||2-door coupe, production car
|Miles Per Gallon:
||300 bhp @ 6000 rpm
||314 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm
||f: 62.3 / r: 62.5 in
||13.9 sec @ 104 mph
|Braking, 60-0 mph:
|Nürburgring Lap Time:
Since its dramatic 1964 introduction, Ford Mustang has been the icon of American performance and style, capturing hearts worldwide. For 2005, Mustang combines an all-new, fully modern architecture with all the soul that makes a Mustang a Mustang – bold style, a brawny engine and rear-wheel-drive excitement.
In short, every inch of Mustang is new – yet it staunchly remains the genuine article – "America’s Car" for 40 years.
Based on an all-new, fully modern body structure and chassis system featuring advanced MacPherson struts and a three-link live axle with Panhard rod, Mustang boasts an overall ride sophistication unmatched by any of its ancestors. Its braking and handling are nothing short of world class.
It produces all the tire-smoking power the rear wheels – and most drivers – can handle, with a better-breathing 300-horsepower, 24-valve MOD V-8 or 200-horsepower SOHC V-6 engine.
What’s more, all this unrivaled driving excitement will continue to come at an attainable price. Mustang will remain the best performance car for under $20,000, and the most affordable 300-horsepower car made today.
A new-from-the-ground-up chassis and careful attention to vehicle dynamics give the all-new Mustang world-class ride and handling. The starting point is an all-new, purpose-built, muscle-car platform with exceptional body stiffness and a very high strength-to-weight ratio. With this ultra-rigid structure, Mustang engineers could tune spring, damping and bushing rates to a finer degree than ever possible.
Using computer-aided design and engineering technology, the Mustang team took months off the earliest phases of component development. That gave driving dynamics experts more time to work out final chassis tuning – and they used it to deliver an unprecedented combination of road handling and comfort in the 2005 Mustang.
Track time – at drag strips and on road courses – was a critical part of development, as chassis engineers pushed prototypes to the limit in search of the perfect power-and-handling blend.
"We spent countless hours refining this car on development drives and at the track," said Mark Rushbrook, vehicle development manager. "The car has been to the Nelson Ledges road course in Ohio several times for 24-hour runs and has spent months on our own straightaways and handling courses at our proving grounds in Arizona, Michigan and Florida."
Street time was just as important. Mustang is a muscle car designed for everyday driving, and it must deliver a quiet, comfortable, reassuring ride in a real world plagued by potholes and uncertain road conditions. By the time testing is completed, prototypes of the new Mustang will have logged nearly 1 million miles on streets, highways and tracks throughout the United States, Canada and even Sweden in all types of weather.
A quiet cabin – where unwanted road and wind noise is supplanted by the signature growl of a Mustang engine – was a top development priority. Computers carefully mapped the natural vibrating frequencies of body components to pinpoint areas where unwanted noise was transmitted. Based on this data, components were modified or material was applied to quell the unwanted noise. Despite the new, quieter interior, the car still has plenty of "character." There will be no mistaking it for something other than a Mustang.
The result is a car that delivers the edge – the performance characteristics Mustang buyers demand – along with the smooth – a more civilized environment that makes for a pleasant driving experience on long trips or in more routine travel about town.
Front Suspension – Born to Run like a Mustang
One of the more critical development areas was the front suspension, where the Mustang design team delivered a high degree of precision handling, coupled with a smooth ride, all while harnessing the power a top-of-the-line GT can deliver.
Engineers carefully examined the BMW M3, a car believed by many to deliver just such qualities, before they laid out the Mustang's suspension. They used lessons learned from the M3 and the Lincoln LS to create the new Mustang's chassis design.
Mustang engineers settled on using a coil-over MacPherson strut front suspension with reverse "L" lower control arms made of lightweight I-section steel. MacPherson struts – originally developed in the 1940s by Earl S. MacPherson, a Ford engineer – are widely renowned for their ability to deliver both comfort and control with reduced weight.
The L-shaped lower control arms offer additional advantages over A-arm or wishbone-shaped suspension components when it comes to blending sure handling with ride comfort. A firm bushing is positioned at the point where the shorter forward leg of the L-arm connects to the chassis to control side-to-side motion and quicken steering response. The fore-and-aft movements are directed through a softer, compliant bushing at the longer, rear L-arm leg, which damps road shocks. This isolation is a direct benefit of the reverse L-configuration of the control arms.
