Sunday, December 1, 2013
2015 Ford Mustang: Getting Sprayed Down With A Can Of Retro-Be-Gone
Call it Ford's Declaration of Independents. After half a century of log-axle Mustangs with only one brief experiment with an independently suspended rear end (the 1999–2004 SVT Cobra), Ford will hang a split-and-jointed drive axle beneath the 2015 Mustang's hindquarters. Considering that both the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger already have independent rears, it's not quite as revolutionary as "We hold these truths . . ." But even with today's outdated rigid axle, the Mustang is already our favorite in this class, and a new unibody platform with its wheelbase and front and rear tracks all cinched tighter should help keep the Ford ahead of its peers.
While the current Mustang is slavishly, unimaginatively retro, Ford has pretty much mined out its glory days, the as-yet unrealized Mustang II redux notwithstanding. So the next car will be fearlessly modern. Many Mustang faithful are up in arms at the prospect of Ford's next hot rod looking too much like the 2011 Evos concept car, but we have confidence. Between the Focus and the Fusion, Ford's styling department is on a hot streak.
The next Mustang will have at least one retro cue, though: an available turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Absent from the lineup since the 1986 SVO, the forced-induction four returns in the guise of Ford's EcoBoost 2.0-liter, which makes 252 horsepower in the Focus ST. Don't expect that figure to change much for the Mustang, where the 2.0 will sit between the car's two currently available engines. Priced higher than a revised version of the 3.7-liter V-6—rated at 305 horses in today's car—the four will be pitched as a balance of power and efficiency. Ford's 5.0-liter V-8 will top the range. The Blue Oval can't afford to leave the Camaro ZL1 unchallenged, and so another GT500 is a certainty; less certain, however, is what will power it. Pedestrian-protection standards will restrict the underhood clearances in the next car, cutting the space available not just for the Shelby's top-mount supercharger and intercooler, but also its tall-deck engine block. We suspect Ford will find a way to nestle a pair of turbos against the 5.0's block. With all engines, a six-speed manual will be standard, and we hear that an eight-speed automatic will arrive fashionably late.
Commonly referred to as a "1964-1/2" but technically a 1965, the first Mustang appeared at the New York World's Fair on April 17, 1964. Ford isn't going to miss the opportunity to throw the Mustang one heck of a 50th birthday party. April 17, 2014 will be a Thursday. It should be significantly more exciting than your average Thursday.
Posted by Pw3680 at 6:11 PM