By on June 13, 2016

2016 Ford Mustang at Mojave Air & Space Port, Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars

Ford Motor Company says it will get to the bottom of a report that purports to show 2.3-liter EcoBoost Mustangs getting slower in acceleration tests over time.

The 0–60 mile per hour times, recorded by Motor Trend during four separate vehicle tests, show a widening acceleration gap that left reviewers puzzled as to the cause.

Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, with 310 horsepower and 320 pounds-feet of torque running on premium fuel, powered each test vehicle. The first test, a 2015 model with an automatic transmission and Performance Package, recorded a 5.6 second run to 60 mph — the same time as a 2015 manual-transmission model with no Performance Package. (That upgrade adds a 3.55:1 rear axle and 19-inch wheels shod with summer tires).

A test of the 2015 Ecoboost with manual transmission and Performance Package by Motor Trend’s sister publication Automobile saw a 6.0 second 0–60 run, and a similarly equipped 2016 model recorded an acceleration time of 6.3 seconds.

There are a number of culprits that could play a role in the mystery. The publication noted instances of throttle lag during certain upshifts on manual transmission models. As a result, “Getting a perfect run was very difficult and took multiple attempts.”

A Ford representative said the first Mustang tested was a pre-production model, adding (with no elaboration) that a “different calibration” could explain the quicker acceleration time. A theory that high temperatures hampered later tests didn’t pan out, given the mild temperatures recorded during testing.

In a letter to Jalopnik, Ford said the engine’s output hasn’t changed, and added that the company was now investigating the results of the tests. The automaker stated, “Different drivers in different cars can have different test results, especially when driving manual transmissions.”

Is there anything to this, or is the slowing EcoBoost Mustang mystery just the result of normal testing variability? We’ll wait and see. In the meantime, there’s no shortage of alternate Mustang engines for concerned/paranoid would-be buyers.

[Image: © 2016 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars]

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35 Comments on “Ford is Looking into Report of Poky EcoBoost Mustangs...”

  • avatar

    Can you buy a SprintBooster for these?

  • avatar

    ” show a widening acceleration gap that left reviewers puzzled as to the cause.”


    EGOboost SMGDH

  • avatar
    Joe Btfsplk

    The Motor Trend interns need to release the parking brake before the acceleration tests… easy-peasey.

  • avatar

    Sorry Ford. GM has been sending bigger checks lately so the Camaro is now declared the greatest vehicle of all time.

    Give Lieberman or Loh a “Long-Term” Ford GT and send the Roadkill guys some Raptors and GT350s. Maybe then you’ll be back in their good graces.

    • 0 avatar

      No doubt about it, GMotor Trend has their favorites.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      In fairness, nearly every auto review site / organization I’ve come upon has said that the Camaro is the better driver’s car, and that it handily beats the Mustang. However, the Mustang has a cleaner and more-substantial design presence and is the better car to live with on a daily basis. I think I’d take the latter.

      • 0 avatar

        A million times this. I considered both before purchasing a few weeks ago, and this was my impression as well. I looked at the Camaro 2.0T vs the Mustang Ecoboost. The Camaro was nice to drive but the interior was terrible. Everyone complains about the glass area; but it’s not entirely the glass area. The interior is just shockingly small for such a big car. The rear seats are near useless, the front seats are tiny, and the trunk is minuscule.

        I ended up buying the Mustang EB. So far I am pleased, my wife is pleased, and my daughter is pleased.

        • 0 avatar

          That’s been one of GM’s core competencies for a long time: making a car with a large exterior and ridiculously small interior. The F body Cars had abysmal interior packaging as did a number of larger GM products I rented at airports over the years. Even GM sedans that have plenty of room longitudinally can have the greenhouse leaning in on the sides such that it makes you feel claustrophobic.

          I’ve never understood why they seem to go out of their way to build cars that are so compromised in this way vs. their competition.

          • 0 avatar

            Sounds like GM is back to the engine in a box and driver as an afterthought school of engineering. GM did this with the 4th gen F-cars in the quest for great performance at a reasonable price. They were fast but you made sacrifices for that speed and handling.

            I haven’t seen any sales data but the anecdata seem to support what some have said about the Mustang handily beating the Camaro in sales so far.

            Still we a lot of time to go. It’ll be even more interesting next year to see if Ford’s formula is the better of the two.

      • 0 avatar

        Honestly, neither one really appeals to me. If I had to choose for some reason, I’d get the Camaro just because I like GM’s engines more.

        However, I’d be all over the purchase of a V8 ATS or Lincolnized Mustang.

  • avatar

    Can anyone say “ringer”?

    The trick worked for GM w/the 1960s GTO.Today it would be even easier- just change the software calibration of the “ringer” cars.

