The 2020 Ford Mustang May Get a More Powerful Four Cylinder Option: Report

Image: Ford
Image: Ford

The Ford Mustang may be adding an engine option between the 310 horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost in the base car and the mighty 460 horsepower 5.0-liter V8 in the GT, friend of Jalopnik Bozi Tatarevic writes for Hagerty. This is according to his “sources at Ford” and appears to align with a VIN decoder document sent from Ford to NHTSA last week.

Bozi notes that a higher-output turbo four might make sense, since there’s currently a roughly $9,000 cost difference between a base inline four-cylinder and a base V8 Mustang, and between those, there’s a 150 horsepower difference. Bridging that gap could be a logical move for The Blue Oval, and it’s what Bozi’s sources tell him will likely happen. Supporting this claim is a VIN decoder document, which was sent by a global director in Ford’s automotive safety office, Desi Ujkashevic, to NHTSA, and is titled “2020 Model Year Vehicle Identification Number Codes—Initial Submission.” It reads, in part:

“Pursuant to the requirements...Ford is submitting 2020 model year VIN code information for the vehicles identified in the attached table of contents.”


Hop over to Hagerty to see the VIN decoder table relevant to the 2020 Mustang, but what you need to know is that it lists six possible engine types, with two of those being 2.3-liters—one of which has a “net brake H.P.” that is the same as the current engine’s 310 HP, and the other of which has a power output listed as “TBD.”

There are two other engines on the table with “net brake H.P.” listed as “TBD,” so I asked Bozi over Facebook messenger what this meant. He told me that the term generally indicates some sort of change to an engine, and according to his sources, the two non-2.3-liter instances of that term likely refer to the 480 horsepower Ford Mustang Bullitt and the “at least” 700 HP Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in January.

The latter of the two aforementioned “TBDs,” the Shelby, is new for 2020 and the horsepower figure hasn’t been declared yet. As for the former, the Bullitt’s 5.0-liter, we’re not sure what changes might await it (if any).

As for the third TBD—the one next to the 2.3-liter—Bozi told me his sources say it likely applies to a “more powerful variant of the 2.3.” How that power is achieved, we don’t know, but it is worth noting that Ford has offered a factory, warrantied tune for the 2.3-liter EcoBoost that brought horsepower up to 335 HP.


I asked Ford about this potential mid-level four-cylinder Mustang engine option, and its representative responded with simply:

We’re always elevating Mustang, and we’ll have more exciting news to share in the Spring.


Spring is just a month away, so hopefully we’ll know soon. I’m hoping for a bit more than 335 ponies, though.

Read Bozi’s story on Hagerty for more on the potential mid-level Mustang.

Sr. Tech Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from engineers—email me. Cars: Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94), Chrysler Voyager Diesel ('94)

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Santos L. Halper

Any chance this is the long-rumored Hybrid Mustang? Too soon? It would make some sense if it’s a mild hybrid and they can fit most of the extra electrics/battery in the back and package a motor into the driveline somewhere (motor-in gearbox?)