Thankfully, the car will, as far as we can tell, stay rear-wheel drive like the Thunderbird and Jaguar. In the past, there were moves to install the cheaper front-wheel driveline; so far this idea has been squished.
This is purely speculation; in any case, here goes: The V-6 will remain the base powerplant for the '05, but we hope it gets a bit more power (we like to dream). Rumor has it that the new base powerplant will be the 3.0 V-6. The 4.6 V-8 will remain the engine of choice for the GT, with Ford banking on the new body to sell the car rather than the engine package. This is what Ford has traditionally done. However, we've heard through the grapevine that a 5.0L modular might be released in the '05 Mustang. All reports on this 4.6-derived engine indicate that the additional cubes make it a true powerhouse. The FR500 concept car had one of these bad boys, and it rocked.
Transmissions will probably be an electronically controlled automatic overdrive and have a six- or five-speed stick shift. Rear ratios will most likely fall into the 3.27-3.55 range.
We've heard that the Boss may indeed be back for 2005. This would be especially appropriate with the release (if it happens) of the 5.0 modular V-8. It would also continue the march down memory lane with yet another chance to buy into the heritage of the original.
Other rumors persist that the Mach 1 may return for 2005 with a new supercharged 5 or 4.6 liter V-8. In some respects this may hold more water than the Boss idea. Specialty cars aren't really needed when you have a new car on the stand, and the Mach may hold sufficient jazz to keep the power hungry happy. Our money is on the Mach.
Is This Really "It" ?
In a word, no. These drawings are pretty close, but sources tell us they aren't spot-on. We love the look in the concept drawings, and to a large degree find ourselves wishing Stehrenberger were really spot-on with the drawings; however, there are some things we feel might be "missing the mark."
The grille setup: Ford still has to deal with governmental fuel standards, and the original style grille on the illustration isn't as aerodynamically sound as it could be. Witness the '49 grille.
The roofline: The roof is believable; it follows the roofline of the SN-95 and yet has a few new flairs. Still, there may be changes here.
The wheels: They're interesting, but we think Ford may not use wheels as big as these whoppers appear to be.
It's low: Due to minimum height requirements, the car, at least from the factory, will have to be a little taller.
We've heard that Ford might release the first prototype at the Detroit Auto Show in January. If this happens, we'll run photos of the new body style as soon as we can get our paws on them. Until then, we hope this "styling exercise" has whet your pallet for more! Let us know what you think of the concept at: www.mustangmonthly.com or via e-mail. Thanks!