Ford Mustang - Generation I

Ford Mustang
Shelby Mustang GT350
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R-C
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
Shelby Mustang GT-H
Ford Pettys Garage Mustang
Ford Mustang GT King Edition
Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang GT
Hennessey Mustang
Ford Mustang 50 Year Limited Edition

Ford Mustang U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds
Ford Mustang
Shelby Mustang GT500
Ford Mustang Boss 302
Ford Mustang
Shelby Mustang GT500 Convertible
Shelby 1000 S/C
Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca
Shelby Mustang GT500
Ford Mustang
Shelby Mustang GT 50th Anniversary Edition
Ford Shelby Mustange GT500 Cobra
Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang GT
Ford Mustang Boss 302R

Shelby Mustang GT500
Shelby Mustang GT500

Total Production: 1

Total Production: 1

Ford Mustang
Saleen Parnelli Jones Limited Edition Mustang
Shelby Mustang GT
Ford Mustang
Roush 427R Mustang
Saleen Mustang
Ford Mustang
Saleen Mustang 281
Since its dramatic 1964 introduction, Ford Mustang has been the icon of American performance and style, capturing hearts worldwide. For 2005, Mustang combines an all-new, fully modern architecture with all the soul that makes a Mustang a Mustang – bold style, a brawny engine and rear-wheel-drive excitement.

In short, every inch of Mustang is new – yet it staunchly remains the genuine article – 'America's Car' for 40 years.

Based on an all-new, fully modern body structure and chassis system featuring advanced MacPherson struts and a three-link live axle with Panhard rod, Mustang boasts an overall ride sophistication unmatched by any of its ancestors. Its braking and handling are nothing short of world class.

It produces all the tire-smoking power the rear wheels – and most drivers – can handle, with a better-breathing 300-horsepower, 24-valve MOD V-8 or 200-horsepower SOHC V-6 engine.

With power comes responsibility, and the new Mustang takes occupant protection to a new level. A stout safety cage, Ford's Personal Safety System™ with passenger weight-sensing technology, available side air bags and a front structure designed for demanding offset impacts, provide drivers and passengers with the most comprehensive protection ever offered in a
muscle car.

What's more, all this unrivaled driving excitement will continue to come at an attainable price. Mustang will remain the best performance car for under $20,000, and the most affordable 300-horsepower car made today.
Embodiment of American Muscle

Like wild horses on the open plain, Mustangs always have exuded a sense of pure power. The 2005 Ford Mustang offers a clean, contemporary design rooted in this unmistakable heritage. It is direct, straightforward, honest and – above all – authentically American.

The Mustang takes its design language from the concept car that stole hearts along the auto show circuit and signaled that America's only remaining muscle car would be introduced for 2005 with even more attitude.

'We weren't just redesigning a car, we were adding another chapter to an epic,' said J Mays, Ford Motor Company group vice president, Design.

An all-new platform and clean-sheet design approach gave birth to a car that is modern, legendary and unmistakably Mustang.

The signature long hood and short rear deck capitalize on 40 years of history, as do classic design cues that have helped define Mustangs since the 1960s: C-scoops in the sides, three-element taillamps and a galloping horse badge in the center of the grille. The Mustang's menacing shark-like nose imparts an attitude not seen since the 1967 model, while jeweled, round headlamps in trapezoidal housings are part of a striking new design flair.

'The new Mustang is pure American muscle,' Mays said. 'But, rest assured, we're not insisting on history at the expense of our future.'

The 2005 Mustang has an aggressive rake that puts the car in motion even when it's standing still. The wheels were pushed to the corners of the body, better anchoring Mustang visually and physically to the road. The six-inch wheelbase gain over the 2004 model and increased interior compartment width provide more room for driver and passengers.

Head-Turning on the Inside, Too

The cabin – a beneficiary of Ford's tripled investment in interiors – is every bit as breathtaking and genuine as the exterior. Three distinct design themes celebrate Mustang history with modern materials and features, including an available industry-first, color-configurable instrument panel for almost unlimited personalization.

'This is a $30,000 interior in a $20,000 car,' said Larry Erickson, Mustang chief designer. 'The functional, contemporary look of this interior and its precise execution set a new standard.'

Available authentic aluminum panels spanning the dashboard are particularly eye-catching, as are prominent dual chrome-ringed gauges that cap an all-new technology. Thanks to the industry's first available color-configurable instrument cluster, Mustang owners can mix and match lighting at the touch of a button to create more than 125 different color backgrounds to suit their personality, mood, outfit or whim.

these modern touches mix with Mustang history and heritage. Chrome-ringed air vents are aligned vertically across the dash, precisely in line with the gauges, and the steering wheel has three spokes with a black center hub marked by the horse and tricolor bars logo, echoing the design of the 1967 Mustang.

The available Interior Color Accent Package – charcoal with red leather seats, red door inserts and red floor mats – is as much a jaw-dropper as the interior of the acclaimed concept vehicle that inspired it. The cabin's aluminum hardware accents add a look of technical precision.

Thanks to efficient packaging and the larger overall size of the new Mustang, taller drivers will feel more at home, and all four occupants enjoy more room. Overall, the new model offers the driver more headroom and shoulder room. Rear passengers also enjoy more legroom and shoulder room in their sculpted bucket seats.

More features are standard than ever before, including one-touch up/down power windows, power mirrors, keyless entry and power locks, a heated rear window and interval wipers. Audio systems range from the standard CD player on base models to the wild, chest-pounding 1,000-watt Shaker Audiophile system.

More Power and Punch

Muscular new engines infuse Mustang with its legendary tire-smoking performance. The 4.6-liter all-aluminum V-8 has three-valve heads and cranks out 300 horsepower, while the new SOHC V-6 engine generates 202 horsepower from 4.0 liters. Five-speed transmissions – manual and automatic – put the power to the pavement.

The 2005 Mustang GT is the first mainstream production Mustang to break into the 300-horsepower arena, a place formerly occupied only by legendary Cobra and Boss models. The new level of performance – on regular fuel – is made possible by intelligent application of powertrain technology.

Because of its all-aluminum construction, Mustang's MOD V-8 – a member of Ford's modular engine family – weighs 75 pounds less than a comparable cast-iron design and stokes up 40 more horsepower than the 2004 engine. That's over 50 percent more power than delivered by the fiery, small-block 289-cubic-inch V-8 found under the hood of the classic 1964 model.

Electronic throttle control, faster engine management controls and the new three-valve cylinder heads with variable camshaft timing all contribute to this impressive output.

The three-valve heads with VCT allowed engine designers to use a higher compression ratio with regular 87-octane gasoline to maximize the energy used by every drop of fuel. Intake runners with active charge motion control valves also shape each combustion event for strong, low-end torque and maximum high-rpm power.

The Right Gear: Smoother-Shifting Transmissions

Mustang's manual and automatic transmissions are also upgraded for improved performance.

For the first time, Mustang is available with a five-speed automatic transmission. The 5R55S automatic provides a unique combination of off-the-line jump and remarkably good highway fuel economy. A powerful new transmission control computer can communicate with the engine electronics 10 times faster than before and precisely controls shift duration and timing.

For those who prefer to compute their own shift points, five-speed manual transmissions are standard. The V-8 powered GT is equipped with a rugged Tremec 3650 gearbox, while V-6 cars get a Tremec T-5 manual. Both benefit from improved shift quality and efficiency. The shift linkage provides quick gear engagement and a solid feel.

A Chassis Born to Run

The purpose-built, muscle-car chassis is new from the ground up, with a state-of-the-art front suspension and precise, three-link rear axle with Panhard rod. Combined with direct, accurate steering and powerful disc brakes, Mustang now has what it takes to catapult the American muscle-car driving experience to the next level.

Track time – at drag strips and on road courses – was a critical part of development, as chassis engineers pushed prototypes to the limit in search of the perfect power-and-handling blend.

'We spent countless hours refining this car on development drives and at the track,' said Mark Rushbrook, vehicle dynamics supervisor. 'The car has been to the Nelson Ledges road course in Ohio several times for 24-hour runs and has spent months on our own straightaways and handling courses at our proving grounds in Arizona, Michigan and Florida.'

By the time testing is completed, prototypes of the new Mustang will have logged nearly 1 million miles on streets and highways and tracks throughout the United States, Canada and Sweden in all types of weather.

Strutting an Advanced Front Suspension

The MacPherson-strut front suspension's reverse 'L' lower control arms are the product of a groundbreaking manufacturing technology used to produce steel control arms that actually weigh less than some comparable cast-aluminum designs. MacPherson struts – originally developed in the 1940s by Earl S. MacPherson, a Ford engineer – are widely renowned for their ability to deliver both comfort and control with reduced weight.

A firm bushing is positioned at the point where the shorter forward leg of the L-arm connects to the chassis to control lateral – or side-to-side – motion and quicken steering response. The longitudinal – fore-and-aft – movements are directed through a softer, compliant bushing at the longer, rear L-arm leg, which damps road shocks. This isolation is a direct benefit of the reverse 'L' configuration of the control arms.

Still Rock Solid – Rear Axle with New Three-Link Suspension

Mustang's characteristic solid-rear axle has evolved continuously over the past 40 years, and the new model takes the car's signature design into a new dimension.

'We talked to a lot of Mustang owners as we were developing this program,' said Hau Thai-Tang, chief engineer. 'They are a very passionate group, and a lot of them told us – very strongly – that the all-new Mustang had to have a solid rear axle.'

The solid rear axle offers several advantages that play to Mustang's strengths. It is robust, maintains constant track, toe-in and camber relative to the road surface, and it keeps body roll well under control.

For 2005, Mustang's rear suspension has a new three-link architecture with a Panhard rod that provides precise control of the rear axle. A central torque control arm is fastened to the upper front end of the differential, while trailing arms are located near each end of the axle.

The lightweight, tubular Panhard rod is parallel to the axle and attached at one end to the body and at the other to the axle. It stabilizes the rear axle side-to-side as the wheels move through jounce and rebound. It also firmly controls the axle during hard cornering. The shocks are located on the outside of the rear structural rails, near the wheels, reducing the lever effect of the axle and allowing more precise, slightly softer tuning of the shock valves.

