package side badges
• 3.55:1 limited-slip rear axle
• 21.7mm rear sway bar
• 32mm front sway bar
• 63mm twin-scroll turbo compressor
• 19×9-inch machined-face aluminum wheels
• 255/40R summer tires
• Blacked-out grille with offset Mustang tri-bar pony emblem
• Ford Performance 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine
• Fully active quad-tip exhaust system with a signature tuned sound
• Larger radiator
• Magnetic Gray side mirrors
• Metallic gray stripe crosses the hood
• Mustang GT 13.9-inch front brakes with four-piston calipers
• Mustang GT Performance Package chassis and aerodynamics hardware
• Mustang GT Performance Package front splitter, belly pan, and brake cooling ramps from the
• High-performance calibration
• Raised-blade rear spoiler
• Serialized dash plaque
• Strut tower brace
EcoBoost Handling Package Option
• 19×9.5-inch premium painted aluminum wheels with 265/40R Pirelli P Zero™ Corsa4 summer tires