Evan J. Smith
Mustang360 Network Content Director
December 4, 2013
Photos By: Ford Motor Company

Fifty years. That’s how long Ford’s been producing America’s favorite ponycar—for half a century, can you believe it? It debuted on April 17, 1964 and its history is storied, from the streets, to the track, Mustang has been a winner.

There’s hardly a group of owners more dedicated to a specific brand, make, or model, so it’s serious business when Ford tools up a new Stang. “The Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they never drove one,” he added.

Ford recognizes the importance of its Mustang, and that’s why the heart and soul of Dearborn resides in the 2015. Based on the styling and a barrage of technology and options, the ’15 looks to be a superstar. Improvements come in power, handling, economy, safety, connectivity, and for the first time ever, it will be sold globally.

Ford tells us there are over 200 Mustang clubs worldwide, including Iceland, the Ford Mustang Facebook page has nearly 6,000,000 likes and you can find a Mustang or Ford event virtually every weekend. There are web forums, web pages and so much Mustang gear to fill a museum. Mustang is a lifestyle—and more than ever, Ford understands what the Mustang is and what it needs to be.

The latest model, dubbed S550, follows the S197 and Fox platforms, which each had lengthy runs and helped to grow the legions of fans. Yet, with any all-new Mustang comes a radical departure in styling and chassis, and the 2015 Mustang is not immune.

The hype surrounding the next Mustang is colossal, the commentary reaching epic proportions. Renderings were everywhere, and speculation was viral, as enthusiasts virtually demanded what the next Mustang should encompass. Ford, in turn, used the power of the Internet to extend its reach, thus providing a global debut for its global car.

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We caught a glimpse last fall and were pleased with the style, technology and upgraded powertrains—but we were taken back at the same time. The ’15 screams “Mustang,” it’s not the ultra-modern Evos-looking machine many were anticipated. Like most, we expected the styling to reflect the Evos concept car (which most of the renderings were based), but Ford tossed us a curve. The next-gen Mustang maintains those beloved classic cues, all with creatively sculpted lines and unmistakable clarity.

Shown side-by-side, you’ll see the evolution from the 2014 to the ’15, but also the touches from the current Ford styling, especially in the blunt nose. “We crafted this car with the goal of creating a contemporary interpretation of Mustang,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. “An American automotive icon that symbolizes optimism and freedom, for millions of people around the world.”

Equally impressive are the mechanical and technological changes, such as the new front and rear suspensions. The Mustang now features a perimeter subframe, designed to “stiffen the structure, yet reduce mass, and provide a better foundation for more predictable wheel control and that will benefit steering and ride.” Of course there is the addition of the IRS and 300-plus-hp Ecoboost 2.3L four-cylinder.

Mustang Style

It’s critical that Ford gets the Mustang right, and considering it will now sell worldwide, that’s not an easy task. People all over the world have different needs, but Ford says the Mustang team didn’t compromise. The 2015 Mustang is aggressive in all the right places, it’s presence strong, its lines and proportions fitting for the time. It makes a statement, but it’s not offensive.

“This car is the essence of Ford on a good day,” said Farley. “We are connected to the brand, and it’s with that, that team pursued the actual vehicle.” This essence is evident in the long nose fitted to a wide, low body that is hunkered down and ready for action. The stance is predicated on where the tires are in relation to the body structure, and for 2015 the A-pillar is moved rearward 30mm, so there is a longer hood, though the wheelbase remains at 107 inches. Proportionally, the roof is lowered 38mm, the hood is lowered 32mm, and the decklid is dropped an amazing 70mm.

Ford added 11mm between the cowl and the front wheels, there are wrap-around headlamps that blend with current styling trends and the grille opening is clean with a large mouth. The styled fascia is clean and there’s no longer a ledge or defined bumper. With longer fenders, the A-pillar (and greenhouse) is set rearward and there is a sharp body line running the length of the fenders at the top. There is a cowl bump in the hood, with lines that mimic the fenders.

While hardly retro, the ’15 was enhanced with touches from the ’69 Mustang. Gone is the defined B-pillar, the side glass flows neatly into the quarter windows, which kick up at the back. And Ford chose not to go with the familiar “C-scoop.” Instead, the new Stang is defined with sharp, almost drastic, body lines that define the sides. The wider track allows for kicked-out wheel openings, which give it a mini-wide-body effect.

Up top, the C-pillar (or sail panels) produce a fastback design and extend deep into the decklid. Mustang fans will rejoice as the tail is much more nicely shaped than the outgoing car. It’s striking from the rear, especially the shoulders at the top of each quarter-panel. The tri-bar taillights fit neatly in a black-out cove that is angled sharply forward. This produces the aspect of speed, even at rest. Down below is a faux diffuser and now the back-up light is molded into the lower portion of the fascia. Ford also used a thin third brake light mounted at the top of the backlight (rear glass) to maintain a clean look.

