THE BOSS IS BACK: 2012 FORD MUSTANG BOSS 302 BRINGS ROAD RACING LEGEND BACK TO THE STREETS
•The Boss returns! Limited production 2012 Mustang Boss 302 set to become the quickest, best-handling straight-production Mustang ever offered by Ford, based on the world-class foundation provided by the 2011 Mustang GT
•Boss upgraded in nearly every vehicle system; engine output, brakes, suspension, interior and exterior all examined to optimize weight, aerodynamics and track performance
•Full Mustang team effort results in a comprehensive re-engineering available only through the factory; new Boss is not a package that can be purchased out of a catalog or achieved through tuning or aftermarket parts
•Limited-production track-oriented Boss 302 Laguna Seca model expands on Boss racing aspirations, deleting rear seat and adding race-ready suspension and aerodynamic treatmentsMONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 13, 2010
– Ford gave the green light only once before: In 1968, management approved a special Mustang – a car that sacrificed nothing in its quest to be the best all-around road-going performance machine ever created by Ford Motor Company. That car became the 1969 Mustang Boss 302, and it remains one of the world's most sought-after examples of American performance.
Forty-two years later, Ford has given the green light again.
The team of Ford engineers, designers and stylists – all Mustang enthusiasts to the core – that created the groundbreaking 2011 Mustang GT has distilled a new model to its purest form, strengthening, lightening and refining each system to create a race car wîth a license plate. Its name: the 2012 Mustang Boss 302.
'The decision to build a modern Boss was not entered into lightly,' said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. 'The entire team at Ford felt the time was right and wîth the right ingredients, the world-class 2011 Mustang could support a successful, race-bred, worthy successor to the original Boss 302. For us that meant a production Mustang that could top one of the world's best – the 2010 BMW M3 – in lap times at Laguna Seca. We met our expectations.'
Philosophy and powertrain
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 5.0 L., 8-cylinder|
Power: 440 hp
Torque: 380 ft-lbs
To celebrate the racing heritage of the new Mustang Boss 302, Ford will also offer a limited number of Boss 302 Laguna Seca models, named for the track where Parnelli Jones won the 1970 Trans-Am season opener in a Boss 302. Aimed at racers more interested in on-track performance than creature comforts, the Boss 302 Laguna Seca has increased body stiffness, a firmer chassis set-up and an aerodynamics package carried over almost in its entirety from the Ford Racing Boss 302R.
'The new Boss 302 completely redefines Mustang capability,' said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas. 'That the Mustang team was able to take the current Mustang GT – already a world-class performance car – and refine it further for peak track performance shows the commitment Ford has to this car and its legions of fans.'
Driving the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 was intended from the outset to be a visceral experience, packed wîth raw, unbridled performance across the spectrum: Acceleration, handling, braking, and top speed are all equally matched for perfect balance on a car operating within the framework of legally defined safety, noise and emissions regulations.
'The team at Ford wanted to offer their fellow Mustang enthusiasts something really special – a beautifully balanced factory-built race car that they could drive on the street,' explains Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. 'The Boss 302 isn't something a Mustang GT owner can buy all the parts for out of a catalog or that a tuner can get by adding a chip. This is a front-to-back re-engineered Mustang wîth every system designed to make a good driver great and a great driver even better.'
Led by Mike Harrison, the V8 engine team approached Boss from the top down: With 412 horsepower from 5.0 liters, the 2011 GT engine was already an incredible performer. But to achieve the high-rpm horsepower that would make the engine competitive on the track, a new intake was essential. The resulting runners-in-the-box plenum/velocity stack combination the engine team developed was impressive enough that it got the green light after one short drive.
Helping the intake build power, revised camshafts using a more aggressive grind are actuated wîth the same twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) mechanism used on the Mustang GT. More aggressive control calibration yields 440 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, while still offering a smooth idle and low-end torque for comfortable around-town driving.
A race-inspired clutch wîth upgraded friction materials transmits power, while a short-throw, close-ratio six-speed manual transmission handles gear change duties.
Power is delivered to a 3.73 ratio rear axle using carbon fiber plates in the limited-slip differential to improve torque handling and longevity. For those who want even more precise control over power delivery, a torque-sensing (Torsen) limited-slip differential is an available option coupled wîth Recaro front seats.Sounds like the Boss
While the powertrain team defined output targets that would yield an ideal balance wîth the chassis, another team made sure the car made the kind of sounds owners and enthusiasts would expect from a Mustang Boss.
Úp front, a Boss-specific intake system is tuned to feed the engine wîth minimum restrictions. A retuned induction sound tube provides concrete aural evidence of what's occurring under the hood. And, in the Boss exhaust system engineers really had some fun.
'With an exhaust system, we have to consider three constraints: legal noise restrictions; backpressure, which can rob power; and ground clearance,' explains Shawn Carney, Mustang NVH engineer. 'Since the 2011 Mustang GT exhaust is already so free-flowing – it came in way under our backpressure targets – we already had excellent performance; we were able to tune the exhaust system for a unique sound. Combined wîth the rush of the intake, the exhaust system really envelops the driver in V8 sound.
Every Boss features a unique quad exhaust system: Two outlets exit in the rear similar to a standard Mustang GT. The other two outlets exit to either side of the exhaust crossover, sending exhaust through a set of metal discs that act as tuning elements before the pipes terminate just ahead of the rear wheel opening. Visually subtle, the side pipes flow very little exhaust but a lot of exhaust sound, providing a sonic experience unlike any other Mustang – and giving home tuners an additional avenue for modification.
'We added the attenuation discs to meet legal regulations, but we knew buyers might operate these cars in situations where noise regulations weren't an issue,' Carney §äid. 'The disc is removable and includes a spacer plate sized to match aftermarket exhaust dump valves. If an owner wants to add a set of electric valves, they just undo two bolts on either side; the disc and spacer slide out and the valve will slide right in. And the side pipes are tuned so that drivers can run wide-open and the sound levels are comfortable – very aggressive but livable for an all-day track outing.'
Carney further explains the thinking behind the unusual step of an OEM easing aftermarket component installation. 'We're Ford engineers, but we're also enthusiasts,' he says. 'We understand owner mods are part of the Mustang experience, so we try to help where we can.'Suspension and §teering
In keeping wîth the Boss mandate to provide the best-handling Mustang ever, the already strong Mustang GT suspension system has been further refined. Higher-rate coil springs on all four corners, stiffer suspension bushings and a larger-diameter rear stabilizer bar all contribute to the road racing mission, and Boss models are lowered by 11 millimeters at the front and 1 millimeter at the rear versus the Mustang GT. The real key to handling, though, is in the adjustable shocks and struts, standard on all Boss Mustang models.
