Is Ford Bringing Back the V6 Mustang and Upgrading EcoBoost?

America’s favorite pony car may be returning to its V6 ways, and adding some boosted upgrades to boot. A recent report by Hagerty shows that Ford has begun filing paperwork with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with the intention of expanding its engine options for the 2020 model year Mustang.

Upon closer inspection it appears that Ford not only plans to offer an unnamed third motor (insert V6 here), but upgrade the power rating of the existing 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine as well. Below you will find one of the many documents Ford reportedly filed for the forthcoming Mustang, which to date remains the only proof we have that something major is going on behind the scenes up in Dearborn.

The Blue Oval stopped offering its 3.7-liter V6 after the 2017 model year, a naturally aspirated engine that generated 300-horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This decision left Mustang buyers with a single entry-level engine option: The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. A motor that produces 310 horsepower up top, and 350 pounds of grunt down bottom, all while costing about $9,000 less than its V8 big brother.

But Ford may have boxed itself into a corner by eliminating the V6 Mustang, and now must return to the ring swinging. Chevrolet has retained its trifecta of engine options for the Camaro, and there’s no way that Ford is going to let its competition gain the upper hand. As of today, the EcoBoost Mustang packs more punch than the inline-four offering from GM, while the V6 version of the Camaro out-guns the Ford four-banger with 25 additional ponies. On the flipside, the base Mustang’s 350 pound-feet of torque crushes the V6 Camaro down low, where the GM offering only produces 284 pound-feet of twist.

As for the notion that an upgraded 2.3-liter EcoBoost motor will be offered in 2020 Mustangs, sources at Ford tell Hagerty that buyers can expect to see a “higher-powered version of the turbocharged engine in the near future. While exact power numbers remain unseen, Ford’s ability to produce 350 horsepower from the 2.3-liter EcoBoost stuffed within the Focus RS is a solid representation of what is possible. Despite not having identical internals or the exact same castings as the hot hatch, gains achieved by aftermarket bolt-ons, as well as Ford Performance’s unwavering dedication to its craft leaves plenty of room for optimism.

Another promising sign is Ford’s implementation of EcoBoost Performance Packages, which allow buyers the ability to upgrade their Mustang with an assortment of factory bolt-ons. With the addition of proven power gains, OEM fitment and reliability, and factory warranties backing it all up, Mustang buyers will likely have a lot to like if they opt for an EcoBoost over a V6. Granted, the automaker will more than likely offer a similar package for V6 buyers, another portion of the puzzle that remains to be seen.

While confirmation of a third engine option for the 2020 Mustang has yet to be announced, a spokesperson at Ford tells Hagerty that the company “…is always elevating Mustang and will share more exciting news this spring.” News that surely will be welcomed by fans of forced induction and naturally aspirated performance alike.

Stay tuned to FordNXT as this develops.

About the author

Micah Wright

Raised on LEGOs by grandfathers who insisted on fixing everything themselves, Micah has been a petrolhead in training since age four. His favorite past times include craft beer, strong cigars, fast cars, and culinary creativity in all of its forms.
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