Muscle Car is a term coined in the 1970s, which refers to high-performance automobiles fitted with robust V8 engines. The ’70s were all about muscle cars — the focus was on strength. Some legendary examples include Ford Mustang GT, Chevrolet Camaro S8, Pontiac GTO, Plymouth Barracuda, Buick GS, Dodge Challenger, and AMC AMX.

The upcoming 2020 Ford Mustang features a 2.3-liter GTDI (Gasoline Turbocharged Direct Injection) I-4 engine, pumping out 310 HP & 474 Nm torque. As this doesn’t fit the definition of a muscle car, some Mustang fans aren’t very impressed. However, does lack of a V8 engine inhibit function? Automotive website MotorTrend tried to find out.

They pit the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Turbo High-Performance package against a couple of iconic Mustangs to verify whether V8 engines made a big difference. Below are the automobiles compared, along with their results:

1997 MotorTrend Mustang GT SVO Convertible: Despite adding new cylinder heads & exhaust, among other features, they found that the EcoBoost High-Performance package was far superior.

2007 Ford Shelby GT: To put it succinctly, Shelby GT is an icon. How did it perform against the EcoBoost unit? Not so well. Shelby GT can go from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds, while the other manages it in just under 5 seconds, but with considerably better handling.

2008 Saleen S281-3V Ford Mustang: This beast generated 335 HP & 468 Nm of torque, but pales in comparison to the EcoBoost. It reaches 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds, far behind its competitor.

2010 Roush 427R Ford Mustang: Featuring a massively altered V8 mechanism, this machine created 435 HP & 542 Nm torque & rivaled GT500  in terms of functioning. While it offers a power-packed performance, its speed is comparable to its contender.

2019 Ford Mustang GT Bullitt: This turned out to be a perfect rival for the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost Turbo High-Performance package, with Bullitt offering 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds.