In the world of high horsepower cars, every time a new sports car comes out tuners rush to be the “first” to take these cars to the next level of performance. Ford decided that with the 2015 Mustang, they wanted to be the first to reach several performance milestones, including take the four-cylinder Mustang EcoBoost down the quarter-mile in less than 13 seconds.
The 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine is rated at 310 horsepower and up to 32 MPG on the highway, but buyers are most intrigued by how it will perform at the drag strip. For the .99 Challenge, Ford Racing took through 2015 Mustangs with three goals in mind; a supercharged 10-second run, a naturally-aspirated 11-second run, and a EcoBoost-powered 12-second run, using just a few modifications, “few” being a relative term.
The 5.0 liter V8-powered Mustang GT was outfitted with a supercharger for the 10-second challenge, going down the 1,320 in 10.97 seconds at 128 MPH, just barely squeaking under Ford Racing’s goal. The naturally aspirated 5.0 Mustang did better, using just bolt-ons and racing slicks to shoot down the quarter-mile in 11.77 seconds at 116 MPH.
Yet it was the Mustang EcoBoost, with just a new exhaust, engine calibration, rollcage, slicks, subframe, and driveshaft modifcations that delivered the biggest surprise. The Mustang EcoBoost managed a 12.56 E/T with a trap speed of 109 MPH, within spitting distance of V8-powered Mustang GT.