It’s no longer a secret that the 2015 Mustang is one of the most technologically advanced vehicles to come out of Detroit. It also represents huge step in Mustang history and brings many firsts to the 50-year-old pony. The sixth-gen model is the first Mustang — sans the Cobra model in years past — to gain an independent rear suspension that promises to improve its handling on both the street and track.

The new suspension will also move the Mustang closer to European competitors like the BMW M4, an important switch now that the muscle car is ready to hit the Old Continent on official terms. What’s more, the 2015 Mustang is the first pony to adopt a more familiar look in the Ford lineup, as the company’s trademark, trapezoidal grille makes its way onto the nose.

Then there’s the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. Sure, this isn’t the first time a Mustang gets a turbocharged four-banger — it happened back in the 1980s too — but it comes in a era in which fuel economy and CO2 emissions are crucial in just about every market except the Middle East. And let’s not forget about the line-lock system, a gimmick that allows drivers to perform burnouts without destroying the car’s clutch. We also call this button the "warranty eliminator," as pressing it allows Ford to assume you raced the Mustang, resulting in dealers having reason to void your warranty.

As impressive as it may sound, the 2015 Mustang is set to receive even more innovative features, one of which is an industry-first on a production car.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Mustang Safety Systems.

Active Glovebox Knee Airbag

We’d normally expect for the most innovative safety systems to come from either Volvo or Mercedes-Benz, but it appears Ford came up with an airbag design of its own. The new safety feature provides front passenger knee protection by means of an inflatable plastic bladder integrated into the glove box. It’s a big deal because such safety features are usually placed under the dashboard, which means vehicle designers have to face several restrictions when crafting the said component and integrating all the electronics that come with it.

The airbag itself is also new, with the traditional fabric design being dropped in favor of a pliable, injection-molded plastic bladder. The airbag is sandwiched between the inner and outer glove box door panels, mated to an inflator and connected to the car’s crash sensor system. When a crash occurs, the bladder is filled with air and extends the glove box’s outer door panel toward the passenger’s legs. The door panel then acts like a cushion in a manner similar to the traditional knee airbag.

According to Ford, the innovative knee airbag, which required no less than 15 patents, allowed Mustang designers to move the dashboard closer to the windshield and increase legroom up front. The new airbag will be introduced on the Mustang later this year, as part of standard safety system.

SYNC 911 Assist

The second new feature to debut on the 2015 Mustang is the SYNC 911 Assist. Essentially an add-on to Ford’s already familiar SYNC technology, the 911 Assist feature allows emergency dispatchers to obtain more information directly from the vehicle in the event of a crash. For instance, a dispatcher will be able to find out if both front safety seat belts were fastened at the time of a collision or retrieve vehicle GPS information as soon as an emergency, prerecorded message is deployed.

The 911 call is placed automatically in the event of an airbag deployment or sudden fuel shutoff if the SYNC is linked to a mobile phone. Additional information provided by the 911 Assist application includes change in velocity during impact, indication of crash type, and whether multiple impacts occurred during the crash. All these vital stats will most certainly enable paramedics to arrive quicker and properly equipped at the scene.

Why It Matters

It’s yet again obvious that Ford means business with the 2015 Mustang. The fact that the company decided to debut this technologies on the Mustang and not a popular sedan like the Fusion hints at Ford’s concern for the Mustang’s success abroad. The Blue Oval has really raised the bar with the pony this time, placing it further ahead of its competitors, the Chevrolet Camaro and the Dodge Challenger, and closer to its potential German rivals.

2015 Ford Mustang

2015 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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Completely redesigned for the 2015 model year, the sixth-generation Mustang is distinguished by brand-new body work, a revised interior, upgraded technology, and an independent rear suspension. The pony’s traditional V-6 and V-8 engines have also been revised. The 3.7-liter V-6 will delivers more than 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of twist, while the 5.0-liter Coyote will generate more than 420 horses and 390 pound-feet. All-new to the range is a turbocharged, 2.3-liter EcoBoost, a four-banger that’s set to churn a little more than 305 horsepower and 300 pound-feet.

Press Release - SYNC 911 Assist

New Ford SYNC® 911 Assist™ features debuting on the 2015 Ford Mustang will offer emergency dispatchers more potentially vital information to better inform first responders en route to an accident.

“911 Assist uses a mobile phone connected to SYNC to call 911 directly when needed,” said David Hatton, global product leader and electrical engineer, Ford Connected Services. “With enhanced data, the system will provide even more detail about a crash to aid in the dispatch of the appropriate resources.”

For example, if a dispatcher knows that both front safety belts were fastened at the time of a high-speed collision, he or she may decide to send an additional ambulance directly to the scene. Safety belt monitoring varies based on the airbag systems in the vehicle.

