V6, EcoBoost or V8: Breaking Down Ford's Factory Mustang Performance Packages
For decades the Ford Mustang has one been one of the most popular and versatile enthusiast cars in the market, but in the last 10 years in particular Ford has really upped the ante when it comes to factory performance options for Mustangs buyers.
Starting in the 2011 model year and going on through today, Ford truly opened up options for both entry level and high end Mustangs with optional performance/track packages for most models.
And with so many different options available on the used market, we thought we’d put together a quick guide on these packages so you can know what to look for and know what you are getting.
2011-14 Mustang V6 Performance Package
The Mustang got some serious mechanical upgrades for the 2011 model year. On the V6 model, horsepower went up by over 100 brining its output almost as high as the previous year’s V8.
What made the V6 Mustang even more potent was the addition of an optional V6 performance package which included larger wheels and tires, and most of the suspension, brake and chassis upgrades from the GT, along with a shorter rear end ratio.
Along with the new engine, the V6 Performance Package helped elevate the base model Mustang to a new level of performance, and at just $2,000 it was very cost effective upgrade.
2011-2014 Mustang GT Brembo/Track Package
The Mustang GT got even bigger upgrade for 2011, debuting the 5.0 liter Coyote V8, pushing output to 412hp and bringing a host of other improvements.
GT buyers looking for maximum performance could spec the optional Brembo Brake package, which not only included four-piston front Brembo brakes, twin-piston rear brakes, larger 19” wheels and unique stability control programming.
Two years later, the Brembo Package evolved into the “Track Package” which included all of the above along with a 3.73 Torsen rear differential, an engine oil cooler and a larger radiator. At just $2500 from the factory, it was a bargain for what it offered.
2015-2019 Mustang EcoBoost Performance Package
For 2015 the Mustang got one of the biggest changes in its history, moving to the all new S550 platform. While the V6 was offered as a base model, the new four-cylinder turbo EcoBoost model is the one where affordable performance was targeted.
The optional EcoBoost Performance package was another must-have for any enthusiast. Along with a re-tuned suspension and additional cooling, it also included things like a shorter 3.55 rear end gear, larger brakes borrowed from the GT—including four-piston front calipers. 19” wheels, extra gauges and more.
At just under $2,000 the factory EcoBoost Performance Package was again a no-brainer option for any enthusiast buying a new Mustang EcoBoost and the ideal way to take advantage of the four-cylinder Mustang’s capability.
2015-2020 Mustang GT Performance Package (PP1)
The GT Performance Package continued to be an option on the new S550 as well. For 2015 the GT Performance Package included six-piston Brembo brakes up front, staggered 19” wheels and tires, a front splitter, strut tower brace, 3.73 Torsen rear end, upgraded radio and more.
At $2,495 Ford once again gave Performance Package buyers a lot for their money, and is highly recommended if you have spirited driving in mind.
In 2018 when the Mustang was refreshed, the original GT Performance Package was now called Performance Package 1 and now included Magne-Ride dampers. It could also be ordered cars with automatic transmissions and received a price bump to $4,000.
2018-2020 Mustang GT Performance Package 2 (PP2)
The 2018 model year also saw the addition of a new even more radical option for Mustang GT buyers. The Performance Package 2 took everything from the original Performance Package and expanded on it.
New 19” wheels and tires were even wider and stickier, the suspension was retuned for better track performance and a new splitter and rear wing further improved aerodynamics.
The Performance Pack 2 was priced at $6,500, and when it equipped with it the performance delta between the Mustang GT and the more expensive Shelby GT350 was narrowed even further.
2020+ Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package
For the 2020 model year, Ford also went further with aspirations for the four-cylinder Mustang. Now called the “High Performance Package,” these versions get the same stuff as before, along with a boost in horsepower up to 330.
The High Performance Package includes other upgrades as well, including unique badging, a front splitter and other touches that help justify its $4,995 price premium.
You can go even further too with the addition of the $1,995 Handling Package which brings Magne-Ride dampers, more aggressive brake pads and a wider, stickier set of wheels and tires. With those two packages it’s easily the most capable non-V8 Mustang ever built.
So there you have it, a quick breakdown of the factory Mustang performance options over the last decade. For the 2021 model year the Performance Package 2 option has now been phased out and replaced by the new track-oriented Mustang Mach 1 which uses most of the same equipment in a more unique package.
When you combine all of these different options over the years these with the even higher performing Shelby models you truly to have tip your hat to Ford’s effort to delivering Mustang fun at a variety of buyers.
Now the only problem is choosing which one you want…