Evan J. Smith
December 4, 2013
Photos By: Ford Motor Company

Chassis & Suspension

Probably the biggest non-secret is the introduction of an independent rear suspension. Ford is touting its IRS-equipped Mustang suspension as world-class with handling being Boss-like, if not better, and with unprecedented ride quality and all-around performance. And while straight-liners may consider the IRS to be a hindrance, we expect the rear to be robust, though not the ticket for 9s. Fret not, however, as the aftermarket will be ready with alternatives should your half-shafts blow.

The IRS is an integral-link independent rear suspension. “The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for this high-performance application,” said Pericak. The benchmark was the Boss 302, and Ford says the ’15 equals or surpasses its handling, feel, and the level of confidence it inspires.

The front end is also new, utilizing MacPherson struts and a double-ball-joint spindle with twin lower links (per side, rather than heavier A-arms) and a mild anti-roll bar. This arrangement allows for larger brakes and improves steering feedback. According to Nair, “it’s easier to drive at the limit, it will flatter the novice and reward the expert.”

Ford also is offering three brake packages: V-6 Mustangs get two-piston calipers with 12-inch rotors, however, order the Ecoboost and you can upgrade to 14-inch rotors with four-piston calipers. The 14-inchers are standard on the GT, but track dawgs will surely go for the massive 15-inch rotors (upsized 15-percent from the GT500) with six-piston calipers to enjoy optimum braking. Furthermore, there are booster and pedal improvements, all designed to enhance driver feel.

Technology Takeover

Ford has invested heavily into technology and connectivity, so expect the latest Mustang to have a slathering of electronic goodness. The popular Track Apps returns and is standard on the GT and optional on the Ecoboost model, launch control is standard on the V-8 and gauges will feature a 160mph speed with text reading “Ground Speed,” and 8,000rpm tach (with revolutions per minute) spelled out, plus oil pressure and vacuum/boost gauges. The Mustang has been mechanically and electronically optimized in the critical areas such as the PCM and ABS all to enhance the driving experience and driving style. Together the 2015 Mustang features as many as 20 new technologies. These include push-button start, toggles for selectable driving modes such as normal, sport, track, and snow, plus extras like tire pressure monitoring (per wheel). “The advanced new Ford-developed stability control system is tuned to maximize Mustang’s dynamic capabilities,” said Pericak. “It has features like torque vectoring that directs engine power to individual wheels to help keep the car on course.” Systems like the SYNC AppLink allow drivers to use their smart phones apps to control entertainment. We’re also anxious to try the SYNC, MyKey and enhanced MyColor gauges. Enhancements can also be found in the Shaker Pro audio system, blind-spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, and Mustang owners will enjoy remote starting and remote window open options.

Mustang Interior

The front office of just about any Mustang has been appropriately styled, and the 2015 gets upgraded to fit the times. Joel Piaskowski, director exterior design for the Americas, calls it “McQueen cool,” the interior has an aeronautical theme. “With an honesty of materials. It sets the groundwork for the development of the Mustang.” Ford stuck with the twin round cannons for speedo and tach, but spread them slightly to fit a larger info screen in between. Mustang also retains the eyebrows atop the dash, but tucked underneath is a newly shaped face to the IP (instrument panel) that has a gentle curve with a trio of vents in the center and a pair of more rectangular vents on each end.

Working from the bottom of the center stack you’ll find the push-to-start button and toggle switches (a la Ford GT) for various controls, then the climate controls, and above that is the large MyTouch screen.

Engineers improved ergonomics by nudging the shifter to the left and sliding the cup holders to the right. There’s also a new leather-wrapped steering wheel with build-in controls for the usual stuff, plus the aforementioned paddles for shifting on auto-equipped Stangs. We found the wheel to be comfortable and the pedal placement to be smartly located.

Occupants are lowered 20mm and there is more overall interior room. There are also outlets for USB, 12V, more softness in the interior and true metal-plated finishes, plus visibility is improved. There is also more trunk space and the pass-through from seats to trunk is 40mm wider. Additionally, the IRS design creates more interior space, which provides rear-seat occupants with more hip and shoulder room.

As with the outgoing Stang, Ford will offer a convertible and a multitude of trim levels. We saw a rendition of the ragtop and it is smartly appointed. It is specifically engineered and has many improvements including a center-mounted latch for the top, which by the way, opens or closes in half the time.

Finding a Mustang to suit your needs will be easy and we expect improvements and a few specialty models to follow shortly after the release of the ’15. Before long we’ll get behind the wheel and put the S550 Mustang through its paces, so stay tuned for a road and track report. We’d love to hear your comments, so feel free to chime in and contact me at evan.smith@sorc.com and continue to check out www.musclemustangfastfords.com for more exciting photos and reports on your favorite Fords.

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2015 Mustang Hot Points

  • The ’15 Mustang is 3mm longer and 13mm wide than the outgoing 2014 Mustang.
  • When asked if the 2015 Mustang is lighter, the engineers told us “it is within our goals for weight.”
  • The front subframe is stiffer, lighter and stronger than the 2014 Mustang.
  • Expect two chassis set-ups for V-6, Ecoboost, and V-8 models.
  • The Coyote V-8 will retain its 5.0L displacement, but get a new intake, an oil cooler, and motion control valves.
  • Top speed on the GT will be 155mph
  • First globally sold Mustang, available worldwide, including a right-hand drive model for Australia and England.
  • 2015 Mustang colors: Competition Orange, Triple Yellow, Oxford White, Deep Impact Blue, Ruby Red, Ingot Silver, Magnetic, Guard, Black.
  • All convertibles to receive cloth top and center latch. Top opens and closes in 7 seconds, half the time of the outgoing model.