With the launch of the 2010 Mustang countdown mini-site just a few weeks ago, Ford began its pre-launch hype-machine, working to build anticipation over the upcoming pony car. Hoping to keep that momentum rolling, Ford today released its new 2010 Mustang badge.

Featuring a sharper, more chiseled look for the famed running horse, the badge may foretell some of the design characteristics of the new Mustang itself. A more defined, sharp-edged look than the current car's smooth lines and soft curves would give it a different 'feel' while still allowing the use of most of the same shapes. The coloration of the badge has also changed, with an all-new black chrome version for the grille of the GT model. Standard chrome-finish badges will also be available, and standard on V6 cars.

Other aspects Ford wants to emphasize in the new emblem's design ore the wildness and speed. “We lifted the head to make the pony more proud, tipped the neck into the wind to give it a feeling of greater speed and better balance.

“It’s more chiseled and more defined and looks more like a wild horse,” said Douglas Gaffka, chief designer of the 2010 Mustang. “It’s more realistic in terms of proportion to an actual Mustang.”

The Mustang emblem has almost as varied and interesting a story as the car upon which it rides, having gone through at least seven iterations and as many designers, many of whom have had extensive involvement in equine as well as automotive fields.