Mustang Sound Character: The Strong, Silent Type

Mustang is faster, more agile and better looking than ever – but it's much quieter and refined for 2005. In the design process, a quiet cabin – where unwanted road and wind noise is supplanted by the signature growl of a Mustang engine – was a top priority.

The result is a car that delivers the performance Mustang buyers demand, along with a more civilized environment that makes for a pleasant driving experience, whether on long trips or in more routine travel about town.

Brakes and Traction Systems – For Control Freaks

The standard four-wheel disc brakes have the biggest rotors and stiffest calipers ever fitted to a mainstream Mustang. Twin-piston aluminum calipers clamp down on 12.4-inch ventilated front brake discs on GT models – an increase of more than 15 percent in rotor size. The V-6 Mustangs get 11.4-inch ventilated rotors that also are 30 mm thick.

In the rear, the brake rotors are 11.8 inches in diameter – more than 12 percent larger than on the 2004 model. Rear rotors are vented on the GT and solid on the V-6. A new four-channel antilock braking system is available for a greater degree of brake control.

Bundled as an option with ABS, an all-speed intelligent traction control system uses electronic sensors to constantly monitor road conditions and feed the information to a dedicated control computer capable of determining within milliseconds whether the vehicle is on dry pavement or negotiating a slippery surface. On those occasions when traction control isn't desired – like a smoky burnout at the drag strip – drivers can deactivate the system with a button conveniently located on the instrument panel's center stack, just to the right of the gauges.

Stronger, Safer, More Secure

Mustang's agility helps drivers avoid accidents like no muscle car in history. Responsive, precise controls, coupled with high levels of overall grip and the strongest brakes ever fitted to a Mustang, give the driver the controllability that can turn an impending collision into just a close shave.

If a collision is unavoidable, a stout safety cage, Ford's Personal Safety System™ restraints suite and available side air bags with head and chest coverage give occupants the best possible protection.

The Ford Motor Company Personal Safety System, one of the industry's most comprehensive safety technology packages, is standard. The system is designed to provide increased protection in many types of frontal crashes by analyzing crash factors and determining the proper response within milliseconds. It uses dual-stage driver and front-passenger air bags – capable of deploying at full or partial power – safety belt pretensioners and energy management retractors.

Standard occupant classification sensing builds on the strength of the Personal Safety System to tailor deployment of the front-passenger air bag. If the passenger seat sensor detects no weight – or very little weight, like a newspaper or a jacket – the passenger air bag is automatically switched off. If more weight is on the seat, like a small child, the air bag remains deactivated and an instrument panel light alerts the driver with the message 'PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF.' Of course, children are safest when properly restrained in the rear seat. If an adult is seated properly in the passenger seat, the air bag automatically switches on, ready to inflate within milliseconds if needed.

An optional active anti-theft package offers customers a new level of security for their Mustang. The feature is aimed directly at combating wildly high performance-car insurance premiums. The package includes:

An inclination sensing module to guard against tow-away thefts
Interior motion sensor to detect 'smash-and-grab' break-ins
Separate alarm sounder – instead of vehicle horn – to thwart thieves trying to disable the horn
High-capacity, 60-ampere-hour battery capable of sounding the alarm longer


'Few vehicles have been as closely identified with their engines over the years as the Mustang. Whether it was the Boss 302, the 351 Cleveland, the 5.0-liter or the 4.6-liter MOD engine, Mustang owners have always known – and bragged about – what was under the hood. With the new 300-horsepower, three-valve 4.6-liter MOD V-8, we're giving them plenty to brag about – again.'

–Terry Wagner
Ford Modular V-8/V-10 Engines

An engine is the heart of any muscle car, and with the new 2005 Mustang, the beat goes on stronger than ever.

A new V-8 engine pumps the Mustang GT up to an impressive 300 horsepower and 315 foot-pounds of torque – enough to get any muscle-car enthusiast's heart racing. It marks the first time the mainstream Mustang GT offers 300 horsepower – formerly exclusive Mach 1, Cobra and Boss territory.

The GT's 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD V-8 packs 40 more horsepower than the current V-8 and more than 50 percent more power than the fiery small-block 289-cubic-inch V-8 that propelled the 1964 model to stardom.

This new level of performance – on regular gas – is made possible by intelligent application of modern technology, including all-aluminum construction and a new head design that incorporates three valves per cylinder and variable cam timing.

The V-6 Mustang customer hasn't been forgotten either. The new 90-degree, single-overhead-cam 4.0-liter engine produces 202 horsepower standard – up from the prior pushrod engine's 193 hp – for a new level of performance. Peak torque is 235 foot-pounds, 10 more than the prior model's 225.

'Part of our promise of building better cars cleaner, safer and sooner is not only delivering these cars to customers sooner, but reaching the end of the quarter mile sooner, too,' said Hau Thai-Tang, Mustang chief engineer.

Electronic throttle control is new to Mustang for 2005. Each engine has been tuned to provide heart-warming performance sound and feel, without unwanted noise, vibration and harshness. New, faster electronic processors with more computing muscle and memory enable Mustang's more powerful engines to deliver even better fuel economy with lower emissions.

The High-Tech Road to 300 Horsepower

Mustang's new 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD V-8 has its roots in Ford's modular engine family that spawned stalwarts like the F-150's workhorse 5.4-liter Triton™ V-8s and the 6.8-liter V-10 found in Super Duty F-Series pickups.

The V-8's deep-skirt, lightweight aluminum engine block provides optimum stiffness and strength, saving 75 pounds compared with a cast-iron design. Computer-aided engineering was used to reinforce key areas of the block, adding rigidity without weight.

The lightweight hypereutectic aluminum pistons have short skirts, with an anti-friction coating that assures more of the power is delivered to Mustang's rear wheels and less is lost to friction. High-tension piston rings provide better cylinder sealing for long-term durability and low oil consumption. The connecting rods use Ford's cracked powdered metal manufacturing technique for precise fit. Five main bearings with cross-bolted main bearing caps further ensure durability and reduce flex. A tray attached to the main bearing caps baffles oil flow in the pan, reducing aeration and assuring proper oil feed to the crankshaft during the kind of sustained lateral maneuvers encountered in performance driving.

For refinement, both the V-8 and V-6 engine are installed using hydromount bushings on either side of the block. These liquid-filled engine mounts are tuned to quell specific unwanted vibration. The V-6 engine, with its narrower 60-degree V-angle, also uses a computer-designed, triangular cast-aluminum engine mount bracket.

In addition to offering more power and improved efficiency, Mustang's engines will meet Ultra Low-Emission Vehicle II (ULEV II) standards, which govern evaporative and tailpipe emissions. This makes the new Mustang a big part of Ford's growing environmental success story. On average, the 2005 fleet of Ford Mustangs will emit 57 percent less smog-forming pollution than the 2004 model year fleet.

Let It Breathe – Large-Port Heads Improve Efficiency

With 4.6 liters (281 cubic inches) of displacement, the Mustang GT engine generates more than 65 hp per liter. This compares with the 42 hp per liter that wowed enthusiasts when Ford first wedged a fiery, small-block 289-cubic-inch V-8 and four-barrel carburetor into the Mustang in 1964.

One of the keys to producing 300 horsepower from this relatively small displacement is Mustang's new single-overhead-cam, three-valve cylinder head design with variable cam timing. The new head gives the engine a higher compression ratio than previously possible on regular 87 octane gasoline.

Air equals engine power, and the V-8's heads use two intake valves per cylinder to move more air into the engine. A new, tuned-length exhaust manifold offers optimized exhaust flow to help scavenge burned gases from the cylinders.

The center-mounted sparkplug, for a symmetrical flame, is a Ford innovation. Longer and narrower than previous designs, it can extend down to the center of the cylinder head, while leaving as much room as possible for the valves. The compact coil-on-plug ignition system frees space under the hood and allows more precise spark control.

The three-valve heads are smaller than the previous two-valve heads, reducing weight. They also offer a more direct, 'ported' style path to the valves for better air flow at peak engine speeds. Magnesium cam covers suppress valve train noise and reduce weight. Taking weight out at the top of the engine helps lower the car's center of gravity and its roll-center axis, improving handling.

Ford's modular engine architecture lets Mustang share its aluminum heads with the new, 5.4-liter, three-valve Triton V-8 of the F-150, benefiting manufacturing efficiency. The heads in the F-150 and Mustang GT engines even share the same part number, including camshaft. However, sophisticated electronic controls, including the ability to regulate camshaft timing, allowed Ford powertrain engineers to tune both engines quite differently to achieve their individual missions.

The Mustang's torque curve is steeper and peaks at 315 foot-pounds at 4,250 rpm. The Triton delivers more total torque, at 365 foot-pounds, with peak torque coming in more quickly at 3,750 rpm.

The 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD V-8 engine has the same cylinder bore diameter as the 5.4-liter, three-valve Triton, but a much shorter stroke – 3.54 inches vs. 4.17 inches. This gives it free-revving performance characteristics well-matched to a performance car.

Variable Camshaft Timing – Power Without Penalty

Variable camshaft timing was a key in the quest to wring more power from the Mustang's 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD V-8 engine, while simultaneously improving efficiency and reducing emissions. VCT lets allows the valves operate at optimum points in the combustion cycle, tailored to the engine's speed and load at that instant.

The Mustang VCT system allows up to 50 degrees of cam variation in relation
to the crankshaft angle. Ford's 'dual-equal' variable cam timing design shifts timing of both the intake and exhaust valves together, with one camshaft per cylinder head. This provides all the benefits of, but creates far less complexity and adds less weight than, VCT systems that actuate the intake and exhaust valves separately.

The cams operate both sets of valves using low-profile roller-finger followers, helping reduce friction and keep the overall engine height – and thus, hood line – low. Cam position is controlled by an electronic solenoid that modulates oil pressure to advance or retard the cam timing based on input from the engine's electronic control computer.

Tuning the Mustang Sound

Topping off each engine is an all-new intake manifold, specifically tuned for the Mustang. Powertrain and NVH engineers worked together using computer-aided design and engineering, along with sound-quality studies, to achieve the right balance of sound characteristics and maximum airflow, assuring the Mustang engines sound as good as they perform.

Just as an opera singer's vocal cords vibrate to make a pitch, Mustang's tuned intakes create a distinctive, powerful, soul-stirring sound.

