Anyone driving around Michigan would be forgiven for thinking Ford is giving away Mustangs like perfume samples; it seems like I see a half-dozen examples of the new ponycar each time I make my 45-minute commute to work. After all, Mustang fever is practically a symptom of living within sneezing distance of Detroit, unless of course you’ve succumbed to Camaro-itis.
People still take notice of our parking-cone orange 2015 Ford Mustang around Detroit, but a big part of me was aching to spirit it away to a land less overrun with stampedes of the new fastback.
How about the East Coast? On a 1,400-mile road trip across Pennsylvania, into upstate New York, and through the streets of Brooklyn, our Four Seasons 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost was a one-of-a-kind delight for me and everyone who crossed my path.
Some of my favorite back roads are in the hills of northern Pennsylvania, but there’s a lot of highway to cover before I reach them. I was dreading this stretch not only because of radar-happy state troopers in Ohio, but also because of the EcoBoost Performance package we opted for on our 2015 Ford Mustang. Would the stiffer suspension, bigger wheels, and thinner-sidewall tires be as punishing on long-distance slogs as they are helpful for back-road corner-carving?
My fears of a back-breaking ride were all for naught. Despite its performance capabilities, the Mustang was cool as a cucumber on the highway. It felt firmly planted and totally stable at high speed, and impacts over expansion joints weren’t overly sharp or jarring. I don’t think I’ll fully appreciate the Recaro sport seats until I’ve had some time at the track, but for general use the extra bolstering doesn’t compromise comfort. It does, however, block your right arm from easily resting on the center armrest.
The cabin stays mostly free of wind noise, too, although there is a touch of tire roar. On the upside, the Shaker audio system, part of our car’s Premium trim level, pumped in enough sweet classic rock and snappy New Orleans jazz to keep most unwanted noise at bay.
We do hear plenty of horn-honking, though. Other drivers let us know they dig the Mustang’s contrasting black wheels, flashing us beaming smiles and thumbs-ups as they slow down for a better look. I haven’t seen another 2015 Ford Mustang for hours, and judging by the grins on some drivers’ faces, it could well be the first time they’ve seen one at all. It’s obvious that this design and color combination bring out the joy in sports-car fans, which is impressive given that some performance cars costing twice as much wouldn’t get a second look.
I jump off the highway just shy of the border between Pennsylvania and New York, near Interstate 84. Dense forest lines the winding passes of Pocono country, and I’m ready to turn it into blurry streaks in my peripheral vision. Reaching for the fighter-jet-style switch, I flip the Mustang into Sport+ mode, making the electric power steering heavier and the throttle more responsive. Doing so does a lot to make the wide, heavy 2015 Ford Mustang feel nimbler and more agile than its dimensions suggest.
Before long, I’m in a great rhythm, flowing along a two-lane road with ease. The sculpted ridge of the Mustang’s long hood points my way forward, seeming to cut through the fresh, pine-scented air. The Mustang’s chassis is remarkably balanced, and its summer performance tires hold on tight as the car confidently leans into each turn. These are the roads sports cars are made for, aren’t they?
Back in a flash of orange
As I much as I want to hog the ’Stang for myself, I also want to share the joy. I visit old family friends at a lake in the Catskills, hang with college buddies from my Ultimate Frisbee team at Vassar, and meet up with former co-workers down in Brooklyn. Nobody wants to hear about what a great-handling sports car it is or how powerful the engine is. Nobody cares that its engine has the horsepower of an early-2000s Mustang GT while still returning 31 mpg on the highway. And nobody cares that I could fit a week’s worth of clothes and sports gear in trunk, while still fitting two friends comfortably enough in the back seat.
No, they want to ogle the 2015 Ford Mustang, watch it sparkle in the sun and gleam at night under the flickering city lights. When the illuminated “welcome mat” Mustang logo shines on the pavement from the door handle, a group of my cronies exclaims in unison, “Oooooooohh wow!”
A bright orange 2015 Ford Mustang needs no further explanation. It’s just cool. And when you come back to old haunts with a ride like this, so are you.
- Body style 2-door coupe
- Accommodation 4-passenger
- Construction Steel unibody
- Base price (with dest.) $30,125
- As tested $36,700
- Engine 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
- Displacement 2.3 liters
- Power 310 hp @ 5,500 rpm
- Torque 320 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
- Transmission 6-speed manual
- Drive Rear-wheel
- EPA Fuel Economy 21/32/25 (city/hwy/combined)
- Steering Electrically assisted
- Lock-to-lock 2.2 turns
- Turning circle 37.8 ft
- Suspension, Front Strut-type
- Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
- Brakes F/R Vented discs
- Wheels 19-inch aluminum
- Tires Pirelli P-Zero summer
- Tire size 255/40R Y 19
- Headroom F/R 37.6/34.8 in
- Legroom F/R 44.5/30.6 in
- Shoulder room F/R 56.3/52.2 in
- Wheelbase 107.1 in
- Track F/R 62.3/64.9 in
- L x W x H 188.3 x 75.4 x 54.4 in
- Passenger capacity 84.5 cu ft
- Cargo capacity (rear seats up/down) 13.5 cu ft
- Weight 3,532 lb
- Weight dist. F/R 52/48%
- Fuel capacity 15.5 gal
- Est. fuel range 496 miles
- Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)
- Front and rear independent sport suspension
- Limited-slip rear axle
- Front and rear disc brakes
- Selectable drive modes
- Leather-trimmed seats
- Heated and cooled front seats
- Tilt-and-telescopic steering column
- SYNC touchscreen display with MyFord Touch
- Push-button start
- Universal garage door opener
- Satellite radio connectivity
- Track apps
- USB/iPod interface
- Cruise control
- Front daytime running lights
- Air conditioning
- Heated, manually folding mirrors
- HID projector headlights
- Automatic headlights
- Rear diffuser
- 60/40-split folding rear seats
options for this vehicle:
- Shaker Pro 12-speaker premium sound system – $1,795.00
- EcoBoost Performance Package: 255/40R19 Summer tires, rear spoiler delete, 3.55 ratio limited-slip axle. Torsion bar, rear sway bar, 19-inch ebony black painted aluminum wheels — $1,995
- Premier trim with color accent — $395.00
- Recaro leather sport seats — $1,595.00
- Six-speed manual transmission – $0