What Engine Does the 2020 Ford Mustang Have?
Ford is offering three different Mustangs for the 2020 model year. Let’s look at them in a bit more detail.
The base Mustang has a 2.3L Eco-Boost four-cylinder engine turbocharged with direct injection. The engine produces a hearty 310 horsepower @ 5500 rpm and 350 lb/ft torque. The press releases from 2019 claimed that this engine was the most powerful four-cylinder sports car built by any American manufacturer. (The 0-60 mph is The Eco-boost engine was initially part of the Focus RS program, but the motor company needed an offering to boost sales of the Mustang. The motor company recognized a segment of the population who wanted the performance and the look of a Mustang but couldn’t afford the $35-40k price tag for a GT.
The Eco-boost Mustang came out in time for the 55th anniversary of the Mustang (1965). The 2.3L was an instant hit among Mustang enthusiasts. The engine performed at high limits and had almost as fast as its larger counterpart, 5.0 V8 (0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds), and it tends to get a very respectable fuel economy at 21 city/30 hwy. The starting price for a 2020 2.3L Eco-boost Mustang is $26k - $35k, depending on if you add the performance and the equipment 101A packages
5.0 V8 in the GT
Known as the Coyote V8, the engine used in the GT model of the Mustang is just the latest version of a powerful eight-cylinder engine that produces 460 horsepower @ 5500 rpm and 410 lb/ft torque. The first Coyote V8 was developed for the 1991 Lincoln Town Car (4.6L V8) and has seen several versions. In 2010, Ford motor company retired the 4.6L Three valve V8 in favor of the Coyote.
The most significant breakthrough in the engine occurred in 2018 with the addition of direct injection, which allowed the fuel to be delivered directly into the cylinder and improved the combustion considerably. Unlike other manufacturers, Ford decided to keep low-pressure port injection while adding direct injection. The result was increased compression and better fuel economy. This third generation of the 5.0 proved to be a powerful, effective engine with a penchant for excellent street performance.
The fuel economy is 16 city/25 hwy, which is not bad compared to the smaller four-cylinder Eco-boost. If you buy this car, expect it to go 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. The starting price for a 5.0 V8 GT is $39,880.
5.2 V8 in the GT 350, GT350R
The 5.2 V8 is a beast. The engine, nicknamed Voodoo, revs 760 horsepower and 625 lb/ft torque @ 4,250 rpm. The 5.2 used in these Shelby Mustangs is a naturally aspirated engine designed to perform well on the track, with coolers for oil and transmission. While Camaro and the Dodge Hellcat brag about being faster, the GT 350 does a respectable 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Quarter mile times are excellent at 12.2 seconds @ 119 mph.
The voodoo engine has been around a while, since 2015, when Ford went to DOHC V configuration. The engine uses a flat-lane crankshaft which makes the engine lighter, allowing for higher RPMs. It also produces the iconic, unmistakable growl that Mustang owners enjoy when they step on the gas.
The Fuel economy is 14 city/21 hwy, which means frequent trips to the gas station and pretty deep wallets at $4 per gallon. The starting price for a GT350 is $59,400, while the 350R jumps to $74,350.
5.2 V8 in the GT500
The 5.2 V8 Predator engine shares some components with its Voodoo brother but without the flat-plane crank that gives the throaty voice of its previous sibling. (The engine is also in the 2022 Raptor F150 pickup truck). The engine is produced by hand rather than on a typical assembly line, so a great deal of care and concentration goes into every engine. The 0-60 mph time is a flash of lightning-quick 3.4 seconds. Quarter mile time is 9.4 seconds.
The primary concern for an engine that produces so much horsepower is heat. Heat is the enemy of an engine, exceptionally high-performance ones like the Predator. New cooling systems and advanced systems like a giant oil pump and air to oil cooler help to keep the engine from overheating from use.
The fuel economy is not what you buy this car for, but if you have to know, it is 12 city/18 hwy. The starting price for a GT500 is $73,999 - expect to pay in the mid-90s if you want a fully loaded model.
Are the 2020 Mustang Engines Hard to Maintain?
The 2020 Mustang will cost you about $709 a year for routine maintenance, slightly above the average for all vehicles on the road ($651). Consumer Reports rated the 2020 Mustangs with a 5 out of 5 trouble spot rating for engine and transmission. However, based on surveys with current owners, the agency also mentions suspension, brake issues, steering problems, and electrical issues as primary concerns. The NHTSA awards the 2020 Mustang Eco-boost and GT350 R with a 5 out of 5 stars, their highest rating.
Which is the Best Mustang Engine?
There are arguments to be made for each of the 2020 Mustang engines. Unless you have lots of cash and plan to race your Mustang on the track, you should probably avoid the Shelby GT350 or its higher-priced big brother, GT500. The 2.3 Eco-Boost engine will perform just as well, save you in fuel costs and give you enough speed when you need it. The 5.0 V8 GT will provide a higher resale value, but it will cost more in insurance and gasoline. The choice is yours, but regardless of which Mustang you purchase, the thrill of the ride is still there.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding