The 2015 Mustang has been one of the most anticipated cars this year. The Internet has been abuzz with dozens of renderings, endless speculation and spies everywhere have been clamoring to get close to road-going mules. The anticipation has been so high that journalists sworn to secrecy have thrown their integrity to the wind just to scoop the latest photos of the 2015 Mustang.
We now have a mostly complete version before us, no more speculation, the real thing is here, albeit in prototype form. The cars that were unveiled on December 5, 2013 are still prototypes and some changes should be expected; however, at this point the sheet metal and interior are close enough to be called “production.” As of the unveiling the engines are still not complete and were not ready for display but they are functional.
The original Mustang was named after the P-51 Mustang from World War II fame, and Team Mustang has tied the interior of this car closer to that namesake than ever before. The speedometer now bears the word “Ground Speed MPH,” aircraft style badging, fonts adorn the cockpit and gauges. Continuing with the aeronautical theme toggle switches now adorn the center stack. Murray Callum, Vice President of Design for Ford sums it up by saying, “There’s a lot of inspiration taken from aircraft interiors, we really wanted the driver to feel like a pilot in the car.”
The 2015 Mustang is also filled with more technology than ever before. As the original Mustang defined the Pony Car segment now the 2015 Mustang again sets the bar for what it means to be a pony car. Features never before offered in this segment will now be available in the Mustang:
- Adaptive cruise control with collision warning
- Selectable drive modes
- Blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert
- Individual Tire Pressure monitoring
- Remote Window opening
- Remote start
- Three driver memory positions for seat and mirrors
Other features that are new or carry over include:
- Intelligent access with push-button start
- Track Apps
- Launch control
By now most every enthusiast is familiar with many of these types of features, but perhaps one of the most unique technology features is the selectable drive mode. A toggle switch in the center stack will select various modes for the car including: comfort, sport, track, and snow/wet weather. These modes will change parameters for steering feel, engine performance, and electronic stability control. Each optimized for the setting the driver chooses. More than any other car the Mustang is about customizing the car to the driver and the remaining toggle switches will enable the driver to select a setup the he or she prefers.
Three engine choices will be available: 3.7L V6, a 2.3L Ecoboost, and the 5.0L V8. Final horsepower figures have not yet been determined, but expect over 300 BHP from both the V6 and 2.3L Ecoboost engines. While the 2.3L Ecoboost engine shares the same displacement as its 1980’s predecessor the similarities end there. A twin scroll turbocharger provides for quick spool up to provide the power and performance that Mustang enthusiasts demand with Ecoboost technology providing excellent fuel economy.
Given that the 5.0L engine is now using parts developed for the Boss 302 it would be safe to assume between 440 - 450 horsepower. Fortunately the 2015 Mustang GT will come standard with launch control to help plant the extra power.
Of course with extra power comes the need to do something with it. The stock V6 and Ecoboost Mustangs will get a twin-piston floating caliper brake system. The base GT gets a 14” rotor and monoblock four-piston caliper, and this system is an option for the Ecoboost car. An optional performance pack gets 15” rotors and six-piston monoblock Brembo calipers in addition to a 3.73 Torsen limited slip differential.
The big news is the Independent Rear Suspension, making its appearance for the second time in the Mustang, only this time the IRS will go across all variants. The IRS was specifically designed for the S550 platform and enabled engineers to remove a lot of the compliance from the rear end. According to Dave Pericak, Chief Engineer, the IRS was so good that engineers discovered that the front suspension became the limiting factor to the car’s handling. The entire front suspension was redesigned with a double ball joint suspension that provides handling never before possible in a Mustang. It also gives the ability to have larger brakes and enabled engineers to match the performance levels of the IRS.
The 2015 Mustang only shares one thing in common with its fore bearer; the wheelbase. Other than that, virtually every piece of sheet metal within and around the car has changed. The roof has been lowered by 38mm, the hood by 32mm and the rear decklid is down by 70mm. This has improved leftover by 50mm making it easier to lift things into the trunk. Despite being lower in the rear, there is now more cargo room in the trunk and for items that are too big to fit, folding the rear seats down yields a 30mm improvement in pass-through. The rear fenders of the car were widened by 40 millimeters and the entire rear track was widened by 70mm.
Passenger room has also improved and both front and rear passengers will enjoy more shoulder, hip and knee room than the outgoing Mustang. Total passenger volume increases from 81 cubic feet to 84.5 cubic feet. Front head room is down though shrinking almost an inch from 38.5” front to 37.6”. The fastback design does not diminish rear headroom though and the new 2015 Mustang provides an extra 0.1” of rear head room climbing to 34.8”.
The front of the car now sports a flush front bumper under a forward raked nose, helping to account for a 0.2” reduction in overall length to 188.3”. The grille is reminiscent of the 2013 Shelby GT500’s upper and lower grille design. The 2015 Mustang is now a true fastback which gives the car a sleek long look. The iconic tri-bar tail lights have been implemented in a modern design that gives a three dimensional aspect that photos simply don’t capture. Each of the bars protrudes outward slightly at an angle like the slats of a vertical window blind. The illuminated portion appears to float inside the lens. The reverse light has been moved to the rear air diffuser out of the tail lights.
Overall the new Mustang is true to its heritage, but with a refreshed modern style that pictures just don’t do justice. The car needs to be seen in person to really appreciate the many design and exterior changes. This is a 3-dimensional creation and as such is best seen from that aspect. With the ability to be produced in both left and right-hand drive configurations the 2015 Mustang is set to take on all contenders in this market segment. We can’t wait to get our hands on one and put it through the paces on track.
Expect the first drive reviews to arrive sometime this fall. Until then we will just have to drool over the photos.
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