Ford’s Stunning New Mustang
By Keith Burton - GCN
By any measure, Ford’s Mustang has been a hit for the company ever since its introduction in 1964. The pubic went wild over the sporty car and it remains popular to this day. But get ready folks, the new Mustang under development looks to us like another grand slam for Ford.
The New Mustang concepts Ford is showing in car shows around the country draw on the very elements that have made Mustang the definitive American sports car for nearly four decades. The exterior designs of both a fastback and convertible are clearly inspired by some of the extroverted Mustangs of the late sixties and have been created by a design team that took an introspective approach to updating a classic design.
The designs are modern, crisp and reveal the true character of what Mustang means to so many people. The original 1964˝ Mustang actually evolved from the racing-inspired, two-seat concept car called the Mustang 1. After reviewing archived files, Mustang’s modern-day crafters were struck by how the original design embraced the same inspirational cues that communicate performance. The design team looked beyond production models to the Mustang 1 concept for modern inspiration. Much like the Mustang 1 and the later Mustang Mach 1 show car in 1968, the Mustang concepts are rare, radical designs that will appeal to everyone.
“By melding the true character of Mustang into these fully modern offerings, we’ve ensured that even the uninitiated will instantly recognize these cars as Mustangs,” says J Mays, Ford Motor Company vice president of Design. “We went beyond their exterior designs to truly understand the extent to which Mustang has embedded itself in American culture.”
The silhouette of the concept cars are unmistakably Mustang. The coupe conjures images of 1967 and 1968 Fastbacks while the convertible brings back cues of the early Shelby Mustangs, especially in its “show bar” and wide-element tail lamps.
Inside, there’s no mistaking the no-holds-barred Mustang classic cues. The cockpit is dramatic for the driver and passenger with lush red and charcoal leather accented by billet-aluminum hardware. They’re reminiscent of another era yet, inside and out, the Mustang GT concepts are thoroughly modern.
Ford says the concept versions you see here will closely resemble the production version that will be available in late spring 2004. We hope they will keep to the promise the concepts demonstrate.