No one can deny that over the past 49 years, the Ford Mustang has consistently become a bigger, heavier car (with the exception of the Mustang II). The original 1965 Mustang debuted with a curb weight between 2,400 and 2,800 pounds, but today’s Mustang can weigh anywhere from 3,500 to nearly 3,900 pounds. With weight being the enemy of both performance and fuel economy, Ford knew they had to put the Mustang on a big diet if the pony car is to continue to survive in the coming era of higher government C.A.F.E. regulations.
According to Edmunds, Ford’s efforts have paid off in a big way, quite literally. The 2015 Ford Mustang will reportedly weigh up to 400 pounds less than the current model. Not only will the 2015 Mustang weigh less, but it will be smaller too. According to Edmund’s sources, the next Mustang will be approximately 15 inches shorter, further helping to reduce weight and make it easier to handle on the street and track.
Extensive use of lightweight materials, most prominently aluminum, will also help the Mustang keep the weight off. Ford is already rumored to be using aluminum extensively throughout the next generation F-150. It would make sense then that they’ll be doing the same on the Mustang.
Ford also needs to keep the Mustang at a price point where younger people could conceivably afford it. In recent years both the styling and price have been appealing to baby-boomers, Ford needs to sell the Mustang to a younger audience. While Edmund’s source says the low-end Mustang price point will remain close to today’s price, upper-end Mustangs could see a significant price increase of as much as 10 percent, as the use of even more exotic materials makes special editions, like the returning Shelby GT350, even lighter.
A lighter Mustang makes for a better Mustang, and could enable the base pony car to deliver 300 horsepower and over 40 mpg on the highway. If the current Coyote engine is carried over with no revisions a 400 pound weight reduction could knock a couple of tenths-of-a-second off the 0-60 times, and even more off quarter-mile ET’s which should make all performance fans happy. The move may also inspire competitor cars to go on a similar diet, leading us to a new era of lighter, faster, dare we say more agile, muscle cars.