For the 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD V-8 engine, the new manifold incorporates a low-profile, dual-bore throttle body that draws cold air from outside the engine compartment and uses tuned intake runners for maximum power and efficiency.

The composite integrated air-fuel module incorporates a flat, stainless steel fuel rail with charge motion control valves at the end of each intake runner. The air-fuel mixture entering an engine behaves differently at different engine speeds and loads. At low engine speeds and light loads, these specially shaped CMCV flaps are closed to speed up the intake charge and induce a tumble effect in the combustion chamber. This causes the fuel to mix more thoroughly, and burn more quickly and efficiently. At higher engine speeds, they open fully for maximum flow into the combustion chambers at wide-open throttle.

Electronic Throttle Control – Steady Hand on the Power

Mustang's sophisticated electronics system – five times faster and boasting up to eight times more memory than the previous generation EEC-V powertrain control module – constantly monitors an array of sensors to make thousands of split-second decisions.

The most important sensor for the all-new electronic throttle control system is the one at the driver's right foot.

Mustang's powertrain computer infers the driver's intent from the position of the accelerator pedal. It continually matches this information against other data – like engine speed and load – and electrically operates the throttle-body at the front end of the intake manifold to achieve results the driver demands.

Mash the pedal, and the throttle body will open as fast as the engine can handle the inrushing air. At the same time, the powertrain computer optimizes the variable cam timing, fuel flow and transmission shift points to match.

This system – called torque-based electronic throttle control – is a direct descendant of technology first used in fighter aircraft. It delivers improved efficiency and better acceleration, compared with systems that simply mimic the action of a mechanical throttle linkage.

Throttle control is tuned to deliver consistent response over a wide range of operating conditions, including temperature and altitude, which influence engine response and power. Although lower density air still limits peak engine power, part-throttle response does not degrade with high altitude or high temperatures. The transmission shift schedule also changes to compensate.

'The benefit of electronic throttle control to the driver is an effortless feeling that gives drivers more of what they want, when they want it,' said Eric Levine, Mustang V-8 Engine supervisor.

Because the stiff metal cable between a traditional accelerator pedal and the engine is eliminated, so is a traditional pathway into the cabin for noise and vibration.

The ETC system has numerous safety features, including redundant sensors and double return springs at the accelerator pedal, dual sensors at the throttle valve, a closed-throttle-default actuator, backup microprocessors and self-diagnostic software. Multiple fail-safe mechanisms are provided by the software and hardware, and the system is fault-tolerant – if a problem is detected, a 'limp-home' mode allows the car to move under its own power.

4.0-liter SOHC V-6 – Anything but Basic Performance

With technologies like electronic throttle control, traction control and an available five-speed automatic transmission, the base Mustang's new 4.0-liter SOHC V-6 powertrain is anything but basic. And with 200 horsepower and 235 foot-pounds of torque, the V-6 engine offers real Mustang performance at a more economical price.

The 4.0-liter V-6 offers improved NVH, higher power output and a more compact package than the previous Mustang's 3.8-liter pushrod V-6. It features low-profile heads with single overhead cams driven by a slave shaft mounted in the 'V' of the engine. This results in a lower overall engine height than a conventional overhead cam setup.

As in V-8 applications, a new composite intake manifold was developed specifically for duty in the Mustang. The 4.0-liter V-6 also gets a unique camshaft grind, new tuned-length exhaust manifolds, a new flywheel and an oil pan. In addition, Mustang engineers designed an enhanced fuel injection system with reduced evaporative leakage, a new EGR system and revised cooling circuit for the 4.0-liter V-6.

Key noise-reducing features of the 4.0-liter SOHC V-6 include a girdled crankcase for increased strength and rigidity, a dual-mode crankshaft damper, coated skirt pistons, optimized bearing clearances and isolated composite cam covers.

Research with current and potential customers played a role in achieving the sound quality buyers expect from a Mustang engine. Listening studies were conducted with current and potential Mustang owners to determine precisely what engine sounds were 'powerful.' The resulting sound reinforces the American muscle-car personality of the 2005 Mustang.

Close-Ratio 5R55S Automatic – One Smooth Operator

For the first time, Mustang is available with a five-speed automatic transmission.
The 5R55S automatic, also used in the Lincoln LS and Ford Thunderbird, has closely spaced ratios that keep the engine in its power band to produce better acceleration, with a wide ratio that provides remarkably good highway fuel economy. The new powertrain control computer delivers benefits in the transmission, as well as the engine, by precisely controlling shift duration and shift timing. Throttle position, engine speed, load, environmental factors and other parameters guide the transmission shift schedule.

A new electronic interface lets the powertrain control module communicate with the automatic transmission 10 times faster than before. For the first time, powertrain engineers could match transmission controls with other sophisticated features like variable cam timing and electronic throttle control. As a result, the entire powertrain works together to deliver smooth performance.

Slick-Shifting Five-Speed Manuals

For those who prefer to compute their own shift points, five-speed manual transmissions are standard on both the V-6 and GT versions of the 2005 Mustang.

The V-8 powered GT is equipped with a rugged Tremec 3650 gearbox; the V-6 cars get a Tremec T-5 manual. Both have been improved for shift quality and efficiency. For example, they now use a flange coupling instead of a splined drive with the driveshaft that results in better balance and reduced lash. An all-new shift linkage is designed to provide quick engagement of the gears, producing a solid feel and none of the 'notchiness' apparent on some previous Mustangs.

The boosted hydraulic clutch reduces pedal effort while still offering a performance feel. The V-6 clutch has new plate materials for durability, and the V-8 clutch has been enlarged to handle the 300 horsepower of the new 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD engine.

In both automatic and manual transmission cars, Mustang GT models use a two-piece driveshaft that can withstand higher engine speeds and torque. V-6 models use a slip-in-tube driveshaft.

The rear axle ratio is 3.55:1 for the Mustang GT when equipped with a manual transmission. All other Mustangs use a 3.31:1 final drive ratio. The Mustang GT comes standard with a traction-lock 8.8-inch rear axle for smooth launches and better grip on loose or slippery surfaces.
Mustang V-6 models use 7.5-inch ring and pinion gears. All axles have a robust ring-and-pinion gear and feature a stiff differential case to reduce flex during cornering.

‘Just Enough' Traction Control

Under some conditions, Mustang drivers may find they need a little help in harnessing all the excitement the 2005 edition has to offer.

That's where the new all-speed traction control system comes in. Standard on GT and bundled as an option with the antilock braking system on V-6 models, the traction control system takes advantage of the new Mustang's high-speed communication network by using sensor information from both the engine controller and the ABS to quickly detect whether the vehicle is on dry pavement or is negotiating a slippery surface. The new electronic throttle system and brake system thus work smoothly in concert to reduce wheel spin.

But this is a muscle car, after all, so Mustang's traction control is tuned a little differently. On dry pavement, the system allows more rear wheel slip under acceleration, enhancing the performance feel of rear-wheel drive. This means drivers still can 'hang it out' a bit when the going gets particularly spirited. If the system detects slippery conditions associated with snow, ice or wet roads, it acts more aggressively to help the driver maintain stability.

On those occasions when traction control isn't desired – such as a smoky burnout at the drag strip – drivers can deactivate the system with a button conveniently located on the instrument panel's center stack, just to the right of the gauges. Another push will turn the system back on; otherwise, it will activate automatically the next time the vehicle is started.

Driving Dynamics

A new-from-the-ground-up chassis and careful attention to vehicle dynamics give the all-new Mustang world-class ride and handling.

The starting point is an all-new, purpose-built, muscle-car platform with exceptional body stiffness and a very high strength-to-weight ratio. With this ultra-rigid structure, Mustang engineers could tune spring, damping and bushing rates to a finer degree than ever possible.

Using computer-aided design and engineering technology, the Mustang team took months off the earliest phases of component development. That gave driving dynamics experts more time to work out final chassis tuning – and they used it to deliver an unprecedented combination of road handling and comfort in the 2005 Mustang.

Track time – at drag strips and on road courses – was a critical part of development, as chassis engineers pushed prototypes to the limit in search of the perfect power-and-handling blend.

'We spent countless hours refining this car on development drives and at the track,' said Mark Rushbrook, vehicle development manager. 'The car has been to the Nelson Ledges road course in Ohio several times for 24-hour runs and has spent months on our own straightaways and handling courses at our proving grounds in Arizona, Michigan and Florida.'

Street time was just as important. Mustang is a muscle car designed for everyday driving, and it must deliver a quiet, comfortable, reassuring ride in a real world plagued by potholes and uncertain road conditions. By the time testing is completed, prototypes of the new Mustang will have logged nearly 1 million miles on streets, highways and tracks throughout the United States, Canada and even Sweden in all types of weather.

A quiet cabin – where unwanted road and wind noise is supplanted by the signature growl of a Mustang engine – was a top development priority. Computers carefully mapped the natural vibrating frequencies of body components to pinpoint areas where unwanted noise was transmitted. Based on this data, components were modified or material was applied to quell the unwanted noise. Despite the new, quieter interior, the car still has plenty of 'character.' There will be no mistaking it for something other than a Mustang.

The result is a car that delivers the edge – the performance characteristics Mustang buyers demand – along with the smooth – a more civilized environment that makes for a pleasant driving experience on long trips or in more routine travel about town.

Front Suspension – Born to Run like a Mustang

One of the more critical development areas was the front suspension, where the Mustang design team delivered a high degree of precision handling, coupled with a smooth ride, all while harnessing the power a top-of-the-line GT can deliver.

Engineers carefully examined the BMW M3, a car believed by many to deliver just such qualities, before they laid out the Mustang's suspension. They used lessons learned from the M3 and the Lincoln LS to create the new Mustang's chassis design.

Mustang engineers settled on using a coil-over MacPherson strut front suspension with reverse 'L' lower control arms made of lightweight I-section steel. MacPherson struts – originally developed in the 1940s by Earl S. MacPherson, a Ford engineer – are widely renowned for their ability to deliver both comfort and control with reduced weight.

The L-shaped lower control arms offer additional advantages over A-arm or wishbone-shaped suspension components when it comes to blending sure handling with ride comfort. A firm bushing is positioned at the point where the shorter forward leg of the L-arm connects to the chassis to control side-to-side motion and quicken steering response. The fore-and-aft movements are directed through a softer, compliant bushing at the longer, rear L-arm leg, which damps road shocks. This isolation is a direct benefit of the reverse L-configuration of the control arms.

