This year marked the 50th anniversary of a motoring icon while at the same time saw it go from American driveway to international runway. The Ford Mustang is totally new for 2015 and is now being offered in multiple markets around the globe. While it is still America’s sweetheart, for Big Blue Oval it is much, much more.
To say that Ford has been a little busy this year would be an understatement. It launched an all-new version of its best-selling vehicle, the F-150, while also bringing to market a completely new version of its symbol of Americana, the Pony car. Big gambles in Dearborn but as the saying goes, with big risks come big rewards. We have already seen a greatly improved light duty pickup so how well does the new Mustang hold up to its heritage?
Pretty damned good. I found during my week behind the wheel folks are somewhat mixed about the new global looks, but given all that lies beneath, the new design cues are easy to forgive (for the few naysayers out there). Ford brought us the new 2015 Mustang GT complete with more powerful 5.0-liter V-8 engine backed by an incredible six-speed manual gearbox.
New and improved are taglines heavily overused by every marketing department on the globe but in the case of the new Mustang it hits the nail smack square on the head. The new looks give Ford’s global fascia a more powerful image while the driving characteristics make this perhaps the best Mustang ever. EVER.
In addition to updated aesthetics and materials, along with a trio of powertrains (in four-, six- and eight-cylinder form and none of which are below 300hp) Ford has given Mustang better steering control and greatly improved ride and handling thanks to new independent front and rear suspension systems.
In my limited performance runs in the car I found the new Mustang to move fluidly with the road. At first you will not realize you are in a Mustang until you look around and see the Pony image like everywhere. The throttle begs to be taunted and tortured and the long powerband does not disappoint. Adrenaline comes to the party early and often when driving the Mustang GT and it is usually one of the last guests to leave (actually it’s the friend that crashes on your couch).
This GT came with a pair of Recaro sport buckets up front that take a bit of acrobatics for entry/egress but once settled in they are so supportive and really comfortable. The cockpit is driver oriented and there are a few switches to enhance the driving experience such as selectable steering feedback and drive mode selector of normal, sport+ and track settings. Track mode and launch mode are still available in the Mustang GT and help make this 2015 Pony car just that much more fun to drive.
The three powertrain offerings I mentioned earlier are the new EcoBoost turbocharged I-4 producing 310hp, the 3.7-liter V-6 with 300hp and this 5.0-liter V-8 with power up to 435hp and 400 lb. ft. of torque thanks to upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads. They can each be mated to the six-speed manual transmission as our tester was or to a six-speed automatic complete with paddle shifters. All Mustangs are rear-drive and come with a limited-slip differential.
The 2015 Mustang is available with the latest creature comforts and technology including SYNC with MyFord Touch driver infotainment systems, keyless access with push button start, rear view camera, premium audio system and ambient lighting system. Upgrades that arrived on this GT tester include the Recaro seats, Shaker Pro audio system, adaptive cruise control, voice-activated navigation, 3.73 Torsen rear axle, 19-inch glossy black aluminum wheels, reverse park assist and GT performance package.
Pricing for the 2015 Mustang GT begins at $36,100 with this loaded tester arriving with a final sticker of $45,885. Ford offers the Mustang in Fastback coupe and convertible body configurations.
The new Mustang has arrived and it is going global. It offers more style, more comfort, more technology and more fun than ever before. Ride, Sally, ride.