Springs are mounted concentrically on the MacPherson struts in a coil-over-shock configuration. The layout allows the shocks to damp forces in the same vector as the spring, cutting friction and enabling more precise shock-valve tuning. A stabilizer bar – 34 mm on the GT and 28.6 mm for V-6 models – helps limit body roll.
At the core of Mustang’s advanced new front suspension is groundbreaking manufacturing technology used to produce steel control arms that actually weigh less than some comparable cast-aluminum designs.
Employed for the first time in a production vehicle, this new manufacturing technique allows two C-section stampings to be assembled back-to-back with welded seams. This creates an I-section profile that offers an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio. Material is efficiently moved toward the edges of the control arms for increased stiffness, while the center is kept thin to minimize weight.
Reducing unsprung weight – components that are positioned below the springs and shocks – improves the suspension’s response to abrupt changes, like pavement seams. Drivers will feel more connected to the road, while enjoying a smoother, quieter ride.
"Having too much unsprung weight is like trying to play basketball in ski boots," said Rushbrook. "Keeping the unsprung weight low gives the suspension the quickness to stay firmly planted to the road."
The new steering system not only makes Mustang more enjoyable to drive on the open road, it also greatly improves parking lot maneuverability. The rack-and-pinion linkage provides crisp turn-in and excellent response, with a turning circle nearly 3 feet smaller than the 2004 model.
Rear Suspension – Mustang’s Solid New Design
Working on a clean sheet of paper, Mustang’s engineering team could have selected any type of setup at the rear, including an independent suspension. So why choose a solid rear axle? The answer lies in Mustang’s position as America’s sports car.
"We talked to a lot of Mustang owners when we were developing this program," said Hau Thai-Tang, chief nameplate engineer. "They are a very passionate group, and a lot of them told us – very strongly – that the all-new Mustang must have a solid rear axle."
Although a mainstay of muscle-car design, the solid axle hasn’t always been viewed as its strong suit. Early hopped-up sedans often overwhelmed their leaf-spring live axles, which weren’t designed for the demands of performance driving. The slender leaf springs were prone to side sway in hard maneuvers and to wind up and "hop" the rear wheels under full throttle. The tendency of the low-grip bias-ply tires of the day to lose traction and "burn rubber" actually was a blessing in disguise, as it took pressure off the suspension.
For 40 years, Mustangs have featured ever-improving solid rear axle designs.
For 2005, Mustang’s rear suspension takes a completely different approach to combat wheel hop. Engineers opted for a three-link architecture with a Panhard rod that provides precise control of the rear axle. A central torque control arm is fastened to the upper front end of the differential, while trailing arms are located near each end of the axle.
A lightweight, tubular Panhard rod is parallel to the axle and attached at one end to the body and at the other to the axle. It stabilizes the rear axle side-to-side as the wheels move through jounce and rebound. It also firmly controls the axle during hard cornering.
Constant rate coil springs and outboard shocks are tuned for a firm, yet compliant, ride. The shocks are located on the outside of the rear structural rails, near the wheels, reducing the lever effect of the axle and allowing more precise, slightly softer tuning of the shock valves.
The GT version of the car incorporates a separate rear stabilizer bar to reduce body lean further.
Previous Mustangs used a simplified rear suspension linkage that acted on composite force vectors. By using separate longitudinal and lateral links in the all-new Mustang, engineers could isolate the forces acting on the rear axle and tune the bushings accordingly. As a result, the axle is more precisely controlled throughout its range of motion. Road shocks are isolated and damped, and the solid lateral control of the rear axle reduces body sway and improves control and stability over mid-corner bumps.
The solid rear axle offers several other advantages that play to Mustang’s strengths. It is robust, maintains constant track, toe-in and camber relative to the road surface, and it keeps body roll well under control.
In short, the Mustang’s sophisticated rear geometry provides handling precision and performance worthy of a modern muscle car. But that doesn’t mean any of the fun has been dialed out of the new model. Keeping enthusiasts in mind, Ford chassis and powertrain engineers worked together to make sure owners of the new Mustang still can "chirp" the rear tires when the spirit moves them.