Springs are mounted concentrically on the MacPherson struts in a coil-over-shock configuration. The layout allows the shocks to damp forces in the same vector as the spring, cutting friction and enabling more precise shock-valve tuning. A stabilizer bar – 34 mm on the GT and 28.6 mm for V-6 models – helps limit body roll.

At the core of Mustang's advanced new front suspension is groundbreaking manufacturing technology used to produce steel control arms that actually weigh less than some comparable cast-aluminum designs.

Employed for the first time in a production vehicle, this new manufacturing technique allows two C-section stampings to be assembled back-to-back with welded seams. This creates an I-section profile that offers an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. Material is efficiently moved toward the edges of the control arms for increased stiffness, while the center is kept thin to
minimize weight.

Reducing unsprung weight – components that are positioned below the springs and shocks – improves the suspension's response to abrupt changes, like pavement seams. Drivers will feel more connected to the road, while enjoying a smoother, quieter ride.

'Having too much unsprung weight is like trying to play basketball in ski boots,' said Rushbrook. 'Keeping the unsprung weight low gives the suspension the quickness to stay firmly planted to the road.'

The new steering system not only makes Mustang more enjoyable to drive on the open road, it also greatly improves parking lot maneuverability. The rack-and-pinion linkage provides crisp turn-in and excellent response, with a turning circle nearly 3 feet smaller than the 2004 model.

Rear Suspension – Mustang's Solid New Design

Working on a clean sheet of paper, Mustang's engineering team could have selected any type of setup at the rear, including an independent suspension. So why choose a solid rear axle? The answer lies in Mustang's position as America's sports car.

'We talked to a lot of Mustang owners when we were developing this program,' said Hau Thai-Tang, chief nameplate engineer. 'They are a very passionate group, and a lot of them told us – very strongly – that the all-new Mustang must have a solid rear axle.'

Although a mainstay of muscle-car design, the solid axle hasn't always been viewed as its strong suit. Early hopped-up sedans often overwhelmed their leaf-spring live axles, which weren't designed for the demands of performance driving. The slender leaf springs were prone to side sway in hard maneuvers and to wind up and 'hop' the rear wheels under full throttle. The tendency of the low-grip bias-ply tires of the day to lose traction and 'burn rubber' actually was a blessing in disguise, as it took pressure off the suspension.

For 40 years, Mustangs have featured ever-improving solid rear axle designs.

For 2005, Mustang's rear suspension takes a completely different approach to combat wheel hop. Engineers opted for a three-link architecture with a Panhard rod that provides precise control of the rear axle. A central torque control arm is fastened to the upper front end of the differential, while trailing arms are located near each end of the axle.

A lightweight, tubular Panhard rod is parallel to the axle and attached at one end to the body and at the other to the axle. It stabilizes the rear axle side-to-side as the wheels move through jounce and rebound. It also firmly controls the axle during hard cornering.

Constant rate coil springs and outboard shocks are tuned for a firm, yet compliant, ride. The shocks are located on the outside of the rear structural rails, near the wheels, reducing the lever effect of the axle and allowing more precise, slightly softer tuning of the shock valves.

The GT version of the car incorporates a separate rear stabilizer bar to reduce body lean further.

Previous Mustangs used a simplified rear suspension linkage that acted on composite force vectors. By using separate longitudinal and lateral links in the all-new Mustang, engineers could isolate the forces acting on the rear axle and tune the bushings accordingly. As a result, the axle is more precisely controlled throughout its range of motion. Road shocks are isolated and damped, and the solid lateral control of the rear axle reduces body sway and improves control and stability over mid-corner bumps.

The solid rear axle offers several other advantages that play to Mustang's strengths. It is robust, maintains constant track, toe-in and camber relative to the road surface, and it keeps body roll well under control.

In short, the Mustang's sophisticated rear geometry provides handling precision and performance worthy of a modern muscle car. But that doesn't mean any of the fun has been dialed out of the new model. Keeping enthusiasts in mind, Ford chassis and powertrain engineers worked together to make sure owners of the new Mustang still can 'chirp' the rear tires when the spirit moves them.

Brakes – Adding Whoa to the Go

Bigger usually means better when it comes to brakes, but that is only part of the story behind the 2005 Mustang's sophisticated standard four-wheel-disc braking system.

Along with Mustang's biggest-ever rotors and stiffest calipers, comes a new, four-channel anti-lock braking system. Standard on GT and optional on V-6, it enhances braking performance. In addition to helping prevent wheel lock-up, the new system has electronic brake force distribution, which distributes braking power to the wheels where it can be used most effectively.

Dual piston aluminum floating front calipers clamp down on 316 mm (12.4-inch) front brake discs on GT models – an increase of more than 15 percent in rotor size. On the GT, the brakes have 14 percent more swept area than those of the previous model. These rotors are 30 mm thick and are ventilated to provide consistent stopping power, even under the strain of excessive heat induced by repeated hard braking. The payoff comes in shorter stopping distances, better pedal feel and longer pad and rotor life.

The V-6 Mustangs get 293 mm (11.5-inch) ventilated rotors that also are 30 mm thick. This represents a 6 percent increase in rotor size over the previous V-6 Mustang brakes.

In the rear, the brake rotors are 300 mm (11.8 inches) in diameter – more than 12 percent larger than the previous Mustang – and 19 mm thick. Rear rotors are vented on both the GT and V-6. Single-piston calipers sweep 18 percent more area than the rear brakes on the previous Mustang.

Gripping Profile: New Mustang Wheels and Tires

No muscle car deserves the title unless suited up with the proper wheels and tires, and the new Mustang won't leave the factory half-dressed. The array of wheels available on the 2005 Mustang is engineered to meet demanding performance requirements.

The standard 17-inch wheels on Mustang GT are 8 inches wide and equipped with Pirelli P235/55ZR17 W-speed-rated all-season performance tires for year-round driving.

V-6 models have 7-inch-wide, 16-inch wheels. As with the Mustang GT, all-season rubber is standard, with a slightly higher profile S-rated BF Goodrich tire, sized at P215/65R16. These tires are designed to offer long wear without compromising performance.

In concert with the ABS and traction control systems, the new, all-season tires make Mustang more practical in rain, ice or snow. On dry pavement, they provide an exceptionally engaging driving experience with high overall grip and good steering response.

Aesthetically, street rodders long have known that larger wheels and tires better fill the car's wheel wells, adding meat to the muscle. The 2005 Mustang's tires boast more sidewall than many other sports cars, enhancing the muscle car look and providing a better match for this vehicle's blend of power and handling.


'Mustang attracts two kinds of drivers – those under 30 and those over 30. Really, that's its strength. America's most popular nameplate transcends demographics and socioeconomic trends – because Mustang is really more than a car. It's an icon that's been woven into the fabric of America for 40 years and running.'

–J Mays,
Group Vice President, Design
Ford Motor Company

All-New Ford Mustang Embodies American Muscle

The all-new, all-American 2005 Ford Mustang is a bold, clean and contemporary version of history's most celebrated muscle car. Its design is rooted in an unmistakable heritage that gave birth to an icon and, more recently, unceremoniously nudged some of its traditional competitors into retirement.

The 2005 Mustang was spawned from the 2003 concept car that stole hearts along the auto show circuit and signaled that America's only remaining muscle car would be reborn – this time with even more attitude.

'We weren't just redesigning a car, we were adding another chapter to an epic,' said J Mays, Ford group vice president, Design. 'The new Mustang's modern design speaks to its technical advancement – without losing the classic Mustang bad-boy image.'

Icon with Attitude

The Mustang legend was made on the streets of America and cemented on the silver screen, where it has been the number-one car in starring roles since the 1960s. Through a mixture of tire smoke, growling V-8s and Hollywood stalwarts such as Steve McQueen in Bullitt and Nicolas Cage in Gone in 60 Seconds, Mustang has been forever entwined with American pop culture. Today, that connection is reiterated in everything from Sheryl Crow music videos to countless parades across America.

The pairing of an all-new platform and clean-sheet approach to styling was central to the design team's mission to create a Mustang boasting the 'old school' swagger that personified cars of the late 1960s, but with the capability to carve out a new niche. Designers wallpapered Ford studios with images of classic Mustangs and movie tough guys for inspiration.

From a distance, there is no chance of mistaking the 2005's muscular, honest silhouette for anything other than a Mustang.

Ford's holistic approach to design – and a tripling of its investment in interiors – delivered a breakthrough Mustang cabin that stretches muscle-car definitions with its breadth of choices. In addition to three distinct interiors and an available authentic aluminum panel adorning the width of the dashboard, an available color-adjustable instrument cluster offers buyers almost limitless interior accent options.

'The new Mustang redefines expectations for muscle-car interiors much like the F-150 changed the game for pickups,' said Mays. 'We are helping Mustang owners create unique interiors to get the same adrenaline rush inside and outside the car.'

40 Years of American Muscle, One Modern Classic

There is no mistaking the new Mustang as the latest evolution in a long line of intentionally bold, uniquely honest, purely American sports cars. Its signature long hood and short rear deck play on 40 years of history, as do classic design cues that have helped define Mustangs since the '60s: C-scoops in the sides, three-element taillamps and a galloping horse badge in the center of the grille.

The Mustang's shark-like nose with the forward-leaning grille gives it an attitude reminiscent of the 1967 model, while jeweled round headlamps in trapezoidal housings deliver a striking new design flair.

'The new Mustang is pure American muscle,' said Mays. 'But rest assured, we're not insisting on history at the expense of our future.'

Like all the best Mustangs, this one communicates motion even when it's standing still. The all-new model features a close-coupled greenhouse, strong shoulders and aggressive flares, lending it a powerful stance.

The new car's front wheels have been moved significantly forward, reducing the front overhang by 4.6 inches. This gives the 2005 Mustang a modern, unmistakably rear-wheel-drive look. Pushing the wheels to the corners results in a 6-inch wheelbase gain over the 2004 model and increased interior compartment width, which Ford package engineers used for increased driver and passenger room. Overall, it's 4.4 inches longer, 1.4 inches taller and almost an inch wider than the 2004 model.

