Auto Express says that the next-generation Ford Mustang will fall under the Blue Oval’s “One Ford” strategy. The cost-cutting plan means that, like with the new Fiesta and Focus, the Mustang will be designed to sell in multiple countries around the world with minimal changes.
The decision means the future Mustang, likely to bow by 2014, will reportedly be built in right-hand-drive form for export to the U.K., Japan, and Australia. As we previously reported, Ford is breaking with tradition and soliciting design input for the next Mustang from studios around the world, including those in Europe and Australia. Until now, the Ford Mustang has been styled exclusively by Ford’s American studios and for the American market. A more cohesive global image might help the car appeal to customers around the world.
The new Mustang’s introduction in 2014 would mark the 50th anniversary of the original Mustang. According to Auto Express, the new model will be more akin the original 1964 Mustang -- it will be lighter and narrower than current models, while retaining the car’s signature design and aggressive appearance.
Under the hood, we’re told to expect a 2.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine with about 300 hp. Ford has never discussed such an engine, so it may be an all-new mill or merely a fanciful wish; however, plenty of rumors have circulated about the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 finding its way into the Mustang. Traditionalists need not fret, as it’s reported that a range-topping 5.4-liter V-8 will offer 500 hp, up from the 412 hp dispensed by today’s 5.0-liter V-8. As with the current car, buyers will get a choice of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
The report also suggests the next Mustang will adopt an independent rear suspension layout, which should improve handling and ride quality; the Mustang currently uses an outdated live axle setup. The car’s main competitor, the Chevrolet Camaro, rides on independent suspension, so it seems logical that Ford would want to bring its pony car up to snuff with its bowtie-badged rival.
Auto Express posits that the car will compete in the U.K. with the BMW 3 Series and Audi A5 coupes-- neither of which are direct competitors for the current car, but which could foretell an improvement in cabin quality and luxury for the new Mustang. In making it a global car, Ford is said to be improving the car’s interior fit-and-finish.
If Ford is considering building right-hand-drive versions of the Mustang, it must have a solid business case for selling the new car overseas. Doing so would drastically increase the pony car’s sales, as well as spreading Ford’s iconic performance machine around the globe. We’re looking forward to hearing the official word from Ford as the next Mustang approaches production.
Source: Auto Express