The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Ford Mustang: A Faster Horse - Review by Larry Nutson +VIDEO




PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

2015/2016 Ford Mustang
A Faster Horse
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel



PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Fifty years ago Ford revolutionized the auto industry with the introduction of the first Mustang. I recall that first Mustang coming on the U.S. automotive scene back during my university days.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The Mustang created the "pony car” class of American automobiles with competitive entries eventually appearing on the market from Mercury, Chevy, Pontiac, Plymouth, Dodge and AMC. Sales in this segment soared, with Mustang alone sometime reaching over 500,000 units.

Today, the survivors along with Mustang are Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger.

The sixth-generation 2015 Mustang was unveiled simultaneously in Dearborn, Michigan, New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Shanghai and Sydney on December 5, 2013. I was on hand this time in New York City for that global reveal, a repeat of the first Mustang’s appearance in New York City back in 1964.

“A FASTER HORSE” is a documentary film that tells the story of the Ford Mustang, one of the world's most iconic and recognizable cars. It follows the team entrusted with upholding the legacy of the brand in creating the 2015 model, now 50 years from the original release, while exploring the parallels that exist between past and present day.

In the film, the Mustang’s astonishing history is told through a combination of rare archival footage with Henry Ford II, exclusive access inside Ford facilities and the personal stories of former and current Mustang designers, as well as passionate fans and collectors. A pop-culture icon from its inception, the film also highlights the Mustang’s role in the likes of Steve McQueen’s Bullitt, Sean Connery’s Goldfinger and Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally.”

From Mustang clubs around the world, to the race tracks, assembly lines, and inner workings of an enormous automotive company, A FASTER HORSE chronicles everything it took to transform a small but courageous idea into an American legend.

Today’s Mustang, in Ford’s words, is fast, fun and affordable. Like many new cars today, the 2015 Mustang is longer, lower and wider. It’s been made more roomy and comfortable on the inside. Power train choices have increased to include a 2.3 L EcoBoost 310 HP four-cylinder, 3.7 L 300 HP V6, or 5.0 L 435 HP V8, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Unlike previous generation Mustangs, Ford wants to sell this car through its new car dealerships in various global markets. It’s been designed for European and Asian markets.
PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)


The four-cylinder engine is offered for that reason. There’s also a right-hand drive version. Sales will be on six continents in 140 countries around the globe.

The 2015 Mustang also features a new independent rear suspension (IRS) system, developed specifically for the new model. The rear suspension has improved the Mustang’s ride and handling tremendously. To compliment the new independent rear suspension the front suspension is now double ball joint. Brakes are larger and vary in size depending on the engine. Suspension components are aluminum as is the hood and front fenders.




My most recent Mustang drive has been in a 2015 model year Coupe powered by the 310 HP turbocharged Ecoboost 2.3-L engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. For 2016, the Mustang coupe is priced starting at $23,895 with the 300HP V6. The Ecoboost version has a base price of $25,395. There’s also the Mustang GT with the 5.0-L V8 priced starting at $32,395.

Perhaps the best combination of power and low fuel consumption is the Ecoboost 2.3-L. There is plenty of go power from this engine and it offers the best EPA test fuel economy ratings of any of the Mustangs, with an EPA combined of 26 mpg or 3.8L per 100 miles. This engine is also the lightest of the three giving this Mustang a bit more of a handling edge.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Of course, there is nothing like a V8, and for many it many be the only way to drive a Mustang. With 435 HP, there is a lot of motive power in the Mustang GT to get you going. On that note I recently had the opportunity to track-drive the Shelby Mustang GT350 and GT350R. These two 526HP street legal race cars are really something to behold and to drive. Here’s the link to my write-up on that experience with lots of details on what Ford put in to these two cars.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

For you open air fans, of course there too is the venerable Mustang convertible. Top down driving is certainly a joy on a warm summer day cruising along the back roads or on a drive to your favorite lakefront or seacoast. Here’s a story, which includes great video, from back in the summer on my drive in the new 2015 Mustang Convertible.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

On the inside, optional Recaro seats provide optimal support during spirited driving. The aviation-inspired instrument cluster is easily readable and a back up camera helps in parking maneuvers. There’s more shoulder room in this Mustang over previous due to the added width.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

For 2016 Ford has made a few changes on the Mustang. In a nod to Mustang heritage, GT models come with secondary turn signals integrated into the hood vents. New color options make Mustang more personal than ever, with over-the-top racing stripes and black roof panel offering. Mustang features all-new SYNC 3 with conversational voice recognition, smartphone-like touch screen and intuitive graphical interface. This includes an available 8-inch center LCD touch screen with swiping and pinch-to-zoom capabilities, AppLink and 911 Assist.

For more information on the 2015 or 2016 Ford Mustang just go to www.ford.com. If you want to compare the mustang to other sporty coupes or convertibles you can do that right here at www.theautochannel.com.




© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy

The Most In-Depth Ford Brand Research Anywhere!