    Or Ford got the HP wrong. Not that inflated Hp claims ever happened to Mustangs before. /s

  • avatar

    Hey …News flash the EB Mustang is no rocket ship. If you want a fast , nicely optioned Mustang, buy the GT, In Canada better bring another $10 K with you. Good luck finding anything other than a “base model “V6.

    You can order a V6 , and load it up with some nice options ?? At the time i bought my 15, i could of ordered a 16 V6 ….another $7 K

    • 0 avatar

      The EB is no rocket ship, but it’s not slow either. A 0-60 of 5.5 to 6.5s and a 1/4 mile of 14ish is almost ideal for street use in my humble opinion.

  • avatar

    Carbon build up? Time for an “Eye-talian Tuneup”.

  • avatar

    It should be noted that in March of 2016 Car & Driver tested a 2016 Mustang Ecoboost. They got a 0-60 of 5.6s and a 1/4 mile of 14.0s @ 102mph. Those are damn close to what MT got in 2015 Links:

    I would say that this is in range of testing variability. Or just a better driver at C&D. Whoever they have in staff is damn good, they always get good times from everything they review.

    • 0 avatar

      “Or just a better driver at C&D. Whoever they have in staff is damn good, they always get good times from everything they review.”

      C&D just uses “proprietary empirical correction factors” that are more generous than other publications (which are already likely too generous).

      This is why C&D times are almost always faster than anywhere else.

      This is also why when C&D tests a 2012 Caprice PPV and Charger Pursuit they record 0-60 times of ~5.2 and quarter mile times of ~13.9, while the Michigan State Police tests in very similar conditions get ~5.8 and ~14.4.

      But, it makes OEMs happy and gives fanboys hardons, so whatever.

  • avatar

    Funny how super car acceleration in the malaise era is “sluggish” these days. Aside from Ford purposely detuning the V6 to slot below the EB4, I dont see a problem with how the mustang is configured mechanically. In my view, Ford marketed the EB as a ‘GT-lite’ which I think created some false impressions.

  • avatar

    My guess is that they changed the tuning because they were gaming the emissions/EPA rated mpg or maybe because people were blowing the engines up (there is a huge surge of ecoboost failures in the 6G mustang forums and people trading in their ecos for GTs as a result). In any case, Ford’s dumb decision to artificially sabotage the V6 looks like it is coming home to roost.

  • avatar

    It’s advertising dollars, that’s all.

  • avatar

    Pre-production ringer – and advertising dollars.

  • avatar

    Rented a 2016 Mustang Convertible this weekend. I didnt like it. First bad sign was no 5.0 badge on the side. Opened the hood, and was disappointed when I saw the V6 and not the EGO boost. I really did not like that car. I dont know if Avis detuned it or something but it wouldnt even do a burnout with the TC totally off (by holding it for 10 seconds, remembered that trick from my Boss 302). It felt slow. Had crappy paddle shifters and felt like it took forever to shift gears. I would never buy one.

    • 0 avatar

      Same here! I just rented a convertible V6 as well and it was sluggish, noisy, gears even in manual mode felt so slow! Same comment from my friend who drove half the time..
      Never had tested the new one, glad I haven’t bought it.
      Would love to give EB a chance though.
      I am totally dismissing this article as variability in acceleration from driver to driver is not new.
      fuel, air quality, altitude, etc.. they all affect it.

  • avatar
    Hoon Goon

    The test driver for the ’16 was granny shiftin’ instead of double clutchin’ like he should. No, that will never get old to me.

  • avatar

    But wasn’t a four stang always about getting the look of the car over the power of the car?

  • avatar

    Easy fix. Ford just needs to apply a Trifecta tune: 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and
    55 mpg. If it works for a Buick Encore it’ll work for a Stang!

  • avatar

    Looking through the Fost and Fist Forums the most likely mechanical problem is loose clamps on the turbo plumbing.

  • avatar

    These are the same guys that posted “IS THIS THE APPLE CAR,” this smells like another story that’s long on headline, short on facts.

  • avatar

    It would be more interesting to see what the “real world” MPG of the snail motor is vs. the V6.

  • avatar

    Welcome to the world of turbo engines and stick shift transmissions. As stated there are going to be many variations in 0-60 and 1/4 mile times depending on driver, gas used, temperature etc. Then there is carbon build up which is an inevitable problem with these types of direct injected turbo engines as time goes on.

    With that said the engine lineup for the 2016 Camaro is better in my eyes than how how stupidly does it with the Mustang.

  • avatar

    Don’t all of the engines GM installed in the Camaro also feature direct injection? So wouldn’t they be just as prone to carbon build up issues?

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