• 2018 Ford Mustang

The sixth-generation pony gets its first upgrade, drops V-6 engine

The sixth-generation Ford Mustang arrived in late 2013 for the 2015 model year as the company’s most advanced pony car yet. Not only redesigned inside and out, the new Mustang also gained an independent rear suspension, a first for the muscle car since its inception in 1964. The new generation also marked the return of the four-cylinder ’Stang, with Ford adding a turbocharged, 2.3-liter EcoBoost to the usual V-6 and V-8 engine lineup. In early 2017, the sixth-generation Mustang received its mid-cycle update. Although initial rumors and spy shots didn’t suggest a major upgrade, the Mustang showed up with quite a few changes inside and out.

A new front fascia makes the 2015 model seem old, while the cabin boasts significant improvements in the tech department. More upgrades were operated under the hood, where Ford added a new automatic transmission and dropped the entry-level engine. The two remaining units gained power increases. The chassis also received its fair share of upgrades to make the 2018 Mustang the sportiest pony car Ford has built to date. Obviously, these changes were designed to bring the Mustang up to date compared to the new-generation Camaro. Naturally, the facelift will also trickle down to the higher performance versions of the current Mustang, including the Shelby GT350. But until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the newest ’Stang in town.

Update 7/27/2017: Ford has finally announced prices for the 2018 Ford Mustang, and to our surprise, it’s still one hell of a deal. Check out the prices section below to learn all about it!


2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 702950
2016 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 629752
2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 702952
2016 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 629751

Note: New Ford Mustang pictured on the left, old Ford Mustang pictured on the right.

Although it remains familiar overall, the 2018 Mustang has quite a few new design features to brag about. The front fascia benefits from most changes, starting with a new set of headlamps. Not only using all-LED technology for the first time, the headlamps also showcase a new design. The outer corners have been reversed to point downward, while the triangular turn signals were reshaped into stripes and moved below the main LED bulbs. The latter also have LED rings for a more noticeable lighting signature. The inner tri-bar LED daytime running lights are still there, but they’re thicker and angled toward the grille.

2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 702956
2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 702955
2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 702957
2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 702255
The 2018 Mustang has quite a few new design features to brag about.

Speaking of which, Ford claims that the main grille is also new, but there isn’t much of a difference to be honest. But, there’s bigger news below, where Ford added a wider trapezoidal opening and replaced the big, black foglamp housings with aggressive, triangular cutouts and thin vertical vents. The new Mustang also has a lower, remodeled engine hood with new positions for the vents.

Changes aren’t as dramatic around back, but there are a few important features to talk about. For starters, the tri-bar taillights have been redesigned. Although the layout is similar, the slightly angled stripes that made out the cluster on the outgoing model was replaced by C-shaped bars. Below,, there’s a revised license plate recess and a new diffuser. The EcoBoost models gained dual exhaust pipes, while the GT received a more aggressive quad pipe layout with a race-inspired center section.

Needless to say, the Mustang GT is now nearly as menacing as the Shelby GT350 from the back.

The facelift is rounded of by three new paint colors — Orange Furry (pictured), Royal Crimson, and Kona Blue — and 12 new wheel designs.


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro High Resolution Exterior
- image 645701
2015 Dodge Challenger
- image 702958

The newest pony car in America, the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro (left) was introduced in 2015 for the 2016 model year. Slightly smaller than its predecessor, the new Camaro is also sportier by design and ditched some of the previous model’s vintage-inspired cues. Prior to the introduction of the facelifted Mustang, the sixth-gen Camaro was the only pony car that moved closer to the sports coupe segment in terms of dimensions and design. Although it retains a few styling features from its predecessor, the new Camaro is decidedly more aggressive, sporting slimmer headlamps and taillights, more muscular engine hood and fenders, and a motorsport-inspired diffuser around back. While it’s safe to say that it was the sportier proposition at launch, this statement is no longer available now that the 2018 Mustang is out.

2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro High Resolution Exterior
- image 645705
2015 Dodge Challenger
- image 702959
Slightly smaller than its predecessor, the new Camaro is also sportier by design.

