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.