It’s official: the 2010 mustang is out of the corral. After getting to see the myriad of preview pics, there’s now not a whole lot new to see. But it is refreshing to get a look at the full car.
Ford has been stuck with a tough issue: how do you update a retro car? Do you follow the path of the original? If Ford did that then the 2010 Mustang would bloated and on the path to have to be redesigned in 2014 to be replaced by a Focus-based Mustang II. Instead Ford let its retro design mature. In 2005 the current Mustang burst on the scene with a childlike innocence that said to the world, “Hey I’m back!” Now five years later, the car has matured into a teenager. It still looks very much like the happy child you once knew, but now his brow has permanently furrowed, and he’s more aggressive.
Everything on the outside of the car has gotten sleeker. The turn indicators have been incorporated into the design, the fog light fit in the grille better, the tail lamps have more curves, and the interior materials no longer have a shine that makes it look like it came from the dollar store. But these are minor improvements. What makes this a new car worth getting excited about is how it feels.
Ford had put the 2005 Mustang on an all-new platform (it’s first in about 25 years,) and the 2010 Mustang is Ford’s first chance at tweaking the chassis after five years of road development. The car still has an archaic live rear-axle, but now the set up is three-link rear suspension with a panhard bar. It’s not a rocket science leap forward, but it should keep the rear end in line while going fast on the streets.
The interior doesn’t change much in appearance or layout. It’s tough to stray to far from the original in a retro car. But as mentioned before, the materials are significantly upgraded. While it may look nice, the simple feel of sturdy materials makes the Mustang feel less like an economy car.
The 2010 Mustang will be initially offered with a choice of two engines: a 4.0-liter 60-degree V6 (carryover from the 2009 model) that delivers 210 at 5,300 rpm and a peak torque of 240 lb.-ft.; and a 4.6-liter 90-degree V8 (upgraded from the 2009 GT) with cold air induction that delivers 315 @ 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 325 lb.-ft. @ 4,250 rpm. Both engines are mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission.
Pricing shouldn’t stray too far from the original car, which means sticker prices of a little over $20,000 for the base model and about $28,000 for the Mustang GT.
Full details in the press release after the jump.
Lessons learned on the track and from specialty Mustangs mean even more fun for drivers of the new 2010 Ford Mustang – especially those who want to customize their powertrains.
Available for the 2010 Mustang are a 4.0-liter V-6 engine, which is rated at 210 horsepower and 240 pounds-feet of torque, and a 4.6-liter V-8 engine, which is rated at 315 horsepower and 325 pounds-feet of torque. Each is mated to five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions.
“We have fantastic engines,” said Chief Nameplate Engineer Paul Randle. “Our 4.6-liter, three-valve V-8 engine has won ‘Ward’s 10 Best’ for our years in a row and is the most-accessorized engine in the marketplace. Plus, Mustang customers love to personalize their cars, and our engine platforms allow them to do that.”
The Ford team uses advances gained through programs such as the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge and special editions to improve the 2010 Mustang.
Improvements inspired by the Bullitt program, for instance, are seen on the genuine polished-aluminum manual transmission knob and leather-wrapped shift knob, which support a short-throw, performance-based shifter originally launched on the feature car.
Horsepower gains on the V-8 are achieved by the cold-air induction system pioneered through Ford Racing Technology. The intake is tucked behind the driver-side headlamp, mounted in an air box specific to the Mustang. Extensive sealing modifications ensure cold air from the front of the Mustang feed the engine.
A true ram-air system offered on a base GT vehicle is a first for Mustang.
“That means more horsepower and more torque in all driving conditions,” Randle said.
The redline for the V-8 is increased 250 rpm to 6,500, and revised calibration ensures the customer fully feels these changes.
Both the V-6 and V-8 engines have larger exhaust tips, growing to 3 and 3 ½ inches, respectively, up ½ inch from the previous model. The V-8 exhaust features polished tips.
