PistonHeads.com Forum

RE: Ford Mustang Ecoboost Convertible: Driven

RE: Ford Mustang Ecoboost Convertible: Driven

Monday 18th May 2015

Ford Mustang Ecoboost Convertible: Driven

So can a Mustang really work as a Mustang with four cylinders and without a roof?



Thank goodness the manual has remained. With an automatic gearbox this Mustang 'vert would have a perfect score on the anti-PH spec bingo - four cylinders, no roof and very reserved Magnetic Grey paint. What's a muscle car without a lairy colour?

Anyway, with both the four-cylinder and convertible models expected to make up a significant portion of sales in the UK, it only seemed right to test that as well. Can the endearing Mustang charm of the V8 fastback transfer to a four-cylinder drop-top?


In a word, no. Unequivocally not. Perhaps that view is tainted somewhat by having driven the V8 first but it's hard to come away from the Ecoboost and not feel significantly disappointed.

And this is not some power-crazed PH perspective where anything under 350hp is too feeble for our powerfully-built frames. It's simply not that exciting, which is odd given a related engine feels a perfect fit for the Focus ST. The numbers are there, and some impromptu tests with a V8 reveal it's not that far behind on the road, but it's simply not a pleasant engine to use. The sound is diesel-esque and plain, but so is the power delivery - torque is plentiful but it noticeably tightens further up the rev range, to the point where you short shift and rely on the turbo's urge to push the Mustang along at a reasonable pace. At least the gearbox itself is pleasant, short and precise like the V8's with less of the brawn. But where that car will have entertained by the second gearchange there's no such enjoyment from the four-cylinder. It was inevitable to a degree, but certainly not expected by this margin.


Wobble board
Unfortunately the bad news continues for this particular Mustang because it certainly doesn't set a new benchmark for convertible dynamics. Even on smooth German roads the structural rigidity can often be found wanting, the car shimmying and wobbling over imperfections at normal speeds. If the coupe is anything to go by then this car is surely a massive improvement on previous Mustangs, but it's some way off the best at the moment.

There's more, too. Sorry. The appeal of the V8 fastback is clear as it's the Mustang the purists want, the true muscle car and, encouragingly enough, the most popular in the UK pre-order lists. Over here, without many boulevards to cruise or Sweet 16 birthday presents to buy, where does that leave the Ecoboost convertible? Those with a 4 Series or A5 cabriolet at the moment probably won't be considering the Mustang as a replacement, and it's patently not sporty enough to rival a TT.

Hopefully the Ecoboost engine finds a more natural home in the fastback Mustang. Let's also pray for some improvement before a version of that engine makes it to the Focus RS as well. For now the Ecoboost cabriolet feels the most American of the new Mustangs and that isn't intended as a compliment. It certainly looks good but beyond that it's rather left wanting.


FORD MUSTANG ECOBOOST CONVERTIBLE
Engine:
2,300cc 4cy turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive, limited-slip differential 
Power (hp):316@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 317@3,000rpm
0-62mph:6.0 seconds
Top speed: 145mph (limited)
MPG:34.4 (NEDC combined)
CO2:184g/km
Price: £33,000 





Author
Discussion

Otispunkmeyer

Original Poster:

8,928 posts

80 months

Sunday 17th May 2015
quotequote all
Standard 4 cylinder turbo then. Sounds like a threshing machine and busts its lungs at anything over 5k rpm.

It such a shame 4 cylinders are the most prolific engines. They are universally bad in the aural department (with very few exceptions). None of them sound anything but flatulent. Firmly of the opinion that these engines, like little boys, should be seen but not heard.

unsprung

1,337 posts

49 months

Sunday 17th May 2015
quotequote all


Good review. Wisely, it acknowledges the distinct "jobs" for which buyers in different countries will, or won't, "hire" this car.

Behind closed doors, few at Ford are likely to disagree.

They'd simply remind us of the variety that Mustang offers: engines, transmissions, body style, etc. Satisfy a diversity of buyers: keep sales volume up and unit cost down.

And they'd surely remind us of the low sales volumes anticipated in individual countries outside the US. Business case and all that.

Motoring in the UK is not a low-cost endeavour. Consequently, if you are adamant that precious little will stand in the way of your passion for performance, you are certain to be a fastidious shopper of cars.

Some people talk about handling in terms of road holding; Britons talk about handling in terms of what happens when there is insufficient road to hold. The expectations, and the level of fluency if you will, are higher.

Large swathes of the world are not there, yet. Or they simply have other priorities. A cashed-up young executive in China -- where tax on engine displacement is akin to a felony punishment -- is going to look at the four-cylinder convertible Mustang a bit differently than here.

For me, the thing that is potentially most exciting is that the Mustang narrative will now have more voices. And some from very different cultures (Iran anyone?). This might lead to all sorts of fun stuff.




redroadster

661 posts

157 months

Sunday 17th May 2015
quotequote all
Ok it's not as good as v8 however it will appeal to high mileage drivers and woman drivers who are not interested in going fast....