The oldest platform on the pony car market, the current Challenger, is more of a historic rival than a proper competitor for the new Mustang and Camaro. The coupe is significantly larger and heavier that its main competitors and the 2015-model-year facelift didn’t change much in that respect. However, that’s not to say Mopar’s main weapon against the Mustang and the Camaro is outdated. The refresh brought revised front and rear fascias inspired by the 1971 model and the fact that sales remained strong (albeit way behind those of the Mustang and Camaro) is indication that muscle cars enthusiasts still care about the nameplate. A redesign is set to follow in a couple of years but, until then, FCA isn’t likely to give the Challenger a significant makeover.

Exterior Dimensions

Chevrolet Camaro Dodge Challenger Ford Mustang
Wheelbase (Inches) 110.7 116.2 107.1
Overall Length (Inches) 188.3 197.9 188.3
Overall Width (Inches) 74.7 75.7 75.4
Overall Height (Inches) 53.1 57.5 54.3
Track front/rear (Inches) 62.5/63.7 63.4/64.0 62.4/65.1


2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Interior
- image 702222
2016 Ford Mustang Interior
- image 629738

Note: New interior Ford Mustang pictured on the left, old interior Ford Mustang pictured on the right.

The interior didn’t get that many modifications styling-wise, but future customers will enjoy a new hand-stitched wrap with contrast stitching and padded knee bolsters, as well as restyled seats with new patterns and color choices. The door handles, rings, and bezels are now finished in aluminum for a more upscale look, while the instrument panel sports an updated Mustang badge. An heated steering wheel was also introduced as an option for both the EcoBoost and GT models.

2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Interior
- image 702221
Arguably the most important new feature is the 12-inch digital instrument cluster.

More significant upgrades were made in the tech department. Arguably the most important new feature is the 12-inch digital instrument cluster. Ford’s first ever dash this big, the customizable LCD can be personalized with three separate views, each corresponding to the Normal, Sport, and Track modes. A fourth mode dubbed MyMode allows further customization by memorizing the driver’s favorite throttle settings and suspension and steering preferences.

2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Interior
- image 702246
2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Interior
- image 702249

Ford SYNC Connect with FordPass is also a novelty for the Mustang. Available as an option, the app enables drivers to start, lock, unlock, and locate their car using smartphones. Finally, a new active valve exhaust available on the GT model allows the driver to adjust the V-8 engine note.


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro
- image 702961
2015 Dodge Challenger High Resolution Interior
- image 549845

Just like the Mustang, the Camaro (left) boasts an interior that harkens back to the classic models and has remained familiar despite the 2015 redesign. Chevy stepped into the future with a cleaner, simpler design, especially in the dashboard area, but also used more upscale materials and greater attention to detail. The standard instrument cluster continues to use analog gauges, but an eight-inch, configurable screen is available on the options list. The screen displays additional information such as performance, navigation, and certain infotainment features. Another eight-inch screen sits in the center of the dashboard, serving as the interface for the upgraded, new-generation MyLink system. The infotainment screen is not only larger than the previous unit, but it also sits higher in the redesigned center stack. Other noticeable updates include new chrome inserts for the door panels, contrast stitching in the seats and dashboard, and an electronic parking brake. If you’re looking to stand out and impress your Mustang-driving co-worker or neighbor, you can spec the optional, segment-first LED ambient lighting system. Integrated in the dashboard, door panels, and center console, it offers 24 colors, fade and transition effects that spread across the interior, and a theatrical "car show" mode that cycles randomly through the entire color spectrum when the car is parked. Now that’s what I call a lighting circus!

2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro
- image 702962
2015 Dodge Challenger
- image 702963
Although it rides on a ten-year-old platform, the Challenger comes with a fairly modern interior.

Although it rides on a ten-year-old platform, the Challenger comes with a fairly modern interior. The center console might not have the uncluttered look you get in the Mustang or Camaro, but the instrument cluster, materials, steering wheel, and most of the tech were updated for the 2015 model year. There’s a seven-inch TFT screen in the instrument cluster and an 8.4-inch infotainment display in the center stack. The steering wheel is grippy while the seats have big bolsters for a sporty feeling even in the base model. Materials range from premium cloth to Nappa leather and Alcantara suede. The 14 available interior colors and trim selections make the Challenger pretty customizable given its age. While it might not be on par with the new Mustang technology-wise, the Challenger has an important advantage when it comes to roominess, mainly due to its longer body and wheelbase. In a side-by-side battle, the Dodge wins against both the Mustang and Camaro by offering more headroom and shoulder room front and rear, as well as better hip room for rear passengers. And even though it comes with less legroom dor the driver and front passenger, rear-seat occupants can stretch more than they would in the Mustang and Camaro.

