Traditionalists put off by Ford’s decision to offer the next generation Mustang with a four cylinder engine may have their heads spin by other powertrain choices Ford is considering for the new car as it tries to make it a global brand. According to global powertrain chief Bob Fascetti, speaking to GoAuto at the Sydney, Australia part of the simultaneous worldwide reveal of the latest Mustang, Ford is weighing producing diesel, hybrid and electric versions. It won’t happen anytime soon, but the door has been left open.
“We’re not looking at diesel at the moment, but given where we need to go with fuel consumption we are looking at all our options,” he revealed. “And diesel is one of those options, along with hybrids and electric.”
Fascetti wouldn’t get into specifics about engines, but he did say that while the 2015 Mustang will launch with a paddle shifted six speed automatic transmission, the car may later get one of the nine or ten speed gearboxes being developed in conjunction with General Motors.
Asked if the automaker had any reservations about offering what is perceived as a muscle car with a four cylinder engine, Fascetti said Ford’s EcoBoost system makes all the difference needed. “Not turbocharged like this,” Fascetti said, expecting Mustang buyers will embrace it the way that F-150 pickup buyers have pushed the 3.5 liter V6 EcoBoost engine to 40% of production. “The success of the F-150 EcoBoost even surprised us. When we put the 3.5-litre EcoBoost in that truck we had the same conversation, and it has ended up with a 40 per cent mix. And because it is fun to drive and the torque is there straight away, we anticipate that the Mustang customer will really like it. It’s fun to drive.”
Not only didn’t they have any reservations about offering a four in the new Mustang, there was also no thought given to discontinuing V8 power. “There was never a debate about not using the 5.0-litre,” Fascetti said. “So clearly we always wanted to keep the 5.0-litre in the Mustang because it’s always been tremendous for us, and it is really part of the brand. We can meet emissions with the 5.0 – that’s not an issue. As long as we can meet the demands of what every new Mustang requires, the V8 will be around for a while. We never thought we’d be getting the numbers we’re getting out of this engine now, even three years ago, so we think the 5.0 still has some life in it yet.”
Fascetti did confirm that the Mustang’s 2.3 liter EcoBoost will also find its way into transversely mounted applications. “There will be a front-drive version of the 2.3, east-west applications,” Mr Fascetti said. “The one beauty with [the Mustang] from my point of view is that it is rear-wheel drive, and this provides so many degrees of freedom as to what we can offer, because the engines are so much narrower relative to the rest of the car when they go north-south.”
“But (RWD) really opens up these other options for global markets, so we are really pleased to be able to offer the 2.3-litre EcoBoost, for example, where fuel is much more expensive than it is in the US. And we think that option for a car like this is important… it is a better answer for some global markets (than the V6 available in the United States). We are turning the Mustang into a global product now so all of our options are open now… we have great diesels in Europe, we have an EcoBoost line-up in North America… so we can do almost anything. For us it’s a case of designing the right drivetrain for the car.”