'We've given drivers five settings for their shocks,' says Brent Clark, supervisor of the Mustang vehicle dynamics team. 'One is the softest, two is the factory setting and five is the firmest, and we've provided a wide range of adjustment. A customer can drive to the track on setting two, crank it up to five for improved response on the track, then dial down to one for a more relaxed ride home. What's unique is that drivers will find – thanks to the way the suspension works as a complete system – the softest setting isn't too loose and the firmest setting isn't too controlled; each step just provides additional levels of control.'
Also unique is the method of shock adjustment. Ditching the weight and complexity of electronic wizardry, the Mustang team opted for traditional race-style hands-on adjustability – similar to the Gabriel shocks available on the original Boss 302.
'The shock adjustment is right at the top of the shock tower, built into the rod and easily accessible from under the hood or inside the trunk,' says Clark. 'You just take a small flat-head screwdriver, turn the adjustment screw between one and five, and head back out onto the track.'
To complement the suspension, the speed-sensitive electronic §teering system has been retuned to maximize feedback and road feel to the driver. The driver is also given the option of fine-tuning the §teering feel to his liking by selecting one of three settings through the instrument cluster menu: Comfort, normal and sport modes help offer track-tuned §teering when desired without sacrificing low-speed maneuverability in parking situations and everyday commuting.
Similarly, Boss receives unique traction control system (TCS) and electronic stability control (ESC) settings to help drivers achieve maximum performance whether on the street or at the track. Both systems can be completely disabled in controlled track situations where maximum driver skill is utilized, or fully engaged for maximum safety during normal driving or in less-than-ideal traction conditions. Intermediate sport mode allows drivers to push their cars hard at the track without completely disabling the safety systems, permitting more aggressive driving before the TCS and ESC systems intervene.Brakes, wheels and tires
Working in concert wîth the suspension upgrades, Boss 302 receives unique, lightweight 19-inch black alloy racing wheels in staggered widths: 9 inches in front, 9.5 inches in the rear. The Pirelli PZero summer tires are sized specifically for each end of the vehicle, wîth the front wheels receiving 255/40ZR-19 tires while the rear stays planted thanks to 285/35ZR-19 rubber.
The combined suspension and tire package allows Boss to achieve a top speed of 155 mph and become the first non-SVT Mustang ever to achieve more than 1.0 g of lateral acceleration.
Boss braking is also up to the challenge, using Brembo four-piston front calipers acting on 14-inch vented rotors up front. In the back, standard Mustang GT brakes are upgraded wîth a Boss-specific high-performance pad compound. Combined wîth vented brake shields and unique Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) tuning, Boss drivers get maximum control and rapid, repeatable fade-free stops in road and race situations alike.
The Mustang team spent considerable time ensuring the brake pedal feel met the expectations of performance drivers. Boss receives unique low-compressibility brake lines that expand up to 30 percent less than traditional flexible brake lines, allowing maximum fluid pressure to reach the calipers in the least amount of time, giving the driver a sensation of being connected directly to the brake pads.
'This car is wicked fast, so we put a lot of emphasis on giving it comparable stopping power,' says Clark. 'We started wîth a race-proven brake system and tuned it specifically for the characteristics of the Boss 302 and its mission. They're the best brakes ever installed on a Mustang, and they give consistent, repeatable braking performance on the street and the track.'
As a result 60-0 stopping distances for the Boss are improved by approximately three feet versus the Mustang GT wîth available brake package; combined wîth suspension and engine improvements, Boss is expected to show approximately a two-second lap time improvement over the GT on a typical road race course. But the numbers tell only part of the story.
'We achieved measurable improvements over GT, which was already one of the best-braking cars we've ever designed,' explains Clark, 'but what's harder to quantify is how good these brakes feel to a driver in a race situation. Like everything on this car, the brakes are more than the sum of their parts: They're tuned from pad to pedal to work perfectly as a system, and the difference is dramatic.'Exterior and interior design
Changes to the Mustang Boss exterior are subtle but unmistakable. True to its race-bred heritage, every component that could potentially aid aerodynamics or engine/brake performance was examined to make the vehicle more competitive, while chief designer Darrell Behmer refined the styling to evoke the 1969 Boss in a contemporary way.
'We approached this as curators of a legend,' explains Behmer. 'We've taken design cues from the '69 Boss street car and the menacing Bud Moore/Parnelli Jones race cars and carefully updated them to give the 2012 the proper bad-boy attitude that is unmistakably a Boss Mustang.'
To set Boss apart, each car will have either a black or white roof panel, coordinated to the color of the side C-stripe. Available exterior colors are Competition Orange, Performance White, Kona Blue Metallic, Yellow Blaze Tri-Coat Metallic and Race Red.
Úp front, a unique fascia and grille are highlighted by the blocked-off fog lamp openings and aggressive lower splitter, a version of the design used – and proven – on the Boss 302R race car. The front splitter is designed to function at high speeds by efficiently managing the air under and around the car. It helps to reduce underbody drag and front end lift while more effectively forcing air through the Boss-specific cooling system. At the rear of the car, the spoiler was chosen to complement the front aero treatment and minimize overall drag.
'What we were after on Boss was reduced overall lift wîth improved balance,' says Pericak. 'We needed to keep the car glued to the street or the track at high speeds without increasing drag or affecting top speed and fuel usage. The end result is an aero package that uses front, rear and underbody treatments not for show, but for effect – the balance and stability of this car all the way to its 155-mph top speed is just outstanding.'
Inside, a unique Boss §teering wheel covered completely in Alcantara suede complements the standard seats, which are trimmed in cloth wîth a suede-like center insert to firmly hold occupants in place. Boss customers who want the ultimate seating experience can select a package that includes Recaro buckets, designed by Ford SVT in cooperation wîth Recaro for high performance Mustang models, and shared between the Boss and GT500.
A dark metallic instrument panel finish, gauge cluster and door panel trim also differentiate Boss from the standard Mustang, while a black pool-cue shifter ball and 'Powered by Ford' door sill plates further remind customers they're in a special car.
The Boss interior gets an aural kick thanks to what's been removed. Eleven pounds of sound-deadening material have been eliminated to let occupants further enjoy the intake, engine and exhaust note.
