It seems that any discussion about a modern Ford Mustang inevitably turns into a debate about its solid rear axle. While Ford has done an incredible job of optimizing the pony car's suspension, many still find it unacceptable that such an antiquated technology is used on a modern day performance car. Motor Trend boss Angus MacKenzie, however, says that the S197 Mustang platform almost received an independent rear suspension a while back – and for a lot less than you might think.
According to MacKenzie, the 2005 Mustang was set to get an independent suspension shared with the BA-series Falcon sedan built in Australia. Even when it was decided that the two cars would use different platforms, Ford designers set about designing an independent suspension specific to the Mustang. So why did it still end up with a solid rear axle? According to MacKenzie, product development executive Phil Martens convinced Bill Ford Jr. that they could save $100 per car if they dropped the IRS and went with the solid axle. For all of you non drag-racing types that wish the Mustang had an independently suspended rear, this news probably makes you sick to the stomach.
But wait... there's more! MacKenzie's sources say that the cost of sorting out the current Mustang's suspension actually cost $98 more per car than the IRS that could have gone in the car. Like Angus, we love the current Mustang but have to wonder if it could have been that much better.
[Source: Motor Trend]