In 2014, Ford will be launching its next generation of both the Mustang and F-150 — the benchmark models of the brand. In the face of future fuel economy requirements and slowing sales, Ford is rumored to be taking a bold new direction with the next generation Mustang. Instead of reviving the style of pony cars in days gone by, Ford is embracing the future. The new Mustang will (supposedly) be lighter, faster, and more “wordly” than the existing design.
What We Know
So what’s going on with the 2015 model Ford Mustang? For one, this design will be somewhat smaller, and around 400 pounds less than the current 2014 models. This major change is an effort to make the Mustang a smarter size.
Traditionally, American made muscle cars are heavy machines, but with changing times and high gas prices, drivers have an appetite for sports cars that get gas mileage as impressive as horsepower ratings.
Currently, the 2014 model V6 Mustang Coupe carries a curb weight of about 3,500lbs, with convertible versions weighing in at about 3,600lbs. This is considerably heavier than the Scion FR-S (which is a little less than 3,000lbs), and a couple hundred pounds heftier than the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Nissan 370Z. While the Mustang is still lighter than it’s arch-rival (the Camaro) by a couple hundred pounds, the majority of competing sports coupes are lighter.
Obviously, lighter is better when it comes to performance. However, lighter is also important for fuel economy, and that’s a key consideration for the next-gen Mustang. Ford needs a car that will meet increasingly stringent fuel economy standards. Today’s V6 Mustang is rated at 19mpg city and 21mpg highway…by the year 2025, both of those numbers are going to have to double.
How Will Ford Pull Off The Pounds?
The easiest way to save weight is to get smaller. Thus, just like the speculation surrounding the 2015 F150, the next-gen Mustang isn’t going to be quite as long and mean as the current model. Many believe that the front, rear, and sides are going to be shortened and overall length may be reduced by 8%. The current model has a length of 188.5” long, sits on a wheelbase of 107.1”, and is 73.9” wide.
Additionally, just like the rumored 2015 F150, it’s believed the new Mustang will feature aluminum body panels, frame and suspension components, and perhaps even the use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) in some components. Aluminum and CFRP can be used to replaced rolled steel and/or heavy plastic, which helps reduce vehicle curb weight.
Finally, in addition to weight reduction, the new Mustang might be the first “pony” to feature a turbocharged four-cylinder engine since the early 80’s. Love it or hate it, Ford seems committed to replacing big engines with smaller EcoBoost engines that repalce displacement with turbo boost.
The big question before Ford – and loyal Mustang enthusiasts – is whether or not this new, light-weight sports coupe with a turbocharged 4 cylinder will be a true Mustang. Will this new Stang’ become the preferred coupe for the general public, or will all of these changes result in a vehicle that’s no longer familiar? We shall see.
Jason Lancaster is an avid Ford fan and keeps up with the latest Mustang news. He works with Blue Springs Ford Parts, a site that sells OEM Ford parts at discount prices online.