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CNET On Cars: On the road: 2015 Mustang revealed
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CNET On Cars: On the road: 2015 Mustang revealed

8:16 /

The 2015 Ford Mustang is a big departure from the outgoing generation, from a revamped design to an all-new engine. CNET's Brian Cooley meets up with Ford executives in Detroit and gets an inside look.

-I'm gonna show you three things I think you need to know about the Mustang when you boil it all the way down. First of all, the styling, very different, still a Mustang. The interior, a lot more tech. And then finally, a new engine, one they said really doesn't belong in a Mustang, but we'll find out if it actually does. What makes a Mustang look like one? -So, beginning at the front end, we've got this grille that kind of tips forward and it pushes down the road. That really gives it this assertive look we call the shark-bite grille. -And we were looking at how that is on the original. -[unk] -It slightly tilts forward-- -Yeah. -and sticks out in the middle. -It does. And then, as you move down the body side, we've got these lines to the body side here-- -Yeah. -that really help to lengthen out the body. So, it pulls you right through the body. It helps to compress the car visually. It takes a lot of visual mass out of the car. -You're wider, you're lower, and yet the car seems a little more compact in terms of its mass. It looks less chunky. -Yeah. So, a couple of things we did with our partners in crime, our engineering committee. We lowered the roof by almost an inch and a quarter in overall height and that's just at the centerline of the roof. -Right. -If you move to the rear decklid, there's about 70 millimeters of height taken out of that. So, it's almost 3 inches of height [unk]. -Yeah. Now, this intrigues me. This intrigues me because most cars we see today have an ever-rising rump put up here. And why is that? And why isn't this? -Design trends. Design trends have, you know, kind of pushed more design wedge into the car. You know, the original Mustangs were very linear, very stable in their side view appearance. So, if you look at this car,-- -Yes. -compared to the outgoing car, this has a lot of stability visually in side view. We pulled the wheels out on the rear 70 millimeters in total. That allows us to get a lot more what we call muscularity or the haunch, the rear muscle, the haunch-- -Yeah. -of the vehicle. The current car has what we call a body collar, B-pillar, so it's integrated body into the sheet metal here, but we took that out and we call it a unified DLO graphic, stands for daylight opening. It compliments what we call the fastback profile. -If there is one thing that you have to do when you design a Mustang to keep it a Mustang,-- -Yeah. -what one thing could you not do without and make this car look like it will-- -Follow me. The tri-bar tail lamps are quintessential-- -No. -Mustang design cue. -Of course. -And without tri-bar tail lamps-- -It's not a Mustang, is it? -it's not a Mustang. Right. -This is raising some eyebrows. -This is raising some eyebrows, but this is a brand new 2.3 liter EcoBoost. It's new to not only Mustang, but it's actually new to the EcoBoost family. More horsepower and torque definitely than in an outgoing V6. -For folks who don't know, an EcoBoost is having a turbocharger and direct injection-- -That's correct. -on an engine that typically is a 4 that can act like a 6. -That's right. -Right. -The power of a 6, the fuel economy of a 4. -Now, these aren't technologies that are new to you guys, direct injection and turbocharging. What can you do to tell people that "no you're wrong" when you say there's no replacement for displacement? That's the only mantra, especially among Mustang lovers. -Well, look, I mean, it depends on what you're shooting for, right? When you want fuel efficiency and power and, and, and, this is the technology, this is where it's at, and this is where the future is at. -And don't you find modern buyers, especially younger modern buyers are less aware of how many cylinders they've got and what configuration they're in? -Oh, they could almost care less how many cylinders they have. -Yeah. -They want a good performing car. That's still true. -Yeah. -But they definitely wanna be more responsible. They wanna be more green. -Uh-huh. -Right? -Because the Mustang needs good crack of the throttle response. -Absolutely. -[unk] fun of that kind of car. -Yup. -What have you done to minimize turbo lag? -Well, that's what sets this EcoBoost apart from other EcoBoost engines. We have a twin-scroll turbo in here. -That's new for you guys, right? -Yup, right. -So, instead of one single scroll, you've got two twin-- you know, two-scroll-- -Yeah. -and then also, there's-- in the exhaust manifold, there's an integrated three-port exhaust manifold. And what that means? As we're taking the four cylinders, cylinder number one-- -Yup. -and we're putting it out through one port, cylinders two and three through another port, and cylinder four through another port. -Right. -So, that turbo is always exposed to the pulses it needs to spool it up. -Absolutely. -For the first time, you have an independent rear suspension in the main production Mustang. What's the big deal there for the consumer who says, "I don't know, it seemed to ride fine before?" -That integral-link rear suspension is gonna allow