Brakes – Adding Whoa to the Go
Bigger usually means better when it comes to brakes, but that is only part of the story behind the 2005 Mustang’s sophisticated standard four-wheel-disc braking system.
Along with Mustang’s biggest-ever rotors and stiffest calipers, comes a new, four-channel anti-lock braking system. Standard on GT and optional on V-6, it enhances braking performance. In addition to helping prevent wheel lock-up, the new system has electronic brake force distribution, which distributes braking power to the wheels where it can be used most effectively.
Dual piston aluminum floating front calipers clamp down on 316 mm (12.4-inch) front brake discs on GT models – an increase of more than 15 percent in rotor size. On the GT, the brakes have 14 percent more swept area than those of the previous model. These rotors are 30 mm thick and are ventilated to provide consistent stopping power, even under the strain of excessive heat induced by repeated hard braking. The payoff comes in shorter stopping distances, better pedal feel and longer pad and rotor life.
In the rear, the brake rotors are 300 mm (11.8 inches) in diameter – more than 12 percent larger than the previous Mustang – and 19 mm thick. Rear rotors are vented on both the GT and V-6. Single-piston calipers sweep 18 percent more area than the rear brakes on the previous Mustang.
Gripping Profile: New Mustang Wheels and Tires
No muscle car deserves the title unless suited up with the proper wheels and tires, and the new Mustang won’t leave the factory half-dressed. The array of wheels available on the 2005 Mustang is engineered to meet demanding performance requirements.
The standard 17-inch wheels on Mustang GT are 8 inches wide and equipped with Pirelli P235/55ZR17 W-speed-rated all-season performance tires for year-round driving.
V-6 models have 7-inch-wide, 16-inch wheels. As with the Mustang GT, all-season rubber is standard, with a slightly higher profile S-rated BF Goodrich tire, sized at P215/65R16. These tires are designed to offer long wear without compromising performance.
In concert with the ABS and traction control systems, the new, all-season tires make Mustang more practical in rain, ice or snow. On dry pavement, they provide an exceptionally engaging driving experience with high overall grip and good steering response.
Aesthetically, street rodders long have known that larger wheels and tires better fill the car’s wheel wells, adding meat to the muscle. The 2005 Mustang’s tires boast more sidewall than many other sports cars, enhancing the muscle car look and providing a better match for this vehicle’s blend of power and handling.
An engine is the heart of any muscle car, and with the new 2005 Mustang, the beat goes on stronger than ever.
A new V-8 engine pumps the Mustang GT up to an impressive 300 horsepower and 315 foot-pounds of torque – enough to get any muscle-car enthusiast’s heart racing. It marks the first time the mainstream Mustang GT offers 300 horsepower – formerly exclusive Mach 1, Cobra and Boss territory.
The GT’s 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD V-8 packs 40 more horsepower than the current V-8 and more than 50 percent more power than the fiery small-block 289-cubic-inch V-8 that propelled the 1964 model to stardom.
This new level of performance – on regular gas – is made possible by intelligent application of modern technology, including all-aluminum construction and a new head design that incorporates three valves per cylinder and variable cam timing.
Electronic throttle control is new to Mustang for 2005. Each engine has been tuned to provide heart-warming performance sound and feel, without unwanted noise, vibration and harshness. New, faster electronic processors with more computing muscle and memory enable Mustang’s more powerful engines to deliver even better fuel economy with lower emissions.
The High-Tech Road to 300 Horsepower
Mustang’s new 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD V-8 has its roots in Ford’s modular engine family that spawned stalwarts like the F-150’s workhorse 5.4-liter Triton™ V-8s and the 6.8-liter V-10 found in Super Duty F-Series pickups.
The V-8’s deep-skirt, lightweight aluminum engine block provides optimum stiffness and strength, saving 75 pounds compared with a cast-iron design. Computer-aided engineering was used to reinforce key areas of the block, adding rigidity without weight.