Chevrolet Camaro Dodge Challenger Ford Mustang
Headroom front/rear (Inches) 38.5/33.5 39.3/37.1 37.6/34.8
Legroom front/rear (Inches) 43.9/29/9 42.0/33.1 44.5/29
Shoulder Room front/rear (Inches) 55.0/- 58.5/53.9 56.3/52.2
Hip Room front/rear (Inches) 54.5/- 55.3/47.8 54.9/47.4
Cargo Volume 9.1 16.2 13.5


2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 702227

The big news in this department is that Ford dropped the 3.7-liter V-6, leaving the 2.3-liter EcoBoost as the base engine. A move that makes sense given that the two drivertrains were similar in terms of horsepower, but the EcoBoost provided way better performance. I’m sure some Mustang enthusiasts won’t be happy about it, but Ford just made a new step into the future.

The big news in this department is that Ford dropped the 3.7-liter V-6.

Moving on to the new base engine, the 2.3-liter four-cylinder gained more torque for wide-open throttle acceleration. The unit is now rated at 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet, which is a 30-pound-feet gain over the outgoing model. When paired with the 10-speed automatic transmission and equipped with the Performance Package, the EcoBoost hits 60 mph in "under five seconds." This benchmark is achieved with the Drag Strip mode, which provides maximum acceleration and performance for straight-line driving.

The 5.0-liter V-8 is also more powerful, now rated at 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

The 5.0-liter V-8 is also more powerful, now rated at 460 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. That’s 25 horses and 20 pound-feet more than last year’s GT model. Ford also said that the engine has been "thoroughly reworked" and that it "revs higher than any Mustang GT before." The power increase was possible thanks to Ford’s new dual-fuel, high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection. This not only brings more low-end torque and high-rpm power, but also improves fuel efficiency. In the same 10-speed automatic and Drag Strip setup, the V-8 pushes the Mustang from 0 to 60 mph in "less than four seconds," which makes it quicker than the Porsche 911 Carrera.

As expected, Ford introduced its new 10-speed automatic transmission for both engines.

The manual transmissions for both engine options have also been upgraded to handle the extra torque. For the V-8 engine, the manual transmission has been redesigned to include a twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel for increased torque capability and more efficient clutch modulation.

As expected, Ford introduced its new 10-speed automatic transmission for both engines. With a wide-ratio span and optimized gear spacing, the new automatic helps deliver higher average power for acceleration and improved responsiveness. Compared to the previous six-speed automatic, the new 10-speed transmission has quicker shift times, better low-speed response, and significantly reduced friction losses.


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro
- image 627607
2015 Dodge Challenger High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 549927

The new-generation Camaro can be had with one of three engines, including the first-ever four-cylinder since the third-generation model. Introduced in response to the Mustang’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, the turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-pot is based on the mill offered in the Cadillac ATS and CTS and cranks out 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Although less powerful than the Mustang’s 310-horsepower EcoBoost, the 2.0-liter is powerful enough to push the Camaro to 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. Next in line is the 3.6-liter V-6 that no longer has a direct competitor from Ford. Chevy’s V-6 was more powerful anyway, as GM wanted the four-cylinder to act as an entry-level powerplant. Rated at 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque, the 3.6-liter is the most powerful naturally aspirated mill in the segment, besting the Mustang’s discontinued V.6 by 35 horsepower. Hitting 60 mph from a standing start takes as low as 5.1 clicks. Finally, the Camaro SS tops the lineup with the Corvette’s 6.2-liter V-8 under the hood. The LT1 cranks out 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque, 20 horsepower more than the pre-facelift Mustang GT. On the other hand, it lags behind the Challenger’s 6.4-liter Hemi. The 0-to-60 mph sprint is achieved in 4.3 seconds. All of the engines can be had with a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Challenger is the only muscle car that doesn't offer a turbocharged four cylinder yet.

Moving over to the Challenger, it’s the only muscle car that doesn’t offer a turbocharged four cylinder yet. The range begins with a 3.6-liter V-6 rated at 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, but the 5.7-liter V-8 offers 375 horses and 410 pound-feet. More oomph comes from the mighty 6.4-liter Hemi V-8, which sends a segment-leading 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of twist to the rear wheels. Speaking of which, the Challenger is the only pony car that can be ordered with an all-wheel-drive system. Introduced for 2017, the Challenger GT uses an AWD system based on the Dodge Charger’s and combines it with the 3.6-liter V-6 engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s not a lot quicker than the RWD version and fuel economy is actually down a bit, but hey, if you want all-weather traction in a muscle car, Dodge is the automaker to go to. Another thing to keep in mind here is that the Challenger is significantly heavier due to its old underpinnings and bigger dimensions. The lightest Chally tips the scales at 3,834 pounds versus the Mustang’s 3,520 pounds and the Camaro’s 3,339 pounds.

