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More modern Mustang design steps up

Stang thang: The 2015 Ford Mustang was designed with global markets, such as Europe, in mind.

Ford updates Mustang styling to draw new buyers without alienating traditionalists

Ford logo6 Dec 2013

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

FORD’S all-new Mustang was created to appeal to a broader global audience without upsetting the large following that the previous five generations have gained over the last 49 years.

Key changes in making the sixth iteration, due in Australia around the middle of 2015, more palatable include a lower and wider look on the same 2720mm wheelbase, reduced overhangs for a shorter overall vehicle, and a faster windscreen and rear window rake for a sportier appearance.

The elimination of unnecessary ornamentation, including the long-lived ‘hockey stick’ feature line and fake side air vents, are part of an effort to move the Mustang’s design forward without resorting to caricature or clichés.

However, the ‘shark nose’ front end, trapezoidal grille with ‘galloping pony’ badge in the centre and tri-bar tail-light graphics return, with the latter motif mirrored in the sleeker new headlight cluster.

“It’s more of a design-driven car than a style-driven one,” revealed Ford Australia chief designer Craig Metros, speaking to GoAuto at the global unveiling of the sixth-generation Mustang in Sydney on Thursday.

“We’ve decided not to include non-functional items like air vents (as part of the ‘hockey stick’ feature line between the door and rear wheel arch),” he added.

More pronounced wheel arch flares accentuate the wider front and rear tracks, and serve to break up the front-to-rear crease, to create greater sheet-metal muscularity and reducing the slab-sided look of the previous Mustang.

Mr Metros said that the Mustang design team’s desire to create a cleaner and uninterrupted character line from the front mudguards to the rear of the convertible required a unique quarter panel pressing compared to the fastback coupe.

With initial design studies commencing about four years ago, both body shapes were created at the same time at Ford’s global headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, in order to ensure consistency between the two outcomes.

“The key Mustang design cues were decided early on,” Mr Metros said.

“Even though there are a lot of changes… we didn’t want to lose the core Mustang customers.”

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