2015 Ford Mustang Ride Along

2015 Ford Mustang Ride Along

Ford is hard at work putting the finishing touches on its hotly anticipated 2015 Mustang, which is expected to go on sale this fall. Regrettably we haven’t been offered any time in the driver’s seat but we did get the next best thing: a chance to ride shotgun for a few hot laps.

Ok, being a passenger isn’t all that great. It’s like teasing your dog by dangling a juicy steak a few inches above his nose but never giving him a taste. We were so close to driving the car yet so far at the same time. Still, here’s what we gleaned from our brief experience.

2015-Ford-Mustang-Performance-43.JPG2.3-LITER ECOBOOST

Undoubtedly the most interesting powerplant offered is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. This efficiency-focused powerplant promises a stout 310 ponies and an even more appealing 320 lb-ft of torque.

It sports all latest performance-enhancing goodies like variable camshaft timing, direct fuel injection and a twin-scroll turbocharger for rapid response at low RPM. Meanwhile, features like a forged steel crankshaft, upgraded valve seats, piston cooling jets and a cylinder-head integrated exhaust manifold ensure long-term durability.

But how well does it work in the 2015 Mustang? After a brief ride along it seems like this could really be the car’s volume engine.

From inside the cabin, this powerplant is surprisingly loud during acceleration, and the noises it provides are unexpectedly throaty. But you can’t outsmart physics. There simply aren’t enough power strokes per crankshaft revolution to imbue the EcoBoost Mustang a guttural voice. Engineers have probably done everything they can to make it sound good, but it’s still a four-banger.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Ford Mustang Curb Weights Revealed

It’s the same story outside. The exhaust snarls appropriately for a performance coupe but you’ll never confuse it with the GT version, which is powered by a thundering 5.0-liter V8.

Acceleration provided by the turbo-four is strong and the engine seems to kick pretty hard right off idle. To be a proper pony car this powerplant had to deliver a responsive experience and it appears to be able.


Underway, a little vibration is noticeable in the car’s floor but it’s only a minor resonance. Curiously there’s no noise tube to amplify the engine’s ruckus; it’s all natural.

As for the chassis squat and dive are well controlled during hard acceleration and even harder barking. The body stays extremely flat through corners, even while traversing Ford’s Dearborn test track, which has several prominent elevation changes.

Talking with one of Ford’s veteran test drivers he said the new independent rear suspension permits you to roll on the throttle much sooner since it lets the car to put the power to the pavement more effectively than the live axle that supports today’s model.

Naturally the brakes are drastically improved as well. They allow you to decelerate later in corners and ought to be much more resistant to fade

2015-Ford-Mustang-Performance-33.JPG5.0-LITER V8

The noise, the torque, the top-end pull! Ford’s Coyote V8 has always been a stunner and it’s been made even better for 2015.

This is the top-dog engine in the new Mustang, for now at least, and it pulls like a beast. Jab the throttle and the car just rockets ahead. There’s ample twist in the basement and tons of high-RPM horsepower. The way it pulls it seems like it could rev to 20,000 RPM.

Output should clock in at 435 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Today’s five-oh delivers 420 ponies and 390 units of twist.

Curiously that extra grunt was not provided by any single change; engineers worked the powerplant over thoroughly, making small but meaningful upgrades where necessary.

And one of the most interesting tweaks is the change they made to the engine’s intake ports. They’re essentially copies of the ones used in the Boss 302 Mustang and they’re huge. You can cram at least three fingers into each one. Additionally the cams are basically cribbed from the Boss and feature a massive 13 millimeters of lift.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Ford Mustang Power Numbers Released

The engine’s variable cam timing setup has been tweaked as well. It provides a massive amount of adjustability, anywhere between ZERO valve overlap to more than what’s found in a top-fuel dragster. This is part of what makes the engine idle so smoothly yet pull like a jet engine at high speeds.


Additionally the 5.0-liter features butterfly valves in the intake runners or “charge motion control valves” in Ford parlance. These little plates partially obstruct the intake ports at lower engine RPM to induce tumble and swirl for enhanced fuel-air mixing. This improves idle quality and fuel economy while cutting emissions. Curiously, this engine makes monster power without direct fuel injection, which is an expensive addition.

2015-Ford-Mustang-Performance-03.JPGODDS AND ENDS

Of course there’s a third engine option in the new Mustang. The entry-level powerplant is a tried-and-true 3.7-liter V6, which we did not get to experience on the test track. In the 2015 car it will deliver an even 300 horses with 280 lb-ft of torque. Power is down by five compared to the outgoing model because the new car’s hood has been lowered by 35 millimeters, which necessitated redesigning the intake manifold.

Both a manual and automatic transmission are offered in the new ‘Stang and each has six forward speeds. Like the V8 engine they’ve been reworked as well.

The stick should be more reliable and provide smoother shifting thanks to redesigned linkage; the auto-box now features paddle shifters and is both stiffer and lighter.

The 2015 Ford Mustang appears to have all the right ingredients. It’s pretty, powerful and appears to drive very well, plus gives customers lots of options when they go to buy. On paper it looks like a smashing success. Now all we have to do is drive one to find out.

 GALLERY: 2015 Ford Mustang Performance




Discuss this story on our Ford forum.

  • Stephen Elmer

    Love the yellow paint finish.

  • DoctorFeelgoodMD

    Coyote or nothing!!!!

  • Phil Davis

    Ford is serious about changing their cars…the styling is not out of the 1980’s or 1970’s like GM…it looks great!

  • ThreeD

    Well, it looks like the Camaro wins AGAIN! Whoever designed the 2015 Mustang should be smacked across the face with a rusted pipe!

  • Jgarey

    Three D
    I agree. After I saw two of them at Ford World Hdqtrs, I went out and bought a 2014 GT convert. Now I have my classic car !!!

  • Tazaxx

    Putting the finishing touches on?? I’ve already seen one on the road here in Virginia, so I hope the finishing is already done. As far as body design, I think I’ll keep my 2012…and my 69, 70, 71 Boss, 72 Mach1…….I’d love to see the Fusion in a 2 door coupe.

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked