Ford fans rejoice. The Blue Oval has gotten around to putting some performance packs together for the latest generation Mustang, and the gains they boast look quite promising. By taking what it calls “performance-enhancing calibrations” to the next level on both EcoBoost and GT models, Ford claims it has unlocked “substantial power gains” via a series of computer reflashes and air intake upgrades that are 50-state-compliant and won’t void any warranties.
Ford’s forced induction kit for the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine takes peak torque up an additional 70 pound-feet for a total of 390, while bumping horsepower gains up 25 notches to 335. While these upticks are substantial, what is most appealing to us is the way in which the powerband has been remapped: Gains start off at 40 horsepower and 60 pound-feet of torque in the 2,500 RPM to 5,000 RPM range, jump to 75 horsepower with 64 pounds of twist from 5,500 RPM to redline, before succumbing to a 100 horsepower bump right at 6,000 RPM.
“Ford Performance Parts is a key part of our product strategy,” says Doug White, Ford Performance Parts manager. “Mustang is all about performance, and we know our customers look to us for performance options that are both 50-state-compliant and warranty-friendly.”
The EcoBoost upgrade can be outfitted on both manual and automatic Mustangs, and on paddle shifter-equipped applications, each kit features optimized performance shift schedules for added boost and throttle response. While Ford hasn’t released any efficiency numbers just yet, judging by the perks many modified EcoBoost owners have seen at the pump with cars like the Focus ST, a more efficient engine in a Mustang might pique conservative buyer interest as well. Since a lot people opt for the turbocharged 2.3-liter alternative in order to have fun and still save at the pump, it only makes sense for Ford to release revised fuel economy numbers for this kit when they become available.
But most Mustang owners couldn’t be bothered about efficiency gains. The reason they drive a GT is primarily because it’s a mean muscle car with a racing pedigree and plenty of attitude to spare. Fortunately for them, V8 Mustang buyers aren’t just getting one, but three different OEM power package upgrade options for their already potent V8. This is a first for the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker, as it has never offered more than one factory performance upgrade for a single powertrain.
According to Ford, this trifecta of upgrades offers fans of manual transmissions a unique “no-lift-shift feature,” which enables drivers to shift gears without feeling the need to lift their foot off the throttle. Out of the three performance packages available for the Mustang GT, gains of up to 37 horsepower and a peak 472 horsepower from the 5.0-liter V8 are available, as the kit increases engine redline numbers, all while being backed by a factory warranty.
The Stage 1 power pack is very straightforward and only includes two things: a free-flowing air filter and an ECU reflash, which together return improvements of 13 horsepower and 16 pound-feet of torque. The next level upgrade includes a complete GT350 cold air intake, an 87-millimeter throttle body, and an intake adapter from a Shelby Mustang that includes a CARB-certified open air filter, providing peak gains of 21 horsepower and 24 pound-feet of torque across the board.
As for the Stage 3, the final upgrade option bumps the redline up to 7,500 RPM, where drivers will discover 60 additional horsepower, all of which is made possible by a high-flowing intake manifold, with numbers jumping even higher with the addition of a free-flowing exhaust. All of these kits are currently available through Ford Performance Parts, with a starting price of just $699 for EcoBoost kits that tops out at $2,395 for the Stage 3 GT kit. Ford’s “Performance ProCal” tool is included with every calibration, 91 or higher octane fuel is required after each upgrade and forever more, and Power Packs are sold separately and cannot be upgraded without the purchase of an entire kit at this time.