The clean-sheet design of both the fastback and its upcoming convertible variant features a distinct Mustang flavor, thanks to the long sculpted hood, short rear deck, tri-bar tail-lights and fastback design. However, there are plenty of new elements that should make the car appealing to buyers outside the U.S. We particularly like the lower, wider stance plus the reduction in roof height, and wider rear fenders and accompanying wider track.
Beyond the styling, there is plenty of new technology to rave on about. The highlight is the new chassis, which according to the Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] makes the 2015 Mustang the most nimble yet. The goal for engineers was to make the regular Mustang more dynamic than even the previous Boss 302 track special.
The car features all-new front and rear suspension systems--including a multi-link setup at the rear. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride. The new double-ball-joint front MacPherson strut system also enables the use of larger, more powerful brakes (three different setups will be available).
Integral-link independent rear suspension
At the rear is the all-new ‘integral-link’ independent rear suspension--a major plus over the solid axle. The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for high-performance. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling.
The other big Mustang news is the availability of a turbocharged four-cylinder engine in addition to the familiar V-6 and V-8 options. At the top end, the Mustang GT continues with a 5.0-liter V-8, which now features an upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads that yield more than 420 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. A new intake manifold improves low-speed breathing for better fuel economy, idle stability and emissions.
Four-cylinder power confirmed
The new four-cylinder engine is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost unit, which is expected to deliver more than 305 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. It’s the mid-level engine option and should be a hot item among the tuner scene as well as fuel-conscious buyers. Finally, the base Mustang continues with its 3.7-liter V-6, which will produce at least 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. You can find a closer look at the engines available, as well as the new independent rear suspension setup, here.
A six-speed manual transmission remains standard while a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters is available. Further down the track, look for new performance variants including a new Shelby GT350 and possibly a Mach 1. Transmissions with more gears are also expected.
The design of the cabin is a familiar one, though the materials are much nicer than on previous versions and there’s more space too. The information and controls an active driver needs are all readily accessible. Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver, while improved ergonomics and tactile switches and knobs provide better control. The added width and a new rear suspension contribute to improved shoulder and hip room for passengers, and a more usefully shaped trunk can accommodate two golf bags.
High-tech features include driver-adjustable stability, steering systems, throttle and transmission systems; launch control, SYNC with MyFord Touch; Shaker Pro audio; and blind-spot monitors, cross-traffic alert, and a lot of other safety features your average Mustang driver will completely ignore are also available.
As mentioned, the release of the 2015 Mustang helps celebrate the car’s 50th anniversary, which officially takes place on April 17, 2014. Each 2015 Mustang celebrates the milestone with a badge on the instrument panel that includes the galloping pony logo and the words “Mustang – Since 1964.”