'Boss is a hallowed word around here, and we couldn't put that name on a new Mustang until we were sure everything was in place to make this car a worthy successor,' explains Pericak. 'We were either going to do it right or not do it at all – no one on the team was going to let Boss become a sticker and wheel package.'Source - Ford
HIGH-REVVING FORD 5.0-LITER V8 DELIVERS POWER, SPEED, FLEXIBILITY BEFITTING THE BOSS NAME
•2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 engine delivers 440 horsepower and 380 ft.-lbs. of torque without the aid of forced induction
•Purpose-built Boss engine is based on production 2011 Mustang GT 5.0-liter DOHC V8, heavily modified wîth unique, Boss-specific parts to withstand all-day thrashing
•Revised intake, CNC-machined heads, lightened valvetrain and strengthened reciprocating assembly result in a race-proven engine meeting production durability standardsMONTEREY, Calif., Aug. 13, 2010
– The all-new 5.0-liter dual-overhead camshaft (DOHC) V8 in the 2011 Mustang GT already is the most powerful naturally aspirated production V8 Ford has ever produced. To make it worthy of the Boss name, Ford engineers tweaked more than a few bits of the engine.
They reengineered an entire dynamometer cell to handle the engine's projected 7,500 rpm redline; put the first engines into Boss 302R race cars and sent them straight onto the track; and they designed a torture test equivalent to running the Daytona 250 race flat-out more than 175 times – in a row.
Only when the 440-hp V8 passed these tests, ensuring maximum power output without sacrificing durability, reliability and drivability, was it worthy of being called a Boss.Bulletproof and blower-free
Planning began wîth a small group of engineers within the 5.0-liter V8 team. Starting wîth open minds and enlisting the help of two members of the original 1969 Boss 302 design team, the group began working its way toward the ultimate evolution of the new 5.0-liter: 440 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque, along wîth a broad, flat output curve all the way through its projected 7,500 rpm redline.
The Mustang team knew a supercharger would be the simplest way to extract significant power improvements from the new 5.0-liter V8, but they elected not to pursue forced induction for the 2012 Boss to stay true to the original Boss 302 engine.
'The core group of engineers on the Boss 302 engine understands and respect the heritage of the name and the history behind the original engine,' explains Mike Harrison, Ford V8 engine program manager. 'The first Boss 302 was a specially built, free-breathing, high-revving small V8 that gave it certain desirable characteristics on a race course – and we capture that essence in the new engine.'
The team also realized the additional hardware meant more weight, the bane of any racing program and the opposite of what the Boss design team was attempting to achieve. Instead, the same technology that has made the new Mustang GT engine such a formidable force was applied to the Boss 302.
'In keeping wîth the spirit of the original, the new Boss 302 engine achieves its maximum power output at speeds at or above 7,500 rpm,' says Harrison. 'Únlike the original engine, however, low-speed torque and driveability are uncompromised thanks to twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) technology and computer-aided engineering design tools.'
Harrison and his team began exploring Boss 302 concepts starting wîth the engine's ability to breathe – essential to the production of horsepower. Because credible track performance requires high power production between 5,000 rpm and 7,000 rpm, the team needed a new approach to intake manifold design.
Borrowing from the Ford Daytona Prototype engines, the resulting short-runners-in-the-box design virtually eliminates lag when the throttle is snapped open while producing peak power output at high rpm.
'The effect of the new intake design is dramatic,' says Harrison. 'When I took the prototype car to Mustang Chief Engineer Dave Pericak, he took a short drive, tossed me the keys and said ‘Book it…it's in the program.' He knew what we were onto, and that's really the point where the Boss 302 was born.'
To take advantage of the racing intake manifold, cylinder head airflow was fully optimized by CNC porting the entire intake and exhaust port and combustion chamber. The painstaking machining process takes 2.5 hours per head to complete.
To accompany the higher peak-power engine speed, the team had to engineer a lightweight, high-speed valvetrain and bulletproof reciprocating assembly that would not only hold together for 150,000-plus miles but also produce power at peak rpm.
'What most people don't realize is that engine stresses increase exponentially as engine speeds rise,' explains Harrison. 'So moving up from GT's 7,000 rpm redline required significant re-engineering of many different parts. Sacrificing reliability and usability over the GT engine was never an option.'
Some of the Boss-specific parts contributing to the Boss 302 V8's output and durability include:
•Revised composite intake system wîth shorter runners, inspired by Daytona Prototype racing engines, for high-rpm breathing
•Forged aluminum pistons and upgraded sinter-forged connecting rods for improved strength, needed for the higher combustion pressures and engine speeds
•New high-strength aluminum-alloy cylinder heads wîth fully CNC-machined ports and chambers for exceptional high-rpm airflow without sacrificing low-speed torque
•Lightened valvetrain components to provide excellent dynamic performance up to speeds well above the engine redline
•Sodium-filled exhaust valves for improved heat dissipation
•Race-specification crankshaft main and rod bearings for higher load capability and improved high-speed durability
•5W50 full-synthetic oil wîth engine oil cooler for improved oil pressure and longer-lasting lubrication during extreme racing conditions
•Revised oil pan baffling for improved oil control under racing conditions and during cornering loads greater than 1.0 gClose connection wîth race teams
Contrary to normal engine development protocol, the first batch of durability test engines weren't installed in an engine dyno. Instead, thanks to a request from Ford Racing, they went straight to the track.
'Ford Racing had challenged the Boss engine team to give them the first available Boss 302 engines,' explains Harrison. 'They came to us in August 2009 and told us they needed engines as soon as possible to build a limited number of Ford Racing Boss 302R cars for the January Daytona race. They got the engines 12 weeks later and the team got five Boss 302R cars prepped for the January race. This gave us a fantastic opportunity to be able to get full-on race experience wîth the engine so early in the program.'
The Boss engines have run reliably all season without a single mechanical failure. Boss 302R cars have also racked up the most laps led so far this season in Grand-Am racing.
Úsing race telemetry, the Boss team has been able to gather on-track data to help optimize engine calibrations, oil pan designs and cooling. In order to engage in virtual racing whenever they needed, the team used the telemetry data to re-create a hot lap at Daytona on the dyno back in Dearborn, allowing further fine-tuning.
'Working wîth Ford Racing has been invaluable,' said Harrison. 'They were a wealth of information for setting up torque and power curves for road racing and for identifying areas of concern during track runs that we wouldn't have considered if we were just building a hot street engine. Every Boss 302 owner will benefit from their contributions to the program.'Production engine durability testing
Despite its racing heritage – and the rigors of track-day testing – the Boss 302 V8 is still a production Ford engine, built alongside the 5.0-liter GT engine at Essex Engine Plant in Ontario, Canada. That means it has to meet or exceed all the standard durability testing every Ford engine is required to complete.
The high-winding engine presented a challenge: The engine had no trouble staying together at its redline, but the Ford durability dynamometers weren't designed to operate at the speeds the Boss engine was capable of.
