2020 Ford Mustang 2.3 Review

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The respect afforded the 5.0 badges affixed to the flanks of Ford’s Mustang GT is well deserved. However, there’s a new Mustang badge to which reverence should now also be afforded — 2.3 High Performance. I’ve long been a fan of the look of the higher performing variants of the current Mustang and am on record as having likened the look of the car to an affordable Aston Martin.

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This also carries over to the interior of Ford’s venerable pony car, with quality materials and a thoughtful layout chief among its attributes. Yes, the optional Recaro seats should be tried for fit before you commit; but a Mustang interior is a nice place to be nonetheless.

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The real story here is the engine though. Ford’s engineers resurrected the outstanding 2.3-liter turbocharged four previously found in the now-defunct Focus RS. They then rotated it 90 degrees to feed a rear drive powertrain and mated it to the buyer’s choice of a 10-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. So configured, the engine generates 332 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, along with one of the most delicious exhaust notes money can acquire.

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Suspension modifications include a strut tower brace, wider and stickier tires, adaptive dampers and a thicker and stiffer rear anti-roll bar. Accompanying that hardware are upgraded front brakes and an active exhaust system generously donated by Mustang GT.

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The result of all of this is one of the most agile and entertaining iterations of the Ford Mustang ever offered. It’s quick off the line and fast too (top speed is limited to 155) with both delightful throttle response and sharp steering. A true driver’s car in the strictest sense of the term, the High Performance 2.3-liter Mustang came out of the gate with instant street credibility.

And yeah, I like it!

Pricing starts at $32,760

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