Words: Stephen Spyropoulos
Photography: Stephen Spyropoulos
Published: October 14, 2016
Ford has been pushing the four cylinder EcoBoost agenda on consumers for a few years, and now it has found its way into the framework of the new Mustang. Going against the truly American-ized adage of, “There’s no replacement for displacement,” the EcoBoost-powered Mustang was speculated by many as a coup d’état – certainly a sacrilegious turbo-four could never be a true amalgamation and representation of what a Mustang was meant to be.
They couldn’t be more wrong. The new turbo Mustang can certainly hold its own down the straights with 310-hp and 320 lb-ft of torque, and at the same time, return fantastic fuel economy numbers with its lightweight and well balanced structure. All that it’s missing is the growl and oomph from the Mustang GT’s Coyote V8, but there’s nothing an aftermarket exhaust can’t fix.
Although the Mustang EcoBoost may have more horsepower than the current Subaru WRX STI, this force-fed Mustang is not stiff enough to be a track ready beast, nor is it tranquil enough to be a grandpa-mobile. It is what I’d call, the perfect summer cruiser.
The leather seats are beyond comfortable, the stereo system is boomy, and the soft-top roof can be dismissed at the touch of a button, letting the sunshine pour in and making it the textbook example for long drives up to the Muskoka Lakelands. Wind insulation inside the cabin is also impressive, meaning you can have a normal conversation with your passengers even at triple digit highway speeds.
Leaving a perpetual smile on your face, the Mustang EcoBoost lives up to the image portrayed by its sheetmetal. A snappy dash from 0-100 km/h in dispatched in under 6.5 seconds, as power comes on quickly once you throttle up past 3,000 rpm. Under that threshold however, the Mustang frustratingly lacks urgency.
The engine sound is quite raspy but it is drowned out by the swoosh and whistle of the turbo as it hits peak boost. It fails to provide any kind of aural excitement, and even at full kilt it emits little more than a dull buzz.
But exhaust noise is only one part of the equation. The other half, the 2.3-litre turbocharged motor, is phenomenal and put to good work when paired with the standard six-speed manual. Regardless of the driving mode, the Mustang’s shifter and clutch combination is sublime. The clutch is meaty and easy to modulate, the shifter does feel tight but can be notchy at times, making you wonder if you’re doing something wrong by slamming it into gear.
New for 2017 is the optional EcoBoost Performance Package (previously only available on fastback coupe models), adding in a slew of goodies, namely a 3.55 limited slip rear axle, upgraded springs, larger Brembo brakes, a larger radiator, retuned chassis and stability controls, and black 19-inch aluminum wheels on 255/40R19 Pirellis. It’s a pricey package ($3,000), but well worth it if you’re looking for that extra sporting spice from your drop-top.
The steering has little to no slack, giving you complete control over a chassis that has been gone over tirelessly with a fine-toothed comb. This convertible is lower, wider, and stiffer than the outgoing model, and with the Performance Package, it is also quick and precise. Thanks to the adjustable suspension you can be relaxed on a highway cruise, and then switch over to Sport Mode for a quick blast down the winding road.
The turbocharged Mustang also scores pretty well with fuel consumption (we can’t say the same about the Mustang GT Convertible), averaging just under 10.0 L/100km over our test week. Cars with over 300-hp never usually get this frugal, especially ones that are on the porky side of 1,900 kg, so it’s nice to see the Mustang EcoBoost excel in this regard.
Inside, the Mustang’s interior has been vastly improved. The layout is neat (though a bit flat), the new steering wheel is handsome, and the perforated leather seats are supple, with standard heating and ventilated seating to cool down your body during the summer heat.
The red interior contrasted heavily against the blue exterior paintjob, but it actually worked quite well in this application – Superman would be proud. The cabin space however is smaller than you’d expect. The rear seats are cramped and cargo room is limited to a few dufflebags and suitcases.
The Ford SYNC3 unit is intuitive and a delight to use, and the 390-watt Shaker Pro ensures that you can still hear your music even with the roof and windows down. The SYNC3 system did give me a few issues though, where the audio menu would freeze and the screen would be stuck reading “Audio Off.” Whatever button I pressed, the audio would never come on.
After doing some research online, it turns out that this was a common complaint amongst newer Fords equipped with SYNC3, especially F-150s. We found a quick solution, which was to hold the power button and the skip-forward button together to reset the system.
The EcoBoost Convertible is a stylish boulevardier that is easy to live with on a day-to-day basis and is just as competent cruising down the highway as it is tackling switchback roads. Having only a handful of rivals to compete against, it’s the Mustang Convertible’s starting price tag of $36,448 that gives it the upper hand. It’s a great choice for someone wanting efficient performance, good looks, top-optional cruising, and an effortless transition between sporty and leisurely driving characteristics.
型号 Model: 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible
顏色 Paint Type: Deep Impact Blue
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $36,448
試車售價 Price as Tested: $40,448
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,720
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,783 / 1,394 / 2,080
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1,902
引擎 Engine: 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder
最大馬力 Horsepower: 310 hp @ 5,500 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 320 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed manual
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, RWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway / Combined ) L/100km: 11.8 / 8.3 / 10.2
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 9.8
輪胎尺碼 Tires: 255/40R19