“The Mustang has universal appeal,” said Nair, “not just in the US, but around the rest of the world. In many respects, the Mustang customer was ready [for this car] before we were. My favorite car is the Boss 302 and we wanted to get that level of balance in the total lineup.” Mustang will be sold in Europe (Germany, UK, France, Switzerland, etc.), plus China and Australia. These are all new markets, and those customers have various wants and needs.

Power and Driveline

Like the sleek body design, the powertrain options have been a hot topic for debate. Not since 1986 have enthusiasts been able to select between a turbo-four, V-6, or a V-8.

No SVO, the new 2.3L Ecoboost is designed specifically for the Mustang and will benefit from direct injection, twin independent variable cam timing, and a twin-scroll turbo to reduce lag. It sports a steel crank and trick 3-port cylinder head to deliver power and projected best-in-class economy. It will deliver more than 305hp and 300-plus lb-ft. This will breathe new life into an untapped Mustang segment, as we expect the aftermarket to run rampant with tunes and components to push for maximum power and performance.

Returning is the potent 3.7L V-6, but with more power. “It will be worthy of the Mustang badge,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Mustang chief engineer. But the big gun remains to be the popular Coyote 5.0L, and you can expect more power thanks to enhanced breathing. Ford incorporated larger valves and cams, and revised heads with improved port design. Strength will come from Sintered-iron forged Boss-like 302 rods and springs, so we’re anticipating a high redline, upwards of 7,500rpm. The 5.0L will also sport a new intake (we’re guessing lower profile) with charge motion-control valves to improve stability at idle and mid-range throttle response.

According to Ford, “the variable cam timing on the intake side has a greater range of adjustment thanks to mid-lock phasers. This enables better optimized control of the valve timing over a broader range of engine speeds and loads for improved fuel economy and emissions.” The 5.0L Coyote also gets redesigned piston tops, and a balanced forged crank.

Power is transferred though either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto, but both are enhanced for improved performance. The manual features a revised shift linkage for shorter throws and precise smooth shifting. Those opting for the Select-Shift automatic can also take control with the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifts with rev matching for downshifting. The auto also gets a redesigned case with lighter internals.

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.


2015 Ford Mustang Specifications

BODY

Construction

Unitized welded steel body, aluminum hood and front fenders

Bodystyles

Fastback and Convertible

Final assembly location

Flat Rock, Mich.

ENGINE

3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6

2.3-liter EcoBoost I4

5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8

Configuration

Aluminum block and heads

Aluminum block and head

Aluminum block and heads

Intake manifold

Composite shell-welded with runner pack

Composite shell-welded with runner pack

Composite shell-welded with runner pack and charge motion control valves

Exhaust manifold

Cast iron

Three-port integrated into aluminum head

Stainless steel tubular headers

Valvetrain

DOHC, four valves per cylinder, twin independent
variable camshaft timing

DOHC, four valves per cylinder, twin independent
variable camshaft timing

DOHC, four valves per cylinder, twin independent
variable camshaft timing

Valve diameter/lift

Intake 37 mm/10 mm, exhaust 31 mm/9.7 mm

Intake 31 mm/8.31 mm, exhaust 30 mm/7.42 mm

Intake 37.3 mm/13 mm, exhaust 31.8 mm/13 mm

Pistons

Cast aluminum

Cast aluminum

Cast aluminum

Connecting rods

Forged steel

Forged steel

Forged steel

Ignition

Distributor-less
with coil-on-plug

Distributor-less
with coil-on-plug

Distributor-less
with coil-on-plug

Bore x stroke

3.76 x 3.41 in./
95.5 x 86.7 mm

3.45 x 3.7 in./
87.55 x 94 mm

3.63 x 3.65 in./
92.2 x 92.7 mm

Displacement

227 cu. in./3,727 cc

140 cu. in./2,300 cc

302 cu. in./4,951 cc

Compression ratio

10.5:1

9.5:1

11.0:1

Engine control system

PCM

PCM

PCM

Horsepower

300 @ 6,500 rpm (projected)

>305 @ 5,500 rpm (projected)

>420 @ 6,500 rpm (projected)

Torque

270 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

(projected)

>300 lb.-ft. @ 2,500-4,500 rpm (projected)

>396 lb.-ft. @ 4,250 rpm (projected)

Recommended fuel

Regular unleaded
(87 octane)

Regular unleaded
(87 octane)

Premium unleaded
(91 octane, 87 minimum)

Fuel capacity

16 gallons

15.5 gallons

16 gallons

Fuel delivery

Sequential multiport electronic

Direct injection

Sequential multiport electronic

Oil capacity

Six quarts 5W-20 with filter (10,000-mile service interval)

Six quarts 5W-30 with filter (10,000-mile service interval)

