This is the week, folks, when we'll see the official reveal of the 2015 Ford Mustang, celebrating 50 years of the original pony car. There have been a lot of rumors and leaks and renders over the months leading up to this, though, so it's worth a brief summary of everything we know as of today.
Remember the 5th of December
Ford has announced the 2015 Mustang will be officially shown Thursday, including a reveal on Good Morning America. But why watch it on TV, when you can watch everything about it here, where we'll have all of the coverage?
The base 2015 Mustang will look something like this or this. The Evos Concept influences are there, of course, meaning an opening mimicking the Aston Martin mouths on the Fusion and Fiesta. Oh, and LEDs will be part of the equation. Some of you said the base car looks like an Accord Coupe. Here's to hoping hotter ones will look better.
The GT350 version will apparently sound amazing. That's a good thing.
Touch My Buttons
Yes, yes MyFord Touch lives. But according to news Car and Driver reported last month, the latest version of the system that incorporates more physical switches will show up in the new Mustang as it has on the 2015 Lincoln MKC – which also goes on sale next year.
Easing Into Ecoboost
It comes as no surprise Ford will Ecoboost the Mustang in some shape or form. We know the Mustang will get a 2.3-liter version of the Ecoboost four that's also going to be in the MKC – it makes 275 horses and 300 lb.-ft. of torque in the crossover.
There is, however, some debate as to where the Ecoboost is going to fit in the lineup. Much as Ford did with the Fusion and Escape keeping the old NA 2.5-liter four as a base engine, the Mustang will carry over with the current 3.7-liter V6 in base form and GT versions get the 5.0-liter V8 as before. Expect a 2.3-liter Ecoboost to squeeze in between those two engines.
No word yet if something small like the 1.0-liter Ecoboost triple will make it into entry-level Mustangs.
Other than an Ecoboost, don't expect major powertrain changes in the new car, at least not initially. In that same Car and Driver report, though, it was revealed a 10-speed automatic is coming, probably by 2017. For now, it's six-speed manual and automatic choices only – no dual-clutch paddle setups, either.
Less Heft, More Money
Despite fairly rudimentary underpinnings, even the lightest Mustang tips the scales at more than 3,300 lbs. That's a lot for a sporty 2+2 coupe. Expect the 2015 Mustang to be a bit lighter, putting it closer to 3,000 lbs.
Your pockets will be a little lighter, too, however. As with most Fords lately, the base price will move up from its current $22,200 price of a Mustang V6 Coupe. If it's around $25,000, that's not so bad, since a basic Chevrolet Camaro is $23,500, a Hyundai Genesis Coupe is $24,300 and a Dodge Challenger starts out at a whopping $26,300.
Perhaps the most significant 50th anniversary present is Ford giving the Mustang independent rear suspension.
For every Mustang changeover since the '90s, there's been rumor of the car adopting this feature that has kept it in the dark ages as far as some drivers are concerned (yes, yes it showed up briefly in the Cobra). And yet, Mustang enthusiasts have long said the solid rear axle is just fine and that numerous changes have made the car less trucklike to drive normally.
But the times have finally caught up with the old girl. That IRS will also allow the car to be more effectively packaged than before.
Maybe the biggest benefit of the IRS is global credibility, something Ford is really counting on with the 2015 Mustang. Aside from a few that have ended up outside North America, there has been no serious effort to market the Mustang around the world in 50 years.
That will not do with today's Ford. The Mustang, therefore, has to compete head-on with the Camaro and Challenger here, but also the Audi A5 and BMW 4-series overseas. It's no longer going to be content being viewed as a humorous American transplant.
The sixth-generation Mustang represents the Mustang's next 50 years. It's still America's sweetheart, an automotive icon that's held up during the great times and the bad. The 2015 Mustang has a lot to live up to, but a lot of it already sounds promising.
Image credits: Car and Driver, Ford, Mustang6G.com, Josiah LaColla, Sean Sweeney, Slacks