Marlan Davis Senior Technical Editor
March 18, 2016

Ken Duttweiler has been building and modifying engines for more than 60 years. The builder of the world’s fastest internal combustion-powered land-speed-record car is now applying his expertise developing the new Mustang 2.3L, turbocharged, direct-injection, EcoBoost four-cylinder motor. But don’t think of this as a four-banger, think of it as a testing bed for all sorts of future direct-injection tech. “Our goal is big horsepower—over 1,100 in race trim—but we’ve got to take baby steps first,” Duttweiler says. “Like it or not, this is the future of performance. More than 60 percent of the Mustangs sold in southern California have the 2.3L engine.”

First steps are getting the engine to run with Ford’s existing electronics, then figuring out how to tune the factory ECU. After that, “we’ll hop up the existing production-based engine with a series of progressively larger turbos and aftermarket cams.” At some point, “we’ll move to aftermarket direct-injection engine-management systems currently under development. Ford Racing will also have a racing block and heads.” HOT ROD plans to follow along as development proceeds. Stay tuned for future updates.

Ken Duttweiler has got the 2016 Mustang EcoBoost motor up and running on his dyno as of March 2016. The engine has balance shafts; you’d hardly know it was just a four. His dyno rig’s standard intercooler is up front. HOT ROD Readers are used to seeing V8s here, but Duttweiler has high hopes for Ford’s latest high-tech marvel.
On a production car, the engine control unit (ECU) interfaces with the body control computer and various antitheft features, making it pretty hard to run as a standalone unit. Fortunately, Ford Racing sells an ECU and harness for its 2.0L standalone crate engine, and that’s what Duttweiler has adapted to the 2.3L. Note the electric accelerator pedal mounted at upper right that’s included in the Ford kit; it’s required to get the motor to run, even on the dyno.
The first mod waiting in the wings is this larger Borg-Warner turbo. Duttweiler’s already built an adapter to bolt it onto the 2.3L’s integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold assembly.