'Ford had no engine test cells built to run at that kind of sustained speed,' said Harrison. 'Ford Racing had one, but it wasn't instrumented to do production durability testing. So we had to re-engineer the dyno cell wîth new balancers and jackshafts so the dyno wouldn't fly apart running at redline hour after hour.'
Once an adequate test stand was configured, the Boss engine was run at its full rated output for tens of millions of cycles, eventually outperforming its specifications at every stage of testing. Engineers calculated that the test regimen was equivalent to running the Daytona 250 race flat-out more than 175 times – in a row.
Team members also devised an additional durability test specific to the Boss 302 engine – one that reflects the unique demands of Boss drivers. The engine was subjected to a regimen simulating 1,500 quarter-mile races typical of events at drag strips across the country.
'Even though the production Boss engine is designed to be very close to a full race engine, it had to achieve the same vehicle durability signoff any other production engine requires,' says Harrison. 'Then it went on to get the track durability test signoff too. It's really an engineering accomplishment that a Boss owner can thrash his car on the track and still expect the same outstanding reliability that the owner of a regular Mustang GT will enjoy.'Source - Ford
A 'pillar of American automotive lore', the Mustang is the vehicle the brought sporting dash and styling at a price that almost everyone could afford. Always extraordinarily attractive, the Mustang has been capturing the hearts of drivers for nearly 40 years. Introducing a whole new breed of automobile, the pony car, Ford wasn't content to stand on the sidelines while others jumped ahead. Rather than improving their lackluster intermediate, they designed a small sports car that would be 'the next hot item in the street wars'. Designed originally as a two-seater in the European tradition, the Mustang came with an obligatory back seat and a variety of options that came the buyer an opportunity to customize their purchase. The only class of muscle cars that still exists today, the pony car class originated by Mustang has continued to dominate.
With a long and VERY lucrative background, the Ford Mustang has a history like no other vehicle. There has been a longstanding bit of rivalry between the Ford Motor Company and the Chevy division from GM, since both companies operated on the same market. Ford introduced the Falcon in response to Chevy's release of the Corvair, and fortunately sold much better, similar to what the Thunderbird did to the Corvette in the 1950's.
Chevy's next move was to introduce the Corvair Monza, a sporty, compact vehicle that the public loved. To combat this new threat, Ford had to produce a brand new vehicle with not only a sporty image, but sporty actions that would attract the younger generation. Called the 'Pony Car', the Mustang was unveiled to the public on April 13, 1964 and was advertised as 'the car to be designed by you'. Knowing that baby boomers would be ruling the 1960's, and that they would want a car as vastly different from their parents' as possible, Ford designed a production vehicle that would wow this generation. Except for the Corvette, compared to every other American car then in production, the Mustang was stunning and gorgeously sleek. Wanting it to be an affordable vehicle, much of the Mustang's engineering would be shared with an existing Ford product.
The young vice president at Ford, Lee Iacocca is responsible for this iconic legend. Requests were made to him to bring back the two-seater Thunderbird, and in 1962 he built the Mustang I-prototype; which was a V4 two-seater. What was introduced in 1963 ended up being a four-seater that was met with overwhelming acclaim and the vehicle was taken into production. A variety of the Mustang's components, including the drivetrain, were 'borrowed' from the Falcon to reduce the cost of production. The Ford Mustang was launched at the World Exhibition of NY in the spring of 1964.
During its development, the Ford Mustang was extensively advertised to attract the maximum amount of appeal before it actually hit the streets. Ford ran simultaneous commercials on all three major television networks in 1964 and the response was overwhelming. The Mustang was the hot new thing, and everyone wanted their own. The standard Mustang cost around $2,400, and more than 22,000 Mustang's were sold on the first day. 100,000 Mustangs were sold in the first four months, 418,000 in the first year, and the 1,000,000th Mustang was sold in 1966.
Available in only two models originally, the 1964 ½ as it was dubbed, came as either a coupe or a convertible. Both of these models showcased a lengthened hood, a shortened rear deck, chrome grille with a running horse, full wheel covers and chrome wrap-around bumpers. A characteristic standard on the Mustang for years was the three taillights on both sides. The interior of the Mustang was just as sporty as the exterior, with two seats in the front and a tiny backseat.
The 1965 Mustang debuted as a simple sports vehicle powered by a 170 cid six cylinder and a pair of V8's. The name Mustang was taken from a fighter plane, the P-51 Mustang.
The horse motif quickly became the emblem for the mustang as preliminary allusions were made to the horse. Ford was enjoying its high volume sales and visibility, while buyers loved its low price, short trunk styling, long hood and variety of options. Halfway through 1964 Ford introduced the sporty 2+2 fastback body style that joined the hardtop coupe and convertible.
For the 1965 model year, the Fastback model was introduced and in April of this same year, the GT model was unveiled. For this year alone, over 500,000 Mustangs were produced.
Only minor cosmetic updates were made in 1966, while the choice of available interior colors and styles were increased to 34 variety options. To further separate the Mustang from its Falcon roots, the gauge cluster was redone, and the 260 cid V8 was replaced with 2 and 4 barrel version of the 289 cid V8. From 1965 through March 1rst 1966 the Shelby GT-350 Mustang dominated on the racing track. The Shelby was available in 4 different colors and received automatic transmission. Unique examples were prepared for Hertz Rent a Car for rental to weekend drag racers. Through 1968 a Paxton supercharger; which boosted horsepower as much as 40%, was available on the GT-350.
The following year the 1967 Mustang received a larger grille and simulated air-scoops. This year's version was a much more aggressive model that featured much more accurate to the available engines. Much bulkier sheetmetal below the beltline was added, along with a concave tail panel along with a full fastback roofline for the fastback body style. A big block 390 was introduced by Ford to compete with the all new Chevy Camaro SS396. The 390 was slightly detuned, but its popularity sealed the end of the 289 cid engine, which was dropped from the lineup. The GT/CS California Special was introduced in 1968 and received a new dashboard with two large meters, and three little ones. The GT350 continued to be powered by a modified 289 V8, though output dropped to 290bhp. The brand new GT500 was powered by a reworked 428V8. Featuring plenty of luxury options, the 1967 Shelby's were considered to be 'much more civilized', and appealed greatly to buyers. These were the final Shelby Mustangs actually built by Shelby-American, all future models would be built by Ford with little involvement by Shelby.
