It’s been 50 years since the first-generation Ford Mustang , the vehicle that basically created the pony car class, debuted at the New York World’s Fair. This year, after five generations and even more stylistic changes, a new chapter beings for America’s iconic muscle car . One that comes with many new features, including an independent rear suspension, a new platform, and a brand-new design that still echoes its primordial ancestor.
As the Mustang’s 50th anniversary celebrations continue in Michigan, Ford is sending its brand-new, 2015 model year muscle car to lead the field at the Quicken Loans 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on June 15th.
Ford’s vehicle of choice is a GT model, which is powered by a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that sends at least 420 horsepower and more than 390 pound-feet of torque to the pavement and wears a Race Red suit. A set of special NASCAR decals and the mandatory strobe lights will help change its standard appearance and keep drivers on their toes whenever the yellow flag is out.
Besides the NASCAR logos and the Quicken Loans 400 emblems, the Mustang pace car is also adorned by a couple of "50 Years" decals slapped right above the rear wheels and Shelby -style white stripes. Driving the vehicle around the Michigan International Speedway will be Ford Motor Company president Joe Hinrichs.
The Quicken Loans 400 is the 15th event of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and will commence with veteran Jeff Gordon leading the drivers’ championship.
Interestingly enough, Ford never raced a Mustang-themed car in the Sprint Cup Series, although the 1969 Boss 429 helped homologate the 7.0-liter, Semi-Hemi V-8 for the Torino Talladega , that went on to win the 1969 season with David Pearson behind the wheel.
Click past the jump to read more about the standard Ford Mustang.