- Auto designers tell Edmunds that the 2015 Ford Mustang has good bones, a stunning appearance, but still "looks like a Mustang."
- "All I can tell you is that it looks great," said Jack Telnack, former global design boss at Ford. "You will know it's a Mustang. There is no question about that."
- The 2015 Mustang is expected to have a lower, sleeker appearance because the engine and suspension towers are positioned lower than on the 2013 model, said Stewart Reed, chair of the undergraduate transportation design program at the Art Center College of Design.
DETROIT — The Internet is buzzing with interest and speculation about the upcoming redesigned 2015 Ford Mustang. Edmunds turned to the automotive design community to ask what it has heard about the changes to the future Mustang, a car that has been part of the American landscape since 1964.
The response should be reassuring to Mustang aficionados. We're told that the 2015 Mustang has good bones, a stunning appearance, but still "looks like a Mustang."
Jack Telnack, former global design boss at Ford Motor Company, has seen a full-sized scale model of the new car, but understandably is mum on details. He retired in 1998, but makes frequent trips to Ford's headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.
"All I can tell you is that it looks great," Telnack told Edmunds. "It's all new and it's hot. You will know it is a Mustang. There is no question about that."
Designer Stewart Reed told Edmunds that many of his colleagues are anxiously awaiting the unveiling of the redesigned Mustang. Reed is chair of the undergraduate transportation design program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
"I have heard some great words like 'stunning,'" Reed said. "This is coming from designers that are not even part of the team. They have seen the car from a distance and they are careful to not say what it is, exactly. To have a designer call someone else's design 'stunning' is pretty exciting."
The redesigned 2015 Mustang goes on sale next year, during the model's 50th anniversary. Ford has said the car is being engineered to cater to buyers in Europe, the first time that Ford has expressed global aspirations for Mustang. A four-cylinder model is being developed for that market, but the powertrain is not planned for U.S. sales, the automaker says. The rear-drive configuration will be maintained and an independent rear suspension will be added. Convertible and fastback models are expected.
Speculation on when and where the 2015 Mustang will be introduced has ranged from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January to the 2014 New York Auto Show on April 17, 2014. The first Mustang went on sale on April 17, 1964.
The 2015 Mustang is expected to have a lower, sleeker appearance because the engine and suspension towers are positioned lower than on the 2013 model, Reed said.
"What I am hearing is the basic architecture, the bones of this thing, are great, so I can't wait to see it," Reed said.
Additionally, Reed said Ford plans to put more emphasis on special-edition Mustangs.
"They have done a really good job the last few years with special-edition versions of the car, the Boss, the Shelby and everything," he said. "I've heard the special-edition variations are really good. They are pushing that even to a more profound level than what they have had."
Although there has been an industry trend to increase the size of a model when it is redesigned, Reed hopes the Mustang "shrinks down and gets a bit more sports car-like."
Designer Mark West agrees the current Mustang is too big, and he believes it also is too heavy.
West is the Paul and Helen Farago chair of transportation design at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.
West told Edmunds he has not seen the 2015 Mustang, but he believes "the next-generation Mustang should go on a little bit of a diet. The current car shares a platform with the old Lincoln LS. It is a large vehicle."
It is impossible to tell from the numerous spy photographs of camouflaged 2015 Mustangs how the car compares in size to the 2013 Mustang.
"For its current audience, which is early Boomers, (the size) is probably perfect," West said. "In fact, the car as it is now is a beautiful design. But going forward and trying to target a younger audience and taking the car to Europe or Asia, the car could definitely benefit from a slight 10 percent diet."
Asked what he would do if he was in charge of the Mustang redesign, West said he would make sure that the overall design of the new car remained what he called "American."
"By that I mean making sure that you don't deviate too far from its Mustang roots," he said. "I think there is a tendency always to play to a new market, say Europe, say Asia, and trying to get influence from what those cultures may want.
"But I think at the end of the day, what those cultures do want in a Mustang is its 'Americanism.' So to maintain a lot of the traditional iconic elements of the design whether it be the silhouette of the vehicle, the two single headlamps, the articulating rear lamps, those are things are I think are iconic and even non-American markets will look for."
Edmunds says: When auto designers outside the company are buzzing about the 2015 Ford Mustang, you know it's bound to be something special.