Ford unveiled the much anticipated redesigned 2015 Mustang sports car Thursday morning. With a sleek design, revamped interior, updated technologies and a brand spanking new engine option, this Mustang looks to steal the hearts of performance car lovers not just here in America, but all around the world.
The new Mustang is arguably the biggest car release of the year. Over past months, the press and public have been teased with loads of spy shots, leaks and expert renderings that hinted at what the car might look like, fueling speculation and excitement for this iteration of one of America's most iconic vehicles.
We've got all the information and photography related to the hot new ride you need right here in this gallery, so head on through to get a first look at the newest generation of American muscle.
A Storied Past
Cars are being redesigned all the time, to varying degrees of fanfare. When it happens to the Ford Mustang (this is the sixth time), we pay very close attention. The reason for this is that, without a doubt, the Mustang is in the pantheon of iconic American cars. It has been one of the best-selling and culture-defining cars since its debut at the New York Word's Fair in 1964.
People instantly fell in love with the first Mustang and its combination of sporty design and driving dynamics, affordability and surprising practicality (it came with four seats, unlike other sports cars that only sat two). News outlets praised Ford's efforts immediately after its release. Original forecasts projected sales of less than 100,000 units in its first year. That number was surpassed in its first three months on sale.
The original Mustang was available as either a coupe or a convertible. It came with several engine options: A 101-hp 6-cylinder engine, a 164-hp V-8, a 210-hp V-8, and beginning in June of that year, a powerful 271-hp V-8. Many of its other parts were taken from the Ford Falcon and Fairlane. The sticker price was $2,368.
The car became a cultural icon, appearing in movies, television, music and video games. It spawned competing cars like the Chevrolet Camaro. Ultimately, it came to be seen as an embodiment of blue-collar America: A gritty and hard-working performance car that could easily be obtained by the middle class.
One of the main goals for Ford designers and engineers over the years has been to maintain the fundamental look and philosophy of the original Mustang while making updates to its driving dynamics, technology, exterior design and interior fit and finish.
For the first time, Ford will offer the Mustang in parts of Europe and Asia.
"We crafted this car with the goal of creating a contemporary interpretation of Mustang – an American automotive icon that symbolizes optimism and freedom for millions of people around the world,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln in a press release.
The Mustang was simultaneously unveiled in six cities across four continents Thursday.
Exterior DesignThe sixth-generation Mustang looks, well, like a Mustang. And that's a good thing. The car's designers wanted to retain its unique and instantly recognizable design, while also making tweaks for current global tastes.
The 2015 Mustang has a lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and track. This gives the car a more aggressive stance on the road, as if it were an animal ready to pounce. The windshield and rear glass are more steeply sloped. The tail lamps and entire front of the car have been reworked, giving it a new personality, if you will.
The car will come in both coupe (two-door) and convertible form.
“You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when you see this car you immediately see a Mustang strong and true,” said Moray Callum, Ford executive director, design, The Americas.
All in all, this car looks really sharp. Pictures can be misleading, of course, so reserve your final judgment until you see the car in person. I think it's safe to say, though, that based on what is seen here, the Mustang will very much stand out on the road -- in a great way.
It's not just the look of the Mustang that has changed. Ford used the redesign as an excuse to give the interior a big refresh, as well.
Ford officials said they based the overall design of the new interior on the cockpit of an airplane. According to the company, the cabin is roomier and more ergonomic, with new knobs, switches and instrumentation.
There is also a host of new technology. Every Mustang will come with Intelligent Access with push-button start, SYNC® and MyKey®. Available add-ons include a new Shaker Pro audio system, blind-spot monitors, SYNC AppLink and adaptive cruise control.
The inside of the Mustang appears much more premium. Like the exterior design, it's tough to tell how good an interior really is from pictures, but if comfort and convenience are as good as the aesthetic, the cabin should be a great place to be.
There are a couple of big changes in performance for the 2015 Mustang.
The first is the inclusion of a 2.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Such a small displacement may seem to go against everything the Mustang has stood for, but before you write it off completely, know that the specs are impressive. Ford says that the engine produces 305 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, all while achieving what can be assumed is solid fuel economy (those numbers haven't been released).
Other available engines for the Mustang are the usual 3.7L V6 and burly 5.0L V8.
The second big change is the independent rear suspension (IRS). This system allows the wheels on the rear axle to move independently of those on the front. Prior to this, all four wheels in the Mustang were linked together, meaning each bump in the road on one side of the car made the entire car move.
Using the IRS should improve both ride quality and handling, especially since Ford tweaked the front suspension as well. Mustang fans have been clamoring for this change for a long time.
In addition to the new engine and suspension setup, Ford also updated the brakes, included several different drive modes and included launch control, which helps Mustang owners smoke other drivers off the line (not recommended for public roads).
Bottom LineWhile it was fantastic to finally see the Mustang in its new form, there is still a lot of information out there that we don't know. Yet to be released are power numbers for the V6 and V8 engines, fuel economy and, perhaps most importantly, pricing.
All in all, it looks like Ford has done a great job with this redesign. The exterior is sleek and instantly identifiable, the interior looks sporty and comfortable and the tweaks to its driving dynamics will hopefully make it even more fun on the road.
Unfortunately, it will still be a little while before we get to sit behind the wheel and take this rear-drive pony out for a spin. Based on what we've seen so far, that day simply can't come fast enough.