Happy 50th, Ford Mustang
America’s first pony car, the Ford Mustang, is celebrating its 50th birthday this year with a hot new design, three engine choices, and plans to hit the road with even a right-sided steering column for fans of this iconic car who want to tear up some pavement in UK and Australia!
For the first time since 2005 the car has been totally re-designed, making its big reveal December 5th – loaded with innovative technologies and delivering world-class levels of performance – simultaneously appearing around the globe in six cities on four continents.
Connecticut Ford Fans Giving the New 2015 Mustang a “Thumbs Up”
Dave Gagnon, President of the Late Model Mustang Club of Connecticut, is obviously a Ford Mustang aficionado. He tells us, “I think everyone who has a Mustang always thinks whatever model year they own is ‘the best one ever.’ But the truth is, they just keep getting better! Since the Mustang is such an iconic car in the minds and hearts of so many ‘car guys’, any time Ford makes changes we all lose sleep. We pour over spy photos, search the Internet, and try to dig up as much info as we can. But when they released the car yesterday, I was liking what I saw.”
Billy Genereux, General Manager of Hoffman Ford in East Hartford, says, “The Mustang is the true American icon for any brand or manufacturer of the American muscle car, the first thing anyone thinks of is ‘Mustang’. It’s a model with real staying power that has really evolved over the last ten years performance-wise. It’s a winner that’s always been here, for fifty years now.”
In fact, over 50 years of continuous production over 9 million Mustangs have been sold. This special All-American Muscle Car has starred on TV, in films, and even music videos and video games. Remember the one Farrah Fawcett drove in “Charlie’s Angels”, or Steve McQueen’s dark green Mustang taking the hills of San Francisco in “Bullitt”?
“The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford,” according to Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development in announcements to the press.
Dave Gagnon sounds like he might be on that pre-order list! “It does an excellent job of looking modern while paying respect to its roots. For me, the one I would have to get for 2015 would be the V8 of course,” Dave dreams. But we think he’s got a pretty sweet car already, and you can check out Dave’s own gorgeous Mustang on this video from the Club’s 2013 Spring Cruise. (See more pictures from the Cruise here)
The new Mustang will be cruising far beyond our fair state of Connecticut, too. It’s going to sell overseas – in Europe, Asia, and Australia – now that the new engineering meets international safety and emissions standards.
The Mustang’s redesign was styled to update the car without alienating its passionate fan base. “You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when you see this car you immediately see a Mustang strong and true,” says Moray Callum, Ford executive director, design, The Americas.
“People go nuts every time they redesign this car,” says Dave Gagnon. “They just don’t like to see it change from its roots. But from what I saw yesterday, with the long hood, short deck, and lines on the car you can really see the evolution in this Mustang. I think Mustang fans will be happy.”
The 2015 Mustang offers three choices for engines: updated versions of the current 3.7-liter V6, with a projected 300 horsepower, and 5.0-liter V8, with 420 horsepower. Then there’s Dave Gagnon’s favorite (besides the V8 he wants!): a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that gets a projected 305 horsepower. Like it in manual? There’s an updated six-speed you’ll love, or opt for the updated automatic transmission.
Dave also appreciates the good fuel economy of the new engine offerings. “The engine continues with the base and GT, but the addition of a turbo 4 cylinder will really help to make it more popular by balancing the fuel economy people need, and having the sporty feel of the added power from the turbo. When you get into a car like the Mustang, you want it to feel sporty. I can’t wait to take one for a test drive and see the difference,” he tells us.
• A lower, wider stance with a reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and track
• The return of Mustang fastback with a sleeker profile, more steeply sloped windshield and rear glass
• Three-dimensional, tri-bar taillamps with sequential turn signals
• Contemporary execution of the signature shark-bite front fascia and trapezoidal grille
For the first time, the 2015 Mustang has independent rear suspension, letting the wheels operate independently for even better handling. There’s also some more shoulder and hip room for passengers, and Ford is telling us the redesigned trunk can now accommodate two golf bags.
“I really like the change to an independent rear suspension,” says Dave Gagnon. “That should really help to improve the handling of the car, and make it much more stable in the corners. The drag race guys are going to have to make sure it is capable of the big power they are extracting out of these cars, so there should be some great new parts coming to help with that.”
The cockpit of the new 2015 Mustang is aviation-inspired, and features the highest degree of craftsmanship ever. Large, clear instruments mean the driver has everything needed front and center – a great safety feature. The interior also has nicer materials, with brushed aluminum replacing painted plastics.
From Intelligent Access with push-button start to SYNC® and MyKey® in every Mustang built, plus available Track Apps, MyColor gauges and new Shaker Pro audio system, drivers will have plenty of “techie” plus that “easy” Gagnon likes to see. New toggle switches on the console can even be tapped to quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings using the available Selectable Drive Modes.
The advanced new Ford-developed stability control system is tuned to maximize Mustang’s dynamic capabilities. For the speed demons at the track, Mustang GT includes standard launch control for smooth, consistent starts.
On more relaxing rides, drivers will be looking more for the advanced driver-assist features like the Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control. SYNC AppLink™ lets drivers control their smartphone apps to listen to their favorite form of entertainment.
“From day one, we knew if we were going to build a new Mustang, we had to do it right,” says Ford’s Pericak. “We built a new Mustang from the ground up that is quicker, better-looking, more refined and more efficient, without losing any of the raw appeal that people have associated with Mustang for half a century.”
April 17, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the original Ford Mustang. The new 2015 model celebrates that milestone with a badge on every new Mustang’s instrument panel: the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.” And of course, the Ford Mustang will continue to be proudly American made in the Flat Rock Assembly Plant.
2013 Late Model Mustang Club’s Spring Cruise Photos
2013 Spring Cruise Videos
The 2013 Shelby in “Getaway”
2014 Ford Mustang Thunderbirds Edition
Antique Mustang in Kansas City Art of the Car Concours