Rumours and reports about what to expect of the 2015 Ford Mustang -- the one we'll see here in Australia -- have flown around the web in a flurry for months, if not years, and whatever the hype may lack in accuracy, it makes up for in spirit. Today, we have our most revealing spy shots of the upcoming muscle car.
They show the sixth-generation Mustang, or the S550 as it’s referred to internally, hitting a race track in prototype form devoid of the heavy camouflage seen on earlier prototypes -- and revealing the face of the 2015 Mustang for the first time.
The prototype is far from complete, so many of the details may change before production. However, we can clearly see a family resemblance with other Ford overseas products. The shape of the headlights and grille, in particular, are very similar to those found on the latest Ford Taurus.
The look is aggressive and shares traits with both the modern Evos concept of 2011 and the current Mustang. Though the rest of the prototype remains camouflaged, the shots confirm, at least, that the 2015 Mustang will feature familiar pony car proportions. The prototype has a sleeker and more planted stance, however, and both its roof and shoulder line appear to sit lower than they do on the current car.
As has been reported in the past, the car's styling should maintain distinct Mustang cues but with some influences from the Evos. Losing the retro flavour is a key strategy in widening the car’s global appeal. Yes, Ford has confirmed the 2015 Mustang will be sold globally in accordance with its 'One Ford' policy, and for Australia backed that up with the recent announcement in Sydney that it would definitely arrive in Aussie showrooms.
Under the sheet metal lies a brand new platform with an independent suspension setup in the rear instead of the live axle that’s been traditionally fitted to the Mustang. Combine this with an expected lighter curb weight, possibly to the tune of 181kg less, and the 2015 Mustang promises to improve on the current model’s performance and handling substantially.
As for the 2015 Mustang’s model lineup, we expect the Mustang GT to remain, still with a 5.0-litre V-8 under the hood, while the base Mustang with a V-6 should also carry over. A new turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder model is also expected, possibly to fill the gap between the base Mustang and Mustang GT and provide an option for buyers in markets (read Europe) where fuel prices are significantly high.
A range-topping SVT model to succeed the Shelby GT500 is a given, but it may no longer carry the Shelby name or even come with a supercharger. Reports claim Ford will dig into its long list of storied nameplates for the new top dog, with Cobra looking most likely at the moment.
Dates for the 2015 Mustang, like the details, are still far from certain. We expect it to hit dealerships sometime between spring and summer, 2014, with a reveal most likely taking place in the lead up to the Mustang nameplate's 50th anniversary on April 17 of that year. The 2014 Detroit Auto Show in January looks like a prime setting.