GFraser

108 posts

51 months

Sunday 17th May 2015
quotequote all
Yikes, as the article mentions that's a bit of a worry for the Focus RS. Planning on my first new car next year and the RS is top of my list!

lord trumpton

4,163 posts

51 months

Sunday 17th May 2015
quotequote all
GFraser said:
Yikes, as the article mentions that's a bit of a worry for the Focus RS. Planning on my first new car next year and the RS is top of my list!
I don't think RS devision will sit back and not make the engine centre stage.
Advertisement

GFraser

108 posts

51 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
You're probably right and I certainly hope so. I know it's not a completely identical engine as some parts uprated, I'm just very excited about the RS and I'm hoping they 'don't drop the ball'! I'm sure they won't let us down smile

Edited by GFraser on Monday 18th May 08:37

Esceptico

1,138 posts

34 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
redroadster said:
Ok it's not as good as v8 however it will appeal to high mileage drivers and woman drivers who are not interested in going fast....
Buying a US car like the Mustang comes with certain compromises. Despite their best efforts it is not up to the standard of European fare like BMW or Audi in terms of interior quality and design nor handling and ride for European roads. With the V8 those compromises are offset with the soundtrack and the power and delivery of the engine. Without the V8 it doesn't seem very appealing to me. Will be interesting to see what the market thinks.

hornetrider

63,161 posts

130 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
"So can a Mustang really work as a Mustang with four cylinders and without a roof?"

No. The end.

IrishAsal

61 posts

80 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
I think this will be a hard sell.

Man maths on buying a generation old V8 'stang? Presumably you'd still be ahead
+ tax
+ insurance
+ fuel
- Depreciation

I can't see the benefit anywhere and can't imagine how the looks could compete with various BMW / Merc / Porsche offerings (the later not offering a 4 seater I suppose).

Steven-eoi92

48 posts

32 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
My wife and I rented one of these on a holiday in the states recently. It had the paddle gearbox. We drove 1750 miles in it. My view is

- Looks very nice
- Has a big boot
- Relatively little buffet with the roof down
- Paddle gearbox did not seem great to me, but I've never driven such a box before so can't give a comparison
- Comfortable and good for long drives - low road noise and travels at motorway speeds at sub 2000 rpm
- The hire car company had, in my view, set the ECU or bleed valve so that the car did not come on boost - guage showed the car coming out of vac but would never make positive pressure. Disgusting, but then I guess if they let anyone drive around a turbo charged rear wheel drive car then there are going to be accidents. Still, they should say if the car has been detuned, then I'd have rented the Chevy Camero.
- Car was slow. 7 seconds to 60. Felt terribly underpowered. Probably a result of the above.
- Corners like a dog. We have an 11 year old alfa 147 as a run about and I feel much more comfortable sticking that round bends under power than the Mustang. Terrible shimmying. The car is just too high, weighs too much and the suspension is too soft meaning that it wallows and twitches quite a lot.
- I'd guess that the inside is comparable in space to a BMW 3 series saloon rag-top and I'd be surprised if those didn't drive a lot more nicely. This car is a competitor for that market - it is definitely not a Z4, 370z, TT etc with two rear seats.
- Interior plastics are poor by European standards, but that's to be expected.

Shinjuku

Calza

1,354 posts

40 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
Otispunkmeyer said:
Standard 4 cylinder turbo then.
Seems that way frown

Why did they not make it 5cyl? Immediately sets it out a little bit from all the others and would probably give it a slightly better bark.

croyde

14,032 posts

155 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
I'm sure that the 2.3 will be fine in the RS, as after all the Focus is far smaller and lighter and all about buzzy power but in a Mustang!

I like my Yank cars to be all about lazy power and grunt. Having to thrash some little 4 pot in a Mustang misses the point. In my opinion anyway.

Edited by croyde on Monday 18th May 11:15

thelawnet

1,520 posts

80 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
The words 'Ecoboost' and 'Mustang' don't really go together, do they.

EricE

1,944 posts

54 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
thelawnet said:
The words 'Ecoboost' and 'Mustang' don't really go together, do they.
More so than the words "Ecoboost" and "Ford GT" if you ask me.

buzzer

2,954 posts

165 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
Just back from the USA where we hired one in California and did around 1500 mile in it... Have to say I loved it! We had the V6 version last year, this was a much better car.

Over the trip it did 31 MPG as well!





Edited by buzzer on Monday 18th May 12:37

350Matt

3,542 posts

204 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
thing is Ford know a lot of these will be bought for kids who want a 'cool ' car but can't get insured on the V8

I'm sure the aftermarket will be all over these to sort out the sound with a better exhaust, and up the power

lord trumpton

4,163 posts

51 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
I can see it selling far more than the traditional big lump Mustangs

As nice as they sound, not many 'new buyers' want to deal with a big thirsty engine.

Plus lowering fords overall emissions level will have something to do with it too

thelawnet

1,520 posts

80 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
lord trumpton said:
Plus lowering fords overall emissions level will have something to do with it too
Surely they sell enough 1.0 Fiestas not to have to worry about that?

TwigtheWonderkid

23,943 posts

75 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
redroadster said:
Ok it's not as good as v8 however it will appeal to high mileage drivers and woman drivers who are not interested in going fast....
Why won't it appeal to male drivers who aren't interested in going fast?

unpc

1,781 posts

138 months

Monday 18th May 2015
quotequote all
lord trumpton said:
I can see it selling far more than the traditional big lump Mustangs

As nice as they sound, not many 'new buyers' want to deal with a big thirsty engine.

Plus lowering fords overall emissions level will have something to do with it too
Not so sure about that. Most of the orders so far have been for the V8 and as for thirsty, the EcoBoost seems to barely better the V8 during real world driving as opposed to lab tests.