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The Making of the 2015 Ford Mustang

A quantum leap from the retro-appearing Mustang introduced in ’04, the new 2015 Mustang will exhibit styling cues from the Ford Fusion. If Ford goes in this direction, it’ll no doubt upset purists. They won’t be up in arms because the Mustang doesn’t look good; they’ll be upset because it doesn’t look like a Mustang.

Most buyers don’t want just any rear-wheel-drive high performance coupe, they want a Mustang. Making it look too much like the Fusion could drive them away. At the same time, having a sleek design could attract buyers who weren’t interested in the styling of the current Mustang. In addition, the Fusion’s styling may be more successful globally, as Ford looks to broaden its appeal beyond U.S. soil.

The latest rumor has the next Ford Mustang on a diet, shedding 400 pounds versus the 2014 model.  With the weight loss will come a slightly smaller footprint, as Ford looks to appease not just one market but the world with a ‘smarter’ size. The current Ford Mustang V6 coupe gets 19 mpg/city and 31 mpg/highway, according to the EPA. With automakers required to boost fuel economy by 4% annually through 2025, an increase in fuel efficiency was necessary to keep the Mustang’s design compliant not just now, but in the years to come.

One way to boost fuel economy is by trimming vehicle weight. Engineers reduced the new Mustang’s dimensions and used lightweight materials, making sure the new body required less engine output. There will be fewer overhangs in the front, rear, and on the sides. The result is a body length about 8% or 15” shorter than the 2014 Mustang. It will be about 10% narrower as well.

Ford plans to use more aluminum, better structural engineering in terms of spot welds, and less material, to make it even stronger. There’s nothing exotic, as it’s still a pony car that needs a reasonable price point. Pricing for lower-end Mustangs is expected to be comparable to current models, while higher-end cars could see an up charge to about 10%. The Mustang is expected to be unveiled at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January or the 2014 New York Auto Show in April. A convertible will debut later.

If you’re interested in learning more about the next wave of cars, download our free ebook, Apple iCar: Apple’s Auto Industry Experiment.

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