Specifications of Ford Mustang VI (facelift 2017) BULLITT 5.0 Ti-VCT V8 (480 HP)
General characteristics of Ford Mustang VI (facelift 2017) BULLITT 5.0 Ti-VCT V8 (480 HP)
With the focus on the EcoBoost range as the bulk seller, Ford borrowed tech from the Focus RS' engine and tuned the base EcoBoost to be more muscular. A beefed-up head gasket, larger twin-scroll turbo compressor, and a bigger radiator were added to kick out 330 ponies, 20 down on the Focus RS but 20 up on the base Mustang. The end result was impressive enough to warrant inclusion in the Mustang lineup by means of the all-new High Performance package for 2020. Still new to the scene however, the engine's official performance times haven't been released yet, but Ford assures us it can race from 0-60 mph in somewhere around 4.5 seconds, which handily undercuts the 275 hp 2.0-liter turbocharged Camaro LS's 5.4-second time, and even the 335 hp 3.6-liter engine which manages the sprint in five seconds flat. Upping the ante even more, Ford has increased top speed on the 'Stang to 155 mph with the Performance Package added. Even without the new performance enhancers, the Mustang's 310 hp 2.3-liter turbocharged motor offers 35 hp more power than the base Camaro and five more than the entry-level Challenger. With rear-wheel-drive as the default drivetrain, there's guaranteed to be oversteer on-demand should you turn off all the nannies, while all-wheel-drive options from Dodge will better suit cold-weather states. It's no GT500, but it offers enough power to excite.
The EcoBoost Fastback is equipped with a 2.3-liter inline-four engine that drives power exclusively to the rear wheels. Producing 310 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, the standard six-speed manual gearbox is carried over from the previous year model, undoubtedly leaving the burn-out kings and tire-squealing dragsters quite happy. Alternatively, a slick-shifting ten-speed automatic 'box is also available for those more focused on the daily drive. Switching the auto to shiftable mode retains the previous year's slight lag between gear shifts, and the manual remains the suggested option for those wanting increased engagement and sharper responses.
For the new High Performance package, total outputs of 330 hp and 350 lb-ft can be unleashed, with the manufacturer having also tweaked the torque curve somewhat, allowing the Mustang to deliver 90 percent peak torque from between 3,000 and 5,300 rpm. Take-off from a standstill can be as rubber-burning and severe as you want it to be, particularly with the line-lock function still in play, while passing maneuvers at speed are handled effortlessly. The only downside is the lack of aural pleasure - Mustang looks create a certain mental image and the four-cylinder sound emitted by the EcoBoost motor is somewhat of a letdown.
EPA estimates of 21/31/25 mpg city/highway/combined are claimed by Ford for the manual variant, while the auto manages ever so slightly better, at 21/32/25 mpg. With a fuel tank size of 15.5 gallons, the Mustang should manage 372 miles to a tank of gas if you opt for the stick shift or almost 388 miles for the auto. Not bad overall, with the Dodge Challenger coming in slightly below these estimates at 19/30/23 mpg; the 2020 Camaro offers up 22/31/25 mpg in its most efficient automatic guise.
Designed to seat four in the classic two-plus-two setup, all the glory is restricted to the front seats of the 2020 Ford Mustang. While no one expects the back of a pony car to be luxurious or even spacious, the restricted rear seat carried over from the previous iterations remains a drawback. Getting in and out of the 'Stang is fine unless you are relegated to the rear, where some contortion and relevant grunting will be required. Still, two sets of LATCH connectors are included, although they are not easy to access. The base EcoBoost model features cloth-upholstered front bucket seats which are manually adjustable; fortunately, this is upgraded to more luxurious fare in the Premium trim, with leather-trimmed buckets that can be power-adjusted six ways, as well as having lumbar support. Heating and ventilation on the front seats are standard in the top-end trim, and the infotainment system upgrades from six-speakers to nine between the two models; the new FordPass Connect app is standard on both. Manual single-zone climate control in the base trim seems a little spartan while the Premium trim offers a dual-zone automatic setup instead.
The reality for owners and buyers of the Mustang is that the overwhelming majority buy it for thrills and status, and not for your daily school run or ferrying passengers about. As such, classic Mustang seats up front are prioritized in terms of comfort and luxury, with the rear getting only minimal attention. Cloth seats on the base model are upgraded to leather on the top-spec, and with comfortably bolstered bucket seats for driver and front passenger, even long journeys will be fine. The Mustang offers brilliant legroom up front, and as a coupe with a sloping roof, ample but not excessive headroom. The rear is tight from every angle, and not much can be done with it, save for short joy-rides with your friends or for packing space for a track day out. So if you plan on regularly having passengers in the rear, opt for something like a crossover, sedan or SUV instead.
On the plus side, the driver gets optimal positioning, which can be adjusted extensively on the top-of-the-range model although not so much in the entry-level version. Visibility is good, though, and sliding into the front is no problem at all. Getting into the back seats is a whole different ball game, and we'd suggest sitting it out.