The lightweight hypereutectic aluminum pistons have short skirts, with an anti-friction coating that assures more of the power is delivered to Mustang’s rear wheels and less is lost to friction. High-tension piston rings provide better cylinder sealing for long-term durability and low oil consumption. The connecting rods use Ford’s cracked powdered metal manufacturing technique for precise fit. Five main bearings with cross-bolted main bearing caps further ensure durability and reduce flex. A tray attached to the main bearing caps baffles oil flow in the pan, reducing aeration and assuring proper oil feed to the crankshaft during the kind of sustained lateral maneuvers encountered in performance driving.
For refinement, the V-8 engine is installed using hydromount bushings on either side of the block. These liquid-filled engine mounts are tuned to quell specific unwanted vibration. The V-6 engine, with its narrower 60-degree V-angle, also uses a computer-designed, triangular cast-aluminum engine mount bracket.
In addition to offering more power and improved efficiency, Mustang’s engines will meet Ultra Low-Emission Vehicle II (ULEV II) standards, which govern evaporative and tailpipe emissions. This makes the new Mustang a big part of Ford’s growing environmental success story. On average, the 2005 fleet of Ford Mustangs will emit 57 percent less smog-forming pollution than the 2004 model year fleet.
Let It Breathe – Large-Port Heads Improve Efficiency
With 4.6 liters (281 cubic inches) of displacement, the Mustang GT engine generates more than 65 hp per liter. This compares with the 42 hp per liter that wowed enthusiasts when Ford first wedged a fiery, small-block 289-cubic-inch V-8 and four-barrel carburetor into the Mustang in 1964.
One of the keys to producing 300 horsepower from this relatively small displacement is Mustang’s new single-overhead-cam, three-valve cylinder head design with variable cam timing. The new head gives the engine a higher compression ratio than previously possible on regular 87 octane gasoline.
Air equals engine power, and the V-8’s heads use two intake valves per cylinder to move more air into the engine. A new, tuned-length exhaust manifold offers optimized exhaust flow to help scavenge burned gases from the cylinders.
The center-mounted sparkplug, for a symmetrical flame, is a Ford innovation. Longer and narrower than previous designs, it can extend down to the center of the cylinder head, while leaving as much room as possible for the valves. The compact coil-on-plug ignition system frees space under the hood and allows more precise spark control.
The three-valve heads are smaller than the previous two-valve heads, reducing weight. They also offer a more direct, "ported" style path to the valves for better air flow at peak engine speeds. Magnesium cam covers suppress valve train noise and reduce weight. Taking weight out at the top of the engine helps lower the car’s center of gravity and its roll-center axis, improving handling.
Ford’s modular engine architecture lets Mustang share its aluminum heads with the new, 5.4-liter, three-valve Triton V-8 of the F-150, benefiting manufacturing efficiency. The heads in the F-150 and Mustang GT engines even share the same part number, including camshaft. However, sophisticated electronic controls, including the ability to regulate camshaft timing, allowed Ford powertrain engineers to tune both engines quite differently to achieve their individual missions.
The Mustang’s torque curve is steeper and peaks at 315 foot-pounds at 4,250 rpm. The Triton delivers more total torque, at 365 foot-pounds, with peak torque coming in more quickly at 3,750 rpm.
The 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD V-8 engine has the same cylinder bore diameter as the 5.4-liter, three-valve Triton, but a much shorter stroke – 3.54 inches vs. 4.17 inches. This gives it free-revving performance characteristics well-matched to a performance car.
Variable Camshaft Timing – Power Without Penalty
Variable camshaft timing was a key in the quest to wring more power from the Mustang’s 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD V-8 engine, while simultaneously improving efficiency and reducing emissions. VCT lets allows the valves operate at optimum points in the combustion cycle, tailored to the engine’s speed and load at that instant.
The Mustang VCT system allows up to 50 degrees of cam variation in relation to the crankshaft angle. Ford’s "dual-equal" variable cam timing design shifts timing of both the intake and exhaust valves together, with one camshaft per cylinder head. This provides all the benefits of, but creates far less complexity and adds less weight than, VCT systems that actuate the intake and exhaust valves separately.