For the 1968 model year, the Mustang received side trim, a much simpler grille and a limited number of 427 engines. These engines cranked out 390bhp, though they were slightly detuned, they had amazing street popularity. The 428 Cobra Jet engine was introduced on April 1, 1968. Based on the regular 428, the Cobra Jet included larger valve heads, an oil-pan windage tray and the race 427's intake manifold. The output was listed at 335bhp and it featured ram-air induction and breathed through a functional hood scoop. Shelby's remained in the lineup and were joined by an available convertible model that was renamed the Shelby Cobra. The GT350 received a 302 cid 250 bhp engine in place of its 289 cid 306 bhp engine. The GT-500 was deleted and replaced by the GT-500KR ('King of the Road') halfway through the year. This new model came with the new Ram Air 428 Cobra Jet, still underrated at 335 bhp. A total of 249,447 2D Hardtop models were produced this year, 42,581 fastback models, and 25,376 convertibles.
The 1969 Mustang was much larger, longer by nearly 4 inches, and much heavier. A running horse, similar to the one of the front fenders of the first generation appeared in place of the corral, and new inner headlights were introduced. New models introduced this year were the Grande, the Mach 1, the Boss 429 and the Boss 302. The Grande model was based solely on the hardtop coupe and was a luxurious model both inside and out. The Mach 1 was a vehicle with its racing side accentuated, while the Mach 1 featured a plus interior, air scoops, a tough Windsor engine, a matblack hood and heavy striping. Arriving standard with a 351 cid V8, the Mach 1 could also be had with the 428 Cobra Jet, which now came in three states of tune, the first being a non-Ram Air version, the second was the Ram-Air version and the and the Super Cobra Jet which came with the Drag Pack option.
The Boss Mustangs were named after stylist Larry Shinoda's nickname for Ford president Semon 'Bunkie' Knudson. The Boss 302 Mustang was an exclusive model that was introduced to give Ford an opportunity to use the vehicle on the Trans-Am races. Before Ford was allowed to run the Boss 302 on the racing circuit, Ford had to sell a thousand vehicles to the public, according to the Trans-Am regulations. The Boss 302 was Ford's response to Chevy's Camaro Z/28 in Trans Am racing. The Boss 429 package came complete with a race ready 429 cid V8 with ram air induction, an aluminum high riser and header type exhaust manifolds. Unfortunately, the Boss 429s were a complete disappointment on the streets where their dependence on high revs hurt their street starts, and the original batch had incorrect valve springs that would stop winding at 4500rpm rather than 6000rpm. They did featured good handling, and the Boss 429 lasted through 1970. A total of 72,458 Mach 1's were produced this year, along with 14,746 convertibles, 22,182 Grande Hardtop Coupes, 1,934 Boss 302's and 858 of the Boss 429.
For the 1970 model year, the Boss 302 and 429 continued on, while the 428 Cobra Jet remained as the top engine choice for the Mach 1 Mustang. The 429 Cobra Jet was new for 1970 and standard in the Boss 429. The Super Cobra Jet was rated for 375 bhp while the 429 Cobra Jet was rated at 370 bhp. 1970 was the final year for the Shelby Cobra's. A total of 40,970 Mach 1's were produced, 7,643 convertibles, 13,581 Grande Hardtop Coupes, 6,318 Boss 302's and 498 Boss 429s.
For the 1970 Mustang, Ford went back to just two headlights, replacing the outboard lights with attractive scoops that fed nothing at all. The phony side scoops were also deleted on all models. The 351 V8's were now produced at Ford's Cleveland plant rather than the Windsor, Ontario facility and were of a slightly different design. Sales for the 1970 model year dipped to 190,727 Mustangs.
The 1971 Mustang was extended by 2.1 inches of length, 2.8 inches of width, a 100lbs were added and an additional inch of wheelbase was added. Ford's decade of 'Total Performance' was reaching its end. Taken off of the lineup this year was the Shelby models, the Boss 302 and the Boss 429 models. The remaining engine choices were not great, as the 351 engine was detuned from 300 bhp to 285 bhp while the 429 Cobra Jet dropped 5 bhp down to 370 bhp.
The Mach 1 Mustang and the all-new Boss 351 model was dominated the performance end for Mustang in 1970. The Mach 1 featured the 351 Cleveland V8 as its standard engine and it came with 285bhp though a 330bhp version was also available. The top power choice was the 429 Super Cobra Jet Ram Air, while the 429 Cobra Jet sported 370bhp. The 429 Super Cobra Jet Ram Air had 11.3:1 compression and had 375bhp. This would the Boss 351's only season as Ford's performance was continuously declining. The 351 weighed less, and featured a race bred 351 engine that had a radical solid-lifter cam, 11.0:1 compression, ram-air induction. It also came with a Hurst four-speed transmission and 3.91:1 Traction-Lok differential. Only 149,678 Mustangs were sold in 1971, 41,049 less than the previous year.
1972 led to all power ratings being listed in net ratings which included all accessories. The end of Ford Mustang performance, this led to some drastic drops in power listings, which included the drop of all big block options. The Mach 1 ended up being the only model with any performance, as the Boss 351 was dropped. A total of 27,675 Mach 1's were produced, and 6,401 convertibles. The top engine option for 1972 was a 275bhp 351 Cleveland.
For 1973 emission controls were only tightened more, and all engine choices' power ratings were dropped. Mandatory bumpers that could withstand a 5mph collision were the result of new federal guidelines. These bumpers did not do much to improve the look of the Mustang. Producing just 156bhp, the top engine was a 351 V8. Sales picked up for 1973 and a total of 134,867 Mustangs were sold, Ford realized that it was time to rethink the Mustang.
The fifth generation of the Ford Mustang was introduced in 1974. Unfortunately the Mustang II was considered by many to be too small, underpowered, feature poor handling, but surprisingly, it sold very well. Baby boomers were turning to smaller imported cars, and emissions regulations made the high-compression, high-horsepower V8's rather unstable. Ford decided to make the Mustang a smaller, more fuel-efficient car to keep up with the market.
The 1974 Mustang II was unveiled without the Falcon components that had been a standard from day one. The all-new Mustang was placed atop the basic structure and suspension of its subcompact Pinto. Still a unibody design, the Pinto was smaller than the Falcon, but basically similar, and the front suspension was still a double wishbone design while the rear suspension was still bolted to its solid rear axle to a pair of leaf springs. The chassis of the Pinto did have a rack-and-pinion steering gear instead of the Falcon's re-circulating ball, and the front disc brakes were standard.
With an overall length of only 175 inches, the Mustang II rode on a very small 96.2 inch wheelbase and weighed about 400 lbs less than the previous years version. Though a smaller size, the Mustang II actually featured traditional Mustang styling features like the scalloped sides, the running horses in the grille and the three-piece taillights. The Mustang II was available as either a fastback hatchback or a notchback coupe. Prices ranged from $3,134 for the base coupe and $3,674 for a Mach 1 hatchback.