“The 2010 Mustang runs great on regular fuel, and that is where we quote our peak numbers, but we also have a great dual-adaptive knock calibration that allows the 2010 Mustang to run on regular fuel as well as premium fuel, and the system figures it out itself,” said powertrain supervisor Chris Roxin. “It also improves the torque of the engine in the low- to mid-rpm range.”
The powertrain feel also is enhanced by intake and exhaust sound tuning that delivers Mustang’s signature sound. “All the better to hear that famous Mustang roar that’s been inspiring customers for more than four decade,” Randle said.
The Ford Mustang, America’s favorite muscle car for nearly a half century, offers a host of new available features for 2010, including for the first time the industry-exclusive SYNC system, Next-Generation navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link and a reverse camera system.
“We know that Mustang owners love spending as much time as possible in their cars, and we wanted to offer them the best technologies to stay connected in a safe way,” said Paul Randle, Ford Mustang chief engineer. “Adding small features such as steering wheel-mounted audio controls and big technology breakthrough including SYNC and SIRIUS Travel Link make the Mustang driving experience even more engaging.”
New technology features available on the 2010 Mustang include:
SYNC: The voice-activated hands-free in-car communication and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft. The system fully integrates most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and digital media players, providing customers hands-free cell phone and music selection capabilities – plus new 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report provided with no monthly fees.
911 Assist: When a phone is properly paired, turned on and connected to SYNC, the system is ready to assist in placing a call directly to a local 911 emergency operator in the event of an air bag-deploying accident. The key advantage of SYNC 911 Assist is speed, as calls are placed directly to local 911 operators.
Vehicle Health Report (VHR): SYNC gathers relevant information from the major vehicle control modules and packages diagnostic data into a usable format in a matter of minutes. That data packet is sent to Ford via an 800-number automatically dialed using the customer’s paired and operable mobile phone.
SIRIUS Travel Link™, an industry-leading technology that, when combined with the voice-activated navigation system will provide users with real-time traffic data with accident and incident information, coast-to-coast weather data including current conditions and five-day forecasts, and fuel price information for over 120,000 gas stations. Travel Link also offers sports scores and schedules and a listing of more than 4,500 movie theaters with movie times, theater addresses, movie synopses and more.
Voice-Activated Navigation, which integrates several functions including voice recognition destination entry, climate control and SIRIUS satellite radio into one easy-to-use system, displaying them on an 8-inch touch-screen display. The navigation system’s text-to-speech function calls out street names while in route to a destination and reads incoming text messages when the system is linked to SYNC. The integrated DVD player is capable of reading CD-Audio, MP3 CDs, DVD, DVD-Audio and DVD-ROM (for digital map updates). A music jukebox function stores more than 150 hours of music. The screen even can be customized with personal photos.
Reverse Camera System, which mounts a small camera on the decklid spoiler that is activated when the Mustang is shifted into reverse, providing a clear view behind the vehicle.
The video image is displayed in the navigation screen on Mustangs equipped with that option or in the self-dimming rearview mirror on those without the navigation system. The screen image includes an industry-first centerline and colored guides giving the driver a better perspective of the vehicle’s center point and periphery. The rearview camera system will be available on the GT Premium, V-6 Pony Express and V-6 Sport packages.
Ambient Lighting System with MyColor™ allows drivers to customize the interior lighting of the vehicle to suit their mood. The enhanced MyColor system features seven base colors – ice blue, purple, blue, orange, red, white and green. Customers also can create 125 custom colors by mixing the red-green-blue palette. The driver can individually set the instrument cluster gauge background, instrument cluster “halo” lighting and the ambient lights in the front and rear footwells, cup holders, doors and the “M U S T A N G” logo in the aluminum door sills to different colors, or easily coordinate them all to the same custom color.
