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2018 Mustang EcoBoost Premium Fastback is a performer!

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2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium Ride/Drive

A couple of weeks ago, Ford dropped us a 2018 Mustang EcoBoost Premium Fastback for a week-long test.  Even with its bad-ass Orange Fury Metallic Tri-Coat monochromatic body and black wheel motif – we were hesitant knowing this was an ‘EcoBoost’ powered Mustang.

Having driven plenty of 5.0L V8 Mustangs through the years, we asked ourselves how would a 2.3L I4 EcoBoost measure up?   Quickly, we learned.  Early in the week we were impressed with the quality of the ride.  Before the end of the week, this EcoBoost equipped Mustang Premium Fastback’s performance was exceeding our expectations.

2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium
Performance Powertrain

The new 2.3L EcoBoost power plant in the Mustang produces a whopping 310 horsepower with 350 lb.-ft. of torque.  Well-integrated with the new paddle shifter equipped 10-speed SelectShift automatic and five drive modes to select from – using the stack-mounted four-gang toggle pack – we found that this Mustang EcoBoost could fly.

Adding the Track Apps Package gets you what we call ‘heat and launch’ capability.  An Electronic Line Lock feature (in the new Drag Strip Mode) enables the driver to hold position while heating (spinning) up the drive tires for best traction at launch (means you can burn rubber standing still to heat the tires for launch on a drag strip).

2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium
2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium

We will not confirm (or deny) that we tested this feature anywhere around here, but we will confirm to the ‘best of our ability’, that it does work. HINT: When locked and engaged, look for the spinning wheel (with smoke) on the digital instrument cluster.

Equipped with the EcoBoost Performance package, additional performance enhancers included the Air Extractor Hood Vents, 3.55 Limited Slip Differential, Performance Rear Wing, 19-inch Low-Gloss Ebony Black Painted Wheels with 255/40R19 Summer Tires, AdvanceTrac with Electronic Stability Control and a MagneRide Damping System.

2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium
2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium
Performance Technology

The new Customizable 12-inch Digital Instrument Cluster is considered by some to be the ultimate video game on wheels.  It features a vivid LCD screen with a multitude of screen layouts available, 26 colors to select from and display space for up to eight digital gauges. It is driver customizable with different views available for the various Drive Modes that can be selected – NORMAL, SNOW/WET, SPORT, TRACK, and yes – a TRACK mode.   For setting up quickly, a MyMode memory function allows the driver to save their favorite mode and preferred settings for the suspension, steering and exhaust note.

2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium
2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium
Performance Look

A newly refreshed front and rear end styling gives Mustang a leaner and meaner look with commensurate improved aerodynamics to enhance handling and improve fuel economy.  Up front Mustang features their LED (signature lighting) headlamps, a lower hood with new vents plus a new grille to accent the lean and quick look while a new front splitter helps with the aerodynamics. At the rear are new Tri-Bar Sequential LED tail lights, new bumper and dual bright exhaust (on our EcoBoost) plus an available spoiler (our EcoBoost came with the Performance Rear Wing version).

2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium
2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium
Performance Platform

We noted that the handling for all of the 2018 Mustang line up has been improved through a revised chassis with enhanced shock absorbers, a new cross-axis joint in the rear suspension and innovative-design stabilizer bars.  Braking is power-assisted four-wheel disc.  We found it solidly responsive equipped with 12.5-inch rotors/2-piston calipers front and 12.5-inch rotors/single piston caliper rear.

Taking it up a notch, our EcoBoost Premium included the optional MagneRide Active Suspension. Using sensors located around the car, depending on the Drive Mode and ambient temperature, it adjusts the suspension based on inputs including speed, steering angle, brake pressure, lateral and longitudinal acceleration and engine torque.

2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium
2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium
Performance Accessories

Other features of our EcoBoost Premium included a handstitched wrap on the console armrest, along the sides of the center stack and across the instrument panel.  Also notable were the Ebony Leather-Trimmed front seats, Dual Zone Electronic Climate Control, two (2) power points, two (2) Smart Charging USB Ports, color ambient lighting that included the cupholders, Intelligent Access w/ Push Button Start (look for the red blinking button at night), intermittent windshield wipers, rear view camera, Reverse Sensing System, Individual Tire Pressure Monitoring System, aluminum foot pedals and carpeted Mustang mats with stitched accents.

2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium

Lastly, but loudly, was the formidable audio with its 12-speaker Shaker Pro System and featuring SiriusXM, HD, Voice Activated Navigation – and lots more – all operated via the Ford Sync3 with 8-inch Color Touchscreen.

Since you asked, fuel economy ratings for the EcoBoost Premium Fastback are 21/32 mpg city/highway and 25 mpg combined.

2018 Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost Premium

As equipped, our test 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium Fastback priced – including delivery – at about $42,000.

To learn more about the 2018 Mustang lineup, visit:   https://www.ford.com/cars/mustang/

 

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