RE: Ford Mustang Ecoboost Revo Stage 1: Review

RE: Ford Mustang Ecoboost Revo Stage 1: Review

Monday 19th September 2016

Ford Mustang Ecoboost Revo Stage 1: Review

More torque than the V8 but with Ecoboost running costs - has Revo Technik created the ultimate UK-specific Mustang?



For a significant number of people a Mustang won't be a Mustang with anything less than a V8. This is entirely reasonable, given the whole romance of the muscle car is inextricably linked to such engines. On the face of it the fact you can now buy a right-hand drive Mustang GT with a 416hp 5.0-litre V8 for well under £40K would make it a no-brainer, especially when it's just a £4K price walk from the 2.3-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost version. 

The wonders of a small suspension drop for stance!
The wonders of a small suspension drop for stance!
But maybe you just can't reconcile yourself - or your finances - with the idea of a 5.0-litre engine in this day and age. Maybe you like the idea of a Mustang-shaped car without Mustang-sized running costs, even if real mpg in the four-cylinder isn't actually that far off the V8. Maybe reality, the tax burden or fleet manager dictates it's an Ecoboost Mustang or no Mustang and whatever you'd be buying at this price would have a four-cylinder engine anyway. If that's the case, why not have it rear-wheel drive and rather more interesting to be around?

Down on cylinder count and charisma or not, the Ecoboost Mustang certainly isn't lacking in raw performance. 65kg lighter than a V8, the standard car has 317hp and 318lb ft of torque, the latter from 3,000rpm where the V8's 381lb ft requires 4,250rpm before really coming alive. Indeed, for all its apparent muscularity, in standard tune many will find the V8 GT Mustang a tad underwhelming, at least until you're well up into the rev range. 

More ponies for your pony car
As you'll probably have already gathered this particular Ecoboost Mustang has had a bit of an additional tickle by the guys at Revo Technik. We've already videoblogged our initial impressions and if you've seen that you'll be aware of one very intriguing stat - the Stage 1 package lifts power to an impressive 360hp, but it's the 406lb ft of torque that really makes you sit up and take notice. 

Real work lies under here though
Real work lies under here though
Yes, with 'just' a bolt-on ECU tweak costing £499+VAT your Ecoboost Mustang will have more torque than the one with double the cylinder count and more than twice the swept capacity. Revo jokingly refers to this car as the Ecobeast and according to its own testing the 0-62 time is reduced to 5.24 seconds from 6.8 in the standard car on the same day. The official figure for the stock car is 5.8; even taking this as gospel that's at least half a second off the line for relatively little expenditure. Given this is just the opening gambit on a range of tuning packages you can perhaps appreciate how the name stuck.  

As you may well already know, the 2.3-litre four is related to that in the 350hp Focus RS. The Focus version gets a twin-scroll turbo and some additional cooling channels within the block but the engines are fundamentally similar, other applications for the Mustang engine including the Zenos E10 R

'Chip' tuning for modern turbocharged engines and getting bigger numbers through tweaks to boost, fuelling and timing may seem like an easy win for the aftermarket, untroubled by the homologation numbers manufacturers have to hit. Or, er, not. In some cases. 

Caged beast
Moving swiftly on, a quick chat with Revo's Peter Tranda reveals the work that goes into it. Peter says they're able to talk to all the sensors in the engine and fettle to their hearts' content. But everything they do is informed by a desire to both improve drivability and maintain a healthy safety margin to calm fears it'll go pop within a few thousand miles. 

Performance not in any doubt; even if the noise is
Performance not in any doubt; even if the noise is
Tranda reports the standard intercooler on the Mustang is somewhat ineffectual, limiting how much more boost can be added without dangerously raising the intake temperatures. As such Revo's mapping includes a 'Temperature Protection' system that progressively reduces the boost if intake air temperature increases due to ambient conditions, driving style or other factors; indeed if this breaches 70deg it returns to the default Ford settings. 

He also reports that although the single-scroll turbo is somewhat less sophisticated than the twin-scroll in the Focus RS application they actually spool up at the same rate, the main benefit for the Focus being a thicker and more resilient mid-range. The Focus also gets temporary overboost, taking it from 324lb ft to 347lb ft. 

This is just the start though; a Stage 2 package with a bigger intercooler and a new downpipe and exhaust system developed with Milltek is capable of a safe 380hp, torque more or less the same but with a longer duration in the rev range. It also sounds much better by all accounts.

Half the fun?
This can only be a good thing. Because from start-up to shut-off there's nothing exotic about the noise the Ecoboost Mustang makes. It's a shame that for all the impressive power delivery this is the aspect we all fixate upon. But given a Mustang is most definitely a car to be bought with the heart perhaps reasonable. 

And this is just the start...
And this is just the start...
Fatter rubber on 20-inch Shelby wheels, plus lowering springs and anti-roll bars from Eibach, help flesh out the Mustang's lines while also taking some rough edges off the handling. It's still hardly sophisticated in feel, thudding over the bumps and feeling burly and not especially refined, but with much improved body control and more consistency in the contact patch of the tyres. Which is welcome given the significant increase in torque and vigour with which the turbo now boosts - out of the box Revo reported the stock car being something of a handful with its combination of American spec hair-trigger throttle, crude suspension and old-school mechanical locking diff. 

It may not sound it but the engine feels properly muscular too. There's a turbocharged elasticity to the throttle response but sturdy mid-range on which to lean whether you want to accelerate in-gear or stir the stumpy little lever around the gate in search of more expressive bursts of speed. Weight and turn-in response to the wheel feel a little more decisive too, likely down to the suspension and wheels. On Revo's development car a serious looking Alcon brake kit addresses the fact Ecoboost Mustangs lack the GT's standard Brembos too. 

