Why the 2015 Ford Mustang Matters
Ask Ford executives why the redesigned 2015 Mustang matters, and you’re likely to hear comments about how a Mustang is all about emotion, and that it represents the soul of the company to Ford’s employees while at the same time representing freedom, independence, and adventure to Mustang owners. Beyond this, though, the new 2015 Mustang is a bridge from the past to the future, a modern performance car charged with expanding the model’s appeal with the next-generation of enthusiasts at the same time that it expands the model’s appeal on a global stage, all the while remaining a muscular gotta-have-it machine for what Ford calls “loyal Mustangers.”
As if that’s not a tall enough order, the new Mustang also needs to put the Chevy Camaro in its place, while ensuring that Ford can compete with sometimes lighter, more limber, and more luxurious competitors. Though designed and engineered to remain accessible to the middle class, the new Mustang is more refined and sophisticated than ever, which might just allow it to pull buyers up from a Scion FR-S and down from a BMW 4 Series.
Finally, the Mustang is Ford’s most popular car model behind the Focus and Fusion, a significant contributor to the company’s profitability. And it needs to remain that way.
2015 Ford Mustang: What's New
What’s New for the 2015 Ford Mustang:
- Lower, wider, lighter, and roomier inside
- Turbocharged 4-cylinder, V-6, and V-8 engines
- Improved performance and fuel economy
- 6-speed manual or automatic transmission
- Independent rear suspension
- Comfort, Normal, Sport steering settings
- Snow/Wet, Normal, Sport, Track powertrain settings
- Upgraded braking components
- Available paddle shifters, launch control
- Nicer cabin materials, more technology
- Faster operation for convertible top
- Triple Yellow Tricoat, Competition Orange, and Guard paint colors
2015 Ford Mustang: Styling and Design
It takes no more than a glance at the 2015 Ford Mustang to recognize it as such. Blending historical styling details with current corporate design themes, the new Mustang instantly recalls both first-generation pony car elements and modern Ford cues in a fastback coupe or drop-top convertible body style. The approach befits the car’s mission as a bridge from the past to the future, and while some people might dismiss the new Mustang as nothing more than a Fusion Coupe, you should write such comments off as the incoherent ramblings of the utterly clueless. Seen up close and personal, the Mustang’s design is dramatic and technical, yet sexy and sensual at the same time.
By the numbers, the new Mustang isn’t as small as it looks in photos. The car is within a quarter of an inch in length to the existing 2014 Mustang, and while it shrinks almost 1.5 inches in height, it gains 1.5 inches in width. Plus, Ford says the new Mustang’s wheels, which are sized between 18-inches and 20-inches in diameter depending on how the car is optioned, do a better job of filling the wheel wells. Additionally, the 2015 Mustang sees a 2.75-inch reduction in decklid height, meaning it is easier to access a trunk that is now big enough to carry two sets of golf clubs.
Up front, the Mustang GT’s fog lights move from the grille to conventional locations near the lower corners of the front fascia. New running lights positioned and shaped to recall the slats stamped into the headlamp housings of the original Mustang are a new retro touch, and as might be expected, the 2015 Mustang continues to offer triple-element LED taillights with sequential turn signals. The previous car’s fake gas cap emblem between the taillights is swapped out for 2015, replaced by a galloping horse or “GT” badge, depending on the model.
Inside, the driver and front passenger face a traditional dual-cowl dashboard paneled in aluminum and punctuated with round gauges and vents. Ford says the switchgear is “aircraft-inspired,” and that the cabin is designed to appeal to what it described as “a more modern and discerning customer.” Offering more room front and rear, along with a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, the new 2015 Mustang is a little more comfortable than it used to be. Notably, the Mustang can be optioned with Recaro performance seats that have 5-point racing harness pass-throughs for weekend track events.
2015 Ford Mustang: What's Under the Hood
When the 2015 Mustang goes on sale, buyers will be able to choose between a standard 3.7-liter V-6 engine or a new 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, while the redesigned Mustang GT is equipped with a 5.0-liter V-8. Each will be paired with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox, with a 6-speed automatic transmission offered as an option. Paddle shifters are also included with the automatic.
Ford says that final certification of the engines is not complete, but the company did quote what it considers to be minimum horsepower and torque figures. The V-6 will make at least 300 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, and the V-8 is expected to crank out no less than 420 horsepower and 390 lb-ft. of twist. Yeah, those are pretty much the same numbers as the 2014 model. But, the new ‘Stang (does anybody still call ‘em that, or is that my 1970s boyhood talking?) does weigh about 200 pounds less than it used to, which is why Ford claims the Mustang is both quicker and more fuel-efficient than before.
The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder’s preliminary power estimates are 305 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, with 300 lb.-ft. of torque peaking across a plateau between 2,500 rpm and 4,500 rpm. A twin-scroll turbocharger design is expected to reduce the amount of turbo lag right off the line, and not only is the EcoBoost 4-cylinder stronger than the standard V-6 engine it is also expected to be more fuel-efficient, too. Let’s say the Mustang’s V-6 improves from 31 mpg on the highway to 32 mpg. If the EcoBoost does even better, that means the 2015 Mustang will get close to 35 mpg on the highway.
While we’re on the subject of the Mustang’s mechanical hardware, you should know that the car gets a new MacPherson strut front and independent rear suspension setup. This, in combination with upgraded braking components, bigger wheel-and-tire combinations, and the car’s lighter curb weight, makes the new Mustang lots more fun to pitch into corners. In fact, according to Ford, a 2015 Mustang GT equipped with an optional Performance Package that includes a Track powertrain setting, a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, Brembo brakes, staggered-width wheels, and performance tires, can lap a race course faster than the previous-generation Mustang Boss 302.
Additionally, the new 2015 Mustang offers Launch Control as an option. Previously, this technology was reserved for the ridiculously powerful Shelby GT500. In addition to Launch Control and the Track powertrain setting, drivers can also switch the new Mustang from Normal mode to either Snow/Wet or Sport as they deem necessary. Comfort, Standard, and Sport settings are included for the Mustang’s electric steering.
2015 Ford Mustang: Features and Technology
One of the ways Ford hopes to attract younger buyers to the redesigned 2015 Mustang is through technology. The automaker’s often-criticized MyFord Touch infotainment system is an option for the Mustang for the first time, but includes redundant knobs and buttons for the radio and climate controls, thereby reducing the driver’s dependence on the touchscreen. Track Apps technology also returns for 2015, allowing enthusiast owners to monitor performance-related data pertaining to acceleration, braking, and cornering.
Intelligent Access keyless entry with push-button starting is standard equipment, and the new Mustang offers both dual-zone automatic climate control and heated and cooled front seats. Leather is available, and not just for the seats. Buyers can add it to the car’s dashboard, too.
Ford also resolves the current Mustang’s lack of safety-related technology with the 2015 redesign. Upgrades include rain-sensing wipers, an adaptive cruise control system, a forward collision warning system, and a blind-spot information system with rear cross-traffic alert. Of course, genuine driving skill combined with alertness ought to be your first line of defense while driving the new 2015 Mustang, but it’s still nice to have all this stuff as a backup plan.
2015 Ford Mustang: What Autobytel Thinks
Honestly, I can’t wait to drive this car. It looks terrific, inside and out, and that unmistakable Mustang GT exhaust note is intoxicating. If you agree, know that the 2015 Mustang doesn’t go on sale until the fourth quarter of 2014, which gives you plenty of time to get yourself all worked up about putting one in your driveway.
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