Every Mustang Engine for Every Generation & Model Year
At MustangSpecs our mission is to provide as much Ford Mustang data, stats and general information as possible. We try our best to make sure our information is plentiful and free because we want to help Mustang fans around the world get the data they need quickly and easily in order to make informed buying decisions. One thing we get asked all the time is to organize all the Mustang engine options by generation and year.
1st Generation Ford Mustang Engine
The first generation of Mustang launched halfway through April of 1964 and even by 1965 there were significant differences in the engines that were available. For instance, even though you could get a six-cylinder engine in 1964 or 1965, they were two very different engines, with different displacements, horsepower and torque ratings, and hardware. Most years had at least four options: A six-cylinder that served as the base, a two-barrel carburetor V8, a four-barrel carburetor V8, and a high-performance four-barrel carburetor V8. Many of the packages that we consider especially collectible now, like the California Special or GT package, required one of the two V8s that came with a four-barrel carburetor. Some engines were only available for a single year, this was partially because Ford was in the middle of some large changes and partially because if an option wasn’t particularly popular it got pulled before the next year. New car sales were significantly more focused on customization and options than they are today, and subsequently the engine options expanded to keep up with customer demands and special editions.
2nd Generation Ford Mustang Engine
In 1974 due to the Federal government’s rules driven by an oil shortage, Ford no longer offered the V8 powerhouse in the Mustang. However, for reasons unknown to consumers an anemic 302 was offered again in 1975 through 1978. This is perhaps the least interesting and fun era when it comes to Mustang engine options.
3rd Generation Ford Mustang Engine
A total of seven different engines and variants were used during the third generation Mustang production years. The smallest was an 86 horsepower inline four, followed by a turbocharged version of the same engine that was used in the SVO and it was nearly as powerful as the V8. The 3.8 liter Essex V6 came into the picture during the 3rd generation Mustang to carry some load while at the top end of the engine ranks was the 302 small block V8 which was marketed as a 5 liter (closer to 4.9 liters actually). Following the second oil crisis in 1979, the 302 cu in (4.9 L) "5.0" engine was dropped in favor of a new 255 cu in (4.2 L) V8 due to its better fuel economy. The 255 was the only V8 offered in 1980 and 1981 and it was basically a sleeved-down 302 with only 120 hp, a poor option frankly.
4th Generation Ford Mustang Engine
The fourth generation Mustang saw a lot of changes when it came to powertrain and engines. Initially Ford offered two engine options, the 3.8 liter V6 and trusty 5L V8. The 5 liter was slowly replaced by the modular 4.6L V8 in 1996 and that powered the top models for most of the rest of the fourth generation.
5th Generation Ford Mustang Engine
Ford said goodbye to the 3.6L V-6 and replaced it with a 210-hp 4.0L SOHC V6 engine. The GT model featured a 300-hp 4.6L 3-valve V8 engine. We saw Ford bring back the 5.0 liter V8 and we also saw a great upgrade the V6 with a more powerful and efficient powertrain. The highlight of the fifth generation Mustang in terms of engines was definitely the Shelby GT500’s 5.8-liter V8, with its 662 horsepower and 631 lbs/ft of torque, making it the highest-horsepower engine to date.
6th Generation Ford Mustang Engine
The sixth generation Mustang engine lineup is certainly interesting. In 2015 we saw the Mustang add the EcoBoost 2.3L to the line up. This turbocharged four-cylinder engine features a dual overhead cam (DOHC) design, in an inline configuration and is turbocharged. It took over altogether from the V6 in 2018 as the base car motor. At the top end of the spectrum the sixth generation Mustang also saw an epic engine called the "Predator", a hand built 5.2-liter, supercharged V8 engine with an absurd 760 hp and 625 lb/ft of torque.
1st Generation Ford Mustang Mach-E Motors
Here comes electrification....