Why the new European Ford Mustang will have a different engine than its American counterpart

February 4, 2024 | by


The European version of the Ford Mustang will feature a different engine than its American counterpart due to increasingly restrictive emissions regulations in Europe. While the Mustang is renowned for its powerful V8 engine, European emissions standards have forced automakers to make adjustments to their high-performance vehicles. In compliance with these regulations, the new Euro-spec 2024 Mustang GT will produce 440 horsepower and 540 Nm of torque, compared to the 480 horsepower and 568 Nm of torque offered in the United States. Additionally, the more aggressive ‘Dark Horse’ model will only generate 448 horsepower and 540 Nm of torque, representing a 52 horsepower deficit for European buyers. Despite the modifications, European customers can expect to pay significantly higher prices for their Mustangs as a result of value-added tax (VAT). However, Ford CEO Jim Farley is determined to preserve the iconic V8 engine, even if it means adapting it to meet emissions standards.

European vs American Ford Mustang

Why the new European Ford Mustang will have a different engine than its American counterpart

Introduction to the Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is an iconic sports car that has gained popularity worldwide. For decades, enthusiasts have been enamored by the Mustang’s sleek design, powerful engines, and thrilling performance. The Mustang has become synonymous with American muscle cars and has a dedicated fan base that spans across the globe.

Ford Mustang’s popularity worldwide

Ford has successfully marketed the Mustang in over 100 markets worldwide. From the streets of Dearborn to Daegu, the sound of Mustang V8 engines can be heard. The blue oval has tapped into the passion and love for sports cars across different cultures and has created a global following for the Mustang.

Impact of emissions regulations in Europe

The European market poses unique challenges for automakers due to increasingly restrictive emissions regulations. In order to comply with these regulations, car manufacturers have had to make significant changes to their vehicles, especially high-performance models. European automakers, such as Mercedes-Benz, have downsized their engines to meet emissions standards.

Examples of downsized engines in European cars

Mercedes-Benz provides a prime example of downsizing engines to comply with emissions regulations. Their high-performance C63 AMG model, previously powered by a V8 engine, now features a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This downsizing allows the car to meet emissions standards while still providing a powerful driving experience.

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Availability of four-cylinder turbo variant

While the Mustang does offer a four-cylinder turbo variant called the EcoBoost in both Europe and the United States, the V8 engine remains a popular choice among buyers. The V8 engine in the Mustang delivers a unique and exhilarating driving experience that many enthusiasts crave.

Consequences for the V8 engine in Europe

Unfortunately, the more stringent emissions regulations in Europe have impacted the V8 engine in the Mustang. To comply with these regulations, Ford has had to reduce the power output of the V8 engine. In the European-spec 2024 Mustang GT, the V8 engine produces 440 horsepower instead of the 480 horsepower it produces in the United States. Similarly, the more aggressive ‘Dark Horse’ model is also subjected to a decrease in horsepower when sold in Europe.

Reduction in horsepower and torque

The European-spec 2024 Mustang GT experiences a reduction in both horsepower and torque compared to its American counterpart. The power output is lowered to 440 horsepower and 540 Nm of torque from the original 480 horsepower and 568 Nm of torque found in the United States version. Similarly, the ‘Dark Horse’ model faces a 52 horsepower penalty on European shores, resulting in 448 horsepower and 540 Nm of torque.

Performance of the ‘Dark Horse’ model

The ‘Dark Horse’ model of the European Mustang is specifically designed to deliver exceptional performance. Despite the reduction in horsepower, this model still offers a thrilling driving experience. With its aggressive styling and enhanced features, the ‘Dark Horse’ model appeals to those seeking a powerful and distinctive sports car.

Price difference between Europe and the US

European buyers will realize that purchasing a Mustang comes with a higher price tag compared to their American counterparts. In the United Kingdom, for example, the popular Mustang GT model starts at £55,585, while the high-performance ‘Dark Horse’ model rises to £65,585. These prices translate to approximately $70,900 and $83,700, respectively. The primary reason for this pricing difference is the value-added tax (VAT) of 20 percent applied to vehicles in Europe.

Impact of value-added tax (VAT)

The inclusion of VAT significantly contributes to the higher price of Mustangs in Europe. This tax, which is compulsory for all purchases, adds an additional cost to the base price of the vehicle. While American buyers can enjoy the Mustang at a lower price point, European buyers must consider the VAT when budgeting for their Mustang purchase.

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Ford CEO Jim Farley’s stance on the V8 engine

Despite the challenges posed by emission regulations, Ford CEO Jim Farley remains committed to the V8 engine in the Mustang. He believes that the Mustang’s affordability and accessibility as a V8 sports car set it apart from competitors. Farley acknowledges the need to adapt the V8 engine to meet emissions regulations but emphasizes the importance of retaining a powerful and affordable V8 sports car in Ford’s lineup.

Adapting the V8 engine to emissions regulations

Ford is working to ensure that the V8 engine in the Mustang meets strict emissions regulations. As the automotive industry transitions toward zero-emissions motoring, there is a need for traditional combustion engines to comply with emissions standards. Ford is investing in research and development to adapt the V8 engine while still delivering the performance enthusiasts expect from the Mustang.

Unique position as the only affordable V8 sports car

Ford’s commitment to the V8 engine sets the Mustang apart in the sports car market. While other manufacturers may have transitioned to downsized engines or hybrid technology, Ford recognizes the demand for an affordable V8 sports car. This unique position allows the Mustang to continue appealing to a wide range of enthusiasts who seek the exhilaration that only a V8 engine can provide.

Transition towards zero-emissions motoring

As the automotive industry continues to shift toward zero-emissions motoring, Ford acknowledges the need to adapt and evolve. While the V8 engine remains a cornerstone of the Mustang’s identity, Ford is exploring electric and hybrid options to meet future demands. The company is dedicated to providing a diverse range of vehicles to cater to different customer preferences and environmental considerations.


The European Ford Mustang differs from its American counterpart due to stricter emissions regulations. Despite the reduction in power output and the higher price tag, the Mustang continues to captivate enthusiasts worldwide. Ford remains committed to the V8 engine, recognizing its unique position as the only affordable V8 sports car on the market. The Mustang represents Ford’s dedication to delivering exhilarating performance while navigating the challenges of emissions regulations and transitioning toward zero-emissions motoring.


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