People are expecting more and more from their performance cars these days, and that includes improved fuel efficiency.

That's why, even with traditionally V-8 pony cars like the Ford Mustang, the next model will include a more efficient, four-cylinder variant.

As well as more contemporary styling, influenced by last year's Evos Concept (shown in the image above), a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine was confirmed earlier this year by Ford product chief Derrick Kuzak.

Not that the four-pot Ford will be a poor relation of other Mustangs, unlike the 2.3-liter inline-four offered in the Mustang II of the 1970s.

In the 2012 Ford Focus ST, the 2.0 EcoBoost develops 250-horsepower, but still returns a respectable 32 mpg highway. In a Mustang, that would be a useful improvement over the current 29 highway, 22 combined of the V-6.

Automotive News reports that the next generation Mustang is likely to arrive in Spring 2014.

In the meantime, the exciting new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engines already available in the European-spec Focus are likely to hit U.S. shores, first arriving next year in the re-styled 2014 Fiesta.

The Fusion too will gain new EcoBoost engines, though for parsimonious buyers the Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid will be top of the list, particularly given the high MPG figures touted of the C-Max Energi.

There will always be customers who want a V-8 Mustang, but the good news for those concerned with gas mileage is that there will soon be an option for green-minded buyers, too. Just don't expect a Mustang Energi any time soon...


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