The 1974 Mustang II was the first Mustang to ever be offered with a four-cylinder engine and without a V8. Rated at a lowly 88 horsepower, the base engine was a single-overhead cam four that displaced 2.3 liters. The German-built 'Cologne' 2.8 liter OHV V6 was the only optional engine and it only produced a disappointing 105 horsepower. The first Mustang II was considered to be very underpowered. The standard four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic were the only two transmissions available.
For this year, a 'Ghia' notchback and Mach 1 fastback were made available. The Ghia featured a vinyl top and special interior trim that was 'fancy'. The Mach 1 came with the V6. Despite being an unpopular vehicle today, this more economical Mustang II was sold an amazingly 385,993 units for 1974.
For 1975 the V8 was returned to the Mustang lineup. Achieving 122 horsepower, the 5.0-liter V8 had only a two-barrel carb and exhaled through a cataylic converter. The automatic transmission was the only transmission available behind the V8. A new 'MPG' coupe was added to the 1975 model lineup. Unfortunately the Mustang II wasn't as popular as its predecessors and production dipped to 188,586.
The following year not many changes were made, and all the variations from the 1975 model year followed along with the addition of a new 'Stallion' appearance package that was available on the fastback. The Cobra II package was also introduced this year and added a large rear spoiler, a fake hood scoop and blue stripes across white paint to a V8-powered fastback. It looked impressive, though the Cobra II wasn't any faster than other similarly powered Mustang IIs. Also new this year was the now 134-horsepower V8 made available with a four-speed manual transmission, with an output of the standard four surging to 92 horsepower while the V6's rating jumped to 102 horsepower. Sales for 1976 peaked at 187,567 units.
The 1977 Mustang II was only featured minor trim changes from the previous year. The Cobra II did receive a variety of new colors available. The options list now included T-top removable glass roof panels and simulated wire wheel covers. The V6 power dropped to 93 hp, and the four down to 89hp. Production was dropped down to 153,117 units for 1977.
The extreme 'King Cobra' version was introduced in 1978 and featured some snazzy graphics along with a hood scoop turned backward. The only changes for the Mustang II for this year were minor updates to the trim. Production for 1978 surprisingly peaked at 192,410 units.
The sixth generation of the Ford Mustang was unveiled in 1979 and was built atop the shortened chassis of the Ford Fairmont 'Fox' body that had been introduced the year before. The Pinto parts were replaced with the unibody structure of the Fox platform, but that's where the similarities ended. A modified MacPherson strut system was the new front suspension that mounted a spring separate from the strut itself, while a new link and coil spring rear suspension held up the back of the car. This basic suspension system would remain in use on the Ford Mustang until the 2003 mode lyear.
The 1979 Mustang could be purchased as a coupe or a fastback hatchback. Measuring at 179.1 inches, the new Mustang rode on a 100.4-inch wheelbase. This model featured much more room than previous Mustangs due to a more upright-oriented cockpit and flatter doors that allowed for more shoulder and hip room. Not really recognizable as previous models, the new Mustang was attractive, angular and handsome. Four square headlights appeared, but no running horse in the shovel nose grille, and the sides also no longer featured the signature side scallop. The taillights were also divided into six segments instead of three.
The same three engines from the 1978 Mustang II could be found on the 1979 model. Rated at 88 hp was the 2.3-liter SOHC, the 4.9-liter V8 achieved 140 horsepower, while the 2.8-liter Cologne V6 made 109 HP. New this year was a turbocharged version of the four that was capable of 140 hp, but unfortunately this version had epic boost lag and very bad reliability. The previous 200-cubic-inch; 3.3-liter OHV straight six was reintroduced and achieved 94 hp. Three-speed automatic was optional, while four-speed manual transmissions were standard behind all engines.
1979 was a very popular year for the Mustang! Around 369,936 models were built this year and the most desirable of all models this year ended up being the 6,000 Indy pace car replica fastbacks. This model came with a unique hood scoop, a snazzy rear spoiler, a unique front air dam, Recaro front seats and black and silver paint with orange graphics. This car could be purchased with either turbo four or V8 power that came with the TRX wheel and tire package. A 'Cobra' package was available on the hatchback and featured a fake hood scoop, though no pillars and the Gria trim returned to the coupe.
Though very few visual changes were made for the 1980 model year for the Mustang, several options were changed that affected this years lineup that made this year a bad year for Mustang. The 2.8-liter V6 and the 5.0-liter V8 were both deleted from the line, while the only six available was the pathetic 3.3-liter straight six. The only V8 was a new version of Ford's small-block that displaced 255 cubic inches, and could only shrug out 119 hp. This was considered to be the worst V8 engine ever offered in a Mustang. The Turbo four became the most powerful engine available in 1980.
The 1980 Cobra package included all of the spoilers and scoops used on the previous year's pace car, along with a gaudy oversized cobra hood decal. A total of 271,322 units were sold.
In 1981 a five-speed manual transmission finally became available for the Ford Mustang as an option behind the regular and turbocharged fours. The T-Top roof returned to the options list for the Mustang this year. Sale dipped down to 182,552 vehicles.
Finally in 1982 things started to improve for the Ford Mustang. A new 'High Output' version of the 5.0-liter V8 was unveiled and could achieve an impressive 157 hp with 2-barrel carburetion in a revived Mustang GT hatchback. The 1982 Mustang GT was backed be a four-speed manual transmission. Three progressively more luxurious series were introduced also this year, the L, GL and GLX. For a brief time, the turbo four was deleted, while the base four, iron lump straight six and the 4.2-liter V8 all continued on through 1982. A 'Special Service Package' notchback coupe was introduced (though not sold to the public) and was equipped with the Mustang GT's 157-horsepower V8 and four-speed transmission. This was a pursuit vehicle for the California Highway Patrol, and the CHP purchased 400 of these vehicles. These models continued in production until 1993 when Ford ended production.
In 1983 an all-new grille with Ford's Blue Oval logo placed at its center. The Mustang convertible returned to the lineup in the form of a conversion performed by ASC, Inc. on coupe bodies. This convertible was available in either GLX or GT trim and came with power operation, rear-quarter windows that rolled down and a real glass rear window.
Also in this year, the Mustang drivetrain was revamped. The straight six the 4.2 liter V8 were completely deleted while an updated version of the turbocharged 2.3-liter SOHC four was reintroduced to the lineup, this time with electronic fuel injection that improved the turbo lag and increased engine longevity. The 5.0-liter HO V8 now came with a four-barrel carburetor and was rated at 175 hp. The V8 engine was now available with the fabulous Borg-Warner T5 five-speed manual transmission. The six-cylinder option was the new 'Essex' 3.8-liter V6 that achieved 112 horsepower. Despite all of these modifications, 1983 wasn't the greatest year for the Ford Mustang, and only a total of 120,873 Mustangs were sold, and this included 23,428 convertibles.
