The debut of the new 2015 Ford Mustang is fast approaching, and with all the speculation out there, it's hard to know what to believe. Since Ford's been tight-lipped with official information, much remains to be revealed. But we've pieced together enough to assess some of the rumors floating around, so let's get right to it. Here are a few key facts and fictions about the upcoming 2015 Mustang.
FACT: The new Mustang will have an independent rear suspension.
This is one of the worst-kept secrets about the next Mustang. Other than the oddball SVT Cobra built from 1999 to 2004, every Mustang since the original 1965 model has used a traditional solid-axle rear suspension -- but that's about to change. The 2015 Mustang will indeed feature an independent setup out back, which should improve handling through bumpy corners and enhance ride compliance on all surfaces. Purists, of course, will insist there's no substitute for a solid axle at the drag strip. But in real-world driving, an "IRS" is simply better in every way. The new Mustang will reflect this industry-wide consensus.
FACT: A turbocharged 4-cylinder engine will be available.
Sacrilege, you say? Actually, the Mustang SVO from the mid-'80s featured a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline 4-cylinder engine, so the new one will just be following in those footsteps. The exception is that the EcoBoost Mustang will easily outmuscle the old SVO's output of 175-200 horsepower -- figure 300-plus hp to start -- with the potential for significantly more. And given that the current Mustang's 3.7-liter V6 gets more than 30 miles per gallon on the highway, we wouldn't be surprised to see the new turbo Mustang touch 35 mpg.
FICTION: The 5.0-liter Coyote V8 won't make the transition.
What, did you think Ford would commission an all-new V8 engine for the Mustang only to abandon it a few years later? We've loved the Mustang GT's free-revving 5.0-liter V8 ever since it burst on the scene with 412 hp in 2011, and we'll get to keep enjoying it once the 2015 Mustang GT arrives. Just don't expect the 5.0 to stand pat in terms of power; output should be closer to 500 hp when the new GT comes to market.
FICTION: The new Mustang won't look like a Mustang anymore.
Some early artist's renderings have depicted the 2015 Mustang as an Aston Martin wannabe, but don't believe the hype. While Ford's new Aston-inspired corporate grille may adorn the production Mustang, a family resemblance to past Mustangs will also be apparent. Ford knows how important the Mustang's heritage is to its appeal, so you can bank on some strong pony-car character in the final design.
FACT: This will be the first truly global Mustang.
Think about what the 2015 Mustang has to offer. The suspension is finally up to date, the turbo 4-cylinder promises great fuel economy and the cabin is guaranteed to be chock full of the latest tech. What's to stop the new 2015 Ford Mustang from becoming a global superstar? Suddenly, this is a universally desirable car, whether you're in Boston or Brussels. Think of it as a lower-priced BMW 4 Series alternative; that's not nearly as far-fetched as it seems.