Don't call it the 2020 Ford Mustang RS. Or ST. Or SVO. Ford just unveiled the 2020 Mustang High Performance Package, and it uses the same spectacular turbocharged 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder found in the Focus RS. That means there's 330 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque on hand. To those of us with a memory that stretches past the year 2000, a forced-induction, 2.3-liter four-cylinder in a Mustang sounds an awful lot like an SVO, but Ford says this car isn't meant to go traipsing over history. Nor is it some wild stand-alone model.
"You could look at it a hundred different ways," says Jiyan Cadiz, a spokesperson with Ford. "This is our first 'Powered by Ford Performance' model. Whereas RS, you're getting the full kit. It has a unique body, a unique interior, other unique appointments. This is more, you know, we'll give you the heart of the thing to keep this cost efficient so that we have something on more of the entry-level side."
Ford won't release pricing until later in the Spring, but buyers can expect to find a slew of go-fast parts bolted to the car. Those include four-piston brake calipers and 13.9-inch front rotors lifted from the Mustang GT, as well as beefier sway bars and a 3.55:1 Torsen limited-slip rear differential. Most importantly, the High Performance Package benefits from MagneRide dampers. The car bows with 19x9.5-inch wheels shod in Pirelli P Zero Corsa4 summer rubber.
The pack can be had with either a six-speed manual, or 10-speed automatic gearbox. This is the entry-level performance Mustang, a car designed to slot below the GT, and Ford was able to pull that off by raiding the parts bin. Even the SVO used a model-specific suspension, bodywork, and an interior, so sure, it would be disingenuous to slap that name on this car.
Are we mad? No. The High Performance Package is very similar to the brilliant four-cylinder Chevrolet Camaro 1LE, which means there are multiple ways for you to get your American track jollies on without pulling a second mortgage.