Ford’s New Mustang Is Loyal to Legacy

The All-New Ford Mustang

It’s been years in the making, with the last major redesign of the car occurring in 2007, but Ford (NYSE:F) has finally pulled the wraps off the redesigned 2015, 50th anniversary Mustang. From the initial first looks — spy shots, teasers, and leaks aside — the car looks like it’s everything the modern Mustang enthusiast hoped it would be.

Given that Ford intends to sell this car around the world, the company had to make sure that the vehicle would appeal to more than just its historically American audience. From the images released, it looks as if this is a car that will appeal to just about everybody.

The most obvious aspect of the Mustang’s redesign is its new front fascia, which sports a much sleeker appearance. Criticized by some for taking too strong a cue from Ford’s Fusion sedan, we think the new face looks quite fitting on the flagship muscle car — after all, few would argue that the Fusion is an ugly vehicle. Far from, we think.

Moreover, the Fusion’s good looks take on a different demeanor on the new Mustang, which, despite its modern appearance, still oozes the aggressive attitude one would expect from a car of the Mustang’s stature. The muscular rear haunches are consistent with not only the previous model but the original one, as well, as are the triple-bar tail lights, which offer a slight but not deviant next step from the outgoing model.

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“The new car retains the current Mustang’s 107.1-inch wheelbase, and despite actually looking longer than the 2014 model in person, it’s one fifth of an inch shorter overall,” Autoblog writes. “The rear track has been stretched from 62.1 to 64.9 inches, and the car is 1.5 inches wider overall. Finally, it’s 1.4 inches lower than the today’s car. These might seem like incremental changes, but combined with the overall styling, the end result is a vehicle that looks noticeably more aggressive, athletic and planted.”

The GT model — which is pictured — abandons the grill-mounted lights for some more conventional bumper-mounted fog beams. And, as noted before, the Mustang takes some cues from the Fusion-inspired styling — but “trust us, this isn’t anything close to a ‘Fusion coupe,’” Autoblog says.

The interior has has received some substantial updates, as well. “The material quality is hugely better, and the overall layout is more stylish and easier to figure out,” Autoblog reports after it was afford an opportunity to get up close and personal at a press event in Michigan. “A long strip of metal spans the width of the dash, and it is without a doubt the best-feeling item in the new cabin. Other dash materials include leather, complete with contrast stitching, and soft-touch plastics.”

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While the dash features Ford’s troubled infotainment system — MyFord Touch — Autoblog points out that there is now an array of new buttons and switches, which indicates that drivers will only have to play with the screen for a few different things. The heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and audio functions have all been replaced by buttons and knobs, much to the delight of the Ford consumer base.

Under the hood, Ford has added a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, perhaps the biggest change for the 2015 model year. The 3.7-liter V6 “will remain as the base engine,” and don’t worry — the GT will still pack the ever-popular 5-liter V8. While the latter two don’t appear to have been tinkered with at all, the 2.3 liter is reportedly good for about 305 horsepower. “We’d take these numbers with a suitably large grain of salt, as they are subject to change as certification carries on,” Autoblog warns.

The transmissions have largely been left alone, with a six-speed manual and six-speed automatic as options. However, the automobile will, for the first time, be available with paddle shifters.

All in all, the new Mustang looks like a worthy and welcome redesign with the right formula for attracting new customers without entirely alienating longtime fans.

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