The 2018 Ford Mustang’s newly-revealed facelift has stirred up some disagreements here at Jalopnik’s lovely HQ on the lower decks of the container ship MV Mærsk Sea Dipshit. Our own Justin Westbrook called it “sad,” but I think it’s a pretty nice evolution of the design, and what the hell does Justin know, anyway, right? Still, it’s a subtle update, so let’s try and take a closer look at it.


Keep in mind, I’m just doing a quick styling comparison to the current Mustang; I have yet to see the new car in person. Pictures alone don’t usually do a car full justice, so I may revise some thoughts when I finally do see one up close and in rubbing distance.

Overall, I think it’s a nice, evolutionary update. The design has barely changed, really, but what has changed I think all makes sense. Overall, I think the goal was to add a bit more emphasis on the car’s width, and to get some of the details cleaned up and a bit crisper, sharper. I think the designers at Ford managed to do just that.

Let’s take a quick look at the front quarter views of the current car and the new one:


The most dramatic visual change is in the headlights; they’re a bit sunken in and hooded now, in what I like to imagine is a tribute to the Ford EXP, even though I’m well aware that was the goal of absolutely nobody.

The more pronounced ‘eyebrow’ makes the car more determined-looking, and the headlight shape has been made a bit more complex. The insides, with the iconic \\\-shaped DRLs (based on a stamped design by the original Mustang’s headlights) has all been retained, but I think everything works better.


The three-slash daytime running lights do also get a bend at the top, making them a bit more complex than just the original slashes, too.

One question about the headlights, though:


Is that a vent, or just a shadow? Some pictures make it look like just plastic from the front bumper/grille surround, some suggest an opening. Do headlights require cooling now?

Feel free to enlarge that diagram so you can read the callouts and I don’t just re-type everything here. As I said before, the result is a crisper, wider-looking, more purposeful-seeming Mustang. It’s a bit of an improvement, I think.


From the rear, the changes are subtle, but there are some:


The new taillights keep the theme of the front slash DRLs by gaining little angled areas on top and bottom. This sort of makes them feel less like ||| and more like (((, which means if you look at the whole back of the car, it reads like ((( GT ))), which, according to some dark corners of the internet, means that the GT is Jewish. We’ll assume the nice people at Ford, at least these days, are not evil Jewish conspiracy theorists and chalk it up to coincidence.

That angled shape is a popular current design cue for high-tech things as well, and I think it works well here. The center panel gets a little intaglio detailing, and there’s some other subtle changes.


Every change here is pretty subtle, but cumulatively, I think they have a pretty big impact, even if it’s something that takes a little bit to really notice. It’s an evolutionary development of the look, and I think it works.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)

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