Recently, two Mustang owners claim they got to see the 2014.5 Mustang in the flesh at a consumer clinic. They've leaked everything they know about the upcoming car and a lot of what you've heard so far may be wrong.
Many are expecting the next Mustang to be a major departure for the brand. It will be the car's 50th anniversary when it debuts, and if Ford's past few designs are anything to go by, the car will look futuristic and European. The new Ford Fusion looks like an Aston, and many expect the next ‘Stang to look like the Evos concept. Of course, when we livesketched with Ford's head designer J. Mays, he let nothing out about the car.
We've gone over all the past renders and heard rumors of independent rear suspension and a number of other major tweaks, but they don't all hold up, according to the two owners who rated the car at a recent consumer clinic.
Before anything else, we have the looks. Jalopnik reader Slacks put this rendering together based on how those two people on AllFordMustangs.com described the as-yet-unrevealed car. It is the best rendering of the next Mustang that we've seen. Slacks based his design on this excellent rendering by Josh Byrnes for CarScoop.
They remembered a longer nose, thin and straight headlights, and an open grill with a central chrome strip. They saw this rendering and said the side molding was "spot on." They also described the length of the rear side windows, and a shorter rear.
They said that the back end was the best part of the car, with deeply louvered taillights all in red. It's supposed to be the standout feature of the new car, and here's the surprising description in their own words.
There was three segments in each of the tail lights. (Traditional Mustang). Except each segment was louvered over the next. I reached in and grabbed one of the louvers. They are three dimensional and you can put your fingers inside the louvers (pretty deep). I had my fingers inside the louver and my thumb outside the louver and my palm was wrapped around the curved part. The outside of the louvers are rounded and have the appearance of the middle section of a plastic water bottle. The inside of the louvers are flat. The entire light is red, with no white at all.
These were probably the coolest tail lights I have ever seen.
Yeah, I don't know why folks are stuck on that photo. It looked nothing like that.
The size of the car has been a big question, but the car at the clinic was reportedly almost exactly the same as the current car.
I didn't appreciate any size difference. We did evaluate the interiors, and I didn't feel it was any bigger inside, for sure.
There have also been some spyshots of the interior, and the two who saw the car have said they're completely wrong.
The […] photo you posted is nothing like the interior I saw. The steering wheel had a large circle in the center with a Ford emblem in the center of it. The steering wheel looked really cool. The buttons on it were mounted higher on the wheel and not on the sides, like on mine. Also, the rectangle door over the cupholders is now gone. Just two holes in the plastic behind the shifter. The buttons and nav screen were bigger and not configured like your photo either. The biggest thing I remember is the hard black plastic parts have not changed. However, it appears the plastic is now padded as it was not as hard as my cars is.
The past two generations of the Mustang have been seriously impressive with their powertrains. The current V6 gets 300 horsepower and 30 mpg, and the current V8 is just awesome. Only one 2014.5 car was present, but the stat sheet had three options: a V8, and EcoBoost, and a four cylinder.
They listed the V8 on the stat sheet and Ecoboost was listed. We did not get to actually see the engines. One of the questions the computer asked was, "would you buy the V8 over the 4 cylinder for $8000 more?" That does not mean that is what is going to happen. It was just one of the questions asked.
The second person to see the car remembered three engine options as well.
The questions about the Mustang included 3 engine options, one of which was the 5.0. We did not look under the hoods.
We've basically already had the turbocharged Mustang confirmed, which would mean a turbo-four (SVO maybe>), a V8 for sure, and possibly an EcoBoost V6.
Independent Rear Suspension
Other than special editions and tuner cars, Mustangs have always had live axles. That's great for drag racing, but can prove troublesome in bumpy corners. While these spy pictures have shown prototypes with IRS, "there was nothing listed on the stats sheets about IRS," said one of the clinic attendees.
A Global Mustang
One particular point of interest for the two who went to the clinic was a large cluster of LED lights below the rear license plate. They could sketch what it looks like (seen on the left), but they mistook it for a federally-mandated center light. Other members of the AllFordMustangs forum recognized it immediately, however.
It's not the third-brake light.
It's a REAR FOG LIGHT, required in European countries and other few other places. they can have them in the driver side tail light cluster with or without passenger light, or it can be mounted in the centre (to get around the RHD/LHD issue) below the rear light clusters.
Indeed, the new Mustang will definitely be sold in Europe, and a slightly more international look reflects this shift.
Some other forum members were naturally skeptical that either of users had actually attended the clinic. One produced the check he received as proof.
Well they took the letter they sent us as the entrance ticket. They also would not let us bring anyone else into the location. The only proof I have is the check they gave me when I left. I covered the name and check number but you get the drift.
Another forum member noted that the check comes from a third party market research party, which explains why the Mustang was presented beside three other cars at the clinic: a Charger, a Camaro, and a Hyundai Genesis. Other rooms included a Scion FR-S.
What we're most surprised by is how different the car appears compared to the Ford Evos concept and how closely it sticks to the look of the current Mustang. It looks like the car may be more evolutionary than some people imagine.
Many people have been expecting the next Mustang to look like "the poor man's Aston Martin." The new Fusion certainly gives a lot of evidence for this. If this rendering is to be believed, the Mustang will have a lot more of an American look to it. Diehard Mustang fans, you should be happy at this point.
What do you think of this view of the next Mustang? Will you be happy if the car hits the showrooms looking just like this, or are you praying we're wrong?
Photo Credit: Slacks