Another clever feature standard on the 2010 Mustang is EasyFuel™ Capless Fuel-Filler System. This industry-exclusive feature helps to reduce evaporative emissions that create smog and global warming. When fueling is completed, and the fuel pump nozzle is removed, the system automatically seals shut.
Additional refinements include a new center console mounted trunk release; lockable stowage in the center floor console; covered cup holders; steering mounted audio controls; dual electronic climate control; outside temperature sensing; and remote keyless entry integrated into the key. Class-leading one-touch up and down windows continue as well.
“We listened to customers and made improvements to the 2010 Mustang in every way we could,” said Keith Knudsen, supervisor, Mustang vehicle architecture.
The 2010 Mustang introduces a modern interior – rich in the all-American heritage launched nearly a half-century ago and executed in a way on par with the most premium sports cars available today.
“Everything about new Mustang’s interior is first-class,” said Peter Horbury, executive director of Design, The Americas. “It’s a step improvement, like going from ‘dial up’ to ‘high-speed digital.’ Our designers and engineers have created a car that is both superior and affordable – a rare combination to delight our customers.”
Muscle Tension Creates Dramatic Shapes
The 2010 Mustang’s interior design is dramatically shaped with tensioned surfaces and sculptured forms that use light and shadow to create dimension, and evoke power and speed.
“The car’s stance is not unlike a sprinter in the starting blocks,” said Robert Gelardi, interior design manager. “Muscular surfaces and dramatic shapes were a design goal for the Mustang, inside and out.”
Gelardi said the team moved away from some of the linear expressions of past Mustangs. In doing so, the interior design mirrors the motion and excitement seen in the exterior sheet metal.
Evolve the Mustang Bloodline
Mustang’s unrivaled, 45-year heritage provided a strong foundation on which to build the next chapter in the Mustang story. Gelardi and team first identified several core DNA elements, such as the “double-brow” instrument panel, flow-through console and conical lens gauges. Then countless hours were spent evolving and executing those elements in a modern form language relevant to 2010 and beyond.
The new IP design resonates with powerful Mustang heritage, from the aluminum panels, jeweled design of the air registers and conical lenses on the gauge cluster. Gelardi tells how, when faced with a design challenge, the team found solutions that made the interior more of a Mustang, not less. He cites the new air register layout – necessary to accommodate the higher radio and navigation displays – as a good example.
“There is definite Mustang DNA in the 2010 air register design,” said Mustang Design Manager Gary Morales. “The combination of circular and rectangular register shapes is well-represented in our family tree, but the forms are modern and inspired by the exhaust outlets drilled into the aluminum. Each gauge is fully encircled with chrome rings inset precisely into the IP to achieve a well-crafted appearance.”
The center console, another strong Mustang design cue, was designed with a dramatic arc to provide a clean appearance and an uninterrupted area for shifting. The shifter – the main focus of the console – is accented with a chrome trim ring echoing the precise design of the air register rings. The armrests are padded and flush with the rest of the console, which can be accessed for stowage.
Unsurpassed Fit and Finish
Morales and team agreed that flawless execution was the key element of the interior design.
“The success of the interior was dependent on our attention to detail,” he said. “There is no room for error. We were entrusted with a globally recognized icon – a very symbol of the modern automotive era. There’s no greater honor. And we took that very much to heart.”
Morales defined execution as superior craftsmanship, world-class quality and premium materials. He said the very modern Mustang was designed with old-fashioned hard work.
The foundation of this world-class interior is a new, one-piece soft instrument panel exquisitely crafted in seamless TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) skin, fully encompassing textured or genuine aluminum-finish panels. Morales said extending the soft skin and foam around the center stack was critical not only for better appearance and craftsmanship, but also to provide a softer, more comfortable rest for the driver’s leg.
“Gaps between parts – the chrome ringed air registers, for example, are accurate to within fractions of millimeters,” said Gelardi. “This attention to detail is the bedrock of the new interior and what sets Mustang miles apart from the competition. Our goal was a product goes above and beyond perceived quality to offer premium experience. We were absolute maniacs about the selection of materials and executing every detail.”
