- Ford is planning a new "entry-level" performance version of the Mustang that sounds like a direct rival for Chevrolet's 1LE version of its four-cylinder Camaro.
- We suspect this new Mustang will slot in above the EcoBoost Performance Pack with extra chassis upgrades, if not necessarily extra power from the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine.
- Full info on this new version of the Mustang will be released within the next week or so.
If you want a performance-oriented Ford Mustang but can't afford the 700-plus-hp Shelby GT500, or even the track-focused GT Performance Pack Level 2, there's a new Mustang in the works for you. Ford is preparing to announce a new variant that it calls an "entry-level performance Mustang," which we take to mean a higher-performance version of the base Mustang EcoBoost.
There's already a $2495 Performance package available for the Mustang EcoBoost (pictured above), which adds equipment such as a limited-slip differential, 19-inch wheels and summer tires, larger brakes, upgraded springs, a larger rear anti-roll bar, a larger radiator, and numerous visual tweaks. But this new package sounds like it will go beyond that, just as the V-8–powered Mustang GT's Performance Pack Level 2 goes beyond the standard Performance Pack. Our guess is that the unnamed entry-level performance Mustang will have additional brake upgrades, stickier tires, and an even stiffer suspension. We don't expect much more power, if any, for the 2.3-liter four, which already makes 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.
It seems all but certain that Ford has its sights set on the Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LE. This version of the Camaro uses its least powerful engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, but ports over upgraded brakes, suspension, and wheel and tire upgrades from other Camaro models such as the V-8 SS.
The Mustang will have its work cut out for it beating that Camaro Turbo 1LE's impressive numbers; it went from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds in our testing and lapped Virginia International Raceway in a swift 3:05.6 in our 2018 Lightning Lap event.
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