Ford is updating the venerable Mustang for 2018, changing its engine options and offering a slew of new tech and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The biggest change may be the loss of the current entry-level V6 engine, which has been available in the Mustang for decades.
Ford’s turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine will be the new base option, joined by an upgraded 5-liter V8 in the Mustang GT. In a press release, Ford says the latter engine has been “thoroughly reworked” with more power and a higher redline than any Mustang GT before. Though the company didn’t specify performance numbers, the EcoBoost engine is more powerful than the outgoing V6. Ford wouldn’t comment on the current purchase mix between the three options, with a spokesperson saying only that the company was “streamlining choices for our customers.”
The car has seen other upgrades, too, such as a twin-disc clutch in the six-speed manual and an automatic transmission that promises “quicker shift times,” including steering wheel-mounted paddles for manual control. When it comes to fuel economy, 0-to-60 times, and all the other “on paper” metrics, the automatic should well outperform the manual transmission. Ford continues to offer the latter because lots of Mustang buyers will want to use three pedals even though performance is objectively worse. Both options are available with either engine.
The 2018 Mustang also gains a digital instrument cluster similar to the one found in the Ford GT supercar, with multiple view modes and customization options. A new active valve exhaust system is available on the GT, which means the exhaust rumble can be quieter when necessary, or amped up when one is driving spiritedly. I think the exhaust should be locked in “loud” at all times, which Ford says will be possible by adjusting the drive modes.
The GT gains an option for the trick MagneRide suspension tech used in the Mustang Shelby GT350 (and lots of other cars), the entire line will include all-LED front lights, turn signals, and fog lamps. The Mustang’s design has also been tweaked to give it a more aggressive look and better aerodynamics. For the first time, the FordPass smartphone app will come to the Mustang, allowing owners to use their phone to remotely start, lock and unlock, or locate their car. CarPlay and Android Auto are available through the Ford Sync 3 system as well.
The 2018 Ford Mustang will go on sale in North America this fall. Pricing was not disclosed.