Ford Mustang
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Overall
Fifty and fabulous, Ford’s half-century-old ponycar is renewed for 2015 and is ready to rumble, wheel-to-wheel, with its Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger nemeses.

Drivetrain
Base V6 and optional V8 engines are joined by a turbocharged four-cylinder that just might steal the show; six-speed manual and automatic transmissions all around.

A lengthy promotional blitz has finally culminated with the launch of a brand new Mustang. Ford has high global hopes for its latest Ponycar (a term coined specifically for cars in the Mustang’s class) since both left- and right-hand drive versions will be sold in Europe and Asia. That could also explain a certain Euro-styling vibe that the Mustang exudes, especially in the delicate sweep where the roofline meets the rear deck and swoopy tail panel. At the opposite end, the Mustang’s grille and lower air intake are remarkably similar to what you’ll find on the 2014 edition. Also essentially unchanged are both the base 3.7-liter V6 that makes 300 horsepower (down slightly from 305) and the 5.0-liter V8 in the GT with an output of 435 horsepower, up from 420. Slotted between the two is a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder unit that’s rated at 310 horsepower. All three engines will be available in the Mustang coupe and convertible with a cloth top that raises and lowers twice as quickly as before. From a driver’s perspective, the Mustang’s six-speed manual transmission has been reworked to deliver smoother shifts. A six-speed automatic, now with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, is optional. For 2015, Ford has finally ditched the Mustang’s stone-age solid rear axle setup and replaced it with a more modern independent rear system (along with a new front suspension) that promises a better ride, improved handling in the corners and added interior and stowage space. The distance between the front and rear axles was also increased and the car now sits a bit lower to the ground. The interior has also been completely retooled with large round gauges and an equally sizable touch-screen that dominates the control panel. Of all the available options to be had on the Mustang, one of the more intriguing is a Track Apps package. It includes a “line lock” feature that holds the front brakes so the driver can, in Ford’s words, “warm up the tires” (i.e. wear down the tread in a cloud of smoke). Also part of Track Apps is Launch Control (that allows for extra-quick jackrabbit starts), an accelerometer that measures lateral g-forces and an acceleration timer.