Detroit, Michigan – With styling reminiscent of Mustangs of the late 60’s, the 2005 Mustang isn’t shy about cashing in on the popularity of the first American “pony car”. There’s a strong resemblance to the 1967 Mustang and the 1968 Shelby derivatives.
A new 4.0-litre, single-overhead-cam V6 engine replaces the 3.8 litre pushrod engine in the base model – the 200-horsepower, 235 foot-pound engine offers 7 more horsepower and 10 foot-pounds more torque. Ford says it’s inherently smoother and more compact.
V8 Mustangs get a better-breathing 300-horsepower, SOHC 4.6 litre all-aluminum V8 with three-valve heads. Five-speed manual transmissions are standard on both V6 and V8 models, and for the first time, the Mustang is available with a five-speed automatic transmission.
An improved front MacPherson strut suspension and a solid rear axle are standard. Despite the availability of an independent rear suspension from the Lincoln LS, Ford engineers opted to stay with a solid rear axle. “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 is durable, maintains constant track, toe-in and camber relative to the road surface, it keeps body roll well under control – and it’s less expensive to produce.
Brakes are standard four-wheel discs with the biggest rotors and stiffest calipers ever fitted to a mainstream Mustang.
The roomier, retro-styled interior features colour-configurable instruments and optional real aluminum trim. Ford’s Personal Safety System with passenger weight-sensing technology, optional side air bags and a front structure designed for offset impacts are designed to improve occupant safety and crash protections.
In the U.S., V6 Mustangs will start under $20,000. “It’s the most affordable 300-horsepower car made and the best rear-drive performance car under $20,000,” said Phil Martens, Group Vice President North America Product Creation.