To date, the last Ford Mustang to roll off the assembly line with a four cylinder engine did so all the way back in 1993. Truth be told, the role of four-banger ‘Stang back then was to be played by the Ford Probe, the Mazda-based front driver that came within a hair’s breadth of replacing the Mustang entirely. The Probe ended up being a viable competitor to the plethora of FWD sport coupes that Japan seemingly churned out without effort in the late ’80s and well into the ’90s, but it was never – by any stretch of the imagination – a pony car.
Ford’s Mustang is not only a pony car, it’s the car that established the entire genre. Part of the DNA of the pony has always been a hot mill, and for the longest time that meant a V8. Ford’s pony has come through in that category since day one, with only the mid-seventies Mustang II to be called into question. The marque has also dabbled in an engine configuration that is not traditionally a pony car staple, i.e. four-pot mills. The Mustang’s descent into four-bangers had two paths, the extraordinarily lame and unsatisfying naturally-aspirated 88-horse (later 105) 2.3-litre SOHC Lima engine, and, the far hotter, and correspondingly vastly cooler, 145-horse turbocharged edition of that same motor.
As I noted, the last four-pot ‘Stang left the factory in ’93, while the last Turbo car rolled out in ’86. That’s a long time for the V8 and V6 to reign by themselves, a fact that even Ford seems to have realized. That’s because, starting next year, the Mustang will once again offer a four-pot option. In this case it’s a romper-stomper 310-bhp/320 kb-ft of torque 2.3-litre Ecoboost four, and what I want to know from you this fine Friday is whether or not that’s a good thing, or bad? What do you think about high-reving fours in pony cars like the ‘Stang, are they fitting, or totally uh-uh for the class? What do you think about the concept of the Ecoboost Mutang, is it Brah! or Blah?