Even though the 2010 Mustang was supposed to be revealed on Tuesday, November 18, Ford itself seems to have semi-broken the embargo by letting out the first official photos on its dedicated micro-site. Half an hour later, 50 or so high-resolution images as well as the press release found their way into the net. Apparently FoMoCo has some sort of "democratic" system where it selectively chooses media outlets, magazines and blogs to hand out official info and photos well before it publishes them on its media site...
But anyway, time to see what the new Mustang is all about. First of all, the American automaker has revamped the Mustang's exterior design in an evolutionary style. FoMoCo claims that the exterior sheet metal, except for the fast-back roofline, is all new for 2010 model. Overall, the new 'Stang looks more aggressive (in an Aston Martin Vantage sort of way) and more contemporary than its predecessor. And yes, we do like what we see in the pictures.
"We understand Mustang's heritage and iconic status it has in the world and as a symbol of Americana," said Peter Horbury, Ford's North American executive director of Design. "We wanted to create a face that is more muscular but unquestionably, unequivocally Mustang and carry that spirit through to the entire car."
Like the exterior, the interior has been redesigned from the ground up with Ford promising that the 2010 Mustang features "world-class materials and execution". In other words, Ford that it has replaced the cheap and hard plastics of the current generation model with upgraded, soft touch materials.
"That's the difference between good enough and exceptional," said Gary Morales, Interior Design manager. "We wouldn't accept anything less than leadership design and world-class craftsmanship."
Judging from the photographs, Ford seems to have done a nice job overall in modernizing the dashboard though the center console does appear somewhat empty and out of place design-wise. However, tech-fans will be pleased to know that the center stack adds the latest version of Ford's SYNC while they can also customize their ambient and instrument lighting through the "My Color system", which features no less than 125 color options.
Underneath the skin, Ford's engineers have retuned the 2009 Mustang's suspension and reworked the GT's 4.6-liter V8 engine which benefits from the changes first seen on the Bullitt delivering 315HP and 325 lb-ft of torque. For the 2010 model, the entry-level 4.0-liter V6 engine remains unchanged producing a pathetic -for a 21st century car- 210HP and 240 lb-ft of torque.
"All of the Bullitt elements are the base foundation of the GT," said Randle, noting engine and chassis improvements. "We also applied some improvements gained from Mustang racing. We're learning constantly and always giving that to the customer on the base car."
"We adjusted the springs, stabilizer bars and shocks to better balance the ride, steering and handling for all models, which results in a more engaging driving experience," adds Mustang Vehicle Engineering manager Tom Barnes. "The 2010 Mustangs feel more controlled for steering and handling, yet retain a good ride balance."
The new 'Stang is expected to go on sale in the U.S. in early 2009 where it will be available in three body styles, coupe, convertible and with a glass roof option.