The cams operate both sets of valves using low-profile roller-finger followers, helping reduce friction and keep the overall engine height – and thus, hood line – low. Cam position is controlled by an electronic solenoid that modulates oil pressure to advance or retard the cam timing based on input from the engine’s electronic control computer.
Tuning the Mustang Sound
Topping off each engine is an all-new intake manifold, specifically tuned for the Mustang. Powertrain and NVH engineers worked together using computer-aided design and engineering, along with sound-quality studies, to achieve the right balance of sound characteristics and maximum airflow, assuring the Mustang engines sound as good as they perform.
Just as an opera singer’s vocal cords vibrate to make a pitch, Mustang’s tuned intakes create a distinctive, powerful, soul-stirring sound.
For the 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD V-8 engine, the new manifold incorporates a low-profile, dual-bore throttle body that draws cold air from outside the engine compartment and uses tuned intake runners for maximum power and efficiency.
The composite integrated air-fuel module incorporates a flat, stainless steel fuel rail with charge motion control valves at the end of each intake runner. The air-fuel mixture entering an engine behaves differently at different engine speeds and loads. At low engine speeds and light loads, these specially shaped CMCV flaps are closed to speed up the intake charge and induce a tumble effect in the combustion chamber. This causes the fuel to mix more thoroughly, and burn more quickly and efficiently. At higher engine speeds, they open fully for maximum flow into the combustion chambers at wide-open throttle.
Electronic Throttle Control – Steady Hand on the Power
Mustang’s sophisticated electronics system – five times faster and boasting up to eight times more memory than the previous generation EEC-V powertrain control module – constantly monitors an array of sensors to make thousands of split-second decisions.
The most important sensor for the all-new electronic throttle control system is the one at the driver’s right foot.
Mustang’s powertrain computer infers the driver’s intent from the position of the accelerator pedal. It continually matches this information against other data – like engine speed and load – and electrically operates the throttle-body at the front end of the intake manifold to achieve results the driver demands.
Mash the pedal, and the throttle body will open as fast as the engine can handle the inrushing air. At the same time, the powertrain computer optimizes the variable cam timing, fuel flow and transmission shift points to match.
This system – called torque-based electronic throttle control – is a direct descendant of technology first used in fighter aircraft. It delivers improved efficiency and better acceleration, compared with systems that simply mimic the action of a mechanical throttle linkage.
Throttle control is tuned to deliver consistent response over a wide range of operating conditions, including temperature and altitude, which influence engine response and power. Although lower density air still limits peak engine power, part-throttle response does not degrade with high altitude or high temperatures. The transmission shift schedule also changes to compensate.
"The benefit of electronic throttle control to the driver is an effortless feeling that gives drivers more of what they want, when they want it," said Eric Levine, Mustang V-8 Engine supervisor.
Because the stiff metal cable between a traditional accelerator pedal and the engine is eliminated, so is a traditional pathway into the cabin for noise and vibration.
The ETC system has numerous safety features, including redundant sensors and double return springs at the accelerator pedal, dual sensors at the throttle valve, a closed-throttle-default actuator, backup microprocessors and self-diagnostic software. Multiple fail-safe mechanisms are provided by the software and hardware, and the system is fault-tolerant – if a problem is detected, a "limp-home" mode allows the car to move under its own power.
Close-Ratio 5R55S Automatic – One Smooth Operator
For the first time, Mustang is available with a five-speed automatic transmission.
The 5R55S automatic, also used in the Lincoln LS and Ford Thunderbird, has closely spaced ratios that keep the engine in its power band to produce better acceleration, with a wide ratio that provides remarkably good highway fuel economy. The new powertrain control computer delivers benefits in the transmission, as well as the engine, by precisely controlling shift duration and shift timing. Throttle position, engine speed, load, environmental factors and other parameters guide the transmission shift schedule.
A new electronic interface lets the powertrain control module communicate with the automatic transmission 10 times faster than before. For the first time, powertrain engineers could match transmission controls with other sophisticated features like variable cam timing and electronic throttle control. As a result, the entire powertrain works together to deliver smooth performance.
Slick-Shifting Five-Speed Manuals
For those who prefer to compute their own shift points, five-speed manual transmissions are standard on the GT version of the 2005 Mustang.
