The 2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost’s impressive 4.5-second 0-60 mph sprint establishes it as the fastest four-cylinder ‘Stang we’ve ever reviewed. We didn’t have the opportunity to test the previous generation’s 330-hp high-performance variant with an automatic transmission. Still, we’re confident that the 2024 model would give it a run for its money.
Our tested EcoBoost model was equipped with the $3,475 High-Performance package, with summer tires and upgraded brakes. We’ve been rigorously pushing vehicles to their limits since 1956, all in the pursuit of providing factual test data to complement our subjective assessments.
Drag Strip Mode: Unleashing the Mustang’s True Potential
During our analysis, we made some intriguing observations. Through numerous attempts, we found that the Drag Strip drive mode proved incredibly valuable, consistently shaving off a tenth or two in the sprint to 60 mph. As our testing director, Dave Vander Werp, aptly says, “Drag Strip mode enhances the gear shifts.” Additionally, the EcoBoost model adds a bit of excitement with tire chirps during the one-two upshift, a delightful touch.
However, it’s essential to note a slight caveat—akin to the asterisk associated with Barry Bonds. While this 2024 EcoBoost significantly outperformed the manual 2020 model we evaluated in a comparison test, beating it to 60 mph by half a second, there’s an absent contender that could give the 2024 version a run for its money. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to test the previous generation’s Performance Pack-equipped, 330-horsepower automatic variant, which closely matches the 2024 model’s specs. The last EcoBoost automatic we tested, a 2018 model with 310 hp, was only a tenth quicker than the Performance-Pack manual, clocking in at 4.9 seconds to 60 mph.
Comparing Mustang Performance: A Look at the Stacked Lineup
Other aspects of comparison continue to favor the Mustang. In the quarter-mile sprint, the new Mustang outperformed the 2020 model, clocking in at 13.2 seconds at 103 mph, whereas the previous manual version did it in 13.6 seconds at 102 mph, and the automatic took 13.4 seconds at 100 mph.
Regarding braking, the 2024 EcoBoost Performance Pack impressively stopped from 70 mph in 149 feet, narrowly beating the 2020 model’s 153-foot stopping distance. The gap widens slightly at 100 mph, with the 2024 EcoBoost requiring 293 feet to stop, compared to the 2020 EcoBoost’s 308 feet.
However, the handling dynamics shift when it’s time to turn. The 2024 EcoBoost posted a lower 0.95 g on our 300-foot skid pad, in contrast to the 2020 model’s 1.02 g. This difference is mainly because the previous car featured more performance-oriented tires, specifically the Pirelli P Zero Corsa PCZ4s. In contrast, the 2024 model uses P Zero PZ4s, with slightly narrower 255/40R-19 tires compared to the 265-width Corsas.
While the latest EcoBoost Mustang may not match the 330 horsepower of the outgoing Performance Pack model, it received some powertrain upgrades for 2024. The turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four engine now produces 315 horsepower (up from 310) and 350 pound-feet of torque. Its curb weight has increased slightly; at 3,812 pounds, it’s 62 pounds heavier than our 2018 automatic test car. Regrettably, the manual transmission is no longer available for EcoBoost models this year, but as previously mentioned, the 10-speed automatic transmission holds its ground admirably.
EcoBoost Performance and Enhancements
So, what exactly does this intriguing Performance Pack offer? For an extra $3,475, Ford enhances your Mustang’s street presence with a package that includes wider wheels and Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires, MagneRide adaptive dampers for improved handling, beefier Brembo brakes for enhanced stopping power, additional bracing in the engine bay for structural rigidity, and a 3.55:1 Torsen limited-slip differential to boost traction. Oh, and it comes with a nifty “drift stick” – a proper lever for the electronic parking brake, enabling you to indulge in even more daring maneuvers.
Here’s a fun tidbit: This 2024 EcoBoost spec is only one second quicker to 60 mph than a 2023 F-250 SuperCrew 4×4. So, exercise caution before challenging anyone to a high-stakes race for ownership titles!