2020 Ford Mustang High Performance Package Wows NYC

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2020 Ford Mustang THE MUSTANG SOURCE - NY Intl Auto Show

Mustang’s chief engineer explains how the 2020 Ford Mustang was designed to ‘push the limits of what the EcoBoost could be.’

More than a half-century ago, the Ford Motor Company produced its first-ever Mustang, aka “The Pony.” It was unveiled at the New York World’s Fair in 1964.

Since then, Ford says the Mustang has become the world’s best-selling sports car. That includes 113,00 sold last year.

Now, 55 years since the first Mustang rolled off the assembly line, Ford has once again unveiled a new Pony in New York. This time it was the 2020 Ford Mustang High Performance Package at the New York International Auto Show. Carl Widmann, Mustang’s chief engineer, made the announcement on what turned out to be National Mustang Day.

2020 Ford Mustang THE MUSTANG SOURCE - NY Intl Auto Show

“It’s just like all the other Mustangs we’ve done,” Widmann said. “It hits on those key attributes of great design, heart-pounding performance, and personalization. Just like when the ’64 came out, that was what was clamored for by the consumer. They wanted to put more performance into the product, they wanted to make it their own.”

 

‘This product came about when six of our engineers were looking to push the limits of what the EcoBoost could be.’

 

According to Widmann, the 2020 Ford Mustang has the type of power its predecessors were known for. With a new 2.3L High Performance Package for the entry-level Mustang EcoBoost, it puts the four-cylinder sports car on top of the mountain when it comes to other automakers.

2020 Ford Mustang THE MUSTANG SOURCE - NY Intl Auto Show

The 2020 Mustang 2.3L High Performance Package is designed to run 0-60 in the mid-four-second range on premium fuel, with top speed increasing to 155 mph, a 10 mph gain over the 2019 EcoBoost Performance Package and 34 mph faster than the base EcoBoost Mustang.

“This product came about when six of our engineers were looking to push the limits of what the EcoBoost could be,” added Widmann. “We all know the front is a lot lighter on the EcoBoost; it has that tremendous capability to be a great autocross car. So what we were able to do is take a chassis system that we had developed about a year ago, and with the other part of my team in core performance, we found a slightly used Focus RS, pulled the motor out of that, stuck it into our chassis mule for the base Mustang team, and created what is the 2.3 High Performance.”

2020 Ford Mustang THE MUSTANG SOURCE - NY Intl Auto Show

Ford is extremely proud of its High-Performance Package and everything that comes with it on the Mustang. That includes larger four-piston fixed calipers with 13.9-inch front rotors. It also features a 32-millimeter sway bar up front and a tubular 21.7-millimeter bar at the rear.

 

‘As soon as you pull away in it, it’s got active exhaust, so it’s going to sound louder, have a little bit of a snarl to it.’

 

“It’s an RS motor, which is set up for rear-wheel drives, so it’s a high revving motor,” said Widmann. “You get peak horsepower; 6,000 RPM with a redline at 6,500, so you can rev this engine to the redline and get performance for automatic and manuals. And it’s combined with a chassis that you can put the power to the ground, so you have a real fun car when you throw it in the corners.”

2020 Ford Mustang THE MUSTANG SOURCE - NY Intl Auto Show

Other new standard features on the 2020 Mustang include the FordPass Connect, which allows owners to interact with their vehicles using a smartphone. Owners can locate their car, lock and unlock it, and check the status of the vehicle.

The 2020 Mustang will come in 11 colors, including four new ones. They include Grabber Lime, Iconic Silver, Red Hot Metallic Tinted Clearcoat and Twister Orange.

2020 Ford Mustang THE MUSTANG SOURCE - NY Intl Auto Show

But for Widmann and Ford officials, the most important component of the 2020 Mustang is how it makes it owners feels. They want drivers to really feel the power and performance when they get behind the wheel and know that they are in a Mustang.

“The big thing is, as soon as you pull away in it, it’s got active exhaust, so it’s going to sound louder, have a little bit of a snarl to it,” said Widmann. “As you turn it, you will notice the snappiness of the steering response, and the tightness of the chassis. As you accelerate you are going to notice that boom, and, in essence, it keeps pulling through gears all the way to redline. Every pedal is responsive, from the brakes to the accelerator, and the steering is quick. Plus, if you really like shifting through the gears, it’s a tremendous amount of fun when you have an engine that takes power [all the way] up the redline.”

Photos for The Mustang Source by Michael Kinney

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Longtime automotive journalist Michael Kinney has been covering the world of cars for over five years and is a familiar site at auto shows from coast to coast. He currently covers Ford Mustangs for The Mustang Source, writes about Porsches for Rennlist, reviews international auto shows for Ford truck Enthusiasts, and offers tips on car careers on HondaTech.

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