The goal for every design element was a hand-crafted appearance with world class-detail. The steering wheel emblem, now a genuine stamped aluminum disc, proudly showcases the new 2010 Mustang pony emblem. The premium trim steering wheel spokes are also genuine aluminum with integrated audio controls.
Further evidence is the design of the traction control and trunk release buttons. Instead of just a generic car symbol, the graphics were designed to show an actual 2010 Mustang.
“Once we achieved the shapes and surfaces we wanted, we continued advancing world-class execution to every last detail,” said Gelardi. “We never stopped at, ‘Good enough.’ We only stopped at ‘right,’ ” added Morales.
Mustang offers significant technology upgrades
The 2010 Mustang features SYNC, the award-winning, in-car communications and entertainment platform, developed jointly by Ford and Microsoft. It allows users to control most MP3 players and Bluethooth-enabled mobile phones hands-free voice commands. SIRIUS® satellite radio and next-generation navigation are available along with dual-zone temperature controls.
“For most of our customers, the Mustang is a daily driver, so you want to have those convenience features,” said Mustang program manager Jackie DiMarco. “SYNC also offers 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report for 2010.”
Mustang owners are well known for personalizing their cars, and the MyColor system provides a unique level of customization. MyColor features a “welcome sequence,” greeting the driver with a sweep of the cluster needles, as well as staged halo and cluster lighting. Customers can create more than 125 background colors by mixing the red-green-blue palette.
The available ambient lighting system can coordinate the gauge cluster color, footwells, cup holders, door map pockets, rear footwells, even the “M U S T A N G” logo in the aluminum door sills.
Improvments on the 2010 model
Thanks to Ford’s extensive racing and special program initiatives, customers can look forward to a nimbler, more-responsive Ford Mustang.
Extensive improvements to the next-generation Mustang, readily apparent on the exterior design and interior content and material upgrades, will be felt in the ride and handling of the 2010 model. Taking a cue from the successful Mustang Bullitt and Ford Racing vehicles, many of those enhancements are carried through the full Mustang lineup.
Standard on all models is a three-link rear suspension with a panhard bar.
AdvanceTrac®, new for 2010, traction control and anti-lock brakes also are standard. AdvanceTrac uses sensors to detect and measure yaw, or side-to-side skidding conditions, by monitoring the vehicle’s speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle. When AdvanceTrac senses wheel slippage, it reduces engine torque and applies the brakes as needed.
AdvanceTrac can be run on or off with the V-6. In the GT, AdvanceTrac, can be run in on, off or Sport mode, which allows drivers to push it more while still retaining control.
“We adjusted the springs, stabilizer bars and shocks to better balance the ride, steering and handling for all models, which results in a more engaging driving experience,” said Vehicle Engineering Manager Tom Barnes. “The 2010 Mustangs feel more controlled for steering and handling, yet retain a good ride balance.”
Tires are increased by an inch across the Mustang line, with 17-inch tires standard on the V-6 and 18-inch tires standard on the V-8. A 19-inch Pirelli Summer tire is late available as an option for those seeking higher performance.
The proven chassis from the Bullitt series serves as the base for the GT. A tower-to-tower brace pioneered on the Bullitt lends additional torsional and lateral stiffness to the chassis to improve cornering for those selecting the 19-inch tire.
“You’re getting the best-handling, best-balanced Mustang ever as the base GT,” said Chief Nameplate Engineer Paul Randle.
Design and engineering teams spent a lot of time honing the aerodynamics of the 2010 Mustang, ensuring that both the aerodynamic drag and lift balance were improved for better overall efficiency.
“We’ve reduced the drag coefficient, which measures the ability of the Mustang to slip through the air, by 4 percent in the V-6 models and 7 percent in the GT models,” said Product Design Engineer Steve Parks. “In addition, we reduced the front aerodynamic lift for the 2010 Mustang by 37 percent for V-6 models and 23 percent for GT models, which significantly improves steering feedback and driver confidence at higher speeds.”
