Last year Chevrolet unveiled its brand-new Corvette. The Detroit icon’s gigantic V8 engine and pushrods are a Midwestern middle finger to the rest of the performance-car world. Now it’s Ford’s turn to drop a bomb on unsuspecting enthusiasts. The Blue Oval’s completely redesigned Mustang is cantering toward its fall on-sale date and a big debut on the global market.
Like the ‘Vette, this fun-loving filly is as American as Mark Twain eating a Big Mac while wrapped in old glory. Lady Liberty’s got nothin’ on the Mustang, and Ford’s all-new 2015 model promises to be the best one ever built, now with 1,768 percent less live axle!
Aero Does a Body Good
Of course the new car features a totally restyled body. Curbing violent outbursts from faithful customers, there are still plenty of familiar Mustang design cues, things like a long hood, three-chamber tail lights and a galloping pony badge. But as the old saying goes, Satan’s in the specifics and the product development team endeavored to make the car’s body as slippery as possible.
The 2015 Mustang’s superior aerodynamics help improve fuel economy and high-speed stability. Curiously wind resistance is exponential, not linear. Apparently in engineering parlance driving twice the speed requires eight times more horsepower to overcome drag; accordingly small changes can really add up.
The new cars received about twice as much aerodynamic attention as previous Mustangs. And one of the most noticeable features is its stylish new “shark nose” front end. But this isn’t just a pretty design flourish. The sharp angle of the hood’s leading edge helps cut wind resistance.
Wheels and tires are a major source of drag and the design team developed a special “aero curtain” that helps reduce these parasitic losses. Vertical slots in the car’s front fascia create a path for air to flow around the side of the wheels, reducing drag.
Door-mounted side-view mirrors improve aerodynamics and help keep the cabin quiet. By moving the mirror pods away from the pillar they can keep the airflow completely detached from the side of the car, which means less resistance and noise.
Models equipped with the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine feature active grille shutters. They provide all the cooling this tiny dynamo needs and reduce wind resistance when necessary. Models with the base V6 engine as well as the V8-powered GT version make do with no fancy grilles because of their greater cooling needs.
A final coefficient-of-drag figure for the car has not been shared at this time.
DROP IT LIKE IT’S HOT… OUTSIDE AND THE SUN IS SHINING
Convertibles aren’t for everyone. They certainly appeal to individuals who love basking in all of Mother Nature’s glory but true enthusiasts tend to shy away from drop tops because typically they’re less structurally rigid and paradoxically heavier than their coupe counterparts. Still, Ford has made many improvements to the 2015 Mustang convertible.
This body style accounts for about 18 percent of the Mustang sales mix, so it’s an important model in the lineup. In fact representatives said the car is Ford’s only drop top sold anywhere in the world. If you want a Blue Oval convertible the ‘Stang is your only choice.
Like the aerodynamic team, engineers have made numerous changes to the car’s folding roof in a bid to keep inclement weather and unwanted noise at bay. Most notably, the top is powered by a pair of electromechanical motors instead of a hydraulic setup like today’s Mustang; it also features an additional top bow, which helps stretch the fabric tighter giving it a clean look.
Blocking unwanted sound, the black-only top features a three-part design. A layer of sound deadener is sandwiched between the outer cloth and the cabin’s headliner stopping NVH in its tracks.
Other upgrades include a single-point manual release compare to the two latches in the current Mustang. This makes it faster and easier to open.
On the subject of speed the 2015 model’s roof is significantly faster as well. Depending on ambient temperature and whether the engine is running or not the roof can tuck away in as little as seven seconds; that’s 50 percent faster than today’s ‘Stang.
Thanks to a more compact design, a so-called 2-D Z-Fold layout, drivers benefit from a larger trunk that’s got enough room for two honest-to-goodness golf bags. The lift-over height has also been dropped by around two inches. Finally, the Mustang’s brand-spankin’-new independent rear suspension provides packaging advantages compared to a live axle and as a result the trunk floor is much flatter.
Aside from its hot new design and tire-smoking power Ford’s 2015 Mustang is shaping up to be a promising machine. Keep your internet browser locked on AutoGuide.com for all the latest news about this car. We’ll have much more to share in the coming months.
GALLERY: 2015 Ford Mustang Coupe
GALLERY: 2015 Ford Mustang Convertible
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