The exterior is best described as lovingly styled, with no unnecessary adornment. A sharp accent line runs the length of the body and culminates in a 'C-scoop' design stamped into the sheet metal just behind the door cutline, creating a visual link with the C-pillar. The small window in the C-pillar is a modern departure – past Mustangs incorporated louvers or scoops.

The angled, hard-creased appearance of the C-scoops and their relationship to the door cut provide a look of precise technical integration. The theme is reinforced by a subtle body crease that runs through the filler cap door.

'Mustang is – and has always been – about emotion,' said Larry Erickson, Mustang chief designer. 'This car brings to life the design and performance people have come to expect from Mustang – with a level of engineering precision never before seen in muscle cars.'

Two Versions, Both Authentic

The Mustang V-6 and GT models are clearly distinguished.

Out front, the V-8 Mustang GT has a more aggressive nose, with circular fog lamps in the black grille in line with the headlamps. The lower fascia is upright, with an 'air dam' performance look.

The V-6 Mustang has a uniform egg-crate grille and a swept back lower fascia and incorporates horizontal vents.

Both grilles feature the classic galloping pony logo.

From the side, the Mustang GT looks more planted, low and aggressive, thanks to its body-color lower rocker panel extension.

Differences between the two models' rear fascia panels are driven by performance considerations. The GT features semi-circular cutouts behind each wheel to accommodate the car's large exhaust pipe tips. The GT also gets a raised spoiler on the decklid.

Both models boast tri-bar taillamps and a circular chrome Mustang badge centered in the rear face of the decklid. Edges of the large, chunky badge are knurled with generous, square-shouldered cutouts, adding to the car's powerful, machined-billet image. On V-6 models, the Mustang pony logo is centered on a black field; GT versions get a special GT badge.

Exterior color choices include black, white, silver, red, burgundy, bright blue, dark blue, mineral gray, yellow and Mustang Legend Lime Gold. Many of these colors were inspired by classic Mustang hues, some with the same names.

Beefy Rolling Stock

Wheels and tires are important design elements on any muscle car – form follows function, after all. All wheels on the 2005 Mustang are aluminum and measure at least 16 inches in diameter.

The V-6 Mustang offers a choice of two 10-spoke wheels: a base version finished with bright silver metallic paint or an optional wheel with bright machined surfaces and a center three-spoke spinner ornament that carries the classic pony-and-bars logo. Mustang GTs sport 17-inch aluminum wheels in a classic five-spoke tapered 'mag' style.

All models have wide, high-performance, all-season tires designed with more sidewall than many other sports cars to enhance the muscular look and provide a better match for this vehicle's blend of power and handling.

'Out on the street, credibility often means having the sharpest wheels and best tires,' said Hau Thai-Tang, chief nameplate engineer. 'All the available wheels scream ‘muscle car.''

Authentic Interior

Mustang looks every bit as good from behind the wheel, with a passenger compartment few would expect from a muscle car.

The modern interior pays homage to Mustang heritage with a symmetrical instrument panel and square-arched 'eyebrows' on each side of the center stack, while the quality materials, precision craftsmanship and technical innovations take the 2005 edition to a whole new level.

On GT models, the available Interior Color Accent Package – charcoal with red leather seating surfaces, red door inserts and red floor mats – is as much a jaw-dropper as the interior of the acclaimed concept vehicle that inspired it. The cabin is accented with real aluminum hardware for a look of technical precision.

'This is a $30,000 interior in a $20,000 car,' Erickson said. 'The functional, contemporary look of this interior and its precise execution set a new standard.'

A Dash with Flash

The cockpit is dominated by large, circular, chrome-ringed speedometer and tachometer gauges with radial numeric markers in a classic Mustang style. The barrel-like performance gauges are located on either side of a panel that offers information on fuel level, battery, oil temperature and pressure. But Mustang's bold instrumentation has an important advantage over its ancestors and all others: It can be customized at the push of a button.

Thanks to the industry's first available color-configurable instrument cluster, Mustang owners can mix and match lighting to create more than 125 different color backgrounds to suit their personality, mood, outfit or whim.

The technology makes use of light-emitting diodes – green, blue and red – projected through 'light pipe' fittings on the sides of the speedometer, tachometer and vehicle operation indicator panel. It allows Mustang owners to blend these colors and create more personalized instrumentation.

Ford engineers came up with the idea when reviewing concept instrument panels with suppliers. One such cluster displayed different colors to show options for single-color backgrounds.

'During Mustang research clinics, we noticed that many of our customers already were customizing their interiors with different instrument panel features,' said Dean Nowicki, Ford Mustang electrical engineering team leader. 'The concept display was intended to offer choices, and we just decided we wanted all the colors.'

Attention to Detail

History and heritage are evident in the chrome-ringed air vents that are aligned vertically across the dash, precisely in line with the gauges. As in the 1967 model, the steering wheel has three spokes with a black center hub marked by the horse and tricolor bars logo.

The center stack is clean and uncluttered for easy use of the radio, climate control and other controls. The short-throw five-speed manual shifter is topped with a substantial knob to deliver a feel of precision and control. The automatic shifter is beefy, with a classic T-handle top.

In addition to the color accent package, Mustang boasts an available appearance package that adds real aluminum panels across the width of the dashboard. These panels are horizontally ribbed, providing a tactile, as well as visual accent. As part of the package, manual transmission cars get an aluminum shifter knob, while automatics feature aluminum trim on the shaft and T-handle. A bright trim ring surrounds the base of the shifter, and steering wheel spokes are wrapped in aluminum.

The appearance package also includes black door panel inserts that help set off the extra metal hardware, such as brushed-metal-finished door handles. Bright aluminum kick plates on the doorsills bear the Mustang name in capital letters.

The base Mustang features highly supportive, cloth bucket seats that are comfortable on even the longest drives. Options include leather seating surfaces, six-way power seat adjustment and a tilt steering wheel.

Most frequently used controls are located within easy reach, including speed control buttons that are mounted on the steering wheel spokes. Consoles overhead and between the front seats provide handy spots for small items. Dual cup holders in the center console and deep pockets in each door offer additional storage.

Two 12-volt power points are standard – a single in-dash power point and a hidden power point in the armrest storage area of the center console.

Less of a Squeeze

Thanks to efficient packaging and the larger overall size of the new Mustang, all four occupants enjoy more room. Overall, the new model offers the driver 0.5 inch more headroom and 1.8 inches more shoulder room. Rear passengers also enjoy 1.1 inches more legroom and 1.2 inches more shoulder room in their sculpted bucket seats.

'The tallest drivers in our customer base have not been fully happy with previous Mustangs,' said Keith Knudsen, package supervisor. 'We've addressed that in this all-new car, while maintaining the ‘cockpit feel' essential to a driver's car. But we wanted to improve comfort for passengers, too. The extra cabin space makes a world of difference on long drives.'

Beyond these gains, the seating position is more natural and comfortable for most drivers. The steering wheel, shifter and pedals are all placed optimally for enthusiast driving.

For cargo versatility, split-folding rear seatbacks are standard, and the trunk capacity is 12.3 cubic feet – an increase of 13 percent.

More Standard Equipment than Ever

Mustang has always stood for value. The 2005 Ford Mustang has a standard feature list that makes its low purchase price an even better value.

Highlights include:

Standard power windows on all models with driver and passenger one-touch up (a new feature for 2005) and down
Standard 'global open and close' windows – holding down on the unlock button lowers all windows while turning and holding the key in the lock raises them
Standard power exterior mirrors on all models
Standard power locking system with remote keyless entry, panic alarm and a key fob trunk release
Standard auto locking on automatic-equipped models
Standard heated rear window on all models
Standard interval wipers on all models
Standard fog lamps on GT
Standard speed control
Audio: All Systems Go

There are three audio systems offered on the 2005 Mustang. Base models get an 80-watt system with a single-CD player and four speakers. An optional 500-watt system includes two gigantic subwoofers mounted in the front doors, premium speakers in the rear and a six-disc, in-dash CD changer with MP3 capability.

An even more powerful 1,000-watt Shaker Audiophile system adds dual 500-watt subwoofers in the trunk. Computer-aided engineering was used to help package a bass chamber with the same volume as the old unit while leaving more room for luggage. The new subwoofers, mounted to the right side of the trunk, use about a third of the space of the previous system offered in the Mustang.

Modular Electrical Architecture

The groundwork for Mustang's new features and content is the car's all-new, state-of-the-art electronics architecture, which allowed the design team to add content while minimizing cost, weight and complexity.

Almost all of the car's electronic functions are integrated on a controlled area network, or CAN. At the heart of the system is a 'smart junction box,' which analyzes and disseminates many of the car's electronic functions, including the powertrain, safety, traction, security and convenience equipment.

The CAN electrical system is the enabling technology behind a host of new features, including:

A new optional message center information display that provides trip-meter functions
Global open and close windows
Standard delayed accessory power and a standard battery saver feature that disables the interior lights and headlamps when inadvertently left on
Standard power windows, mirrors and door locks plus 'smart locking,' which will not allow the driver's door to be locked inadvertently

Source - Ford
How can you top something as successful as the all-new 2005 Mustang coupe?

You drop the top.

The 2005 Ford Mustang convertible, which will reach showrooms in the spring of 2005, is the first in a string of specialty versions of the new Mustang. Just as noteworthy, it is the most solid, best handling and most refined open-air version yet of this American legend.

The convertible uses the same ingredients that have made the 2005 Mustang coupe magical:

Totally new architecture

Muscular stance

Bold style

Brawny engine

Rear-drive excitement


And because the convertible was designed alongside the coupe and not as an afterthought, it is much more solid than coupe-derived convertibles of the past. Better still, it retains all of the personality that has made the Ford Mustang one of the most-loved automotive nameplates in history.

There are more than 250 Mustang clubs from around the world with the largest - The Mustang Club of America - touting some 11,000 members alone. And when you consider that of the nearly eight million Mustangs sold since 1965, almost one million of them have been convertibles - it's clear that the convertible is a key part of Mustang's success.


The 2005 Mustang convertible was designed from the ground up to deliver a more rigid body structure without adding burdensome weight. This was accomplished by engineering it in tandem with the coupe. An added benefit of this process - one that helped meet a goal set for the convertible's exterior design - was that it provided the car with a cohesive, integrated look. It does not look like a coupe that has undergone reconstructive surgery to become a convertible.

