The New Mustang. At times that phrase is enough to chill the hearts of many enthusiasts. We're a staid bunch who like our Mustangs as they have been. But it's the nature of the auto industry to change, maybe not as often as it did "back in the day," but it does change.
Witness the '05 Mustang. Although at this stage Ford is staying remarkably mum about the new steed that will be built at the same plant as the Lincoln LS, there is a great deal of interest among the Mustang faithful. We're interested, and for obvious reasons have been left out in the cold for a while. Word from those who have somehow hustled a peek at the new body say that if you like retro styling, you'll love the new Mustang. So here we go.
New + Old = New
The new "in" look in the automotive industry seems to be the Newstalgia look. From the new Mini Cooper that draws its look from the old Morris Mini Cooper, to the '49 Ford show car and the new Chevrolet SSR, a concept vehicle that relies heavily on the '50s 2100 pickup design, the industry has gone retro. We can't say we blame them. The car styles of the last 10 years have, overall, been a bit high on coefficient of drag and low on style.
The new 2004 1/2 has gone to the styling well just as the original Mustang designers did back in 1964. Back then the Mercury design team took styling ideas from the '56 Continental Mark III for many of its visual cues, and used the long nose and short-deck look of the Mark II. Even the roof line of the original bears a passing resemblance to the old Mark car.
For 2004 1/2 the rumor is that Ford uses cues from the '69-'70 Mustang as well as other styling blips from Mustang's early years.
Another rumor floating around is about the release of the car. Note that it is labeled a 200411/42. Those who have been around the Mustang block know that Ford released the '65 early, creating the '6411/42 moniker for cars that went on sale starting on April 17, 1964.
Rumor has it that Ford will do one of two things: make the car available for sale on this date, just like in 1964, thereby paying homage to the original; or unveil it on April 17th to create excitement prior to the Ford standard new-model release in early September.
Since we're a sentimental lot here, we hope for the early release, creating a new batch of cars that cause speculation in another 20 years as to whether it's a 200411/42 or a 2005.
The Mustang limped along on the Fox-based chassis for 24 years. Sure, it was updated with the SN-95 project, but it's time for a new starting point. Rumor has it (get used to seeing that) that Ford's new Mustang will have a common chassis with the new retro-styled Thunderbird, the Lincoln LS, and retro-cued Jaguar. This new chassis code name is DEW, and it offers a better platform for stiffness and performance, according to Ford. The one downside is that it also makes the car a little heavier. Rough estimates are around 200 more pounds.