Refreshed 2018 Ford Mustang offers better fuel economy

Article by Christian A., on October 11, 2017

According to Ford, the 2018 Mustang not only gets a more potent powerplant but also delivers a more efficient drivetrain too. Having said that, the refreshed model is 5.6 percent more efficient than the older version when it comes to fuel economy. Another new feature is that the pony has improved handling, thanks to the aerodynamic tweaks.

For the sake of comparison, the 2017 Ford Mustang EcoBoost (in automatic and manual) was rated 21 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined, whereas the 2018 models were rated 21 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. On the other hand, the 2017 Ford Mustang GT in automatic and manual have ratings of 15 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined. Though the 2018 GT in manual have the same ratings, the automatic version has improved ratings at 16 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.

Mike Del Zio, dynamics engineer of Ford, together with Jonathan Gesek, aerodynamics engineer, discovered a way to make the 2018 Mustang easier to handle. Del Zio found that high-speed cornering was not as good as the wind tunnel number indicated, which he noticed during on-track development. What he did to solve this problem was to apply a strip of duct tape over the lower gap of the grille.

After doing so, he took the vehicle back on track, where he realised that the vehicle responded better in high-speed turns. He then concluded that the little piece of tape made all the difference.

Also check: Ford Mustang (Mk6) - official details, specs, news, videos

It has been years since the duo started working on the Mustang refresh team. In fact, when the latest generation 2015 model year arrived, they already had plans to set targets for these updates.

To help reduce the drag of the 2018 Mustang, the men had to do a number of aerodynamic changes, which included arching the nose downwards, according to Gesek. Also, its new shape provides better visibility for the driver. In addition, he said that he thought about bringing the Mustang even lower, but doing so will affect the car’s usability. If it goes even lower, drivers might always have to worry about scraping the vehicle’s front end in every driveway.

Currently, the Mustang is available worldwide, which also has an impact on the car’s tuning. For instance, Del Zio and Gesek need to speak with their European partners when considering changes, to ensure that they tune it to the correct specs so it would be legal in Europe. Despite all that, Mustang still ensures to retain the Mustang’s unique experience.

For those who are interested, the 2018 Ford Mustang EcoBoost starts at $25,585, while the Mustang GT is priced at $35,095.

Press Release

How One Piece of Duct Tape Improved Handling and Efficiency in New Ford Mustang

In the data-driven, computer-monitored world of vehicle testing, sometimes there is no replacing the human touch. Ford engineers Jonathan Gesek and Mike Del Zio are proof that both the objective and subjective remain integral parts of car development.

After driving a high-speed lap at the test track in a prototype Mustang, Del Zio, a vehicle dynamics engineer – the objective one – reported that despite wind tunnel numbers that would indicate otherwise, the car wasn’t responding around corners to his satisfaction. Gesek, an aerodynamics engineer – the subjective one – had a quick solution.

Gesek applied a simple strip of duct tape over the lower gap of the grille. The goal was to reduce what is known as front-end lift. Del Zio re-tested the car, paying attention to the vehicle’s response when cornering at high speed. The result: a better-handling car and a modified grille.

“That little strip of tape made all the difference,” Del Zio said. “The key to the subjective is confidence. At the end of a straightaway, what confidence do you have in being able to brake and make a turn? Things start to come up fast at 155 miles an hour.”

In recent years, Gesek and Del Zio devoted hundreds of hours to improving the aerodynamic performance of the new 2018 Mustang, helping maintain or improve upon EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings over current models by up to 5.6 percent.

Front-end styling changes include a lowered nose, a larger front splitter that adds downforce and helps keep the front end planted to the ground, and a rocker shield that allows air to flow better underneath the car.

Active grille shutters are standard across the lineup on non-Performance Pack-equipped vehicles, reducing drag at higher speeds by completely closing off the grille, sending air over and around the car instead of into the engine compartment.

The changes improve aerodynamics by reducing drag (by up to 3 percent on the EcoBoost® model) and improve performance by helping Mustang keep a better grip on the road.

2018 Ford Mustang fuel economy improvements

2017
2018
Increase
City
Highway
Combined
City
Highway
Combined
Combined
EcoBoost (auto)
21
30
24
21
32
25
4.2%
EcoBoost (man.)
21
30
24
21
31
25
4.2%
GT (auto)
15
24
18
16
25
19
5.6%
GT (man.)
15
25
18
15
25
18
No change

Source: Ford

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