The fabric top also seals better than did those of previous models and it affords superior rearward visibility. Looking for new and better ways to do things, Ford engineers designed a z-fold top that gives the Mustang convertible a finished appearance with the top down.

Aside from the top, the 2005 Mustang convertible shares the look of a legend with its coupe sibling. The signature long hood, short deck and classic design cues may be found on both. There's an unmistakable hint of Mustang notchbacks of yesteryear in the convertible's profile and stance - with the same athletic proportions, save for today's bigger, wider wheels and tires, that make it look as good at rest as it does at speed.


Just as it does with its exterior design and engineering, the 2005 Mustang convertible makes a statement with its interior. Thanks to intelligent engineering that resulted in a convertible platform with more than twice the torsional stiffness of the previous version, this is the most quiet and solid drop top Mustang ever produced. The squeaks, shakes and rattles to which convertibles typically are prone are startlingly missing from the 2005 Mustang convertible.

Also improved is the rearward visibility. The 2005 Mustang convertible comes with a wide glass backlite (including a defroster), full quarter windows and slim C-pillars, all of which offer a driver a better look out the back.

Both passengers in the back and front will appreciate the lack of wind-related buffeting and noise when the top is down. With the windshield header more steeply raked than on the coupe and a modified rear seatback, the 2005 Mustang convertible has no need for add-on devices to block the wind.

Aside from these touches, the 2005 Mustang convertible shares the coupe's look of a much more expensive car. Mustang's past is honored by the twin-pod instrument panel and the present is addressed via modern materials and Ford's acclaimed attention to interior design and details. Plus, there's an optional color-configurable instrument panel, an industry first, that gives the driver more than 125 different color backgrounds to illuminate the gauges and controls.


The typical convertible 'conversion' can add as much as 300 pounds. Much of the weight comes from the metal added to brace the structure to restore some of its strength after the top is cut off. Mustang engineers considered how they could add strength into both the 2005 coupe and convertible. For instance, they were able to design body joints and rocker panels that give the convertible a commendable level of stiffness without the need for additional bracing.

The payoff from 'adding lightness' is evident. For one thing, the 2005 Mustang convertible shares its suspension geometry and virtually all its suspension tuning with the coupe. As a result, never before have the coupe and convertible ridden and handled so much alike. Another benefit of the convertible's sensibly managed weight program is that excess poundage does not sap acceleration.

Like the 2005 Mustang coupe, the convertible uses a MacPherson strut front suspension and a rigid rear axle that has surprised the automotive press with its composure and handling prowess. The secret for its success is a three-link setup with a Panhard rod that maintains precise control over the axle.

Steering is via a power-assisted rack-and-pinion system.

Disc brakes are fitted at all four corners. The Mustang GT rotors are the biggest ever used on a mainstream Mustang and the calipers are the stiffest. A 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) is standard on the GT convertible and optional on the V-6. ABS also comes with traction control. This all-speed system can be switched off when the driver desires to 'hang it out' a bit on dry pavement, or when a smoky burnout is in order for an acceleration run.

Standard tires on the GT are W-rated P235/55ZR-17 all-season performance radials on 17- by 8-inch alloy wheels. The V-6 convertible comes with 16- by 7-inch wheels with T-rated P215/65R-16 all-season tires.


Mustang is the very symbol of American muscle, and the 2005 Mustang convertible is no exception.

The base engine is a 4.0-liter SOHC V-6. Producing 210 horsepower and 240 foot-pounds of torque, it is more powerful than the 260-cubic-inch displacement V-8 that was an option when Mustang was first introduced.

For those who want something more, the V-8-powered GT convertible boasts the same 300-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 as its coupe counterpart. The GT's new three-valve V-8 has variable cam timing and thus generates 40 more horsepower than the previous-generation Mustang GT V-8. Automotive historians also will note that this new 281-cubic-inch engine produces 50 percent more power with less displacement than the legendary small-block 289 V-8 of 1964.

While they are responsive, both Mustang engines are respectful of the environment. Both meet Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle II (ULEV II) standards. On average, the 2005 fleet for Ford Mustangs will emit 57 percent less smog-forming pollution than the 2004-model-year fleet.


For the first time, the Mustang convertible is available with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The 5R55S automatic is optional with either the base V-6 or the GT's V-8 and has closely spaced gears to keep the engine running in the sweet part of its power band. This assists acceleration as well as fuel efficiency.

Standard on both V-8 and V-6 models of the 2005 Mustang convertible, is a Tremec 5-speed manual.


While the agility and acceleration of the 2005 Mustang convertible can help a driver avoid an accident, not all bad situations can be escaped. That's the point at which passive safety systems take over.

Here again a smartly structured body comes into play. The rigid core of the 2005 Mustang convertible creates a safety cage that helps protect the cabin from deformation and intrusion during an impact. The front of the car is designed to help channel the violent energy of a collision away from vehicle occupants.

The Ford Personal Safety System is also there to serve with dual-stage driver and front-passenger air bags as well as safety belt pretensioners and energy management retractors. Side-impact air bags for the driver and front passenger are optional.

And to help you keep a Mustang convertible in your stable, an optional active anti-theft package provides increased levels of protection, including a separate alarm sounder, new anti-tow sensor, ultrasonic interior motion sensor, perimeter anti-theft protection and even a high-capacity battery to keep sounding the alarm longer.


With the 2005 model year, Mustang has moved to a new plant from its long-time home at the Dearborn Assembly Plant at the Ford Rouge Complex. All Mustangs are now made at the AutoAlliance International assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The 2005 Mustang convertible will go on sale in the spring.

Source - Ford

Ford Mustang GT-R

Ford Mustang Cobra SVT Mystichrome

Ford Mustang Bullitt GT
Ford announced it will introduce the 2001 Mustang Bullitt GT, a performance derivative inspired by the legendary 1968 Mustang Fastback that co-starred with Steve McQueen in the classic Warner Bros. Pictures film, 'Bullitt.' The decision to put the Bullitt into production came after Ford received overwhelming positive response from consumers who first saw a concept version of the car at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show.

'The movie has some of the greatest car-chase scenes ever filmed,' says Ford Division President, Jim O'Connor. 'The 1968 fastback Mustang GT 390, driven by Steve McQueen, created an indelible image in the minds of millions of people. We have taken some of the passion from the Hollywood film and put it in an exciting new car.'

The 2001 Bullitt features exterior enhancements that visually and emotionally connect it to the 1968 fastback from the film. These modifications include unique side scoops, 17-inch Bullitt-style aluminum wheels and a lowered suspension.

The C-pillars and quarter panel molding have been modified to create a unique look. Rocker-panel moldings enhance the low-to-the-ground appearance. A bold, brushed aluminum fuel filler door is prominently placed on the quarter panel. Bullitt badging and polished-rolled tailpipe tips further distinguish the car. Bullitt is available in Dark Highland Green, True Blue and Black.

The heart of Bullitt GT is a 4.6L SOHC V-8 modified to improve airflow. It produces 265 horsepower and significantly more torque than the Mustang GT engine. Modifications include:

- Twin 57mm bore throttle body
- Cast aluminum intake manifold
- High flow mufflers for increased power and aggressive performance sound
- Optimized alternator and pump pulley ratios
- Bullitt's suspension translates this power into crisp road manners. The vehicle is lowered three-fourths of an inch to generate a firmer, better-balanced ride and improved handling characteristics. The performance-handling package includes:

- Re-valved Tokico struts and shocks
- Unique stabilizer bars (front and rear)
- Frame rail connectors
- Thirteen-inch Brembo front rotors and performance calipers provide excellent stopping capability. The calipers are painted red and are visible through the 17-inch wheel spokes when the car is parked, or when it is cruising the streets of San Francisco.

'Bullitt is quick off the line, handles great, stops fast and shifts easily with improved pedal relationship,' says Art Hyde, Mustang chief program engineer. 'This is the best performing GT we have ever produced.'

Inside, Bullitt features performance bucket seats with Dark Charcoal leather trim. A brushed aluminum shifter ball, shifter bezel, door sill plates with Bullitt nomenclature and aluminum pedal covers accent the interior's performance appearance. The instrument cluster gives a modern look to 1960's interiors with unique curved numeric speedometer graphics and a white-lit background.

'With the Mustang Bullitt, we have a lot of functional features that would make Steve McQueen and Detective Frank Bullitt proud today,' says O'Connor. 'Bullitt has elevated the GT into an unforgettable car that enhances Ford's performance reputation and builds on Mustang's performance tradition that began with vehicles like the Mach 1, Boss 302 and the 428 Cobra Jet.'

All these features are included for a package price of $3,695 MSRP. There will be a limited production of about 6,500 Mustang Bullitt GTs built on the same line of the Dearborn Assembly Plant that produces the V6, GT and Cobra Mustangs. Each Bullitt will come with a unique serialized identification label from the factory to ensure exclusivity and collectability.

Ford marked Mustang's 35th anniversary in 1999 with across-the-board improvements, including major styling, powertrain and handling upgrades. Increases in horsepower and torque gave more muscle to both the V-6 and V-8 engines and reduced 0-60 mph and quarter-mile acceleration times.

The exterior design harkens back to the concept of the original pony car, with styling cues like the classic long hood and short deck; a prominent hood scoop; enlarged, sculptured side scoops with a bold triangular shape; and the vehicle's signature tri-bar taillamps. Mustang enthusiasts recognize familiar details like the rear spoiler, honeycomb grille textures, and side character lines.

Mustang boasted sales of 418,812 its first year on the market after making its debut at the New York World's Fair in 1964. The millionth Mustang was produced in Dearborn, Michigan in 1966. Since then, the all-American sports car has become one of the legendary automotive brands and more than seven million Mustangs have been sold.

Steve McQueen's heirs have been working closely with Ford on this project and look forward to honoring the memory of Mr. McQueen.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P., is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations, which includes a vast library of intellectual properties and the Warner Bros. Studio Stores.

