The Ford Mustang has been announced as the ‘world’s best-selling sports coupe’ for the fourth consecutive year.
From Australia to Peru, the Mustang reigns as the best-selling sports coupe in the world for 2018, selling 113,066, according to data from London-based automotive analyst IHS Markit.
2018 not only marks the fourth straight year of Mustang’s global leadership as the world’s best-selling sports coupe, but also as the best-selling sports coupe in the United States, where Ford sold 75,842 Mustangs last year.
The company sold 2,300 Mustangs in Europe in the first quarter of 2019, an increase of more than 27 per cent compared with the same period last year.
“We broke the mould when Ford launched the Mustang 55 years ago,” says Ford president, Jim Farley. “Nothing says freedom, the wind in your hair and the joy of driving like Mustang; it’s an icon. The roar of its V8 on a spring day, there’s nothing better. No wonder it’s the most popular sports coupe in the world.”
The Mustang was available for purchase in 146 countries in 2018, based on worldwide Ford sales data.
More than 500,000 sixth-generation Mustangs have been sold worldwide since 2015, including more than 45,000 in Europe, with the pony picking up an additional half point of global share last year to capture 15.4 per cent of the segment fuelled in part by the new Mustang Bullitt.
As part of the Mustang’s 55th anniversary celebrations, Ford has also unveiled the new 2020 2.3L High Performance Package (pictured above) for the entry-level Mustang EcoBoost, creating what is claimed to be the most powerful four-cylinder sports car ever offered by any American carmaker.
The new variant began as a five-person skunkworks project in the Ford Performance garage. Following an experiment with a Focus RS engine swap, the team is said to have completed the design-to-approval process in under 10 months.
To make their project a reality, members of the team even travelled to Valencia, Spain, home of the Ford Performance-tuned 2.3-litre engine, to convince plant management to build a new variant of the turbocharged four-cylinder specifically for the Mustang.
Then, with the Ford Performance-designed engine as a starting point, they tuned the EcoBoost to deliver a projected 330 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.
Having secured production of the die-cast alloy block and high-performance cylinder head, the engineering team specified a 5 per cent larger 63-mm twin-scroll turbo compressor and a larger radiator, then calibrated the engine to run both Ford’s 10-speed automatic and 6-speed manual transmission.
As a result of the design changes, Ford engineers claim the 2.3L High Performance Package will complete the 0-60 mph run in the mid-four-second range on “premium fuel”, with top speed increasing to 155 mph, a 10 mph gain over the 2019 EcoBoost Performance Package and 34 mph faster than the base EcoBoost Mustang.
“It’s not just the horsepower gains over the standard 2.3-litre EcoBoost, it’s the broader torque curve that delivers 90 per cent of peak torque between 2,500 and 5,300 rpm, which is 40 per cent wider than the base EcoBoost engine,” explains Mustang chief engineer, Carl Widmann. “Plus, horsepower holds stronger up to the 6,500-rpm redline – enabling more usable power and torque for enthusiasts and weekend autocrossers to enjoy.”
Helping to deliver 143 horsepower per litre, the new 2.3L High Performance Package includes a fully active quad-tip exhaust system with a signature tuned sound. It also gets chassis and aerodynamic upgrades from the Mustang GT and its Performance Package variant.
Specific details include an alloy strut tower brace to stiffen the chassis at the front; large four-piston fixed calipers with 13.9-inch front rotors; a 32-mm sway bar up front along with a tubular 21.7-mm bar at the rear; a 3.55:1 limited-slip rear axle; and bespoke 19 x 9-inch machined-face aluminium wheels.
Beyond the alloys, for an aggressive look, the exterior also includes a large black front splitter and belly pan, plus brake cooling ramps from the Mustang GT Performance Package – add-ons that also work to reduce front-end lift and improve brake cooling. A blacked-out grille with an offset Mustang tri-bar pony badge, 2.3L High Performance Package side badges and magnetic grey side mirrors and raised blade rear spoiler add to the performance look, while a custom metallic grey stripe crosses the hood.
On the inside, an engine-spun aluminium instrument panel with oil pressure and turbo boost gauges, plus a serialised dash plaque highlight the cabin.
The 2.3L High Performance Package is expected to arrive at U.S. dealerships this autumn.