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Auto blogFri, 16 May 2014 11:05:00 EST
When Ford announced that its 2015 Mustang would arrive with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, three letters came to mind: SVO. While Ford hasn't said a word regarding the rebirth of a Mustang SVO model, this latest set of spy shots shows us something very, very interesting. Allow us to explain.
The Mustang prototype in these photos looks very similar to the GT500 test cars we've spotted before - same bulging hood, aggressive front fascia and air vents aft of the front wheels. What's different, however, is around back. Have a look at the exhaust, and note that instead of the GT500's usual quad pipes, two of the exhaust outlets have been capped off.
Our spies point out that these exhaust outlets could be closed for some sort of emissions testing or another engineering reason, but it's also important to note that the engine and exhaust notes of this car sound completely different from earlier GT500 prototypes. We've got a video below that compares the two.
To celebrate 50 years of Mustang, Ford and Stern Pinball are collaborating on a new pinball machine that will feature the muscle car in all its glory, Polygon reports. Even better, Camilo Pardo, the guy who designed the Ford GT, will provide art for the table; Tanner Foust, Top Gear USA host and professional driver, will handle narrating duties; and a Sony Music soundtrack spanning five decades will provide the tunes.
"The Mustang is one of the most iconic, American cars ever made... What better way to celebrate 50 years of Mustang than with the launch of the Ford Mustang pinball game?" says Stern Pinball CEO Gary Stern.
Watch the promotional trailer for the upcoming Mustang pinball machine below, which will have to hold you over until pricing and availability are announced in early 2014.
Ohio is a hot area for Ford at the moment with the announcement just a few weeks ago that production of the next-generation F-650/F-750 medium-duty trucks would move from Mexico to the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio. Now, Ford is investing $500 million to hire 300 workers at its Lima Engine Plant in Lima, Ohio, to add production of the twin-turbo 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 for the 2015 F-150.
The latest investment will be used to add a new flexible engine assembly system and renovate 700,000 square feet of the plant for machining and assembly areas. The Lima factory already builds Ford's 3.5-liter and 3.7-liter Duratec V6 engines. The plant opened in 1957, and it's on track to build its 40 millionth engine later this year.
Ford claims that the 2.7-liter EcoBoost will offer V8 performance with better efficiency in the F-150. It comes standard with intelligent stop/start that doesn't activate when the truck is towing or in four-wheel drive, and it's made from a combination of compacted graphite iron and aluminum for low weight and high strength. The company says that V6 engines have already proven popular in the F-150 with 57 percent of trucks in 2014 being equipped with either the naturally aspirated 3.7-liter or turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost engines.