Source - Ford Media

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Related Articles and History

The Mustang was introduced at the 1965 New York World's Fair, Mustang Mania instantly swept the country, and a new automotive market segment was created - the 2+2 or better known as the 'ponycar.' Though its mechanical underpinnings descended from the Falcon, the Mustang was completely different. It was a compact, tight, clean package weighing in at a modest 2,550 pounds - a departure from the ever-enlarging American cars of the day. The classic long-hood short-rear-deck combined with a forward-leaning grille, elegant blade bumpers, sculptured body sides, fully exposed wheel openings, and restrained use of bright trim gave the car a unique look that belied its affordability. Its looks were backed up with power, providing three optional V8 engines with up to 271 horsepower. Other options included automatic transmission, power steering and brakes, styled chrome wheels, and air conditioning. Not surprisingly, the entry-level modes were a minority of the production.

To say that the first Mustang was a success is an understatement. Following the introduction, the Mustang was on the cover of both Time and Newsweek. A week before the introduction, Ford ran ads with the air times for the first television commercials, which all three networks broadcasted simultaneously. Mustang was selected as the Official Pace Car for the 1964 Indianapolis 500, and more than 22,000 orders were taken the first day. By its first anniversary, over 418,000 Mustangs had been sold, breaking the all-time record for first-year sales of a new nameplate.

The original platform was used, with numerous modifications, up to 1973. The Pinto-based Mustang II was built from 1974 until 1978. A new fox body platform began in 1979 and was largely unchanged through 1993. In 1994 the SN-95, a modified version of the Fox body, debuted and was produced until 2004. The 2005 Mustang is built on the first entirely new platform in 25 years.

1964 1/2 - 1973 The Growing Years - In More Ways Than One.

Until 1967, Mustang had this new market all to itself. For 1965 a new 2+2 Fastback model was added as was the GT Equipment Group. Both performance and aesthetically minded, this group included front disk brakes; grille-mounted fog lights, 5-gauge instrumentation, GT stripes and badges, and special dual 'trumpet' exhaust outlets. 1966 brought a huge shot in the arm to the pony car moniker - the first Shelby GT 350. Built on the 2+2 Fastback by famed racer/car builder Carroll Shelby, these cars featured race-tuned engines and suspensions. By mid-1966, Mustang passed the one-million sales mark.

On the track, the Mustang name was quickly establishing itself in many motorsports arenas. In 1965, Mustang assumed the role of Ford's rally car. Carroll Shelby, the famed builder of the Cobra, created race-ready cars for SCCA's production class B competition against the likes of Chevrolet's Corvette and the Jaguar E-Type. Shelby's goal was accomplished when the GT 350 took the B-Production Championship from Corvette. Shelby Mustangs were also successful in the world of drag racing. Ford campaigned several highly modified A/FX altered Mustangs equipped with 427 'Cammer' motors in National Hot Rod Association drag racing events. 1966 brought the creation of the SCCA Trans-Am professional racing series for V-8 sedans of 305 cubic inches or less. Mustang took the Trans Am Manufacturers' Cup in 1966. The Shelby GT 350 repeated the previous year's success as B-Production Champion.

With the introduction of Chevy's Camaro, Pontiac's Firebird, and Ford's sister division 2+2, the Mercury Cougar, the rest of the industry both brought serious competition to the Mustang and further legitimized the 2+2 'ponycar' market. Ford foresaw the coming competition and designed the 1967 Mustang to accommodate its 390 cubic-inch V8. In addition to the mechanical changes, the Mustang was restyled inside and out. This began the era of the growing Mustang, as it gained a couple of inches in length and width nearly every year until 1973. A GT 350 H was introduced, a special edition made specifically for Hertz Rent-A-Car outlets. Stories of 'Rent-A-Racers' being returned with telltale signs of racing use are still told today. The options list grew as well, and Ford's largest engine quickly went from the 390 to the 428 Cobra Jet. Shelby also upped the ante with the GT 500 in 1967 and the GT 500 KR ('King of the Road') in 1968. The GT 350 also continued on. In racing, despite new competition from the Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda, and Mercury Cougar, Mustang again won the Trans-Am Manufacturers' Cup. Capping the year, Shelby's GT 350 once again took the SCCA B-Production crown. Perhaps the most famous Mustang of the time was the 1968 Highland Green 390 Mustang fastback driven by Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt. Many still consider the final chase scene to be the best ever filmed.

The car again grew larger and heavier in 1969, and the grille sprouted four headlights. Also introduced in 1969, the Boss 302 - brainchild of former GM designer Larry Shinoda - was a special version of Ford's 302 cubic-inch engine with larger canted valve heads for better efficiency and more power. The rarest Mustang by far was the Boss 429, built for the sole purpose of qualifying the new 'Semi-Hemi' engine for NASCAR racing. Only 857 Boss 429 Mustangs were built. More competition arrived in 1970 with the Dodge Challenger and a redesigned Plymouth Barracuda. The Boss 429 was discontinued after only 499 copies were made. 1970 also marked the end of the GT 350 and GT 500.

1970 would be Ford's last year for factory-sponsored racing until the 1980s. The Trans-Am series boasted the most competitive field ever in both the driving talent and the cars. Ford's Boss 302 team, led by Parnelli Jones and George Follmer, took on AMC's Mark Donahue, Camaro driver Jim Hall, Pontiac's Jerry Titus, Dan Gurney's All American Racers and their Plymouth Barracuda, Sam Posey in the all-new Dodge Challenger. The competition was fierce and well-matched throughout the series. In the end, the Mustang team was triumphant allowing Ford to go out on top.

By 1971, the car had become nearly 8 inches longer and 6 inches wider than the original 1965 model. Mustang was now a full-fledged muscle car, moving beyond the 2+2 market niche it created. The Grande and Mach 1 returned, however, the Boss 302 was replaced by the Boss 351. Engine choices ranged from six-cylinder economy to the mighty 429 Super Cobra Jet V-8. Many forces converged by 1973 which signaled a change from the fast-and-furious start of the 2+2. Soaring gas and insurance costs and the addition of emissions and safety equipment brought the muscle car era to an end, and Ford began positioning the Mustang as a luxury car. The end of 1973 would begin a hiatus for both the V-8 engine and the convertible.

1974 - 1978 A Mustang Trapped in a Pinto's Body.

Lee Iacocca, then president of Ford and instrumental in the design of the first Mustang, had long been unhappy with Mustang's direction. The car got progressively bigger and sales dipped. Any questions about returning to a smaller Mustang were answered by the first OPEC oil embargo in 1973, which spurred an immediate run on fuel-efficient cars. The Mustang II was introduced mid-year in 1973 as a 1974 model. Built on the Pinto platform, the Mustang II was substantially smaller than the prior model and even smaller than the original. Rack and pinion steering and front disk brakes were made standard. Engine choices were limited to a 2.3-liter four-cylinder and a 2.8 V-6. This would be the first year for a four and the only year without an available V-8. The coup and fastback would soldier on without the convertible - which would not return for twelve years. The Mach 1 continued on but had dropped from nearly 7 robust lines (429 cubic inches) to 2.8 liters and 105 horsepower. The formula seemed to work, however - Mustang II got over 20 MPG and sold 385,000 for the model year.

1975 brought the return of the 302 (5.0 Liter) V-8 however at only 122 horsepower. Other than increasing this to 139 horsepower in the Cobra II, most changes through 1978 were limited to trim and option packages. After its initial year, sales remained consistent at around 150,000 to 190,000 and earned the marque a new lease on life.

1979-1993 The Speed of a Horse with the Smarts of a Fox.

Based on the Ford Fairmont, the 'Fox' body would be the longest-running platform in Mustang history. As an example, the doors of 1979 can be interchanged with those of 1993. The Fox-body also brought modern design and a renewed commitment to performance. A 2.3 Liter four-cylinder was again standard with upgrades of a turbocharged four, 2.8 Liter V6, and 5.0 Liter V8. Mustang paced the 1979 Indianapolis 500 and nearly 370,000 units were sold.

1981 saw the addition of the T-Roof Convertible and 1982 brought the return of the GT with a revised 5.0 High-Output V-8 rated at 157 horsepower. Ford's resurgent racing program blasted out of the gates with International MotorSports Association (IMSA) GT racing, where the turbocharged Miller Mustang, driven by Klaus Ludwig, came within a 10th of a second of winning its first race over the dominant Porsche 935 Turbos. Ludwig was only getting started. He handed the vaunted Porsches defeat with back-to-back victories at Brainerd and Sears Point. Elsewhere, Tom Gloy put a Mustang in the Trans-Am winner's circle for the first time in a decade when he won the 1981 season finale at Sears Point. In SCCA road racing, Mustang became the first domestic car ever to win the Showroom Stock national championship when Ron Smaldone drove his turbo Mustang to victory at Road Atlanta.

The big news for 1983 was the mid-year introduction of the first true Mustang convertible in a decade, which accounted for 20,000 sales in the short 6-month season. On the performance front, the 5.0 V8 bumped up to 205 horsepower. For Mustang's 20th Anniversary, in 1984, Ford offered the most interesting lineup in years. The GT was back in hatchback and convertible, and a new European-inspired Mustang SVO debuted. Developed by the Special Vehicle Operations department, the limited edition model was powered by a fuel-injected inter-cooled 175-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The SVO also featured unique exterior appointments, an upgraded interior, and was also the most expensive model.

By 1984, Ford had staked out the IMSA GTO series as Mustang turf. Jack Roush, the Carroll Shelby of the eighties, came on the scene with hot racers. A Roush-prepared Mustang won the GTO class in the three-hour IMSA 1984 season finale at Daytona. It was the beginning of Mustang's reign as the king of GTO. The following February, Mustang won the GTO classes at Daytona 24 Hours - the first of three consecutive victories in the season-opening marathon.

Mustang received a facelift in 1985, and horsepower continued to climb. The 5.0 H.O V-8 was increased to 210, and the SVO squeezed 205 horsepower out of a 2.3-liter engine. This would be the rarest SVO model as only 1,954 were built. The V-8 fully switched to fuel injection in 1986 (fuel injection had been used on 1984 & 1985 5-liter Mustang V8s when equipped with automatics; the 5-speed cars used carburetors). The Roush Mustangs carried on the winning tradition in 1986 with eight more GTO wins and another manufacturers' title. In drag racing, Rickie Smith drove his Motorcraft Mustangs to the semifinals or better at all 11 races on the International Hot Rod Association schedule and took the IHRA Pro Stock world championship.

