What's New for 1999
A new SVT Cobra debuts, boasting 320 ponies, an independent rear suspension and the fresh but controversial styling that all Mustangs received this year.
Like the rest of the Mustang lineup, the Cobra received an entire exterior redo this year that includes angular sheet metal, new headlights and taillights, different side scoops and revised C-pillars. The big news, however, is the under-the-skin changes that include increased engine output, improved steering gear and the debut of a more sophisticated rear suspension.
Tired of being beat in the power game by the V8 Camaro and Firebird twins, Ford has beefed up the SVT Cobra considerably for this year. Not only does this pony feature more horsepower (320 at 6,000 rpm) than before, but it comes standard with independent rear suspension, a first in the Mustang's 35-year history.
Since 1994, the 'Stang has offered drivers and passengers supportive upright front chairs, well-placed controls, clear views out the front and side windows and nice dashboard and seat materials, and the new Cobra continues that tradition. Ford has upped the ante for sports car comfort in 1999, giving the driver and front passenger seats an additional inch of aft adjustment. Also making seat adjustment easier is the improved placement of the power seat controls.
The Mustang's driving experience is enhanced by new steering gear, which reduces kickback, gives the car a tighter turning radius, and increases road feel. The independent rear suspension gives the newest Cobra better control and ride quality over bumps, especially when they're located in the middle of a turn.
The Mustang has always been crashworthy, offering drivers and front seat passengers the highest level of protection as rated by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). This year Ford increases the Mustang's ability to stay out of a wreck by offering all-speed traction control on the car for the first time. Ford thoughtfully provided a traction control defeat switch so that the juvenile urge to light up the tires can be satisfied.
Ford's Mustang has one of the most recognizable nameplates on the road. The improved horsepower, updated exterior and revised interior mean that it will likely maintain its spot in the hearts of American buyers. If the rumors at GM are true about the cancellation of the F-body Camaro and Firebird, this may be the only pony car left for the new millennium.