Ford Motor Company (F) is officially unveiling the latest iteration of its iconic Ford Mustang at simultaneous press events, scheduled to be held in a number of cities across the globe. The 2015 model launch will kick off in New York, and will be shown to audiences in Los Angeles, Barcelona, Shanghai, Sydney, and Ford’s hometown, Dearborn in Michigan.
The new Mustang will make its way into showrooms and car dealerships in late 2014 and marks the 50th anniversary of the well-loved pony car, which started its journey in 1964.
Ford has kept mum on the details and styling of the 6th generation Mustang until today. However, pictures of the new model started circulating on the internet a couple of days prior to the car’s launch, when a blogger leaked out a December 9 edition of car magazine, Autoweek. The leak was subsequently picked up by various websites and the all-new Mustang has since been covered by Time Magazine, Jalopnik, and USA Today.
Pictures and updates on the new model are now up on Ford’s website as well, and reveal a design makeover for the popular car that has sold over nine million units since its inception. Some of the news outlets have also run extended slideshows on its features, highlighting its leaner shape that has more rounded styling, and a curvier roof when compared to its predecessor.
Despite the changes, the oversized hood and the small drooped rear, coupled with the classic logo grille all retain the Mustang’s signature look. The new model also rides lower to the ground and has a wider suspension.
Customers will have a choice of three engine options ranging from a 3.7 liter V6 providing close to 300 horsepower to a 5.0 liter V8, namely its GT coupe version which will produce 420 bhp. Also available is an efficient, 2.3 liter four-cylinder engine with EcoBoost and a turbocharger that will allow the car to churn out 305 bhp. This is also the first time Ford will introduce an independent rear suspension that promises greater stability and control in adverse weather and road conditions.
Initial images of the new Mustang show a fully updated interior, with a high quality dashboard trim and a brushed aluminum finish. The new model is expected to have the MyFord Touch infotainment and navigation system that has made its way into most of Ford’s current passenger car lineup. New features include technological caveats such as blind-spot detection and onboard stability control.
The model update comes at a time when it is badly needed. With its last full model update in 2005, sales of the Mustang have lagged behind its main competitor, General Motors’ (GM) Chevy Camaro for the past three years. Ford hopes to regain some of the Mustang’s lost market share through the launch of the new model.
At the same time, Ford is also looking to give the new Mustang a wider push in the international markets, and is pitching its first official sale in Europe. The new Mustang will be at par with international standards of safety and carbon emissions. There will also be a right-hand drive version on sale for overseas markets like Britain and Australia.
Despite the new push, industry experts say that they don’t expect any stellar numbers from Ford’s latest muscle car. Coupe cars are not too popular in the international market and account for only 1% of total auto sales. Customers in Asian car markets are also seen to prefer sedans over 2-door cars. Consequently, the market expects nine out of 10 Mustangs to be sold in North America.
Ford seems to have found a right balance between sheer power and technological prowess, at least on paper. Although pricing for the new model has not yet been announced, it is expected to start at $23,000. The Mustang has a cult following and is sure to be a fan favorite at upcoming auto shows, leading up to its production, which starts next fall.