Ever since Ford rolled out the sixth generation of its beloved Mustang in 2015, car aficionados have been consistently impressed with its blending of modern and classic features. The Mustang revolutionized the North American automobile market when it first came out in 1965, and while it has had its ups and downs over the years, the sixth generation has shown that the Mustang can keep up with the times.

The 2018 model has gotten a lot of attention for some of its new features, like the increased power in its 5.0 litre V-8 engine, now capable of a benchmark-setting 460 horsepower, and the option of a ten-speed automatic transmission in addition to the standard six-speed manual.

One of the less frequently cited accomplishments of this new car is the innovative 2.3-litre Ecoboost Engine. This is a shame, because if you want to get a new Mustang this year the EcoBoost option is something you need to know about. Most buyers favour the Mustang for its raw power, which the standard V-8 supplies in spades. But if you want the fun of driving a pony car without the expense (and ecological footprint) of the larger, heavier V-8, the Ecoboost’s four-cylinder turbo can deliver a respectable amount of power while burning much less fuel.

But the Ecoboost doesn’t just make the Mustang a more environmentally friendly car; it provides a different driving experience altogether, one that many drivers — especially those who do the majority of their driving in the city — might actually prefer.

As a review of the Ecoboost Mustang for Top Gear noted, because the Ecoboost is hundreds of pounds lighter in the front, it changes the way the car drives. The steering is lighter, and it is actually a lot more fun to take out on twisting, winding roads because the added torque gives it an agility that is lacking in its heavier sibling. By pairing the Ecoboost with the ten-speed automatic transmission, it’s a lot easier to get that high-powered, edge-of-your-seat feeling that Mustang delivers so precociously.

Of course, some shoppers will still gravitate toward the V-8. It has the classic Mustang purr, and when comparing the two versions of the car on a drag strip, there really isn’t a lot of competition in terms of brute power and speed. But most coupe drivers don’t often get the opportunity to take their car to the limit, and for the kind of driving most Canadians do, the Ecoboost is a much more practical option.

From the very beginning, the Mustang has been an innovative car, and the fact that Ford’s designers are finding ways to keep the Mustang relevant and fun to drive at a time when many consumers have growing concerns about the environmental impacts of pleasure driving shows that this can isn’t just a comforting throwback to a simpler time. With these new features, a whole new generation of environmentally conscious drivers can discover the simple joys of a pony car.

 

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