2020 2.3L High Performance Package Mustang | Stepped-Up Styling and Power

2020 2.3L High Performance Package Mustang | Stepped-Up Styling and Power

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Technological progression can be a wonderful thing. When the 2.3L EcoBoost Mustang debuted for the 2015 model year, it’s performance potential surprised quite a few people. The all-aluminum mill came packed with a forged crank, steel ring-land in the pistons, and was topped off with a twin-scroll turbo. With basic mods we had our EB Mustang making 340HP and 440TQ to the wheels. That car could certainly surprise the occasional 3V GT.

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Ford wanted to make sure the world knows this car isn't just another base model Mustang.


Not wanting to be left out of go-fast game, Ford worked up a High Performance package for its base 2.3L Pony Car. This package is much more than a revised ECU strategy and some badges. Team Mustang made the trip across town to the Ford Performance garage to raid the Focus RS parts bin. They essentially snatched the entire engine. The die-cast aluminum block and high flowing cylinder head were modified and turned 90-degrees in order to drive the rear wheels. That’s all boosted by a larger 63mm water cooled twin-scroll turbo. The upgraded snail gives the engine a broader powerband that tops out at 330 Horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.

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We got to spin the rollers on the dyno at 5 Star Tuning. Check out this video for results:


We recently got to spend a week with a fairly heavily optioned 2020 EcoBoost Mustang with the High Performance package. This thing was loaded up with the performance suspension package, Recaro seats, and the premium interior. That brought the sticker price up to an eye watering $43,165. The major options were priced as follows:

  • Equipment Group 201A - $2,200
  • 2.3L High Performance Package - $4,995
  • EcoBoost Handling Package - $1,195
  • Recaro Seats - $1,995

However, for that princely sum you do get a very nice car. IMO, the S550 interior has aged much better than previous generation Mustangs; and the higher trim-level versions are nice place to sit during a road trip.

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The wheels included with the EcoBoost Handling Package are a toned down version of those found on the Performance Pack Level 2 GT.


The EcoBoost Handling Package, which is only available with the High Performance Package and a manual transmission, brings a lot of driving excitement to the party. I’ve said it for years, the EcoBoost Mustangs offer a much more balanced driving dynamic than the V8 equipped models. This can be seen in this particular car’s 53/47 weight distribution. The handling pack gives you grippier semi-metallic brake pads, MagneRide dampers with a TORSEN 3.55:1 limited-slip rear differential, wider 19x9.5-inch premium painted aluminum wheels with 265/40R Pirelli P Zero Corsa4 tires, and a 24-millimeter solid rear sway bar. All this adds up to a competently handling car that is very comfortable to push into a corner, and has a broad enough torque curve to rotate around the turn.


Nothing like a test drive to sort things out. This car is great out on the road.


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The 2.3L engine from the no-longer-sold Focus RS is the center piece of the High Performance package.


On the road, this car’s combination of options add up to a great daily driver. It has the ability to soften the suspension and quiet the exhaust enough to be entirely civilized when it’s called for, but when the opportunity to relieve a little stress presents itself you’re just a switch flips away from Track Mode. You have a really great looking car that gets about 30 MPG on the highway while still being extremely fun in the twisties. If you ever get the opportunity to take a Mustang equipped like this one to the mountains and stretch its legs on a two-lane road, take it.


Ever wonder what the various exhaust modes sound like on an EcoBoost Mustang sound like? Here's your opportunity.

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The 63mm turbo is a solid upgrade over the standard 57mm unit. It is also water-cooled, which if you watch the dyno video above you may notice how important that is.

On the topic of styling, Ford gave the High Performance EcoBoost cars a few subtle cues that set them apart from the standard 4-pot cars. The side-view mirrors and raised blade spoiler are painted magnetic grey. The grills are finished in piano black and you get the Mustang GT brake package. The designers also made sure you wouldn’t forget what you were driving by providing a generous number of High Performance EcoBoost badges. On the interior we have a ton of blue stitching matching the awesome looking Velocity Blue paint.


This overview shows the highlights of this feature packed 2020 Mustang.

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The blue stitching found throughout the interior is a really nice touch and matches the Velocity Blue paint perfectly.

While this likely may not be the Mustang that every SVTP Member is planning to rush out and buy, it is a very fun and stylish car. Yes, it does pale in comparison to Coyote powered GT. However, if you need to save on fuel or insurance this car may be a good option for you. You get impressive styling and handling along with a decent bump in performance. If you love turbo-fours and serious up-side aftermarket power potential the High Performance EcoBoost Mustang is a solid choice. With just a few bolt-ons you could be cranking out 350 RWHP and 450 RWTQ, and that’s performance you will feel.


Our final thoughts on the 2020 2.3L High Performance Package Mustang. A solid choice if you're not interested in a Coyote GT.


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Another HP 2.3L badge. It's great to see Ford installing this strut tower base after we tested it out 5 years ago.


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This car had the worst MT-82 trans I've ever driven. I have a feeling one of the press drivers who had it before me had no idea how to drive a stick and somehow damaged it.


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This is easily one of the best colors you can get on an S550 Mustang. Velocity Blue looks especially good with Magnetic grey painted mirrors and spoiler.



-SID297
 
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Lol on the MT82 comments in that particular car.

I like it... At $43k it might be too much dough, however, considering i imagine it would be cross-shopped with a Golf R, WRX STI, or Veloster N. Although you would get a rear driver...
 
I really liked the color in person, the ride was really nice. Power wise, it needs a touch of tuning to bring the power up a tad from what you'd expect from this car.
 
Lol on the MT82 comments in that particular car.

I like it... At $43k it might be too much dough, however, considering i imagine it would be cross-shopped with a Golf R, WRX STI, or Veloster N. Although you would get a rear driver...

It was seriously bad. I had a manual trans Bullitt a week or two later that was fine. It was just this one car.

I really liked the color in person, the ride was really nice. Power wise, it needs a touch of tuning to bring the power up a tad from what you'd expect from this car.

That's a theme I'm running into with a lot of new Fords. They all need some form of tuning.
 
When ford pushes there rebates on the mustangs this HIPO ecoboost is a hell of a deal. Love the color and like that they badge this car.
 
Would have liked to have seen brembos on the front being a "HIPO" and all. SMH.

Agree, that would have set it apart more from the performance pack on the earlier EcoBoost cars. That being said, the brakes are really good. The pad change Ford made is very noticeable. If I owned an earlier car I'd go out and buy a set of those pads today.
 
This car should be $33k and not $43k.

I wonder how fast it would be versus my Fiesta ST on track. Ask Ford if i can borrow one for the February event, ill take every picture, video and review it from a track enthusiast view and post results of it versus the rest of the field!
 
Nice review, Sid, and nice package, but as pointed out, it needs at least a set of front (red) Brembos to further set it apart from the base 2.3L visually. I understand that the brakes are good as is, but visually, the Brembos are needed for a HIPO package. I do like the revised fender badging. No cheap vinyl graphic stuck elsewhere, but a solid badge replacement on the fender. Which, of course, would tie in visually with Brembo mere inches away.

What's up with the pony grill emblem stuck over on the right side of the grill? Looks misplaced. It needs to be centered. JMO.
 
This car should be $33k and not $43k.

I wonder how fast it would be versus my Fiesta ST on track. Ask Ford if i can borrow one for the February event, ill take every picture, video and review it from a track enthusiast view and post results of it versus the rest of the field!

most of that is the dollar being devalued and the quality going way up. its essentially a baby GT350 with a focus RS engine so around 40K makes sense.
 

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