In short the new Mustang has never struggled looking the part. The Ecoboost wasn't exactly slow out of the box but now it goes as well those looks implied. If Stage 2 can help address sounding and feeling it too then there could be hope for the four-cylinder Mustang yet.


FORD MUSTANG ECOBOOST FASTBACK REVO STAGE 1
Engine
: 2,300cc 4cyl turbo
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive, limited-slip differential
Power (hp): 360* (317@5,500rpm standard)
Torque (lb ft): 406* (318@3,000rpm standard)
0-62mph: 5.2sec* (5.8sec standard)
Top speed: 145mph (standard)
Weight: 1,655kg (with fluids and 75kg driver)
MPG: 35.3 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 179g/km
Price: £31,745 (basic list price for standard 2.3 Ecoboost Fastback manual; Revo Technik Stage 1 £499+VAT fitted)
*Revo Technik figures

[Sources: Revo Technik]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Photos: Chris Teagles]

 

Author
Discussion

sidesauce

Original Poster:

687 posts

146 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
I actually forgot about the fleet angle - if this upgrade doesn't invalidate the warranty then I could see why that would be very tempting for a company car point of view...

ChocolateFrog

2,968 posts

101 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
In the context of a mustang that underbonnet photo looks tragic.

*Al*

3,823 posts

150 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
ChocolateFrog said:
In the context of a mustang that underbonnet photo looks tragic.
Unfortunately it certainly does.

All that jazz

7,632 posts

74 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Unless you're leasing or it's a company car it doesn't matter what you do to it, it will still be worth £2.50 when you come to sell it because it doesn't have the V8 that all secondhand buyers will want.

Smokey32

298 posts

21 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Remap the V8 and write about that.

A 2.3 Mustang is tragic. If your worried about the small difference in running costs buy a bloody micra.
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AndySheff

5,702 posts

135 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Why is there another thread on this ?

DM525i

75 posts

76 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Even in standard form this to me sounds like a spiritual successor to something like a Nissan 200sx albeit a lot lardier and less sophisticated. Of all the 4 cylinders you could be driving around in this look pretty good. I'd look at it as a car that is far more interesting that all the other 4 door stuff and no there's no shame in not having the v8. This is the first Ford that is of any interest to me since they ceased making the capri, sierra etc.

macky17

1,787 posts

117 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
I think we have all made our feelings clear on the 2.3 in the other thread, one way or the other. I will add that it looks tremendous on those wheels with that lowered stance.

SimmoJon

5 posts

19 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Chaps the brakes are from ALCON not AP wink

yonex

11,176 posts

96 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
I can't help feel that a 4 pot Mustang is missing the point? They still sound st no matter what you do to them.

Roger Irrelevant

892 posts

41 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Looks impressive. I'll take the V8. And if I suddenly develop a desire to modify my car, I'll supercharge it. And if I start thinking about running costs for a solitary second, I'll buy something else entirely.

Magic919

14,126 posts

129 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
AndySheff said:
Why is there another thread on this ?
Maybe as the previous one was so well received.

yonex

11,176 posts

96 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Magic919 said:
Maybe as the previous one was so well received.
rofl

I mean, why aren't we talking about aftermarket turbo and/or superchargers on the V8?

MikeTFSI

1,421 posts

30 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Hennessy will take the V8 up to 750hp and did a 207.9mph pass in it. I think it was $25k on top of a V8.

DS197

964 posts

34 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Did I read that right.. 6.8 seconds to 60?! Must be fun getting spanked by Fiesta STs

Ecosseven

1,387 posts

145 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
The biggest problem with this car is the name - MUSTANG. It's an American icon and in the UK the majority of people buying a Mustang want a V8.

If there was no V8 available and the car was made by another manufacturer with no heritage it would probably be well received. Judge the car on it's merits and suddenly it doesn't look too bad when compared with a BMW 4 series or an Audi A5. 360bhp RWD manual coupe with an LSD, large boot, + 2 seating and good looks.

It will be interesting to see how the residuals of the Ecoboost compare to the V8. The current price difference is around £4k I think. Second hand values could see that gap widening and with additional power easily and cheaply available from companies like Revo it could be worth a punt after 2or 3 years depreciation.


Hitch

5,301 posts

122 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
I agree with the poster above - as the ecoboosts drop in value they will become a fairly cheap way to get to mega power like turbo Japs of old were.

If I was buying a Mustang as a daily I'd consider this. I'm not sure anyone buys them as dailies though, all the ones I see are driven at weekends by chaps old enough to be reliving the 60s!

Aeroresh

1,423 posts

160 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Im pretty sure despite what Ford would have you believe most of these are weekend or second/third car toys which is why the ecoboost model seems largely to have been forgotten about.....remap or otherwise.

Shame really as in isolation it has a lot to offer compared with the German equivelants.

big_rob_sydney

2,015 posts

122 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
I didn't realise it was such a slug. And that's AFTER the remap.

What a steaming pile the standard car is, what with all the weight and sheer size of the thing. Bit like watching a fat bd hit the gym for a week. Sure, gains have been made, but its still fat...

Smokey32

298 posts

21 months

Sunday 18th September 2016
quotequote all
Roger Irrelevant said:
Looks impressive. I'll take the V8. And if I suddenly develop a desire to modify my car, I'll supercharge it. And if I start thinking about running costs for a solitary second, I'll buy something else entirely.
hahah exactly what I was thinking.