2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost provides tech, retains essence

Giving it the beans alongside Massive Tujunga Freeway in Southern California’s Angeles Nationwide Forest, this 2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost feels acquainted however totally different. Dynamically, the seventh-generation Mustang doesn’t change a lot, however it has much more expertise to expertise behind the wheel.

The seventh-generation Mustang, identified internally as S650, is little totally different than the last-generation S550 model.

That’s alright as a result of we felt the S550 technology Mustang graduated from pony automobile to sports activities automobile, particularly with the 2018 replace that higher sorted out the unbiased rear suspension added with the debut of the S550 for the 2014 mannequin 12 months.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang Track theme and Custom mode screen

2024 Ford Mustang Monitor theme and Customized mode display screen

2024 Ford Mustang Fox Body '87-'93 theme

2024 Ford Mustang Fox Physique ’87-’93 theme

2024 Ford Mustang Track Apps

2024 Ford Mustang Monitor Apps

2024 Ford Mustang: Screens galore

The 2024 Ford Mustang sports activities a brand new exterior design that reads as an evolution of the S550 with a contact of Chevrolet Camaro thrown in, particularly within the extra pronounced rear haunches. The massive change, nevertheless, comes inside, the place the normal double-binnacle instrument cluster provides option to a financial institution of screens that serves as greater than only a tech hub.

A 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster and a 13.2-inch touchscreen unfold out in entrance of the motive force in juxtaposition to a cabin that in any other case has retro influences. The Sync 4 infotainment system has twice as a lot processing energy because the final automobile’s Sync 3 system, and the screens use Unreal Engine graphics that function the spine for a lot of standard first-person-shooter video video games. The system might be up to date over the air robotically or on a schedule.

I ran by way of the various options of the system after a preview at Ford headquarters in March, however now I’ve skilled it and might say it provides to the general Mustang expertise. The instrument cluster might be set to the motive force’s alternative of 5 themes: Regular, Sport, Monitor, Fox Physique ’87-’93, and Calm. The Monitor theme depicts a hockey stick tachometer such as you see on many supercars, Sport mode has curved speedometer and tachometer graphs that sweep up from the underside, and Fox Physique digitally represents the analog gauges from the latter years of the third-generation Mustang. 

I’m driving with the Fox Physique theme as a result of, nicely, you gotta give props to the Mustangs that impressed Vanilla Ice to roll in his 5.0, don’t you?

For probably the most half, the cluster themes match the drive modes, although there isn’t any Calm drive mode (as there shouldn’t be in a Mustang), and Ford additionally provides Drag Strip, Slippery, and programmable Customized modes. Each Mustang has each drive mode, giving even the comparatively tame EcoBoost a toybox of efficiency options to select from.

It’s all simply accessed through the MyMustang button on the middle stack, which brings up a display screen that lets drivers program the customized drive modes, show auxiliary gauges, select from 4 sound settings for the out there energetic exhaust, decide a cluster theme, set the ambient lighting coloration, and most significantly, entry the Monitor Apps efficiency options.

The Monitor Apps let drivers monitor telemetry together with braking distance and acceleration and lap occasions. That is additionally the place drivers activate the launch management, the road lock, the brand new digital parking brake Ford calls the Drift Brake, and within the GT with the handbook transmission, the rev matching function.

However it is a flippantly outfitted EcoBoost mannequin and I’m driving with a journalist who will get carsick. He’d doubtless heave if I attempted these options, so I’ll save the sophomoric enjoyable for a GT with the Efficiency Bundle.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost: Sorted and managed

Whereas not as overt as the brand new Mustang’s tech suite, the mechanical modifications are largely for the higher, however it all begins with the identical stiff and well-sorted platform because the earlier automobile.

The steering is probably the most notable dynamic distinction. The steering column is stiffer, a rubber bushing has been eliminated for a extra direct really feel, and the ratio has been barely quickened from 16.0:1 to fifteen:5.1. The concept was to offer faster responses (marginally) and extra highway really feel. Alongside the best way, Ford additionally lightened the steering weight, and I’m discovering it too mild on these canyon roads because it’s requiring too many little corrections. I’m in Sport mode, which has a heavier “sport” really feel, too. The alternatives right here seem like mild, lighter, and lightest. I want Ford would add a setting that makes the wheel extra steady.

I’m in an EcoBoost Premium mannequin with a sq. set of 255/40R19 Continental ProContact all-season tires. This automobile has not one of the out there efficiency goodies, such because the $1,750 magnetic dampers or the $3,475 Efficiency Bundle that provides Pirelli P Zero PZ4 summer-performance tires, a strut tower brace, a bigger rear sway bar, a 3.55 Torsen limited-slip rear axle, the Drift Brake, heavy-duty entrance springs, bigger brakes with entrance Brembo calipers, paddle shifters, and a rear wing spoiler.

Left with the fundamentals of the Mustang’s rear-wheel-drive structure, the automobile is performing nicely right here. Regardless of the shortage of steering weight, the automobile reacts promptly to steering inputs and the wheel is telling me what’s taking place at highway stage. The tires present sufficient grip that I’m not sliding by way of the corners, even throughout an particularly spirited six-mile stretch by way of the twisties throughout which my drive associate is ready at a relaxation cease.