us to continue to tie down the performance of the Mustang, get it even tighter and better performing but give you better ride, primary and secondary ride. So, when you wanna ride to work on Monday-- -Uh-huh. -and then out looking to maybe go around the racetrack? -Yeah. -You can make it a better ride. -I heard some auto code, primary and secondary ride. -Yeah. -What does that mean? -So, prime-- it's the primary ride, you know, when the bumps that you hit when you're going down the road. -Yeah. -And then secondary ride is sort of what happens after you hit that bump. So-- -Oh, interesting. -Yeah. So, it's the way that we handle the impacts and then how we handle it after these impacts? -These waves that go through the car-- -That's correct. -from the crummy roads we all drive on today. -That's right. And when you have a solid beam back there, you can excite the car much differently than when you're having [unk]. -Excite is an elegant word. -Yeah, yeah. -I like that. -So, again, we're taking Mustang higher performance but also improving the refinement as well. -All right. Now, Doyle, you said there are four key things that make the inside of a Mustang the inside of a Mustang. -Very much so. Looking at a Mustang, talking to the customer, we knew it had to be a symmetrical instrument panel, we knew it had to have the double brow. They're looking for a specific thing in a Mustang. They want the big analog gauges in front of the driver. -That was back to year one. -Exactly. And one of the things we heard time and time again, honest premium material. -Ford's taken something of a beating over its MyFord Touch interface. Now, Mustang gets the technology for the first time. But also for the first time, Ford has moved several of the most used functions out of the touch interface and back on the traditional knobs and buttons clustered below it. -Everything in this interior is tied into, you know, the aircraft feel. We've got toggle switches,-- -Push button starter is there. -Push button starter, that starter is like-- is like that on every Mustang now. We've got a storage space here at the base of the center stack that we didn't have-- -You can never have too many storage bins [unk]. -No. We heard that from the customer. There's a power port there. There's a USB port,-- -Yeah. -so there's a place to put your phone here. -Yeah. -Look where the shift lever is, look where the cup holders are. They're shifted to the side-- -You clear them. -Towards the passenger, so-- -Yeah. -they're out of your way. -You clear them. -You're not fighting these things while you're driving. -And that seems symmetrically dropped in here sometimes right down the midline, but it's right where your arm wants to go-- -[unk] -to grab that shifter. -We shifted them over so they're out of the way when you're driving. -Yeah. -The other thing is the steering wheel is actually a little smaller than today's wheel. And if you noticed, the metal on today's wheel actually wraps all the way around the outside. -Uh-huh. -Well, we heard time and time again, in a hot climate, in a cold climate, that's not great to put your hands on. -Oh, interesting. Yeah. -So, we redesigned this, so your hands are right here and it's nice and soft and you're feeling the leather when you're driving the car. -Paddles, for the first time, too. -Paddles for the first time, yes. Great. Great feature and just, you know, it's all about this visceral experience with flying an airplane. This feels like the cockpit of a plane. -Metallized surfaces here for the controls also. Will all the Mustangs have that or is that a trim level thing? -No, no. All the Mustangs will have this. -It's a nice touch. -Yeah. The only thing that changes actually, you know, sometimes you've got a smaller screen with different controls here-- -Yeah, different technology in the head unit. -But pretty much it's all the same like this. -When someone gets in this car who's got a current generation car, what is the first thing they're gonna notice? -Oh, they're gonna notice that without a doubt. -The wing? -Yeah. -You love this wing? -Just-- I just think this is gonna make a huge statement for us. The glove box itself is actually-- we call-- we call this an active glove box. It's-- It's the first for Ford. -Yeah. -The airbag module is actually encapsulated in the glove box. So, we were able to eliminate 100 millimeters off of the face of the instrument panel which gave us this beautiful form-- -I see. -And that's we kind of keyed in. -So, this would have been real chunky up here. -Exactly. Real heavy across the surface area right here which you'll see in today's car. -The speakers used to be these big jetting things-- -Uh-huh. -that came out. -Yes. -I once hated that. -Yes. -Now, I'm not-- I'm not calling anybody out, but you got them nice and flat here. You didn't have to do that. Why did you do that? -It was all about making the interior a little bit bigger for the occupant. -Uh-huh. -Look what we've done here. We pushed the speakers in, we pushed this forward 100 millimeter. -Yeah. -We actually tapered this. -[unk] scale up this a little bit here. -We tapered this instead of-- you know, we made the best use of the space that we possibly could-- -Yeah. -to really make it a more-- -This isn't a big car. -No, it's not, but I think you really feel the difference when you get in this with what we've done.

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