As always, extensive option packages are available for the 2010 Mustang.
GT Track Package I (manual only)
Performance front brake pads
3.73 axle ratio
GT Track Package II (manual only, late availability)
Performance front/rear brake pads
GT500 Sta-Bars and rear lower control arms
Retuned struts and shocks
19-inch Pirelli Summer tires
3.73 axle ratio with carbon plates in the differential
Recalibrated AdvanceTrac®, traction control and anti-lock brakes
“With the new tires, the new shock tuning, some new spring setups and new stabilizer bars, 2010 Mustang customers will get an even better driving experience,” Barnes said.
Muscle goes modern for 2010 as the Ford Mustang – America’s favorite muscle car for 45 years straight – hits the streets with a new exterior design; new world-class interior featuring well-crafted materials and updated technology; and a V-8 with even more horsepower and an even throatier signature Mustang exhaust sound.
Combine those elements with the new Mustang’s improved handling characteristics, more standard safety and technology features and its already-strong safety and quality performance and reputation, and it’s easy to see how the muscle car known around the world delivers on the promise of fast, fun and affordable performance for a whole new era.
“More than 9 million customers have made Mustang one of the world’s most beloved automotive and cultural icons,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Making sure this modern legend lives up to their expectations has been a driving force for the team, which went to great lengths – gathering customer input everywhere from race tracks to Main Streets in cities throughout the U.S. – working to create the best Mustang ever.”
For 2010, the team delivered. “The new Mustang marks new levels of both power and refinement,” said Paul Randle, Mustang chief engineer. “We’ve designed and engineered this to be the next classic Mustang that everyone talks about for years and years.”
In true Mustang tradition, there is a “steed for every need.” At launch, customers can choose from a V-6 or V-8 with their choice of coupe, convertible or innovative glass roof, plus several new options and features delivering the opportunity for customers to personalize their cleaner, meaner-looking Mustangs.
“The best Mustangs have always been the ones that connect young America with the spirit of the times – and the 2010 does exactly that,” said J Mays, Ford ’s group vice president of Design. “The new Mustang is close to the magnetic center of the original, fully loaded with the swagger you’d expect, but with modern refinement and attention to detail like you’ve never seen in a muscle car.”
It starts with the more aggressive grille, punctuated with the first new Mustang emblem since the car’s introduction in 1964. Both the V-6 and GT have brand-new sculptured front-end designs unique to each model. The headlamps and turn indicators, now integrated into one unit, are modern interpretations inspired by the 1970 Mustang. On the V-6, the fog lamps are located on the lower fascia, while on the GT, the fog lamps are again located in the upper grille – but are smaller than the outgoing model, similar to the original lamps of the 1967-68 models that inspired them.
“We understand Mustang’s heritage and iconic status it has in the world and as a symbol of Americana,” said Peter Horbury, executive director of Design, The Americas. “We wanted to create a face that is more muscular but unquestionably, unequivocally Mustang and carry that spirit through to the entire car.”
The exterior sheet metal, except for the fast-back roofline, is all new for 2010. At the front, the new headlamps, lower fascias, fenders and grille are capped by a powerdome hood that adds to the muscular appearance while functionally allowing for enhanced air cooling of the engine.
Mustang’s washer-fluid nozzles are tucked into the cowl, while the antenna has been moved to the rear, both of which create a cleaner appearance while also reducing wind noise.
Front rear fenders feature taut, sculptured wheel flares, like a tight skin stretched over the wheels. A classic spear character line on the doors leads to a modern indication of “hip” rear fenders. “It helps give the car aggressive, forward direction, like it’s ready to jump,” said Doug Gaffka, Mustang chief designer.
