This past October select automotive journalists were given a preview of the 2010 Mustang at Ford's design studio in Dearborn, Michigan. We were shown five very early production models in various configurations, including a GT premium, base V-6, V-6 Pony Package, and base GT, alongside the current '09 versions of their models for direct comparison. While there were the standard newspaper scribblers there asking why the car didn't have IRS (here we go again!) or a factory supercharger (I guess they just don't get the whole SVT program) the few hardcore Mustang types like us that were there were excited over the new car.
Walking up to a Grabber Blue (new for 2010 color) V-6 Pony Package on a turntable the first thing that my eyes were attracted to was the new fascia, grille, and hood. Low, and with an attitude, the new car looks like it wants to chew up the pavement and spit it out on the windshield of the car behind it. As I ran my fingers down the body side it was confirmed to us by one of the designers showing us the cars that the 2010 Mustang has all-new sheetmetal except for the roof skin (to allow the '09 glass roof option to be available at Job 1). For those of us who are classic buffs you can easily see the heavy '69-'70 influences in the rear quarters, fender edges, and more.
As enticing as the new sheetmetal is, the real news is the interior however. Ford has pushed the Mustang to the next level with their new interior design on the 2010. A full one-piece instrument panel with soft touch material is all new, flush heritage gauge cluster lenses and trim and A/C vents make the dash more inviting while allowing more visibility to the gauge cluster. The My Color dash system is now tied into the ambient light package, as well as new lighted door sill plates, allowing over 100 different color combinations.
Further upgrades include real aluminum trim on the dash and steering wheel spokes now, as well as optional voice navigation with rear view camera, dual zone A/C controls, and a flow through console design that matches the door arm rests in height and angle. Ford's Sync system will be available in the 2010, along with standard AdvanceTrac stability control, capless fuel filling, and even LED sequential taillights. Underhood the 4.0 V-6 remains the same, while the 4.6 Three-Valve gets the Bullitt Mustang's improvements (cold air induction and powertrain tuning) for a new peak of 315hp and 325 lb/ft. As soon as production cars hit the press fleet we'll be bugging Ford for our own test mule, so be on the lookout for a full road test when we get our hands on one. -Mark Houlahan