Since its arrival in the U.S. for the 2000 model year, the Ford Focus has been among the best cars in the compact segment with each successive generation improving over the previous model.
For 2000, the Ford Focus sedan, three-door hatchback, and wagon joined the automaker’s lineup alongside the long-running (1981-2002) Ford Escort compact before eventually replacing that model. Power for the original Ford Focus came from either a 110-hp 2.0-liter or 130-hp 2.0-liter ZETEC four-cylinder engine. A five-door hatchback was added for the 2002 model year, while a more powerful 151-hp 2.3-liter Duratec I-4 was added for 2004.
As we learned back in January, Ford has a big mid-cycle update in store for the 2018 Mustang pony car, featuring bold new looks, a reworked V-8 for the GT model, and more. It's a bit early for all this, given that the S550 generation was just introduced for the 2015 model year, but prudent if the Blue Oval hopes that its blue-collar sports car can match the spunk of Chevrolet's latest Camaro. That car, in SS form, has an edge in both weight and horsepower, leaving the Mustang GT to lick its wounds in most one-on-one performance comparison tests.
ord has yet to announce horsepower or torque ratings for its new 5.0-liter Coyote V-8, but we do know that the engine now features dual fuel injection, with gasoline being squirted in both at the intake ports and directly into the combustion chambers. And recently, we found an interior picture of the 2018 Ford Mustang GT's gauge cluster shows an elevated engine redline of around 7,500 RPMs. That's 500 RPM higher than on the 2017 model, and just 750 rpm shy of the shrieking 5.2-liter Voodoo motor in the range-topping Shelby GT350.
This crucial detail was uncovered by a photograph of a gauge cluster on forum Mustang6G.com, taken and uploaded by a contributor who managed to catch a group of 2018 Mustangs out for a shoot in Austin, Texas. The tachometer in the pic clearly shows a 7,500-rpm redline, and the badging on the outside of the car identifies it as a GT.
Importantly, that new, higher redline could help the refreshed Mustang GT achieve a greater power rating than the outgoing model, as an engine's horsepower is derived from its torque and rotational speed. On the current Coyote engine, horsepower begins to fall off after about 6,500 rpm, but assuming Ford shifts or extends the torque curve, peak horsepower could arrive later and measure greater.
The Chevrolet Camaro SS is rated at 455 HP, to the Mustang GT's 435 peak. Will Ford squeeze another 20 HP out of a smaller-displacement engine to match GM's stalwart stead? We'll have to wait to find out.