It’s been talked about a million times, and like it or not, the 2015 Mustang will be a new platform that will supersede the S197 chassis. Outside of the second generation Mustang, Ford typically cycles Mustang generations every 10-11 years; the 2014 model year will mark a decade in which the S197 chassis was produced, giving it a fitting end to a successful run.
But exactly how different will the 2015 Mustang be? Though there has been a select few that have reportedly seen the 2015 Mustang, there isn’t any conclusive evidence that suggests what the next generation will look like. Perhaps by the first quarter of 2013 we will begin to see the spy pictures emerge as they begin to test on public roads. After all, they can only keep it quiet for so long.
Smaller Overall Length
Since the Mustang’s inception it has grown in length during it’s first generation. But as most vehicles did during the oil crisis of the 70s, the second gen was cut down significantly in size. Ever since then, the Mustang has been on a growth spurt, peaking at 188.1 inches on the 2011+ body style – about one half a foot longer than in 1969.
My 2011 Mustang Project Wild E. Coyote has been used as a truck to haul 10 foot sections of PVC pipe to my house, along with a variety of other objects that shouldn’t be able to fit in a Mustang. Ford has plenty of cars, crossovers, SUVs, trucks, hybrids, and EVs that can comfortably handle people and cargo. The one true sports car needs to return to a sports car size.
While we all would love to see a Fox body-sized Mustang again, it is highly unlikely it will ever shrink that much. What I would like to see is an overall length comparable to the SN-95 chassis. This will make the sixth generation Mustang about six inches shorter in both wheelbase and overall length.
It’s almost given that the Mustang will not get any wider unless Ford opts for wider, more negative offset wheels. Ford has already confirmed that the 2015 Mustang will get an independent rear suspension and 2013 Mustang test mules have been seen with this new configuration installed.
Although Ford has been testing new carbon composite materials to help reduce vehicle weight, it is highly unlikely there will be a weight drop in the 2015 Mustang – you can thank your SYNC, GPS, heated 10-way power seats, and gobs of sound deadening material for that. If anything, the 2015 Mustang might get closer to the 3,800 pound range.
An EcoBoost, direct injection 5.0 With Better Pistons
Before there was an EcoBoost anything, my brother and I built a 331ci, single turbocharged blow-thru carbureted small block Ford. It made north of 800rwhp in 2002 and got remarkably good gas mileage for what it was. We always kept wondering, when will Ford bring back turbochargers on gasoline-powered vehicles?
Ford just brought back the 5.0 engine in 2010 for the 2011 model year and there is no way that it’s going to scrapped. Back in 2010, with EcoBoost technology still in it’s infancy, we found out that Ford put a flat spot in the cylinder head’s casting, making a fitting place for a fuel injector. The compression ratio of the 5.0 would more than likely drop to 10.0:1 where Ford will hopefully use a higher quality forged piston to stray away from the hypereutectic slugs that caused so many dreaded cylinder eight failures. Surprisingly enough the forged powdered rods have held up to the rigors of four digit horsepower levels.
Taking a look at the 2013 GT500′s insane 250hp gap over GT brethren is the largest separation of horsepower we have seen between the two models, and is probably a good indication that the 2015 Mustang will get a sizable horsepower bump via some turbochargers. My guess is if Ford does produce an EcoBoost 5.0, it’s safe to say that the GT will see 500 to 550hp while still retaining 25mpg on the highway. After all, it’s no secret that turbochargers are growing globally as a fuel-saving option.
Complete Interior Redesign
The interior quality of the Mustang (and all Fords in general) have come along way, but the current Mustang design is becoming horribly out dated. I love every aspect of my 2011 Mustang and actually enjoy the functionality of SYNC, but I cannot stand how basic the center console layout is. The display looks like a clock out of a 1993 Ford Taurus on steroids.
Most vehicle manufactures are transitioning to a ‘simplicity via enhanced technology’ motif. What that means is look for more LCD screens and multifunction knobs to take the place over individually placed buttons. The newly-redesigned interior of the Fusion and Taurus foreshadow what the interior design of the 2015 Mustang will look like. The majority (if not all) the gauge display will be converted over to an LCD along with a centralized command center for the stereo/air conditioning controls.
I know that my take on the gauge and center console layout does differ quite a bit from the supposed 2015 Mustang interior spy shots featured in a 2013 Mustang, but I believe Ford still has some tricks up their sleeve…
Expect a Price Increase
A redesign with new technology all comes at a cost. Even the EcoBoost V6 option on the F-150 FX2 is $1,095 more than the standard 5.0. The other big price jump will come from the independent rear suspension redesign. It’s safe to say that the base GT price will likely rise from $30,300 to around $33,500. An EcoBoost 2.3-liter 4-cylinder that makes 10 more horsepower over the current V6 Mustang will likely drive the base Mustang price from $22,500 to $24,900.
Keeping Your Faith in Ford
The engineers and designers and Ford know what the Mustang should look like and we should have faith in their design capabilities in the 6th generation Mustang, that will likely span over the next decade. The time is running out to keep the new generation a secret and rest assured, we will be there to keep you informed on the updates as they come.