911 Assist requires customer consent to enable the feature when initially pairing a cellphone to SYNC, and the customer has the option to cancel the call before it is placed. In the event of an airbag deployment or fuel shutoff, a direct 911 call is placed using an occupant’s SYNC-connected phone. The operator then receives a brief, prerecorded message that a Ford vehicle has been in a crash and has the option to retrieve vehicle GPS information.

The enhancements will provide the ability to deliver information such as the maximum change in velocity during impact, indication of crash type (front, side, rear or rollover), safety belt usage as detected by the vehicle, awareness of whether multiple impacts occurred and whether airbags were deployed.

“SYNC will only broadcast relevant information to save time, and it constructs a very efficient message for the operator,” said Hatton. “After the introductory message, the voice line opens automatically and occupants can speak directly with the operator via SYNC’s hands-free functionality.”

Ford worked with the National Emergency Number Association to gather input from members, including Eaton County Central Dispatch in Michigan, and to educate emergency responders about the technology.

“We are pleased to continue working with Ford to prolong our vision of any device, anywhere, anytime to provide help needed in the event of an emergency,” said Ty Wooten, education and operations director, National Emergency Number Association. “This new data provided by 911 Assist will be useful in deciding the proper level of the initial response, and will give call takers an indication as to the severity of the incident.”

Staying engaged with the needs and desires of customers, as well as the emergency services community, Ford continues to work with nonprofit agencies such as the National Emergency Number Association as the company develops enhancements to 911 Assist.

Press Release - Innovative Airbag Design

A new airbag design debuting on the 2015 Ford Mustang raises the bar for passenger safety by providing inflatable restraint protection in a smaller, lighter package that also enables a roomier interior for more comfort.

The new airbag will be introduced later this year as part of a standard comprehensive safety system that includes a more robust package of sensors, safety belt anchor pretensioners, improved exterior lighting and double the total number of airbags on the all-new Mustang.

In the initial application of this technology, an inflatable plastic bladder is integrated into the glove box door and provides front passenger knee protection similar to a conventional knee airbag mounted under the instrument panel. Other applications for this unique and patented technology – which allows airbags to be placed in new locations inside the vehicle and provides more freedom to vehicle designers – are being considered.

“We provide a high level of safety, quality and design for our customers and their passengers,” said Sean West, Ford restraints manager. “With this innovative airbag design, we have developed technology that provides protection for vehicle occupants while also reducing weight and enabling greater design flexibility.”

To make the new knee airbag possible, Ford engineers developed and tested innovative materials and construction techniques. Unlike a traditional fabric airbag, the new system consists of a pliable, injection-molded plastic bladder sandwiched between the inner and outer glove box door panels. After an applicable vehicle impact is detected by the crash sensor system and classified, an inflator fills the bladder, extending the entire glove box outer door panel toward the front passenger’s legs. Once deployed, the outer door helps to provide cushioning in a manner similar to a traditional knee airbag.

Since the glove box-integrated airbag extends straight out from the instrument panel, it doesn’t have to travel as far as a conventional airbag, which deploys toward the floor before curving upward. Since the glovebox door distributes the impact load over a larger area than a traditional airbag, it is able to operate at a lower inflation pressure.

The resulting design is 65 percent lighter with an inflator that is approximately 75 percent smaller than a conventional knee airbag inflator, while providing comparable protection to the passenger. The improved packaging of the system is more discreet, with no visible seams or airbag cover. This has given designers more flexibility to move the dashboard closer to the windshield, enhancing the feeling of roominess in the cabin.

In developing the new Mustang passenger knee airbag, Ford has been granted 15 U.S. patents already, with more patents filed.

The active glove box knee airbag is among a number of technology features on the all-new Mustang, including:

Eight airbags, twice as many as the current model. Along with the glove box knee airbag for front passenger, the new Mustang fastback and convertible have driver and passenger front and seat-mounted side airbags, as well as a driver knee airbag. The fastback adds two side curtain airbags, while the convertible gets a seat-mounted head airbag on each side
Additional crash sensors are located on the front, sides and center of the car to control the deployment of airbags and safety belt pretensioners. The new Mustang now has two front sensors – two per side – and a roll rate sensor in the restraint control module, all of which contribute to a more adaptive safety system to protect occupants in different types of crashes
Also new to Mustang are safety belt pretensioners added to the belt anchor side that further tighten the belt around front seat occupants, keeping them in a more secure spot early in the event of a crash
Tri-bar signature lighting and high-intensity-discharge headlamps for improved visibility of the road ahead during nighttime driving
Industry-exclusive Ford MyKey® allows parents to limit top speed and audio system volume, and to set limits to prevent the disabling of driver-assist features

“The new Mustang has increased ability to adapt safety systems to a variety of potential situations,” said Jeff Rupp, Mustang safety systems manager. “For example, we’ve added new anchor-side safety belt pretensioning capability and a steering column that can adapt stiffness properties.”

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