April 30, 2013 at 12:34 PM ET
It’s no secret that Ford is planning to throw a big party celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang when it rolls off the line next year. But what has remained a secret is what the 2015 Mustang looks like.
Our spies captured images of the elusive 2015 Mustang model that reveal some details, even though the car is covered from front to rear. Ford is expected to unveil the all-new design some time in 2014.
Up front are headlight openings that indicate the lamps are set high on the front fenders, not down low in the grille. At the rear, taillights are set higher in the trunk. The wheels with the five split-spoke appearance appear to be new.
An opening in the canvas just above the front wheel opening indicates some kind of air exhaust, a feature never seen on Mustangs. Although we can’t see the rear suspension, the ’15 model reportedly offers an independent rear setup, which is a first for the Mustang.
Ford has been hinting that the ’15 model will make its debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. After decades leading the pack in the muscle car segment, Mustang has been tripped up by the Chevrolet Camaro during recent times. Chevrolet hoped to widen that sales gap by introducing a freshened Camaro, including an SS model, during the New York International Auto Show earlier this month. That puts even more pressure on Ford to get it right when it launches the next-generation Mustang.
A New York International Auto Show introduction would bring the car full circle, in a sense, as Ford revealed the first coupe on April 17, 1964, just a few days before it made its official debut at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. It was an instant hit, helping land Ford’s car design guru, Lee Iacocca, on the covers of Timeand Newsweek.
The first of the “pony cars,” Mustang was an instant hit. More than 8.5 million Mustangs have been sold during the icon’s nearly 50-year run.
“Not too many vehicles have been around for 49 years,” said David Pericak, Mustang’s chief engineer, during a recent event marking the one millionth Mustang built at Ford’s Flat Rock, Mich. facility. “It’s more than a car. It’s an icon. It’s been in rock and roll songs and a star in movies,” he added, and has been a major success at the track.”
Introduced as a 1964-1/2 model, the first Ford Mustang was available for as little as $2,368 (that would be equivalent to $17,780 today). Ironically, while the galloping horse has been the image Ford associated with the original Mustang, the car’s original designer, John Najjar, was a fan of the most successful fighter plane of World War II, the P-51 Mustang. Company officials liked the name but thought the equine image was more appropriate.
The fast-looking coupe wasn’t nearly as spirited as it appeared, however, with its compact, 170-cubic-inch engine and three-speed manual transmission. That would soon change as the automaker rolled out an increasingly powerful series of engine packages and, in subsequent years, a procession of new bodies.
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