Not too many changes were made for the 1984 model year, as most was a carryover. With 165 hp, a fuel-injected version of the HO V8 was available with the automatic transmission. Back for one final year, the turbo four was now rated at 145 horsepower in the Mustang GT. The suspension tuning was revised a bit, and halfway through the 1984 model year, Ford introduced a GT-350 20th anniversary package for convertibles and hatchbacks.
The big news for this year was introduction of the sophisticated SVO Mustang. Showcasing a very unique look, the SVO didn't have a grille on its front end and it featured single square headlamps. Powered by an inter-cooled version of the turbocharged 2.3-liter four, it was rated at a very impressive175 hp. The SVO was equipped nicely and featured 16-inch wheels on five-lug hubs with four-wheel disc brakes. Unfortunately it was priced very high at $15,596 and it was no match in speed to the V8-powered Mustang GT. Sales were not impressive.
In 1985 an all-new grille design was introduced and it featured a single large slit between the two pairs of headlights. The Mustang GT received a new set of 15-inch cast-aluminum wheels with P225/60VR15 Goodyear Eagle 'Gatorback' tires. The 5.0 HO engine now could achieve 210 hp in four-barrel carbureted form. The turbocharged four was taken off the Mustang GT options list, meanwhile the SVO continued in the lineup.
The only induction system on the 1986 5.0 HO was fuel injection, output was 200 hp in the Mustang GT with both the five-speed manual and four-speed automatic. This year real dual exhaust was introduced and now there where two catalytic converters so each engine bank featured its own exhaust right to the tail pipes. The SVO had an output of 200 hp and its turbo four was recalibrated.
The V6 engine option was deleted in 1987, which resulted in the deletion of the expensive SVO. Trim levels were down to just LX and GT, the coupe in LX was only the hatchback and convertible available in both trims. The GT received its own grille-less face, specific taillights, rear spoiler, turbine wheels and urethane side skirts. The LX and GT models also received a new interior that included an improved dashboard that placed all of the instruments in a pod directly in front of the driver. Now even the 2.3-liter, SOHC four-cylinder engine now featured fuel injection and could get 90 hp. The 5.0-liter HO was now updated and could achieve 225 hp regardless of transmission. The 1988 and '89 Mustangs remained basically unchanged from 1987, while the '5.0 Mustang' also remained mechanically unchanged through 1993.
For the 1990 model year Ford was seriously contemplating re-engineering the vehicle to accept a driver-side airbag, but they chose to spend the money and installed the airbag, meanwhile eliminating the tilt steering column in the process. The following year an all-new five-spoke, 16-inch wheel was available on both LX and GT 5.0-liter Mustangs. This model continued on the next year, with only a few 'limited edition' models offered.
In 1993 the Mustang GT and basic Mustang LX remained virtually unchanged. The 5.0-liter engine's output was updated to 205 horsepower and an all-new special-edition Mustang, the SVT Cobra was introduced! Extremely attractive, the SVT Cobra featured 1983 Mustang taillights, the front air dam from the GT, 17-inch wheels and a new grille with the running horse emblem prominently displayed. The 5.0-liter inside the Cobra was updated to achieve 235 horsepower, while the larger wheels, tires and four-wheel disc brakes 'all expanded the other parameters of performance'. Ford was able to sell 114,228 Fox-based Mustangs during this year, even after 15 years in production. A total of 4,993 Cobra's were produced during the '93 model year, while an additional 107 'Cobra R's' were produced. These models were track ready versions of the Cobra that were built without normal luxuries like a backseat or even a radio.
The seventh generation of the Ford Mustang was introduced in 1994 and continued on until 1998. This new Mustang was very obviously influenced by the styling themes of previous Mustangs. The galloping horse was once again placed in the grille, and the side scallop was returned while the taillights were split into three segments, horizontally rather than vertically. The interior featured a twin-pod dashboard that utilized the dashes between '64 ½ and '73. A two-door coupe with a semi-fastback roof and a convertible where the only two body styles offered.
For this year, the Fox platform was thoroughly reinforced, but the basic modified MacPherson strut front and coil sprung solid rear axle remained the same. ABS was optional and four-wheel disc brakes were now used throughout the line. The new convertible featured the drop top, and this was the first Mustang convertible since 1973 that was actually conceived as a convertible and not a conversion. The structure was much stiffer and the car now handled than the previous year's model.
Only two engine options were available for 1994, Base Mustangs received a fuel-injected development of the 3.8-liter Essex V6 rated at 145 horsepower. The GT received an updated version of 5.0-liter V8 with a flatter intake manifold that was rated at 215 horsepower. Both of these engines could be joined to either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions. The 1994 Mustang GT could be purchased with either 16-inch or 17-inch wheels and tires, and it was found to be the most dependable and best handling Mustang.
The Mustang was picked to pace the Indianapolis 500 for the third time in its history. Ford used its SVT; Special Vehicle Team to create another Cobra version of the Mustang. The end result of the teams effort was a slightly modified GT that featured 17-inch wheels, and due to a set of Ford's 'GT40' cylinder heads and a different intake, a 5.0-liter V8 that produced 240 horsepower. The Cobra was easily recognized by its blistered hood, front fascia with round foglamps, rear spoiler and snake logos on the fenders and in their grilles. The Cobra used to pace the 500 was a convertible, while the Cobra coupe was much more common. In 1994 alone 1,000 Cobra convertibles were sold, while 5,009 Cobra coupes were sold this year.
A big hit, the new Mustang was sold into a market that wasn't the same as it had been in 1965. A total of 123,198 Mustangs were sold during the 1994 model year.
Not many changes were made in 1995 as the concept was basically very fresh and quite popular. A new GTS model was introduced this year, and was basically the Mustang GT's drivetrain in a very plain Mustang shell. Sales were increased to 190,994 units for this year and that included 48,264 convertibles along with another 5,006 SVT Cobras.
For 1996 the 5.0-liter V8 was replaced with Ford's 4.6 liter, SOHC V8 in the Mustang GT. This engine was rated at the same 215 horsepower as the outgoing 5.0. The 4.6 started a whole new trend in Mustang history as the old small-block Ford V8 engine was deleted after 31 years of faithful service. The 3.8-liter V6 was re-rated to 150 horsepower and transmission choices remained the five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.