The rear end design features aggressively angled rear corners, a sculptured decklid and prominent rear badge. A rear-view camera incorporated into the spoiler is available on some models.
A notable new tail lamp design features three LED bulbs firing sequentially from the inside for turn indication. The sequential bulbs were a distinct Mustang feature in the ’60s and comeback to the 2010 for the first time since then. Locating the reverse lamps vertically creates a modern version of the Ford classic three-lens taillamp.
The best of new, heritage
Cleverly combining modern technology with Mustang heritage is a signature of the 2010 model, in terms of both design and engineering.
“All of the Bullitt elements are the base foundation of the GT,” said Randle, noting engine and chassis improvements. “We also applied some improvements gained from Mustang racing. We’re learning constantly and always giving that to the customer on the base car.”
The wheel-and-tire combinations are 1 inch bigger across the board, ranging from 17 to 19 inches, which helps improve handling and braking. The shocks have been retuned on all models as well.
“We adjusted the springs, stabilizer bars and shocks to better balance the ride, steering and handling for all models, which results in a more engaging driving experience,” adds Mustang Vehicle Engineering manager Tom Barnes. “The 2010 Mustangs feel more controlled for steering and handling, yet retain a good ride balance.”
The 2010 Mustang 4.6-liter V-8 benefits from innovations from the popular Bullitt model. Power has increased to 315 horsepower.
“It runs on regular gasoline, but if you put in premium it has adaptive calibration that will give you even better mid-range torque,” Barnes said, adding that Easy Fuel™, Ford’s innovative capless fuel system, is standard on all models.
“It’s an upgrade to the most-robust, most-accessorized engine in the marketplace today,” Randle added. “No one has the reliability, no one has the upgraded options. This is a fantastic engine, proven on the race track, the drag strip and on the highway.”
AdvanceTrac™ Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is now standard and complements Mustang’s all-speed traction control and anti-lock braking system (ABS).
“It gives a driver a little more confidence that in any type of condition the car will maintain what they want it to do,” Barnes said. “The 2010 Mustang improves ride quality and maintains world-class steering and handling.”
In addition to all of the design and driving dynamics improvements, the 2010 Ford Mustang is engineered to maintain its top government safety ratings. Standard safety equipment includes: dual stage front driver and passenger air bags; front seat-mounted side air bags; and, Ford’s Personal Safety System.
Interior leads in design, materials, content and comfort
Like the exterior, the interior design is all new with world-class materials and execution.
The powerful new one-piece instrument panel design is crafted in seamless soft-touch TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) skin fully encompassing available genuine aluminum-finish panels. Mustang’s chromed-ringed gauges and dual-vane air register vents are precisely crafted and positioned.
“That’s the difference between good enough and exceptional,” said Gary Morales, Interior Design manager. “We wouldn’t accept anything less than leadership design and world-class craftsmanship.”
The instrument panel and console flow as one shape, another strong connection to Mustang heritage. The seats and arm rests have softer materials with high-quality stitching.
The new center stack design adds the latest version of Ford SYNC™, with new features 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report. Drivers also can customize their ambient and instrument lighting through the My Color™ system, which features 125 color options.
“The centerstack is quite progressive. The electronic finish panel containing the audio and climate control buttons and knobs are integrated into the finish panel,” said Kim Zielinski, Mustang Instrument Panel engineer, 2010 Mustang. “I believe the customers will really like the new look.”
In addition to the improvements in technology and comfort, drivers will notice a quieter ride. “It’s much more vault-like,” Barnes said. “But we maintained the signature Mustang sound.”
The upgraded instrument panel along with new sound deadeners added to select areas helped improve interior quietness, especially at high speeds or on rough roads. All the better to hear that famous Mustang roar.
With a completely redone exterior that echoes the classic Mustang designs of the past, an interior featuring world-class materials, numerous technology upgrades and an improved driving experience, the 2010 Mustang is poised to become the latest classic in the proud line of Ford’s iconic American muscle car.
