Any Mustang is a great platform for starting a project car. With reasonably good factory handling, a comfortable interior, that low slung profile, meaty tires, and a torquey V8 motor. But what happens when that torquey V8 is replaced with a little 2.3L direct injected turbo motor? Heresy? Well, not quite.
As everyone knows, the idea of a 4-banger Mustang is nothing new. With the SVO of old and the dreams of fuel economy in the 80’s; this isn’t Ford’s first time flirting with a powerful small motor. The displacement is still 2.3L just like the SVO, but this time it isn’t placed above the V8 on the options list. So what do we have here? An economy 4 cylinder that certainly can’t compare to the V8 in terms of performance? Maybe in stock form… But who keeps a turbo car stock?
The goal of this project is to push the EcoBoost 4 cylinder to a level of performance where it is not only competitive with the V8, but a downright performance bargain. This project isn’t all about saving money and economy either, the EcoBoost has a substantial weight advantage to the V8. With lighter weight and easily accessible power, the Mustang EcoBoost aims to be a formidable daily driver turned weekend racer. Which is exactly our goal.
JPC Racing knows Mustangs as well as anyone in the industry. Actually that’s being modest. JPC Racing has prepped some of the fastest Mustangs on the planet, with several sub-10 second street cars. If you’re looking for a car that you can drive to the track, run ludicrously fast times, then drive the car back home; you’re probably looking for JPC. Daily drivable weekend warriors are a specialty for JPC.
As an early pioneer in the Mazda and Ford EcoBoost communities, cp-e™knows Direct Injection turbo motors inside and out. With a resume filled with big power builds and some of the finest bolt-on turbo kits in the industry, cp-e™was destined to make this platform go fast.
With naturally aspirated motors horsepower gains are measured in the thousands of dollars. The Ford V8’s respond very well to bolt-on mods, but turbo cars really get so much out of the same modifications. With a simple exhaust, intake and tune the horsepower and torque gap is quickly closed between the 5.0 and tiny 2.3L. That along with the lower weight of the 4 cylinder and this platform gets interesting very fast.
In stock form, the 2.3L leaves a lot to be desired. Like a whole lot. With the first test drive we were scratching our heads thinking “is this it?”. Lucky for us, there was a whole lot left on the table. To keep the competition with the big brother V8 down, Ford has naturally de-tuned this motor quite a bit. Yes, it does make 315hp from the factory, but it isn’t even close to maxed out on the factory tune. JPC Racing and cp-e’s in-house tuners quickly figured this out when tuning with the Cobb Accessport. From the factory the car feels sluggish and the power band is lumpy. With a simple reflash of the factory ECU, this car screams. Once we started the custom tune, things got really interesting.
With a better than factory tune on the otherwise stock car, it was time to start developing some of the hard parts that will really wake this motor up. In order to reach the goals of an eventual 10 second daily drivable car, the stock turbo had to go. cp-e™ went to work, we stripped the car down with our end goal in mind and started digitizing everything we could think of. Unlike most outfits, cp-e™was founded by engineer’s and uses state of the art scanning equipment whenever possible; in this case a laser scanning portable cmm with the latest’s in reverse engineering and design software. All parts are modeled in 3D CAD software before any chips are cut or tube is bent. cp-e™ uses factory CAD data from Ford whenever possible through partnerships with the factory. Once a design is completed it is studied and only after it passes a manufacturing feasibility study do the machines start humming. With this process down pat we determined a bigger turbo was the way to go.
It was determined a precision turbo would be use to improve flow and start making real horsepower. This turbo is mated to a custom cp-e™Atmosphere™ turbo kit with an external wastegate, vent to atmosphere blow-off-valve, custom downpipe, and all of the plumbing needed to bring it together. In order to get this larger turbo playing nice with the factory ECU, the two lead calibration engineers from JPC Racing and cp-e™worked together to perfect the tune.
To finish off all of the parts and give a professional finish to the turbo kit, charge pipes, and other miscellaneous parts, Custom Performance Coating was brought on board. In addition to the company’s signature Titan finish, charge pipes were color matched in Ford Competition Orange.
With Kevin of JPC’s high horsepower experience and Sander from cp-e’s turbo DI experience, the resulting tune has been a dream. Currently the car is running out of fueling and has made all of the power that it can in this configuration.
With additionalfueling the existing components can be taken much farther and the sky will be the limit. We already have revised fueling solutions in the works and can’t wait to see this build creep closer and closer to the high horsepower goals that we have. Needless to say, Project EcoBoost has only begun.
To see a sample of what is in store for this build, check out the BG Racing Trailer at Ford nationals this weekend. Brad’s car is running an identical turbo kit and currently holds the world record for fastest Mustang EcoBoost at an 11.17