2015 Mustang Is Going Global

Word has it that Ford is designing the new 2015 Mustang to be built in both lefthand and righthand drive; the plan is to aggressively export Mustang to countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan. For the first time in the modern era, consumers in these countries will be able to buy the Mustang right off the dealer showroom floor as a mainstream model instead of some gray-market specialty like it is now.

In Australia, for instance, cars must be converted to righthand drive to be street legal. Mustangs have been imported for decades in small numbers and converted at a high cost for a select few. Other countries see small amounts of Mustangs sold, but it’s not widely supported by dealer networks. It is understood that dealers in the UK and Europe are being told to anticipate the Mustang as a regular production model.

Some Mustang purists in America are already taking it as an affront that Mustang may be getting compromised here and there to meet the tastes of people “over there.” The reality is that the Mustang will be improved in several key ways that could only result from training it to run with the thoroughbreds in Europe. After all, it’s only lately that we have seen the Mustang being tested at the Nurburgring, and there’s a reason for that.

Best of all, by exporting Mustang around the world, the aftermarket industry will benefit from a whole new marketplace of consumers and increased economies of scale that could result in a wider variety of go-fast mods for all of us down the road. So look at the bright side and get ready to start sharing the love on your favorite forums with our new Mustang brothers and sisters around the globe!

…the old live axle loved by drag racers will finally give way to an independent rear suspension…

Efficient Powerplants

Let’s get the 800-pound gorilla off the table. Ford invested major money developing the new 5.0 V-8 engine and wouldn’t be shedding it away just four years after it went into production. The 5.0 has become as much of the Mustang’s identity as the running horse, so it’s believed it will be around to lay rubber for some time in the next-generation Mustang. Power levels are expected to remain close to the current 412-440 hp, with a slight bump due to the addition of direct fuel injection and other refinements.

For super high-performance editions, there has been a lot of discussion in the past few months about a twin-turbo version of the 5.0 V-8 that can put down 600-plus horsepower for use as a top end powerplant in models like the Shelby GT-500. Using EcoBoost technology on the 5.0 V-8 can bring that extra power and efficiency.

The base engine may again be a four-cylinder for the first time in nearly 20 years. It would likely be an EcoBoost turbo similar to how Hyundai equips its base Genesis Coupe. Ford’s new 2.0L EcoBoost engine churns out about 240 hp and would be more than adequate for the entry level. There have been rumors that Ford may even offer a high-zoot 2.3L version producing up to 300 hp. For European and other export markets, a smaller, less powerful naturally aspirated four-cylinder could be offered that we won’t get in America.

The 3.7L V-6 may also continue on for the first few years of the next-generation Mustang, however it’s likely that a new smaller-displacement V-6 with direct injection may be offered down the road as the mainstream bread-and-butter engine.

Many people have speculated or wished out loud that Ford would drop the 365hp 3.5L twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 from the Taurus SHO into the Mustang. That is still an unlikely option because the expense and complexity of the EcoBoost V-6 is greater than the V-8, while its output is nearly identical to the 5.0L naturally aspirated V-8. If, however, it can provide dramatically better fuel economy than the V-8 and put down the same power, that could change as the CAFE standard escalates.

Retro is dead … Ford has said they will be taking Mustang in a new direction…