Other features of the concept car include: a dramatic instrument panel that sweeps the width of the car; circular gauges that project from behind the steering wheel; dark brown horsehide-covered headrests with horse logo accents; and seat cushions and backrests elaborately upholstered in dark brown mottled horse hides. These were likely the most controversial aspect of the Giugiaro Mustang, with some viewers for and against the use of hides. A single curved glass panel that bridges the windshield and rear window, serves as the concept's roof. Produced by Solutia of Detroit, the panel uses a special construction that filters out 100 percent of UVA rays while providing panoramic views. The concept's dramatic doors are hinged at the base of the upright A-pillar and open vertically at the touch of a button. The tail lights are three separate elements as found on the 1964 Mustang - but reinterpreted into a more dramatic arrow shape that links to the louver panels that replace the rear side windows. The unique 20-inch rims are fitted with 275/40 tires on the front and larger 315/35 tires on the rear.
As those tires suggest, the Mustang by Giugiaro is more than just a tribute to Mustang design. It also is an exclamation of the car's heritage of performance. Cisco Codina, Ford group vice president, North America Marketing, Sales and Service said, of the car, "It's very exciting to have ItalDesign let their imagination run free with Mustang. The car is truly gorgeous and it remains very American."
Ford Racing improved on the standard 300-horsepower V8 engine from the production Mustang GT by adding an intercooled, twin-screw supercharger for the Giugiaro concept. Additional improvements include fuel injectors from the Ford GT and a unique engine calibration. Engine air intake is increased with a larger 95 mm mass air meter and a conical air filter. Exhaust performance was enhanced with new Ford Racing mufflers and an X-pipe. The powertrain upgrades deliver an estimated 500 horsepower, driven by 11 psi of boost from the Ford Racing supercharger. A high-efficiency Ford Racing aluminum radiator provides increased cooling capability to accompany the extra 200 horsepower provided under hood. Under the car, the FR500C-inspired chassis tuning is accomplished with a tailored Ford Racing Handling Pack. This package added new Dynamic-tuned dampers, lowering springs and anti-sway bars. The changes give the car a lower stance while sharpening handling response. The concept car rides approximately 1.5 inches lower than the production Mustang GT.
As future Mustang competitors prepare their cars for production in 2009 or so, the Giugiaro Mustang serves notice that Ford is not sitting content on their current or past Ponycar success. Certainly there were many other concept cars revealed during the LA Auto Show, but absolutely none were talked about as much in the general press as this car. Without a doubt, two guys from Italy stole the show - this time with a North American car.
The Auto Show circuit then moved to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show in early January - check out our coverage from that show in this very issue, the MM Staff hit every corner to bring you all the goods and gossip.