Out of all the performance-bred excitement you are about to read, this is perhaps the one piece of information that’ll make you stumble over your words and spit out your morning mocha:
The Ford Mustang may get a 4-banger.
Before horrible visions of the 1976 2.3-liter 4-cylinder Mustang II creep into your head, rest assured that, should the Mustang drop cylinders, it’ll do so with plenty of panache.
In 1976, the 4-cylinder Mustang II put out all of 92 hp. A new 2.3-liter engine, slated for use in the 2015 Ford Focus RS, could make a whopping 320 hp and, potentially, be used in the forthcoming Mustang. How’s that sit with ya?
Before landing in a Mustang, though, Top Gear says the engine will replace the Volvo 5-cylinder that has lurked in the European Focus RS. Naturally, the engine will pack turbo-charged goodness and direct injection to throw those 320 ponies down to the front wheels. Those Europeans love their torque-steering hot hatches! I’d rather have a RWD Mustang, though, even in 4-cylinder dress.
A car that will never drop into the 4-cylinder realm is the Jaguar XKR. In fact, it just keeps getting more powerful (though I’m still waiting for the day when a proper 12-cylinder sits under the hood).
The XKR has a 510-hp V8 and a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds. It’s not the fastest coupe in the land, but it’s perhaps the most elegantly refined for commuting duty between jaunts of guttural pleasure at the track. The XKR-S takes things even further, with the same V8 tuned to deliver 550 hp and roar to 60 in 4.2 seconds on its way to a 186-mph top speed. Car and Driver says the blokes at Jaguar are preparing to provide one more, range-topping iteration of the vicious cat: a street-legal track version of the XKR-S, which would ditch all the leather, touchscreens and other opulent goodies to save weight and decrease lap times.
We know we live in crazy times when a 4-cylinder Mustang is more likely than a 12-cylinder Jaguar. Which would you rather have?