Since its dramatic 1964 introduction, Ford Mustang has been the icon of American performance with its bold style, brawny engine and rear-wheel-drive excitement, earning its place as the top-selling sports car for 19 years straight. For 2006, Ford is building on the clean-sheet 2005 design by offering a V-6 "Pony Package," 18-inch wheels on GT models, a pair of new colors and , later in the model year, a darker aluminum interior upgrade option.
Since its all-new 2005 redesign, Ford Mustang has won dozens of accolades including "Most Significant Vehicle" from Edmunds.com, "Official Car of Summer" from Outside magazine as well as listing in AutoWeek’s top 10 cars and Ward’s Auto World’s 10 best engines.
Mustang is one of the greatest automotive sales success stories of all time. Nearly one out of every two sports cars sold in America this year has been a Mustang. The car garnered more than two times as many sales as its closest competitor in the small specialty segment, which features sports coupes such as the Pontiac GTO, Nissan 350Z, Chrysler Sebring and Hyundai Tiburon. It’s also America ’s best-selling convertible.
For 2006, Ford Mustang will offer customers more customization potential with the all-new "Pony Package," providing Mustang V-6 customers a GT-inspired suspension with larger wheels and tires, custom grille with fog lamps and other enhancements.
Mustang GT customers can now also choose between four different wheel and tire packages, including two new 18-inch wheels and tires complemented by unique suspension tuning. In addition, two new Mustang colors – Vista Blue Clearcoat Metallic and Tungsten Grey Clearcoat Metallic – join the color palette for 2006.
Mustang comes in Standard, Deluxe and Premium packages (Deluxe and Premium only for GT models) in a choice of coupe or convertible with a V-6 or V-8 engine mated to a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission. It is built in Flat Rock, Mich.
Design and Equipment
Mustang is pure American muscle. The signature long hood and short rear deck capitalize on 40 years of history, as do classic design cues that have defined Mustangs since the 1960s: C-scoops in the sides, three-element taillamps and a galloping horse badge in the center of the grille. The Mustang’s menacing shark-like nose imparts an attitude not seen since the 1967 model, while jeweled, round headlamps in trapezoidal housings are part of its striking new modern architecture. The car’s aggressive rake gives the design visual motion while the short overhangs anchor it visually and physically to the road.
The new-for-2006 V-6 "Pony Package" includes a customized grille with GT-style round fog lamps and a chrome bezel or "corral" around the traditional Mustang prancing horse. Backing up this visual upgrade is a GT-inspired suspension featuring a larger front stabilizer bar, the addition of a rear stabilizer bar and P235/55ZR17 tires on painted cast-aluminum wheels. With bright machined rims and unique tri-bar Pony center caps, these are the largest wheels and tires ever fitted to a V-6 Mustang.
Further touches include Pony front fender badges, lower door tape stripe, carpeted front floor mats with special brushed chrome "Mustang" logos and a rear spoiler. Four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system (ABS) and traction control are also part of the package.
In the 2006 model year, Mustang GT also will have two new 18-inch wheel and tire combinations – the largest tires ever fitted to a production V-8 Mustang since the 2000 SVT Cobra R model – and unique suspension tuning calibrated to the larger treads. Mustang GT customers will be able to choose from four wheel- and -tire combinations.
Inside, the industry-first, color-configurable instrument panel offers the ultimate in personalization. Mustang owners can mix and match lighting at the touch of a button to create more than 125 different color backgrounds to suit their personality, mood, outfit or whim.
Modern touches mix with Mustang history and heritage. Chrome-ringed air vents are aligned vertically across the dash, precisely in line with the gauges, and the steering wheel has three spokes with a center hub marked by the horse and tricolor bars logo, echoing the design of the 1967 Mustang.
Numerous standard features include one-touch up/down power windows, power mirrors, keyless entry and power locks, a heated rear window, interval wipers, air conditioning, speed control and CD player.
