Ford says there’s scope for significant sales growth of the four-cylinder version of the Mustang that continues to sell strongly off the back of the iconic V8 model.
The so-called EcoBoost 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo produces 233kW and 432Nm – similar to a V8-powered Ford Falcon from 15 years ago (220kW/435Nm) – but it doesn’t have the sound and character of the hero car.
Besides, people splurging on a Mustang aren’t usually buying to save money or find the most economical engine, so they don’t mind splashing out on the 5.0-litre V8 for the full 306kW/530Nm experience.
Little wonder, then, that almost 90 percent of Ford Mustang sales for the first 10 months it’s been on sale have been for the V8.
But Ford marketing director Lew Echlin says the $45,990 starting price for the EcoBoost four-cylinder makes it “screaming value”, something Ford Australia wants to take advantage of. The fact it had a price increase of $1000 versus the $2500 applied to V8s also increases that pricing appeal.
“What we’ve seen in mature markets like the United States is you have initial extremely strong demand for the V8 model and then, ultimately, after a while it starts sourcing from other segments rather than being a third vehicle [in the garage] or things of that sort,” says Echlin.
“We haven’t scratched the surface of the EcoBoost portion of the segment, which is priced at around $40,000.”
But Echlin believes the V8 will continue to sell strongly, too, a sign he says shows the Mustang’s unexpected sales – it sold 3118 in the first seven months of 2016, more than the Ford Fiesta, Falcon, Mondeo and Kuga – should continue to be strong once the newness of the car wears off.
“We do look to our future as continuing healthy demand for Mustang,” says Echlin. “It’s priced right, it taps into the rise in luxury and for-me products in Australia that we’ve seen. For people that have the will, the disposable income, and the heart and the passion for cars and icons Mustang will continue to be a go-to and really differentiate and be unique in that sense.”
Ford says it had planned to have the supercharger kit available for the Mustang by now but that it was still going through government approval as part of the Australian Design Rules process.
Echlin says there is plenty of potential for Mustang special vehicle packs (SVP) and options through the Ford Licensed Accessory program.