“The 2010 Mustang is drop-dead gorgeous,” Randle said. “This car marks the best efforts of 45 years of passion and enthusiasm among the best designers, engineers and manufacturing experts in the business, and we can’t wait for everyone to see it and start driving it.”
The 2010 Mustang will be built at the Auto Alliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Mich.
More muscle. More motion. More Mustang. All of that comes standard on Ford’s 2010 Mustang – which reflects a new design inside and out.
“Leaders lead, and that’s what we continue to do with this American icon,” said J Mays, group vice president of Design. “The 2010 is a Mustang true to its bloodline, with impeccable proportions, honest shapes and beautiful surface language. It executes the best of Mustang in a dramatic and modern way.”
The Mustang design team, led by Chief Designer Doug Gaffka and Design Manager George Saridakis, referenced classic Mustang design cues and developed a thoroughly modern interpretation, giving more “muscle” to the iconic car. The result is a more athletic-looking Mustang with continuous, flowing lines emanating from highly sculpted surfaces.
This Pony is One Sinewy Steed
Look no further than Mustang’s signature pony badge for the essence of the 2010 design. The badge, which is larger and more chiseled, sits proudly in the upper grille.
“Everything we tried to do with this car’s new exterior design is represented in the new pony,” said Gaffka. “It tells the whole story. It’s athletic, aggressive and modern.”
From the V-6 to the Shelby GT500, the goal was to make each model appear even more sculpted than its predecessor. The result is a lineup of iconic cars that maintain their identity in a contemporary way. Each classic design element – the grille shape, the “hockey stick,’ the hop up into the rear haunch, the quarter-glass window, the three-bar tail lamp, the center-mounted gas cap – is modernized in a way that lends the new car even more presence and character.
The aggressive look is enhanced by larger grille openings flanked by slimmer headlamps, which now incorporate integrated turn indicators.
“Modern styling utilizes all of our technical know-how combined with state-of-the-art componentry,” Saridakis said. “Throughout this Mustang, we’ve introduced modern twists like integrated technology, LED tail lamps and HID head lamps, efficient packaging and better proportions.”
The team further enhanced the agile design by stripping away unnecessary clutter. That included minimizing overhangs, eliminating the rear key-hole cylinder, chamfering the rear corner and simplifying the pedestal spoilers to a more compact design. The antenna, previously on the front fender, is now much shorter and relocated to the rear of the 2010 Mustang. The result is a clean, sporty design that looks smart and efficient.
The front end on all models is lower and appears wider with strong wheel arches pushing up and out of the muscular fenders. Dynamic character lines emerging from above the grille sweep rearward into a more powerful, sculptural hood, further expressing Mustang’s potency.
The addition of lower front splitters adds to the sporting appearance but are also functional aerodynamic elements improving Mustang’s fuel economy, downforce and overall performance. An athletic, sinewy design is emphasized by distinctive character lines that grow out of the main body, “as if the sheetmetal has been shrink-wrapped like a skin suit around the muscles and skeleton of the car’s understructure,” Saridakis said.
Echoing Mustangs of the past, the main side-character lines – the wind splitter and iconic hockey stick – return with contemporary execution.
The 2010 Mustang’s surface forms and linework, particularly the dropping fender line running into the belt-line kick-up and rear haunch, give the impression that the car squats down slightly in an aggressive stance that gives it the appearance of even more muscularity.
The team worked to develop a more optimized wrap-around rear-end look as well. The accelerated taper to the side surfaces, truncated into chamfered corners at the rear, enhance Mustang’s compact appearance while the new two-piece rear fascia amplifies the car’s width and stance by visually reducing the car’s height.
Another inherited and distinctly identifiable Mustang cue comes in the form of the tri-bar tail lamps. The three individual red chambers, each lit sequentially by a single Luxion LED, are separated by two clear vertical back-up elements, ensuring the tri-bar look is recognized in lit or unlit conditions. The sequential illumination of each chamber is a unique and important characteristic of the 2010 Mustang’s identity.
