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2019 Ford Mustang California Special is back with upgrades

Once again it's the car for those who want more than a standard Mustang -- but don't want to live with a Shelby.


Hey everybody, the Mustang California Special is back after taking a year off, and this time the GT version gets automatic rev-matching!

The Mustang California Special has been a part of the Mustang repertoire off and on since 1968. It was created as a way of selling visually appealing, factory-built custom-looking Mustangs such as the GT/CS. The California Special has never been heavy on performance, instead focusing on style and offering something different to the Mustang buyer who wants to look fast and be comfortable.

The California Special is back for 2019 with some choice aesthetic upgrades.


The 2019 Ford Mustang California Special pulls some of the aesthetic DNA from the original 1968 car without managing to look hokey, no mean feat these days. To differentiate it from the standard 2019 Mustang, the CS gets a blacked-out grille, fading stripes, unique five-spoke wheels and a new trunk badge. It also gets the Performance Pack splitter for a little extra aggression at the front end.

The manual transmission-equipped GT version, which is good for 460 horsepower, gets automatic rev-matching -- a boon for anyone who wants to take their California special on a rip down the nearest twisty road. The EcoBoost version gets active exhaust flaps. Nothing Earth-shattering but hey, that's not the point.

Inside there is an optional Bang & Olufsen stereo for when you want to juice the Steely Dan to 11, and Miko suede gets splashed everywhere for a fancy new finish. Outside, the Blue Oval is offering new vintage-inspired paint colors including Need for Green, Velocity Blue and the gorgeous Dark Highland Green which we saw on the Bullitt Mustang.

Ford is keeping quiet about pricing for now, but it did say that the 2019 Mustang California Special will be on sale this summer. Get your Tommy Bahama shirt and Beach Boys CD's ready.

The interior of the California Special gets upgrades like Miko suede and an optional B&O Play stereo.