You know, for a long time, the V8 in the Mustang GT kind of sucked. And I'm not talking about the lump in the Mustang II. A '98 GT would have trouble getting away from a same year Maxima despite weighing about the same and having a sizable power, torque and traction advantage.
The modular 4.6 hit its stride with the New Edge Mustang of '99, turning the GT from a low 15 second car to a high 13 second car overnight and putting the Mustang GT back into the dog fight with the LS1 F bodies. It wouldn't be for another decade before Ford gave the chassis the same kind of love though.
With that chassis love in the 2011 Mustang also came another huge step forward in the powertrain with the 5.0 Coyote. We all know the story, but I wanted to tell it again to put this all in context. The 5.0 Coyote is a world class engine. Full stop. Yes, it's no LSx and it probably won't fit under the hood of your NA1 Miata. But it has all the brawn of a MRRRCN V8 with the high tech credibility and refinement of something out of Europe. This engine was part of the package that helped the GT bring the fight to the M3 on several tracks. So this engine is the real deal and not only a great engine, but an IMPORTANT engine too.
The 3.7 V6 was a huge step forward as well that shouldn't be dismissed- 50% more power and ~15% better gas mileage than that awful Cologne 4.0, with performance basically on the level of the old Modular 4.6 with significantly better gas mileage as well.
So why, in the love of all things HOLY, HOONISH, OPPO, and MRRRRRCN, would anyone go for the 2.3T over these phenomenal all motor lumps? Some of the rationalizations I've heard.... blegh.
It Will Get Good Gas Mileage!
That's highly debatable. Ford's 2.0T doesn't really blow away its V6 competition, and the Mustang V6 gets great gas mileage for a car of its size and performance.
I Can Chip It!
Maybe so, maybe no. But even if so, stock 5.0s are putting down about 380 RWHP. That's a tall order from what will probably be ~280 RWHP from these. Bolt on 5.0s are putting down damn near 450 RWHP. Are you really going to push your brand new Mustang Ecoboost to that limit? Ford won't replace that under warranty, and you can pretty much kiss that money you were gonna save on gas goodbye. Yea, I know that's the 2.0, but I doubt the 2.3 will be any cheaper. Plus nothing is free- big power out of small turbo engines= laggy, peaky powerbands. Here's what a 450WHP 2.5L 4 powerband looks like:
And here is 5.0L making slightly less power....
Notice how the 5.0 makes 2x the torque at 2500 RPM? Notice how you don't need to spool up that 5.0 to get it going? When did stuff like powerbands and throttle response stop mattering?
Not to mention, odds are very high it will sound like ass, and buying a Mustang with a fear of gas prices and concerns for the economy is letting the god damn terrorists win. Mustangs are the voice of America. Mustangs are a cultural institution. Mustangs are the rejection of all that pansy ass NCAP California 91 grade octane hippy Prius bullshit. The Coyote V8 is also an 8 cannon salute to the awesomeness of the big, hairy chested, naturally aspirated motor. Imagine if the 458 replacement or the x63 AMG replacements were to have their V8s replaced with a turbo 4. You feel that pit in your stomach? That's what someone's inner hoon will feel a thousand times over when you sign the dotted line for that pansy ass Ecoboost.
I will conclude with this. Remember how when the Genesis coupe came out, people high and low said "you know what would make this awesome? The big V8!"? Imagine if it came with the V8 instead of the 2.0T. Do you think anybody would have said "you know what, this V8 fucking rips, but man I sure would rather have a 2.0T four banger with no exhaust note, a peaky ass powerband, and half the horsepower?"
Do the right thing. BE A MAN. Do NOT buy the Ecoboost Mustang!