“Front to back, the 2010 Mustang is thoroughly modern in its interpretations of the classic Mustang look,” Gaffka said. “The proportions are timeless and magnificent. It is the tightest, most premium race horse we’ve ever done. And it begs to be driven – hard.”
Quieter than ever
The sound of a Mustang is one of the most evocative in the history of the automobile.
You know it when you hear it: that muscular burble at idle that transforms into an aggressive roar under hard acceleration. For 2010, Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) engineers for the Mustang focused on eliminating the unwanted sounds while maintaining the classic note of America’s favorite muscle car.
“We wanted to improve the driving environment for the customer. While you’re travelling down the road, it’s now much easier to have a conversation with your passengers, but when you stand on the gas, you still hear the roar of the engine and the sweet sound of the exhaust,” said Greg Wayne, NVH supervisor for the Mustang. “We maintained that Mustang characteristic sound, but made the whole driving experience much more enjoyable.”
The Mustang NVH team knows how important the sound of the Mustang is to its longstanding fans. They also are aware of how unwanted, unrefined noise detracts from the customer’s experience. So the team used a variety of methods and solutions to keep – and even enhance – Mustang’s heritage sound while eliminating unwanted noise.
Customers grapple with road noise, wind noise, powertrain whines, buzzes and booms – among others. Even storage compartments and doors on the new 2010 Mustang were “tuned” to create a more pleasing sound.
Wayne said the NVH team worked closely with their colleagues in Design Engineering and Manufacturing and Assembly to integrate the solutions, which sometimes were neither obvious nor easy.
“Wind noise, for example, is not only about adding absorption and deadening materials,” he said. “It’s also paying attention to the design details: for instance, where the radio antenna is located, how the wiper blades are styled and positioned relative to the hood and glass and how the exterior mirrors are shaped and mounted. There are many aspects from a design and assembly perspective you have to be aware of because each contributes to the overall sound quality you experience inside the car.”
On 2010 Mustang, the radio antenna was moved to the rear, creating a cleaner look on the front end as well as reducing wind noise. The mirrors were redesigned, resulting in aerodynamic gains and reducing wind noise. Those types of win-win solutions were the product of the teams setting a high baseline of expectation and working together diligently to make sure the designs met their targets every step of the way.
“One of the guiding principles for Ford NVH is ’Feels Right, Sounds Tight,’ ” Wayne said. “Door opening and closing falls right into our efforts to create a solid, vault-like sound when you close the door and that positive ‘snick’ and feel when you open it. A lot of factors play into that in terms of the door hardware – latches, strikers, sheet metal.”
Another door-closing variable involves the pressure wave it creates inside the vehicle. “How well the vehicle is sealed affects your door-closing efforts,” he added. “Design Engineering and NVH spent a lot of time on those details to get it just right. ”
Two of the most important tools used to control sound and vibration are the absorptive and damping materials. Absorptive materials are something akin to stuffing ear plugs or cotton into someone’s ears, keeping out loud noises while damping materials help reduce vibration.
Wayne said both were used strategically throughout the 2010 Mustang in areas such as the passenger side dash, trunk, hood, headliner and interior trim.
Mustang also features an industry-first Induction Sound Tube (IST), which enhances the driving experience by piping the sound of the induction system directly into the passenger compartment.
The revised Cold Air Induction system yields increased power but cuts out a significant portion of the interior sound and the character that customers want to hear. The IST was developed and tuned to recover and enhance that character.
The trick part of the system is that the potential for the aftermarket to develop custom tuning is highly likely, which is good news for Mustang – one of the industry’s most-customized vehicles.
“You still get to experience that distinctive Mustang sound our customers love,” Wayne said. “We just eliminated many of the noises and vibrations you don’t want to hear and feel on the new 2010 Mustang.”