"I wanted no fake materials and a 0.3 mm margin of flushness," states Randle. "Everything that looks like aluminum is aluminum. We've made the right decisions for the customer in performance and quality, and we reduced our TGW (things gone wrong). Our quality level is aggressive," he says with passion in his English tongue.
The sporty steering wheel retains its three-spoke design, but has a cleaner look and includes switchgear for SYNC and speed control. It has a soft radius where your thumbs rest, which we really liked as the outgoing model tended to pinch your thumbs. The IP is laid out with full 360-degree aluminum bezels surrounding smart-looking gauges. The center vents are now rectangular, which allows the center stack instruments to be raised for improved ergonomics.
We especially like the soft materials found where you normally come into contact with them, your arms and legs, and that includes the flush and lockable console lid. Previously, the center console lid had a pointy leading edge that sits in line with the driver's right elbow. This becomes quite uncomfortable whether when shifting or resting. The cup holder now has a lid, and ambient lighting has been added to the doors and rocker panels.
Enthusiasts can choose between the base interior, optional Premium cabin, or Color Accent packages. Premium includes a leather steering wheel with aluminum spokes, leather seats with a unique sew style, ribbed door trim inserts, a bright brushed aluminum IP, leather shift knob, and choice of Black, Stone, or Saddle accents. It also includes aluminum pedals, six-gauge cluster, My Color and ambient lighting, six-way power driver seat, Shaker 500, and SYNC.
The Color Accented interior features a unique sew style, stitched door trim with chrome badges, dark or brushed IP, satin aluminum shift knob (manual only), and a black interior with choice of Cashmere, Blue, or Red accents.
Ford's Next Generation Navigation is really exciting, too. It takes advantage of an 8-inch display screen with increased resolution, six-channel (5.1) DVD-Audio capability, and voice recognition destination entry. The system, called Sirius Travel Link, pronounces street names when route guidance is activated, and you can select between a male or female voice. It reads real-time traffic info and incoming text messages with SYNC as well. Additionally, there is a hard drive disk for expanded map database and music storage, real-time traffic and weather, and will display integration of local fuel prices.
Amazingly, with all these extras, the overall weight of the '10 Mustang is increased by just a few pounds. That keeps the GT variant well below the competition.
From the first time we laid eyes on the 2010 we loved it, and after getting to know it, we must say Randle and his team have kept true to the formula. With 315 hp and a 3.73 rear axle, we expect low 13-second-to-high 12-second quarter-mile times, and a lot more fun for those who will tackle the corners. While Randle remained tight-lipped about future engines, he did state that Ford brass has given the team everything they asked for. We asked Randle if he asked for more power in 2011, and he simply smiled.