During a splashy debut at Hollywood's Chinese Theater, the redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang GT was officially revealed amid the foot- and handprints of the rich and famous. Designed to appeal equally to what Ford calls "loyal Mustangers" and "next-generation enthusiasts" around the world, the new 2015 Mustang takes a huge leap forward in engineering and technology while retaining the distinctive look, feel and sound that has made the car one of the most popular in Ford's lineup.
Shortly before introducing the new Mustang, Joe Hinrichs, president of the Americas for Ford Motor Company, likened the popular pony car to the pop culture icons the Chinese Theater celebrates. "The Mustang is more than a just a car, it is the soul of the Ford brand," Hinrichs explained, calling it a global brand ambassador even in regions of the world where the Mustang has never been sold.
The new Mustang looks smaller, but it isn't. Length is almost identical, the fastback roof and rear deck are dropped, the car is wider than before and the wheels do a better job of filling their wells. Designer Joel Piaskowski said the 2015 Mustang displays a lean and fit physique without looking pumped up.
Inside, the 2015 Mustang is expected to appeal to "a more modern and discerning customer." There's more room for passengers, and the traditional dual-cowl dashboard with aluminum trim is present and accounted for, along with round gauges and air vents. Push-button starting is standard, and the audio and climate systems include knobs and buttons, even in models with the optional MyFord Touch infotainment system. Additional upgrades include leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation and more. You can even choose a set of Recaro sport seats with racing harness pass-throughs.
The standard engine is the same 3.7-liter V6 from the current Mustang, while the new 2015 Mustang GT has the 5.0-liter V8 that's installed in today's car. Final certification of horsepower and torque ratings is yet to come, but for now Ford says the V6 will generate at least 300 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, while the V8 will deliver a minimum of 420 hp and 390 lb-ft.
Ford expects both the V6 and V8 to prove more fuel-efficient in the new 2015 Mustang, but the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine is expected to provide the best combination of power and fuel economy. This twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder is expected to make 305 hp at 5,500 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque between 2,500 rpm and 4,500 rpm, and could get close to 35 miles per gallon.
A 6-speed manual gearbox with smoother, shorter shifts is standard, and a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is optional. Regardless of powertrain choice, the 2015 Mustang should prove quicker than the current car thanks to weight savings of about 200 pounds. It should handle and stop better, too, thanks to its new independent rear suspension, bigger brakes and wheel/tire combinations from 18 to 20 inches in diameter.
Technologically, the 2015 Mustang takes a big leap forward. Optioned properly, the Mustang lets the driver adjust the steering, powertrain and stability control settings, and Ford is offering a launch control system for the first time. New safety technologies debut in the form of rain-sensing wipers, a blind spot information system, rear cross-traffic alert and forward-collision warning.
Final horsepower, torque and fuel economy ratings, as well as prices for the 2015 Ford Mustang, will be available closer to when the car goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2014.