We’ve been closely following this series on YouTube, where an owner is swapping an EcoBoost 3.5L engine from an F-150 into his S195 Mustang.
We’re fascinated by this swap, because after spending some quality time with a tuned Supra TT we’ve experienced and enjoyed the advantages of unnatural aspiration. The 3.5L EcoBoost has tremendous potential in a light vehicle, and it really shows it in this S195 Mustang project. The swap itself was not entirely a difficult swap, although its not a drop-in or a plug-in – yet. As more people do this swap, and Ford has helped with a basic wiring harness and the engine thru it’s parts catalog, this will become a known science rather than an art.
And what potential: with the mildest tune – just to get it running – it puts down 435 HP and 509 ft-lbs on the dyno! And keep in mind that this is the older generation 3.5EB: not the newer one in the 2017 F-150, 2017 F-150 Raptor and soon the Ford GT. That next-gen 3.5 EcoBoost engine, with its dual port- and direct-injection engine and other improvements, has even more potential. In the F-150 it is rated by the factory at 375 HP (up 10 from the prior gen) and 470 ft-lbs (up 50), in the Raptor it’s even better at 450HP and 510 ft-lbs, and in the GT (final figures not released from Ford yet) well over 600 HP (courtesy of a much larger intake manifold, different turbos, and tuning improvements). Any of these three engines easily out-does the current Mustang 5 liter V-8, especially with torque output (and maintaining it across the RPM band) that can’t be beat. In fact one wonders if there is any real point to the 5 liter “Coyote” anymore, even with the 2018 improvements, because it will never make the torque. Furthermore, the current Mustang V-8 has 54% of it’s weight over the front axle, and the EcoBoost 3.5 would reduce that and provide improved handling overall as well as better turn-in.
The video also shows the deficiencies inherent in the old S195 chassis, with its “ye old solid axle” and crude front suspension. This terrific engine needs the far more sophisticated S550 suspension, with its much improved geometry and overall control. If we could have this engine swap “tomorrow” in an S550, or better yet from the factory, we’d take it.
And we’d very much like to see Ford offer this engine in production as soon as possible, and strategically it would be a smart “transition” option to introduce the public to the inevitable factory option in the next decade – required as the CAFE regulations really start to jump up. Certainly the upcoming 2021 S650 Mustang will have to offer this engine in order to meet these requirements. And – just as certainly – with this engine the future of hot rodding will improve. EcoBoost engines are an example of where emissions and mileage are perfectly compatible with the performance car hobby – in fact an engine like this makes for an even better performance car because of the fun-to-drive factor as well as because of its inherent potential of easily achieving even better output. Combine this with the new Ford/GM jointly developed 10-speed automatic transmission (already shown in the 2017 Camaro ZL1 and able to shift nearly as fast as the best dual clutch transmissions to he market) and Ford would have an unparalleled package… not especially expensive and knocking on the door of the GT350 (and possibly exceeding it in some ways).
Reference: 2017 Ford F-150 EcoBoost 3.5l V-6
Reference: Driving Enthusiast Pinterest Board: Ford Engines