Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
April 1, 2009
Photos By: Drew Phillips

Up front, the new headlights feature inboard turn signals, moved up from the corners of the fascia. GT models feature a dark chrome trim around the lights, whereas the base model V-6 has a traditional chrome appearance. The leading edge of the hood still hangs over the grille, but not nearly as much as the earlier S197 models, and we noticed a lot less hood flutter as a result (actually, it was non-existent in our testdriving). The GT still utilizes grille-mounted foglamps, which look much more proportioned to the headlamps now. The V-6 Pony Package cars will get their foglamps in the lower fascia (like previous generation Cobras and the GT500). The front of the new Mustang is lower and appears wider (due to the splitter), leading into sharply sculpted wheel arches pushing out of the fenders. The front splitter not only adds to the car's muscular overtone, but also aids in stability and fuel economy. Finally, the new hood features a domed power bulge that is aggressive looking and quite sharp, but is not so cumbersome that we noticed it from the driver's seat.

Moving down the flanks, the 2010 utilizes the same door glass, but the door structure is modified from the S197 with a new outer skin and some minor changes inside to facilitate the sexy new door panels (more on the interior a bit later). The side mirrors are all new (Yes, finally!) and while they still have great visibility, engineers spent many hours in the wind tunnel making the mirror's profile more subdued while making it quieter at speed as well. Best of all, the main mirror body is now painted body color from the factory (sorry Mr. Aftermarket).

Out back, the rear-wheel arches carry the same muscular tone from the front of the car. The rear of the Mustang has a wraparound feel to it now with chamfered corners and a tapered rear fascia, all in the name of making the Mustang look more compact. The new two-piece rear fascia, body-colored upper half and black lower, enhance the Mustang's width and stance by reducing the car's overall height visually. The Mustang's decklid spoiler has had its pedestals simplified, while the trunk lid loses the age-old trunk lock keyhole and the antenna finds its way to the right-rear quarter-panel (though we'd much rather see it gone altogether in favor of an in-glass antenna).

Probably the most exciting part of the new Mustang's hind quarters has to be the full LED taillamps. The new taillamps possess the must-have tri-bar element design, each red chamber individually lit by a Luxion LED and separated by two vertical backup lamp segments to ensure the tri-bar design is recognized day or night. Unlike previous tri-bar designs, the {{{2010 Mustang}}} utilizes all three chambers for brake light illumination, and the turn signal activation is sequential from the factory (once again, sorry, Mr. Aftermarket).

Meat And Potatoes
It's not just another pretty face for the Mustang--not at all. While the main driveline hardware remains unchanged in 2010 (4.6L Three-Valve in the GT and 4.0L SOHC V-6 in the base), the Mustang powertrain engineers did see fit to up the ante a bit on the GT with a new cold-air induction system that breathes through the main frontal area behind the left headlamp and not the inner fender. The true ram-air box is exclusive to the Mustang and extensive tuning and sealing of the box was done to make it all work. The cold-air system actually outflows the '08 Bullitt cold-air system, thanks to some engineering help from the boys in red over at Ford Racing Performance Parts. Along with the cold-air system, some ECM calibration tweaks, and a new adaptive strategy system that allows the computer to tailor performance to the octane of the fuel used, give the Three-Valve 15 more horsepower (315 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque). The redline has been raised 250 rpm to 6,500 rpm to better use the new power found underhood.