1988 was a pivotal year in Mustang's history. Ford planned to change the Mustang to a front-wheel-drive derivative of the Mazda MX-6. An uprising in the Mustang enthusiast community ensued, as did some pointed questions from the automotive press. Thousands of letters decrying the idea of a 'Maztang' or 'Musda' besieged Ford's product planners and the new car went on to be the Probe. Ford scrapped the idea at the last minute, cementing the Mustang heritage for the future. The decision however locked in the Fox platform for the next five years.

From 1989 to 1992 changes were limited to wheel and tire combinations and the introduction of 'Special Edition' models in non-standard colors. 1993 would be the final year of the original Fox-body Mustang. Ford re-introduced the Cobra, rated at 235 horsepower, and distinguished by unique front and rear bodywork. 107 Cobra R models were built which included track-tuned suspension and deleted the rear seat, radio, fog lights, and other components to reduce weight.

1994-2004 Refining the Breed.

Mustang celebrated its 30th Anniversary with an all-new body and interior for 1994, calling on design cues from the Mustang's first decade. The 2.3 liter four was retired and the 3.8 V-6 became the base engine. The GT retained the 5.0 V-8 and the SVT Cobra returned, now with 240 horsepower. The Mustang Cobra served as the pace car for the 1994 Indianapolis 500 and a limited series of the Rio Red pace car replicas were sold.

Mustang was an immediate hit and remained unchanged while Ford continued to fill orders. Another Cobra R was released, this time with a 300 horsepower 351 cubic inch (5.4 liters) V-8 and Tremec 5-speed manual transmission The R model was sold nearly race-ready with a revised suspension and fuel cell. The rear seat, radio, air-conditioning, power windows, and seats were deleted to save weight. Only 250 units were built which became instant collector's items.

In 1989 the Trans-Am series was again attractive to American muscle, though the cars only look like a Mustang - the underpinnings were that of a purpose-built race chassis built to modern motorsports standards. The Mustang dominated in 1995, 1996, 1997, and again in 1999. Ironically, the 1999 driver, who had switched to a Jaguar, kept the classic Ford pushrod V-8 underfoot and kept winning.

1996 ushered in Ford's long-anticipated modular engine program, which saw the replacement of the venerable 5.0 with a 4.6 liter overhead cam V8 with 225 horsepower on tap. The Cobra utilized a dual overhead cam aluminum block version rated at 305 horsepower. A limited-edition 'Mystic Cobra' was built with color-shifting paint that changed from black to green to purple to gold as the light hit the car. The paint alone costs about $2,000.00 per car. The Mustang carried over basically unchanged from 1997 and 1998.

Mustang's 35th year was marked with a new sharp-edged body. The base V-6 was now rated at 195 horsepower (more than the original 5.0 H.O. of 1982). The GTs 4.6 was upgraded to 260 horsepower, while the dual-cam Cobra was now pumping out 320. One of the benefits of the redesign was the inclusion of a fully independent rear suspension on the Cobra, the first for a production model. The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix marked the occasion by making Mustang the spotlight car of the American car show.

For 2000, the only Cobra for the year was a new R model. Wilder than any previous Mustang, the R featured a dual overhead cam 5.4-liter monster rated at 385 horsepower. A six-speed gearbox and 18-inch wheels and tires moved the power to the ground. Outside, the R was immediately recognizable by its domed hood, front air dam, and rear wing spoiler. Only 300 Cobra Rs were built. The remaining Mustangs carried over from the prior year.

SVT was back with a new Cobra in the spring of 2002. Once again SVT topped their previous efforts with a supercharged dual cam 4.6 that Ford rated at 390 horsepower. Testers found this number to be greatly understated, as the actual output was closer to 425. The Cobra models also carried an SVT 10th-anniversary badge.

The Mach 1 returned as a special edition for 2003 for the first time since 1978 and featured a functional ram air 'shaker' hood scoop and a modern interpretation of the Magnum 500 wheels used on the original 1969 models. The GT and base models continued unchanged.

2005 A new beginning with a nod to the past.

Built on its own platform which borrows slightly from the Lincoln LS, the body shape combines styling cues from some of the most memorable Mustangs of the past. From the front, 1967-1969 Mustangs come to mind. The side quarter windows recall the 1966 Shelby GT 350 and the rear retains the tri-part tail lights and faux gas filler which was a Mustang trademark from 1964-1/2 to 1973. On the performance side, the GT now comes with a three-valve per cylinder 4.6 with 300 horsepower. The base motor is now a 4.0 rated at 210 horsepower. Ford has previewed the 2007 Shelby Cobra GT 500 which is slated for late 2006. As shown, the GT 500 includes a supercharged 5.4-liter engine rated at 450 horsepower making it the most powerful Mustang ever built.41 years have passed since April 17, 1964. As in the beginning, Mustang stands alone having outlived all of the challengers created in its wake, and has revolutionized an entire segment of the American automotive market. Its fans can expect many more happy years for the original pony car.

Source - PVGP

The Ford Mustang first appeared in 1964 and was immediately popular for its style and its capabilities. The largest engine offering of the time was the 289 V-8 K-code small block engine which was sufficient but enthusiasts wanted and demanded more power. The base engine was a six-cylinder power plant. The body style configurations included coupe, convertible and fastback. In its first year of production over 500,000 examples were produced.

Ford turned to SCCA racing to stir even more popularity for the car and to prove its true potential. Unfortunately, SCCA rules for sports cars required two seats which the Mustang failed to qualify for since it had seating for four. The Mustang was a new breed with plenty of room to grow and improve. Ford turned to the legendary Carroll Shelby who had aided them in securing a LeMans victory with their GT 40s. He was also well known for his Ford powered Shelby Cobras which had dominated the SCCA circuit for many years.

In order to qualify for homologation requirements, 100 examples needed to be produced by January 1st, 1965. Amazingly, the cars were ready to go by the due date, all painted in Wimbledon White livery with Guardsman Blue stripes. Well, they weren't entirely ready but they did pass the inspection.

Under the fiberglass hood was a K-code engine that had been modified with 715cfm 4-barrel carburetors on high-rise intake manifolds, aluminum oil pans and fabricated tube headers feeding dual exhausts with glass pack mufflers. The engine was concealed with a fiberglass hood. An aluminum case Borg-Warner T-10 four-speed manual gearbox was matted to this potent engines and set power to the rear wheels. Since the Mustang was now packing extra power, the rest of the components were modified to respond appropriately. The suspension was reinforced with front A-arms, rear axle trailing arms, and Koni shocks. The brakes were enlarged and quick steering adapters were installed. Compling with the two seater requirement was easy; the back seat was removed and replaced with a fiberglass package shelf.

In 1965 there were 562 Shelby GT 350 models created with 36 being designated for racing and given the code 'R'. 252 of the 1966 350 GT's were created at the end of 1965 and brought up to 1966 specifications.

There was little changed to the GT350 during the 1966 year. Peter Brock, Shelby's designer, came up with some simple modifications that slightly changed the aesthetics of the car but improved its capabilities. Air-intake scoops were added to force air to the rear brake pads which aided in keeping them cool. The C-pillar sail panel was removed and replaced with triangular windows. Four colors options were added to give the Mustangs a little extra flavor. The rear seats could now be installed as optional equipment and were given the functionality and flexibility of folding down. This allowed them to continue to qualify for sports car racing in SCCA while providing versatility while not at the track. An automatic was also optional though it slightly took away from the appeal of the sports car.

These new options aided the Ford/Shelby duo in selling 2378 examples in 1966.

In 1967 the Mustang body style was altered which meant there was more room in the engine bay. This was also the first year for the GT500 which boasted a 428 cubic-inch engine in true Shelby fashion producing more than 350 horsepower. The GT500 was given a unique front end with hood scoops and center mounted lights. The back of the car borrowed many components from the Thunderbird including the rear quarter scoops, sequential turn signals and the rear spoiler.

Shelby lost the lease for their factory at Los Angeles International Airport near the close of 1967 so operations were moved the Ionia, Michigan under the control of the Ford Motor Company.

In 1968, a convertible option was added to the Shelby line-up, available with either a 302- or 428-cubic-inch eight-cylinder engine. The High Performance 289 cubic-inch V8 was no longer offered on the Ford or Shelby versions of the Mustang. The 302 was standard on the GT350, equipped with an aluminum intake manifold and Holley 600 CFM carburetor capable of producing 250 horsepower. 1968 also marked the year that Ford took over production of the Shelby vehicles with operations moving to Livonia, Michigan.

The styling modifications for 1968 were minor. The front of the vehicle was restyled resulting in an aggressive appearance. The headlights switched back to the single seven-inch unit configuration with Lucas fog lamps positioned inside the grill. The hood was once again a fiberglass unit with repositioned scoops and air-extraction louvers.

The 428 engine increased in horsepower by 5 over the prior year. This was the result of a single four-barrel aluminum intake manifold in place of the prior dual-carburetor setup. To honor this achievement, the GT500 equipped with the 428Cj now became known as the GT500, or King of the Road. The documentation stated the engine produced 335 horsepower when actually it was over 400 with 440 foot-pounds of torque. These were the fastest Shelby production vehicles to date and offered superb handling, braking and most of all, acceleration. Due to the extra power, the brakes were enlarged and new components such as under-hood suspension bracing and staggered rear shocks prevented wheel hop and axle wind-up.

During 1968, 4451 examples were produced. 1253 fastbacks and 404 convertibles made up the GT350 model line. The GT500 was available as a fastback or convertible. There were 1140 GT500 fastbacks and 402 GT500 convertibles produced in 1968. 1968 also saw the production of 933 GT500KR fastbacks and 318 GT500KR convertibles. Only one GT500 Notchback Prototype was produced.

In 1969 Ford ended his agreement with the Ford Motor Company. The GT350 and GT500 continued to be sold into 1970 though little was changed. The 1970 models were actually left-overs from the prior year.

In 2005 at the New York International Auto Show, Ford and Shelby announced their plans for the production of a Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 with sales beginning in 2007. The car will be equipped with a 5.4 liter supercharged eight-cylinder engine with horsepower in the neighborhood of 475. In 2006 the rights to own the first modern Shelby Mustang produced sold at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction for 648,000 with the proceeds benefiting the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006

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 to 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 sheet metal 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 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 feature 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 catalytic 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 year.

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