Chevrolet Camaro 2.0T Chevrolet Camaro V6 Chevrolet Camaro SS Dodge Challenger Dodge Challenger Dodge Challenger
Engine 2.0-liter I-4 DOHC VVT DI Turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 DOHC VVT DI 6.2-liter V-8 3.6-Liter Pentastar V-6 5.7-Liter HEMI® V-8 6.4-liter HEMI V-8
Horsepower 275 HP @ 5,600 RPM 335 HP @ 6,800 RPM 455 HP @ 6,000 RPM 305 HP @ 6,350 RPM 375 HP @ 5,200 RPM 485 HP @ 6,100 RPM
Torque 295 LB-FT @ 3,000-4,500 RPM 284 LB-FT @ 5,300 RPM 455 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM 268 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM 410 LB-FT @ 4,300 RPM 475 LB-FT @ 4,100 RPM
Transmission six-speed manual six-speed manual 8-speed automatic six-speed manual 8-speed automatic six-speed manual
Curb weight 3,354 Lbs 3,463 Lbs 3,685 Lbs 3,894 Lbs 4,175 Lbs 4,286 Lbs
0 to 60 mph 5.5 seconds 5.1 seconds 3.9 seconds 6.2 seconds 5.1 seconds 4.4 seconds
Top Speed 130 mph 155 mph 165 mph 120 mph 155 mph 182 mph


2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 702955

Already sportier than previous-generation Mustangs, the 2018 model gained new chassis updates for improved handling. Ford added new shock absorbers for enhanced ride control, while the new cross-axis joint in the rear suspension provides increases lateral stiffness. The new stabilizer bars bring sharper response and handling. More importantly, the Mustang is now available with MagneRide damper technology through the Performance Package. First introduced on the Shelby GT350, it optimizes ride and handling.

First used by General Motors in the Cadillac Seville in 2002, MagneRide is becoming increasingly popular with car makers. Vehicles that already use it include the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro ZL1, Cadillac ATS and CTS, Lamborghini Aventador, GMC Sierra and Yukon, and just about any Ferrari out there, including the LaFerrari.


2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Interior
- image 702250

The Ford Mustang is no Mercedes-Benz when it comes to safety, but it comes with more features than the typical sports car. The standard package includes front-impact airbags for the driver and front passenger, side impact airbags for the front seats, overhead airbags that offer protection in the event of a side collision and rollover, and knee airbags. Additionally, the Mustang is equipped with anti-lock brakes, stability control, and seat belt pretensioners. The facelift brings new safety features, including Pre-Collision Assist with pedestrian detection, distance alert, and lane-departure warning. There’s also lane-keeping assist and Driver Alert System.

The Ford Mustang received a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA, scoring five stars in all departments except side barrier rating for rear seat passengers and side-pole barrier combined.


2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
- image 702253

With the V-6 base model being phased out for 2018, the entry-level price was a big mystery now that the EcoBoost Mustang finds itself at the bottom of the totem pole. Be that as it may, the EcoBoost model for 2018 is priced just $400 more than last year’s V-6 Fastback and $600 less than it was for 2017 altogether. The premium model also sees a price decrease of more than $1,300 to $30,400, while the convertible EcoBoost comes in at $31,085 and the EcoBoost Premium Convertible starts at $36,100. Moving up the V-8-powered GT model will set you back $35,095 (an increase of nearly $2,000) while the Premium Fastback comes in at $39,095. The GT Premium Convertible comes in at a staggering $44,595. Finally, you can go for the Mustang Shelby GT350 for $57,145 or the GT350R for a divorce-inducing $64,645.

All told, it’s quite impressive to see how the pricing for the EcoBoost model has actually dropped compared to 2017, but considering it’s now the base model, it’s not all that surprising. And, the pricing increase on the GT model really isn’t that bad when you consider what you’re getting with the new model year.

