The four-cylinder Ford Mustang has been axed in Europe after more than four out of five buyers opted for the V8.
The Ford Mustang EcoBoost – powered by a turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine matched to a 10-speed auto – was introduced to give the Mustang broader appeal in Europe, where fuel costs are high and emissions regulations are strict.
The four-cylinder Ford Mustang was introduced in Australia to give buyers a cheaper price point – and appeal to customers who wanted the bold styling without the V8 grunt or the excessive fuel bills.
Above and throughout: 2021 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance pictured.
The Ford Mustang EcoBoost is hot hatch quick (0-100km/h in about 6.5 seconds) but buyers seem to favour the sound of the V8 – and its sub-5.0-second zero to 100km/h performance.
Initially Ford had forecast the four-cylinder Mustang would account for a large part of overall demand locally for its US muscle car.
However, since its arrival in late 2015, the four-cylinder Mustang has ebbed and flowed between 10 and 15 per cent of the model mix, according to confidential industry data.
Figures show the latest version of the four-cylinder Ford Mustang – updated and upgraded in late 2019 – accounts for an increasing proportion of sales in Australia, though still hovers around 15 per cent of the overall mix.
Despite this ratio being the point at which the four-cylinder was axed from the UK line-up, Ford Australia says the EcoBoost is here to stay.
A statement from Ford Australia said: "Though we have no news to share on future models, the Mustang Ford Mustang High Performance 2.3L continues to play an important role in our 2021 Mustang lineup, which also extends to the 5.0L GT and the (upcoming) Mach 1."
"The Mustang EcoBoost continues enjoy a loyal following with those looking for an accessible, progressive take on the iconic Mustang brand."
A statement from Ford UK to British publication Autocar said: "The latest Mustang coupe range is V8 only, reflecting customer preference and prior low demand for the 2.3 four-cylinder at 15 per cent of sales. Engineering resource has to be prioritised across all car models, balancing their popularity, emissions compliance, and CO2 contribution."
The Ford Mustang four-cylinder has also been removed from Ford websites in Germany, Italy and Spain. It remains on sale in Australia for the foreseeable future, either at least as while stock lasts or this generation remains in production. The model is still listed as being available in the US domestic market.