Newer technology, same old grunt but V6 cut


For the year 2018, Ford has redesigned the Mustang into something quite ahead of its time: ditching its 3.7-liter V6 option for a 2.3-liter four-cylinder Ecoboost engine while retaining the 5.0-liter option, and giving it a newer suspension and a 10-speed automatic gearbox option.

The launch was presented live on Facebook on Wednesday last week in Ford’s official page of the Mustang.

“The new Mustang is our best ever, based on more than 50 years as one of the iconic sports car in America and now, the world. Tapping Mustang’s enormous fan base, we’re bringing the new Mustang straight to the people – and introducing the new car across multiple social media channels, reaching millions,” Ford Executive Vice President and President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs said.

Ford claims that the new 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine with overboost function delivers “outstanding performance versus the 3.7-liter V6,” following Ford’s shift to Ecoboost engines on future models. The famed 5.0-liter engine still remains, although it is heavily reworked to produce more power and higher revs, while still improving fuel efficiency, thanks to a new dual-fuel, high-pressure direct-injection and low-pressure fuel port in the engine, a first in the Mustang. According to Ford, the exhaust note can be customized for a variable soundtrack, thanks to an active valve exhaust system found on the GT V8 trim. Power and torque numbers have not yet been disclosed.

Both engines can be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox or an all-new 10-speed automatic gearbox. The manual transmission on the V8 is upgraded, adding a twin clutch and a dual-mass flywheel from the current Shelby GT350 for more torque and better clutch modulation. The 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters features wide gear ratios, delivering higher average power on acceleration, improving engine responsiveness and has quicker shift times. An electronic control system features five different driving modes and has adaptive real-time shift scheduling, ensuring the optimal gear at the given moment.

New shock absorbers, increased stiffness by a rear cross-axis joint and new stabilizers deliver better cornering performance, but the real deal is the new MagneRide technology, also borrowed from the Shelby GT350, available only on the Performance Pack option. It features magnetically-controlled dampers with no mechanical parts for a highly adaptive ride quality.

Inside, the 2018 Ford Mustang still retains a very American feel.

Less retro looking
The exterior design is now less retro looking, but still recognizable as a Mustang. The front fascia is now slightly lower, thanks to a lowered bonnet and a longer front grille, which, when viewed at an angle, creates an impression of an athlete leaning forward. More angular shapes now dominate the front bumper, with triangular lamp pockets and a trapezoidal bumper grille. The LED headlamps have been given a slimmer revamp, while still retaining design hints of the Mustang that preceded it. In fact, the front bumper is almost reminiscent of the new Ford GT’s front fascia. The bonnet, rear fascia and trunk has been barely retouched, with notable changes include a rear spoiler (only on the Performance Package) and all LED taillights.

Inside, it is awash with technological features, such as the new 12-inch LED instrument cluster that allows the driver to select Sport, Normal and Track modes, and a new MyMode function allows the customisation of driving modes according to the driver’s liking and settings can be saved for future use. Ford’s new Sync 3 infotainment system with FordPass system allows owners to lock, unlock, locate and start the car using their mobile phones. More safety features include Pre-Collision Assist with pedestrian detection system, distance alerts, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and Driver Alert System.

When it was launched in 1964, the Ford Mustang was designed to be a pony car for everyone, advertised with the slogan “designed to be designed by you.” The new Mustang continues this tradition with 11 exterior colors, including the new Orange Fury and Kona Blue, along with various wheel designs available in 17 inches to 20 inches. The car will go on sale in the United States this fall, but no prices have been announced yet.


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