How bad does it feel to have a four-cylinder engine in an American V8 legend? GQ found out. Topless.

Onlookers are gathering in the vicinity of the Mustang’s exhaust end pipes in anticipation of the glorious V8 soundtrack. But once again, I will have to disappoint them. I am in an impressive lipstick red Mustang convertible, but it is the 2.3-l. four-cylinder, just now emitting some pathetic EcoBoost gasping on start-up. And that is the biggest problem of the entry-level pony. The sound. Or the lack thereof.
In its sixth generation, with sharper LED headlights and a new rear bumper, the discussion is still the same. Is the EcoBoost a deceptive package? Shouldn’t one safeguard the cultural 5.0-l. V8 heritage? Aren’t four cylinders clashing with the style? Would Old Henry turn around in his grave?
Well, I personally prefer the V8, but if you don’t see the 2.3 EcoBoost as a competitor, but a mere alternative, it works. Despite missing the rough and ready charm of its bigger brother, it can do bends as well now, just like him.
Both are still featuring too much hard plastic inside, significantly below German standards. The new four-cylinder even has 20kW less than its predecessor, due to European (wtf) emission regulations. The 10-speed gearbox feels more like a CVT than a regular automatic. And the ride quality is unforgivingly hard. Mustangs prefer smooth tarmac.
But as mentioned before this red Mustang convertible is still an eye catcher. As long as you are stationary. You get the same street cred (standing), as in the 5.0-l. V8, but for R121 800 less. That’s a lot of burgers and road trips.

 

Ford Mustang 2.3 EcoBoost Convertible
Engine 2.3-l. 4 cyl. turbo, paired with a 10-speed auto
Power 213kW and 441kW
Top Speed 233 km/h
0-100km/h 5.5 seconds
Price R928 800
ford.co.za