Powertrain and Chassis
Muscular engines infuse Mustang with tire-smoking performance. The 4.6-liter aluminum V-8 has three-valve heads and cranks out 300 horsepower. That’s more than 50 percent more power than the small-block 289-cubic-inch V-8 found in the classic 1964 model.
The standard engine, a 60-degree 4.0-liter SOHC V-6, produces 210 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque.
Five-speed manual transmissions are standard. The V-8 powered GT is equipped with a rugged Tremec 3650 gearbox, while V-6 uses the proven Tremec T-5. Since 2005, Mustang has been available with a five-speed automatic which provides a unique combination of off-the-line jump and good highway fuel economy.
At the front suspension, MacPherson struts with reverse "L" lower control arms deliver both comfort and control. The three-link rear suspension has a lightweight, tubular Panhard rod that provides precise control of the rear axle. This technology stabilizes the rear axle as the wheels move, particularly during hard cornering.
The standard four-wheel disc brakes have the biggest rotors and stiffest calipers ever fitted to a mainstream Mustang. Twin-piston aluminum calipers clamp down on 12.4-inch ventilated front brake discs on GT models.
In the rear, the brake rotors are 11.8 inches in diameter – more than 12 percent larger than on the 2004 model.
A four-channel anti-lock braking system with traction control is available for a greater degree of brake control. It uses electronic sensors to constantly monitor road conditions and feed the information to a dedicated control computer capable of determining, within milliseconds, whether the vehicle is on dry pavement or negotiating a slippery surface. When traction control isn’t desired, drivers can deactivate the system with a simple button on the instrument panel.
Safety and Security
With power comes responsibility. The 2006 Mustang helps occupants stay safe.
Ford’s Personal Safety System™, a comprehensive safety technology package, is standard. The system provides increased protection in frontal crashes by analyzing crash factors and determining the proper response within milliseconds. It uses dual-stage driver and front-passenger air bags – capable of deploying at full or partial power – safety belt pretensioners and energy management retractors.
Standard occupant classification sensing builds on the strength of the Personal Safety System™ to tailor deployment of the front-passenger air bag. If the passenger seat sensor detects no weight – or very little weight, as for a briefcase – the passenger air bag is automatically switched off. If more weight is on the seat, as for a small child, the air bag remains deactivated and an instrument panel light alerts the driver. If a heavier adult is in the passenger seat, the air bag automatically switches on.
An optional active anti-theft package offers customers a new level of security. It includes a sensing module to guard against tow-away thefts, an interior motion sensor to detect "smash- and -grab" break-ins, a separate alarm sounder – in addition to the vehicle horn – to thwart thieves trying to disable the horn and a high-capacity, 60-ampere-hour battery that sounds the alarm longer.
Major Features and Options
V-6 Standard: One-touch up/down power windows, power mirrors and door locks, keyless entry, air conditioning, CD player, tilt steering wheel, speed control, rear window defroster, stainless steel exhaust, 16-inch wheels, four-wheel power disc brakes, split-folding rear seat on Coupe models.
V-6 Deluxe adds: 16-inch machined-face aluminum wheels.
V-6 Premium adds: 16-inch painted bright machined aluminum wheels with chrome spinner, Shaker 500 audio system with six-disc CD changer and MP3 capability, six-way power adjustable driver seat.
GT Deluxe adds: 4.6-liter 3-valve V-8 engine, ABS with traction control, stainless steel dual exhaust, front fog lamps in grille, complex reflector halogen headlamps with integral turn signals, rear spoiler, performance tires with 17-inch painted cast aluminum wheels, AM/FM stereo with single CD, cloth sport bucket seats and tilt steering wheel.
GT Premium adds: Shaker 500 Audio system with six-disc CD player and Aberdeen leather-trimmed embossed sport bucket seats.
Options include the V-6 Pony Package, seat-mounted side air bags, interior upgrade package with satin aluminum trim or, later in the model year, dark aluminum trim; MyColor custom instrument panel, interior color accent package with black interior and red seats and door inserts, five-speed automatic transmission, two styles of 18-inch cast-aluminum wheels (later in the model year on GT only), Active-Theft System.