For 1995 several 250 Cobra R models were introduced, powered by a 5.8-liter version of the Ford small-block V8 that achieved 300 horsepower. Unfortunately they weren't very popular due to the lack of creature comforts like AC, radio and a rear seat.
The following year Ford added new taillights for the Mustang that were divided vertically into three segments. The only other minor update was revised front fender badges on the GT heralding the 4.6 engine. A majorly updated version of the SVT Cobra was introduced in this same year and it came complete with an all-aluminum, DOHC, 32-valve version of the 4.6-liter engine. The hood featured a new bulge to accommodate the tall engine. This SVT Cobra came with 305 horsepower and performed so much better than the previous model, this was the most powerful V8 in a Mustang since the Boss 351 back in 1971. In 1996 Cobra production peaked at 7,496 coupes and 2,510 convertibles.
For the 1997 model year, the Mustang was available in a variety of new colors, and it sported new upholstery and a new security system. A total of 108,344 Mustangs were produced this year, 6,961 of them were Cobra coupes, and 3,088 Cobra convertibles. The Cobra received updated five-spoke wheels, revisions to the 4.6-liter V8 that increased output to 225 horsepower.
The 1998 Mustang was basically a carryover, and sales increased nicely to a total of 175,522 produced for the year. Out of that amount, 5,174 of those were Cobra coupes and 3,480 Cobra convertibles.
For 1999 the Mustang entered into its eighth generation of production and to celebrate, received an updated front and rear fascia along with new sharply creased fenders. A new 'corral' was also added around the galloping horse in the Mustang's grille. The interior and chassis basically remained the same; the only big change for this year was that all 1999 Mustangs received special 35th anniversary badges on their front fenders. Horsepower ratings were largely increased though for this year as significant revisions were made to both the base Mustang's 3.8-liter V6 and the GT's 4.6-liter V8. The V6 was now capable of 190 horsepower while the V8 was at an impressive 260. The five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission options remained the same.
The updated Cobra was intended to be the pride and joy for the Mustang in 1999. The first independent rear suspension was utilized for the first time on a Mustang, and it was basically a trailing arm system that incorporated lightweight aluminum control arms that rode in its individual cradle, which bolted in place of the solid rear axle still used on other Mustangs. The rear suspension was now in great shape, but unfortunately the updated 4.6-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8 was originally rated at 320 hp but many owners found that their engines often made less than 300 hp. Cobra owners posted a class-action suit and demanded refunds or new engines, and Ford scrambled desperately to satisfy their customers. Cobra production was suspended during the 2000 model year, only a total of 8.095 Cobra's were produced in 1999 and only 454 for 2000.
For 2000, the Mustang remained mostly the same except for the addition of new fender badges. Powered by a 5.4-liter, iron-block version of the DOHC, 32-valve engine that rated at an incredible 385 hp, a very small number (300) of 'Cobra R' models were introduced this year. They came very basic, and very pricey, with a hefty pricetag of $55,845, and lacking any comforts like AC, or a backseat, surprisingly, these models sold out immediately. 2000 was a great year for the Mustang, and a total of 215,393 units were sold.
2001, the Cobra returned! Also new this year was Mustang's attempt at a bit of nostalgia with its special 'Bullitt' edition Mustang GT coupe that was designed to evoke memories of the 1968 Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in the film of the same name. Based on the regular GT, the Bullitt featured a lowered suspension, new five-spoke wheels, and a fuel-filler door designed to look similar to an aircraft's. The interior of the Bullitt featured special upholstery and unique graphics on the instrumentation, an aluminum ball shift knob and aluminum-finished pedals, all reminiscent of the '68 GT. The engine could achieve 265 hp and featured a large throttle body. The Bullitt could be purchased in blue, black or dark green. A fabulous success, all 5,000 models were sold immediately.
For 2002 the popular wheels from the Bullitt made its way to the options list for the regular Mustang, but this was the only change for this year. The following year, a much more powerful Cobra was introduced, along with an all-new limited edition Mach 1 model. Pumping out an astonishing 390 hp, the new Cobra utilized a supercharged version of the 4.6-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8. This baby was the quickest and fastest Mustang EVER built by Ford.
The new Mach 1 introduced in 2002 was basically mechanically identical to the '98 Cobra in specification. It did use a normally aspirated version of the 4.6-liter, DOHC engine that was now rated at 305 hp, a solid rear axle and five-speed manual transmission. The 'Shaker' hood scoop returned on the Mach 1. Other features were a flat, black painted hood and 17-inch versions of the Magnum 500 wheels from the 1960's.
For 2004 the Mustang celebrated 40 years of production and placed a 40th anniversary badge on each '04 Mustang. An Anniversary package could be bought, and it included beige stripes, crimson paint, beige wheels and monogrammed floor mats. Ford introduced a completely redesigned Mustang at the 2004 North American International Auto Show, dubbed 'S-197'. Based on an all-new D2C platform, the 'S-197' was developed under the direction of Chief Engineer Hau Thai-Tang and exterior styling designer Sid Ramnarace.
2005 heralded the ninth generation of the Ford Mustang, and the all-new Mustang debuted first as a concept. Finally the Fox platform was put to bed and replaced with the DEW98 platform that was already being used for the Lincoln LS and the Thunderbird. Wanting to pay tribute to the many classic models in its history, the new Mustang featured the side sculpting, the fastback roofline and taillights, reminiscent of the '65 Mustang, while the canted nose with its large grille and round headlights was much like the '67 to '69 Mustangs.
The interior of the '05 Mustang was also very similar to the old model, with a dual-hooded dash with optional aluminum accent panels it was much like the '67-'68 Mustang. The big speedo and tach, round steering wheel hub and circular air vents were also reminiscent to old models. The backlighting was changeable and at the simple press of a button could be changed from white, blue, green to orange hues. The seating in the Mustang was now switched up, going from the 'sitting on an ottoman' seating position, was replaced with a seat where one sits more in, rather than on the seats. The manual gearshifter of the past was now replaced with a remote-linkage setup that puts the stick within easy reach.
The GT featured 300 hp and 315 lb-ft of torque, along the 4.6-liter, all aluminum V8 sports three valves per cylinder along with variable valve timing. The V6 six-shooter can achieve 200 hp, featured 235 lb-ft of torque and came with the option of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. The GT came with five gears, and the option of either automatic or manual gearbox. The newest Mustang is quite sprightly, mostly due to the new suspension and lighter-weight components, along with repositioned and lighter coil springs. Larger brakes were also added, along with a more stout rear axle with more effective control arms.
This current generation is manufactured at the AutoAlliance International plan in Flat Rock, Michigan.By Jessica Donaldson