The V-8 powered GT is equipped with a rugged Tremec 3650 gearbox; the V-6 cars get a Tremec T-5 manual. Both have been improved for shift quality and efficiency. For example, they now use a flange coupling instead of a splined drive with the driveshaft that results in better balance and reduced lash. An all-new shift linkage is designed to provide quick engagement of the gears, producing a solid feel and none of the "notchiness" apparent on some previous Mustangs.
The boosted hydraulic clutch reduces pedal effort while still offering a performance feel. The V-6 clutch has new plate materials for durability, and the V-8 clutch has been enlarged to handle the 300 horsepower of the new 4.6-liter, three-valve MOD engine.
In both automatic and manual transmission cars, Mustang GT models use a two-piece driveshaft that can withstand higher engine speeds and torque. V-6 models use a slip-in-tube driveshaft.
The rear axle ratio is 3.55:1 for the Mustang GT when equipped with a manual transmission. All other Mustangs use a 3.31:1 final drive ratio. The Mustang GT comes standard with a traction-lock 8.8-inch rear axle for smooth launches and better grip on loose or slippery surfaces.
All axles have a robust ring-and-pinion gear and feature a stiff differential case to reduce flex during cornering.
‘Just Enough’ Traction Control
Under some conditions, Mustang drivers may find they need a little help in harnessing all the excitement the 2005 edition has to offer.
That’s where the new all-speed traction control system comes in. Standard on GT and bundled as an option with the antilock braking system on V-6 models, the traction control system takes advantage of the new Mustang’s high-speed communication network by using sensor information from both the engine controller and the ABS to quickly detect whether the vehicle is on dry pavement or is negotiating a slippery surface. The new electronic throttle system and brake system thus work smoothly in concert to reduce wheel spin.
But this is a muscle car, after all, so Mustang’s traction control is tuned a little differently. On dry pavement, the system allows more rear wheel slip under acceleration, enhancing the performance feel of rear-wheel drive. This means drivers still can "hang it out" a bit when the going gets particularly spirited. If the system detects slippery conditions associated with snow, ice or wet roads, it acts more aggressively to help the driver maintain stability.
On those occasions when traction control isn’t desired – such as a smoky burnout at the drag strip – drivers can deactivate the system with a button conveniently located on the instrument panel’s center stack, just to the right of the gauges. Another push will turn the system back on; otherwise, it will activate automatically the next time the vehicle is started.
The all-new, all-American 2005 Ford Mustang is a bold, clean and contemporary version of history’s most celebrated muscle car. Its design is rooted in an unmistakable heritage that gave birth to an icon and, more recently, unceremoniously nudged some of its traditional competitors into retirement.
The 2005 Mustang was spawned from the 2003 concept car that stole hearts along the auto show circuit and signaled that America’s only remaining muscle car would be reborn – this time with even more attitude.
"We weren’t just redesigning a car, we were adding another chapter to an epic," said J Mays, Ford group vice president, Design. "The new Mustang’s modern design speaks to its technical advancement – without losing the classic Mustang bad-boy image."
Icon with Attitude
The Mustang legend was made on the streets of America and cemented on the silver screen, where it has been the number-one car in starring roles since the 1960s. Through a mixture of tire smoke, growling V-8s and Hollywood stalwarts such as Steve McQueen in Bullitt and Nicolas Cage in Gone in 60 Seconds, Mustang has been forever entwined with American pop culture. Today, that connection is reiterated in everything from Sheryl Crow music videos to countless parades across America.
The pairing of an all-new platform and clean-sheet approach to styling was central to the design team’s mission to create a Mustang boasting the "old school" swagger that personified cars of the late 1960s, but with the capability to carve out a new niche. Designers wallpapered Ford studios with images of classic Mustangs and movie tough guys for inspiration.
From a distance, there is no chance of mistaking the 2005’s muscular, honest silhouette for anything other than a Mustang.
Ford’s holistic approach to design – and a tripling of its investment in interiors – delivered a breakthrough Mustang cabin that stretches muscle-car definitions with its breadth of choices. In addition to three distinct interiors and an available authentic aluminum panel adorning the width of the dashboard, an available color-adjustable instrument cluster offers buyers almost limitless interior accent options.
