By Jan Wagner
Part 2: Exterior Styling, Suspension, Drivetrain, Controls & Electronics
Last time we were introduced to the all-new 2015 Mustang and teased with details about its interior, after it was revealed to a group of Mustang owners in Venice Beach, CA. This time, to learn about the rest of the car, AutoMatters interviewed two key members of Ford’s Mustang launch team: Carl Kristoff – launch leader, and Mark Ferencz.
One of the things that went into the development of the exterior of the car was embracing the heritage of the Mustang. It definitely has Mustang cues all the way through it but it is more modern.
We went back to the fastback design and the tri-bar taillamps. They’re tilted inboard and three-dimensional, which is a really nice feature. It has the shark-nose front end with the trapezoidal, leaning-forward design.
The entry-level engine is a 3.7-liter V-6 that will produce at least 300 horsepower and 270 foot-pounds of torque. This car will be fast, fun and attainable.
Our second engine is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost®. It will produce over 305 horsepower and 300 foot-pounds of torque, with best-in-class fuel economy. It will be the first engine you can get in the Premium and Performance packages and it will be fun to drive.
Our third engine, of course, is our five-liter V-8. It’s been upgraded with new manifolds and some new internals to not only produce more than 420 horsepower and 390 foot-pounds of torque, but also better fuel economy.
The transmission is an upgraded Getrag six-speed with shorter throws. To go into reverse on the current car you have to press down on the shifter. We’re going to have a lift ring now, which is more intuitive.
There will be an improved, paddle-shifted automatic transmission that will provide a smoother driving experience.
We did some great things with the suspension. When you’re braking really hard it doesn’t dive. It has twice as much anti-dive, and when you’re taking off with that 420-plus horsepower, it has twice as much anti-lift. Not only did we go independent rear, we meshed that with a double ball-joint suspension in the front. That opened up our area to put in a bigger brake package for our performance vehicles.
Our biggest brakes are six-piston, aluminum caliper, 15-inch Brembos up front. They will be closest to what’s in the GT500® now. You’ll get a car that can go and can stop.
The car has been lowered: the roof, the rear end and the hood are lower. The rear end is wider, and the track of the rear wheels got pushed out to fill out the wheel wells. Same thing with the front.
For wheels we will have 17s, 18s, 19s and 20s, staggered front to back.
The car has met every one of our performance objectives for stability and turning and manoeverability. The vehicle engineering and vehicle dynamics teams are extremely happy with how the car rides. We can’t wait for you to drive it.
The amount of technology in the car is fantastic, and yet it still takes you back to classic features. In the Premium Package you’ll get four toggle switches. One of them is for hazard lights. The second is for electronic stability control, so you can manage how your braking system is working. The third is for the electronic, power-assisted steering so that you can go from normal to sporty. The fourth is for drive modes. It can change how the car behaves in the wet or snow. There’s a track mode and there’s a sport mode. You can change them independently, so you can go into sport mode but change your steering to normal, and change your Electronic Stability Control to how you want the car to perform – all by flipping a toggle switch.
®is standard in both the four and the eight-inch screens, and you’ll get satellite radio. We have intelligent access: carry a key fob and push a button to start. There is blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, paddle shifters, Track Pack options, Launch Assist and tons more.
The 2015 Mustang has now been officially revealed but at the end of the day the Venice Beach car was put back into its hauler. To drive a new Mustang you’ll probably have to be patient and wait until the fall of 2014. The convertible will follow a little later.
That’s all for now. As always, please write to
with your comments and suggestions.