It was an event that spanned the globe as Ford has gone worldwide with the America’s iconic Mustang brand. Six cities—three located in the United States with New York City, Los Angeles, and Detroit along with launch parties in Sydney, Australia; Barcelona, Spain; and Shanghai pulled the wraps off the much-anticipated 2015 Mustang. It has been a marketing hype for over a year as rumors, renderings, and all sorts of speculation surrounding one of the most anticipated car launches of this year. We were fortunate enough to have a front row seat to the New York City launch.
There is no mistaking the 2015 Mustang for anything but a Mustang, kudos to the design team as they’ve captured the visual emotion of the brand. Consistently throughout the presentation Ford reps called the design evolutionary, not retro. That is a completely accurate assessment since you immediately know it’s a Mustang, but it’s not a refreshed old car. It is different but recognizable. As Ford’s chief of design, Moray Callum said, “it has a sleek, low feeling to it.” The numbers back that up with the 2015 featuring a roofline that is 38mm lower than the 2014 model. The hood sits 32mm below its predecessor and the decklid is a whopping 70mm lower. The car is not only lower and wider, but the team had “shrunk the metal in around the mechanics,” Callum explained. The wheelbase remains consistent with the 2005-2014 models at 107.1 inches. The final weight of the vehicle has not been released yet.
Callum told the standing room only crowd that the goal was to make the vehicle look longer and tougher. He expanded on that comment during a post-briefing discussion by using the rear “shoulder” area as example. He point out that the rear 3/4 glass has been pulled in to give it that aggressive stance. Lest you think the 2015 model will be all looks and no brawn—the usual V-6 and V-8 offerings are joined by a third engine, a 2.3L EcoBoost. Ford Mustang chief engineer, Dave Pericak, was quick to mention the 2.3L is a completely new design specific for this application. The turbocharged engine is said to boast at least 305 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, though no final numbers have been declared with either the EcoBoost nor the 5.0L V-8 option. He did specifically mention that the 2.3L EcoBoost engine features a lot of upgraded parts for durability like a steel crankshaft, our first thought was more boost! Some enthusiasts might look at the turbo four-cylinder as being an extension of the SVO branding from the mid-80s. It is more to satisfy the fuel economy requirements for European sales due to high fuel costs.
We do know that the Coyote 5.0L has been warmed over with better breathing and horsepower north of the car’s current 420hp rating. Pericak said that the team used the BOSS 302 engine from the previous model as a guide in designing the new base V-8 engine for 2015. The team was silent on actual horsepower of the Coyote 5.0L, so we assume that the package is still being developed. The IRS rear suspension has probably been the most reliable rumor through 2015 Mustang hype. Pericak said that by going to the IRS it forced the team to redesign the front suspension to match the handling prowess. One area that blew us away was in the braking department. The standard 14-inch brakes feature four piston calipers and Pericak says it has better braking capabilities than the optional Brembo brakes on the previous generation. Ford will also offer an optional 15-inch rotor package with six-piston calipers.
The interior once again inherits the evolution not retro theme, and it carries an “aircraft feel and cockpit concept,” according to Callum. The interior panels, leather, and even the aluminum on the dashboard feature increased quality. Keys are out and a key-fob is in with push-button start. The GT convertible we saw featured a row of toggle switches, which allow different driving modes. The toggle switches represent normal, sport, and track modes of which the electric power steering, stability control, and throttle calibration are manipulated based on which mode the driver has selected. The transmission choices will remain with the six-speed automatic or manual, but with beefier parts to better handle the increased power under the hood. We liked the paddle shifter feature with the automatic transmission.
Ford has definitely done its homework like in previous models by keeping the Mustang theme consistent and alive. You will not mistake the 2015 Mustang for another sports car as it continues to build on the fifty-year American icon heritage.
Our friend and man on the ground, Anthony Giagnacovo also grabbed these images and video of the unveiling in New York City.