"The new Mustang redefines expectations for muscle-car interiors much like the F-150 changed the game for pickups," said Mays. "We are helping Mustang owners create unique interiors to get the same adrenaline rush inside and outside the car."
40 Years of American Muscle, One Modern Classic
There is no mistaking the new Mustang as the latest evolution in a long line of intentionally bold, uniquely honest, purely American sports cars. Its signature long hood and short rear deck play on 40 years of history, as do classic design cues that have helped define Mustangs since the ’60s: C-scoops in the sides, three-element taillamps and a galloping horse badge in the center of the grille.
The Mustang’s shark-like nose with the forward-leaning grille gives it an attitude reminiscent of the 1967 model, while jeweled round headlamps in trapezoidal housings deliver a striking new design flair.
"The new Mustang is pure American muscle," said Mays. "But rest assured, we’re not insisting on history at the expense of our future."
Like all the best Mustangs, this one communicates motion even when it’s standing still. The all-new model features a close-coupled greenhouse, strong shoulders and aggressive flares, lending it a powerful stance.
The new car’s front wheels have been moved significantly forward, reducing the front overhang by 4.6 inches. This gives the 2005 Mustang a modern, unmistakably rear-wheel-drive look. Pushing the wheels to the corners results in a 6-inch wheelbase gain over the 2004 model and increased interior compartment width, which Ford package engineers used for increased driver and passenger room. Overall, it’s 4.4 inches longer, 1.4 inches taller and almost an inch wider than the 2004 model.
The exterior is best described as lovingly styled, with no unnecessary adornment. A sharp accent line runs the length of the body and culminates in a "C-scoop" design stamped into the sheet metal just behind the door cutline, creating a visual link with the C-pillar. The small window in the C-pillar is a modern departure – past Mustangs incorporated louvers or scoops.
The angled, hard-creased appearance of the C-scoops and their relationship to the door cut provide a look of precise technical integration. The theme is reinforced by a subtle body crease that runs through the filler cap door.
"Mustang is – and has always been – about emotion," said Larry Erickson, Mustang chief designer. "This car brings to life the design and performance people have come to expect from Mustang – with a level of engineering precision never before seen in muscle cars."
Two Versions, Both Authentic
The Mustang V-6 and GT models are clearly distinguished.
Out front, the V-8 Mustang GT has a more aggressive nose, with circular fog lamps in the black grille in line with the headlamps. The lower fascia is upright, with an "air dam" performance look.
The V-6 Mustang has a uniform egg-crate grille and a swept back lower fascia and incorporates horizontal vents.
Both grilles feature the classic galloping pony logo.
From the side, the Mustang GT looks more planted, low and aggressive, thanks to its body-color lower rocker panel extension.
Differences between the two models’ rear fascia panels are driven by performance considerations. The GT features semi-circular cutouts behind each wheel to accommodate the car’s large exhaust pipe tips. The GT also gets a raised spoiler on the decklid.
Both models boast tri-bar taillamps and a circular chrome Mustang badge centered in the rear face of the decklid. Edges of the large, chunky badge are knurled with generous, square-shouldered cutouts, adding to the car’s powerful, machined-billet image. On V-6 models, the Mustang pony logo is centered on a black field; GT versions get a special GT badge.
Exterior color choices include black, white, silver, red, burgundy, bright blue, dark blue, mineral gray, yellow and Mustang Legend Lime Gold. Many of these colors were inspired by classic Mustang hues, some with the same names.
Mustang looks every bit as good from behind the wheel, with a passenger compartment few would expect from a muscle car.
The modern interior pays homage to Mustang heritage with a symmetrical instrument panel and square-arched "eyebrows" on each side of the center stack, while the quality materials, precision craftsmanship and technical innovations take the 2005 edition to a whole new level.
On GT models, the available Interior Color Accent Package – charcoal with red leather seating surfaces, red door inserts and red floor mats – is as much a jaw-dropper as the interior of the acclaimed concept vehicle that inspired it. The cabin is accented with real aluminum hardware for a look of technical precision.
"This is a $30,000 interior in a $20,000 car," Erickson said. "The functional, contemporary look of this interior and its precise execution set a new standard."