Eight quarts 5W-20 with filter (10,000-mile service interval)

DRIVETRAIN

Layout

Rear-wheel drive with limited-slip differential

TRANSMISSION

3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6

2.3-liter EcoBoost I4

5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8

Standard

Six-speed manual with Hill Start Assist

Gear ratios

First

4.236

4.236

3.657

Second

2.538

2.538

2.430

Third

1.665

1.665

1.686

Fourth

1.2387

1.238

1.315

Fifth

1.00

1.00

1.00

Sixth

0.704

0.704

0.651

Final drive

3.15:1, 3.55:1 (optional)

3.31:1, 3.55:1 (Performance Package)

3.31:1, 3.55:1 (optional), 3.73:1 Torsen (Performance Package)

Optional

Six-speed automatic with paddle shifters

Gear ratios

First

4.17

Second

2.34

Third

1.52

Fourth

1.14

Fifth

0.87

Sixth

0.69

Final drive

3.15:1, 3.55:1 (optional)

3.15:1, 3.31:1 (optional), 3.55:1 (Performance Package)

3.15:1, 3.55:1 (optional)

SUSPENSION

Front

Double-ball-joint independent MacPherson strut and tubular stabilizer bar

Rear

Integral-link independent with coil springs, solid stabilizer bar, and twin- or mono-tube dampers (application-specific)

STEERING

Type

Electric power-assisted steering with rack-and-pinion gear

Ratio

16:1

Turning circle,
curb-to-curb

36.5 feet/11.1 meters (17-in. wheels), 37.8 feet/11.5 meters (18-in. and 19-in. wheels), 40.0 feet/12.2 meters (Performance Package and 20-in. wheels)

BRAKES

3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6

2.3-liter EcoBoost I4

5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8

Type

Four-wheel power disc brakes with four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system and AdvanceTrac electronic stability control

Four-wheel power disc brakes with four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system and AdvanceTrac electronic stability control

Four-wheel power disc brakes with four-sensor, four-channel anti-lock braking system and AdvanceTrac electronic stability control

Front

320 (12.6 in.) x 30-mm vented discs, twin-piston 43-mm floating aluminum calipers

320 (12.6 in.) x 30-mm vented discs, twin-piston 43-mm floating aluminum calipers; Performance Package:

352 (13.9 in.) x 32-mm vented discs, four-piston 46-mm fixed aluminum calipers

352 (13.9 in.) x 32-mm vented discs, four-piston 46-mm fixed aluminum calipers; Performance Package: 380 (15.0 in.) x 34-mm vented discs, Brembo six-piston 36-mm fixed aluminum calipers

Rear

320 (12.6 in.) x 12-mm solid discs, single-piston 45-mm floating aluminum calipers,

integral parking brake

320 (12.6 in.) x 12-mm solid discs, single-piston 45-mm floating aluminum calipers,

integral parking brake; Performance Package: 330 (13.0 in.) x 25-mm vented discs, single-piston 45-mm floating iron calipers,

integral parking brake

330 (13.0 in.) x 25-mm vented discs, single-piston 45-mm floating iron calipers,

integral parking brake; Performance Package:

330 (13.0 in.) x 25-mm vented discs, single-piston 45-mm floating iron calipers,

integral parking brake

WHEELS AND TIRES (aluminum wheels)

Standard

17 x 7.5-in. 235/55R H A/S

17 x 7.5-in. 235/55R H A/S

18 x 8.0-in. 235/50R W A/S

Optional

18 x 8.0-in. 235/50R W A/S



18 x 8.0-in. 235/50R W A/S,

19 x 8.5-in. 255/40R W A/S,

20 x 9.0-in. 265/35R W summer; Performance Package: 19 x 9.0-in. 255/40R Y summer

19 x 8.5-in. 255/40R W A/S,

20 x 9.0-in. 265/35R W summer; Performance Package: front, 19 x 9.0-in. 255/40R, rear, 19 x 9.5-in. 275/40R Y summer

DIMENSIONS (inches unless otherwise noted)

Fastback

Convertible

EXTERIOR

Wheelbase

107.1

107.1

Overall length

188.3

188.3

Overall width

75.4

75.4

Overall height

54.4

54.9

Track, front/rear

62.3/64.9

62.3/64.9

INTERIOR

Seating capacity

Four

Four

Front headroom

37.6

37.6

Front legroom

42.7

42.7

Front shoulder room

56.3

56.3

Front hip room

54.9

54.9

Rear headroom

34.8

35.7

Rear legroom

30.6

30.8

Rear shoulder room

52.2

44.7

Rear hip room

47.4

43.7

CAPACITIES

Passenger volume

84.5 cu. ft.

80.8 cu. ft.

Cargo volume

13.5 cu. ft.

11.4 cu. ft.

Specifications subject to change