As I method the corners, the automobile’s base brakes—a set of 4 12.6-inch rotors with two-piston entrance calipers and single-piston rear calipers—rise up surprisingly nicely. The brake pedal has a sturdy and progressive really feel, and it retains the identical resistance all through my drive. I can’t depart him sitting there to wring it out for prolonged durations of time, and I wouldn’t belief these brakes in that scenario or on a monitor, however they’re greater than as much as the punishment anticipated of Mustang patrons who would select a base suspension.

Like different Mustangs, this automobile rides on new dampers, however they’re tuned for little change in habits versus these of the S550 mannequin. In every configuration, they’re simply optimized for the brand new steering, in addition to the chosen tire and brake bundle.

The dampers assist management physique lean nicely and contribute to a agency trip that additionally supplies loads of highway suggestions however by no means crosses over into harsh. It’s all tied collectively nicely, with good dealing with steadiness within the corners. Sure, you possibly can kick out the rear finish, however it requires a concerted effort and/or use of the Drift Brake (extra on that later).

I can hear loads of tire hum on these tough roads, although the cacophony of sounds is a part of the Mustang expertise. The tire noise isn’t all that noticeable as a result of a next-generation 2.3-liter turbo-4 underneath the hood has loads to say. It belts out a mezzo-soprano tune that’s at occasions authoritative, coarse, and droning. It’s at all times spirited, although, and that matches with the Mustang’s extroverted character.

The engine is the fourth technology of the two.3-liter turbo-4 that Ford nearly comically calls EcoBoost (possibly the “Eco” half it was extra related 14 years in the past when EVs had been barely a thought within the automotive business and when a DOE loan went towards downsizing and turbocharging Ford engines). Adjustments this time round give it extra energy whereas additionally making it extra environment friendly. It will get a brand new twin-scroll turbocharger that scrolls up faster. It additionally provides port injection to the prevailing direct injection for improved energy and gas financial system. The modifications enhance output barely, including 5 hp for a complete of 315 hp and preserving torque regular at 350 lb-ft.

I have a look at the two.3 as a advantageous comfort prize within the Mustang. It’s completely succesful and it will get the job achieved with just a little aptitude, however I’d reasonably win the showcase showdown is the Coyote 5.0-liter V-8 within the GT fashions. 

I really feel the identical manner about the truth that the EcoBoost is paired solely with the 10-speed automated—it’s a advantageous transmission however not as a lot enjoyable because the 6-speed handbook that was out there within the outgoing EcoBoost.

The powertrain additionally performs nicely in these hills. Sport mode usually retains revs excessive, and Monitor does a good higher job to make the facility available at nook exit. Monitor generally downshifts mid-corner, barely affecting the automobile’s steadiness. It’s not sufficient to disrupt my line, however utilizing the paddle shifters would assist stop it, although they solely include the Efficiency Bundle. The automobile picks up velocity steadily from curve to curve. It’s fast and spirited, with a 0-60 mph time within the low-to-mid five-second vary, however it’s not the hammer that the V-8 is.

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost

2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost: Drifting made straightforward

Earlier within the day, I had the chance to check one of many new Mustang’s occasion tips: the Drift Brake it developed with professional drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. Included with the Efficiency Bundle on both the EcoBoost or GT, the Drift Brake is basically a elaborate digital parking brake that has extra than simply on and off settings. Like a handbook parking brake, it applies extra braking energy to the rear wheels the more durable you pull the deal with. That deal with stands up from the middle console and has an elbow form for simple entry by the motive force.

Ford’s managed train to check the Drift Brake is as rudimentary as doable. It consists of a single 180-degree flip and a perpendicular slide right into a cease field.

An teacher reveals me the right method to induce after which management the automobile by way of the switchback flip. It’s much like a Scandinavian flick and it goes like this: veer left, steer barely proper to ship the momentum in that route, pull the brake, hit the throttle and launch the brake on the identical time to induce the drift, keep on the throttle till you’re about to be pointed the other way, let up and drive out.

That’s all a lot simpler mentioned than achieved, and it’s straightforward to screw up at a number of factors. Veering left is straightforward, however it’s additionally straightforward to steer too far to the suitable and make the automobile spin as an alternative of drift. That is exacerbated by my different situation: forgetting to launch the brake once I get on the gasoline. That simply results in a roughly 240-degree spin that stops me pointed the unsuitable manner. I get 10 cracks at it and do it proper maybe twice, and on a 3rd event I do an entire 540 that makes me really feel fairly cool—although I feel it annoys the teacher.

The method for the 90-degree cease is so simple as steering barely proper to set the momentum and pulling the brake. Once more, nevertheless, it’s straightforward to over-steer and over-rotate. It’s the sort of maneuver that may look cool in a TikTok video, however it’s not a sensible option to park, particularly if different vehicles are round.

Nonetheless, with common parking brakes turning into a factor of the previous, the Mustang’s Drift Brake brings a little bit of forgotten enjoyable again into the automobile. It can be used like a standard parking brake. Merely cease the automobile, pull the deal with, search for the “Brake” mild on the instrument cluster, and shut off the automobile. While you begin it once more, push down on the deal with to launch the brake.

The Drift Brake is only one manner the 2024 Ford Mustang marries tech with efficiency, and the massive new screens are extra overt. All of it synthesizes with the managed competence of the largely carryover platform to convey a pony automobile icon into the fashionable day with out dropping its sporty essence. When you possibly can, give it the beans.

Ford paid for journey and lodging for Motor Authority to convey you this firsthand report.