Ford Mustang EcoBoost® Fastback $25,585
Ford Mustang EcoBoost® Premium Fastback $30,600
Ford Mustang EcoBoost® Convertible $31,085
Ford Mustang EcoBoost® Premium Convertible $36,100
Ford Mustang GT Fastback $35,095
Ford Mustang GT Premium Fastback $39,095
Ford Mustang GT Premium Convertible $44,595
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 $57,145
Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R $64,645


Despite Ford dropping the base Mustang model, the Camaro is still the more expensive choice, starting from $27,595 for the 1LT trim with the four-cylinder engine. Opt for the 2LT version and you have to pay $31,400. Finally, if you want a Camaro powered by the 6.2-liter V-8, the sticker increases to $37,900 for the 1SS and $42,900 for the 2SS trims.

Surprisingly enough given its age, the Challeger also fetches more than the Mustang in base guise. Specifically, the entry-level SXT model retails from $26,995, while the next version, the SXT Plus fetches a whopping $29,995. The R/T range begins from $31,995, with the special-edition Scat Pack priced from $38,995. The 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker goes for $43,795. If you’re looking to spend big, the more powerful SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat cost in excess of $50,000 and $64,000, respectively.

Chevrolet Camaro 1LT $27,595
Chevrolet Camaro 2LT $32,895
Chevrolet Camaro 1LT V-6 $29,09
Chevrolet Camaro 2LT V-6 $34,390
Chevrolet Camaro 1SS $37,900
Chevrolet Camaro 1SS $42,900
Dodge Challenger SXT $26,995
Dodge Challenger SXT Plus $29,995
Dodge Challenger R/T $31,995
Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack $38,995
Dodge Challenger 392 Hemi Scat Pack Shaker $43,795
Dodge Challenger SRT 392 $50,000
Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat $64,000
Ford Mustang $27,000
Ford Mustang EcoBoost Premium $33,000
Ford Mustang GT $34,000
Ford Mustang GT Premium $38,000

Note: Prices for Ford Mustang are estimated

Other Options

BMW 4 Series

2018 BMW 4 Series Coupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 702126
2018 BMW 4 Series Coupe High Resolution Exterior
- image 702129

A comparison between a BMW and a Mustang might have seemed outrageous a few years ago, but that’s no longer the case. Sure, some might favor the Bimmer’s more premium interior and fancy gadgets, but the sixth-generation Mustang definitely has what it takes to give the 4 Series a run for its money in the performance department. The German coupe just received its mid-cycle update, which added new headlamps and revised bumpers, and new tech features. Output-wise, the 430i is rated at 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, while the 440i is powered by a 3.0-liter inline-six that generates at 320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet. The latter sprints from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds with all-wheel drive. Pricing starts from around $42,000, significantly more than the updated Mustang.

Read more about the BMW 4 Series in our review here.


2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 702252

The sixth-generation Mustang represented a revolution for the iconic nameplate, bringing together a vintage-inspired design, state-of-the-art technology, and, for the first time, an independent rear suspension. Arguably the sportiest pony car on the market until 2015, the new Mustang got some serious competition from the redesigned Chevrolet Camaro. Lighter and more powerful, the new Chevy quickly rose to fame and dethroned the Mustang as the best-selling muscle car in just a few months after arriving in dealerships. Ford and Chevrolet have been playing this game for decades now and this is why the Blue Oval put so much effort in this facelift. The new tech and design features will definitely keep it fresh for a few more years, while also providing Shelby with a new base for the GT350, GT, Super Snake, and other beefed-up ’Stangs.

  • Leave it
    • Mild changes on the inside
    • No more V-6
    • Likely still not quicker than the Camaro

Spy Shots

October 19, 2016 - First testing session

2018 Ford Mustang Exterior Spyshots
- image 692326
2018 Ford Mustang Exterior Spyshots
- image 692318
2018 Ford Mustang Exterior Spyshots
- image 692314
2018 Ford Mustang Exterior Spyshots
- image 692310
Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

Related Articles

A Mini with a Hayabusa Engine Gives Nightmares To A Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang GTT By Zero To 60 Designs Combines Ford GT And Ferrari Design Cues

This Infiniti Q60S Showed The Ford Mustang HPP That It Shouldn’t Be Taken Lightly

Ford Mustang GT Gen3 Supercar Looks Ready To Take On The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship

The Ford Mustang’s Last Stand Could Involve Hybridization

This Ford Mustang Smashed The Quarter-Mile World Record For Stick-Shift Cars

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: