39 years of storied automotive history, 8 million customers and legions
of fanatic fans to satisfy, Ford is introducing two all-new Mustang
design concepts at the 2003 North American International Auto Show.
The Mustang GT convertible and coupe concepts arrive ready to take enthusiasts
breath away three design-generations after the original made
history in 1964. The latest legends of the American pony car are contemporary
automobiles that capture the essence of Mustangs design and performance
Presented as a two-seat fastback coupe and convertible, the Mustang
GT concepts are strong indicators of the next-generation Mustangs
design direction. They emerge as a bold testament to the timeless value
that automotive enthusiasts hold for the original American pony car.
Click photo for larger
Mustang concepts are thoroughly modern automobiles that point to a bright
future for Mustang, says J Mays, Ford Motor Company vice president
of Design. Their powerful stances, smooth surface language and
ultra-modern interiors set new standards for muscle cars. Above all,
these concepts communicate the soul of Mustang: a classic, cool and
quintessentially American muscle car.
Introspective and Extroverted
Mustang GT concepts draw on the very elements that have made Mustang
the definitive American sports car for nearly four decades. Their exterior
designs are clearly inspired by some of the extroverted Mustangs of
the past and have been created by a design team that took an introspective
approach to updating a classic design.
The designs are modern, crisp and reveal the true character of what
Mustang means to so many people. The original 1964½ Mustang actually
evolved from the racing-inspired, two-seat concept car called the Mustang
1. After reviewing archived files, Mustangs modern-day crafters
were struck by how the original design embraced the same inspirational
cues that communicate performance. The design team looked beyond production
models to the Mustang 1 concept for modern inspiration. Much like the
Mustang 1 and the later Mustang Mach 1 show car in 1968, the Mustang
GT concepts are rare, radical designs that will appeal to everyone.
By melding the true character of Mustang into these fully modern
offerings, weve ensured that even the uninitiated will instantly
recognize these cars as Mustangs, says Mays. We went beyond
their exterior designs to truly understand the extent to which Mustang
has embedded itself in American culture.
new Mustang GT coupe concept
Mustang GT concepts are instantly recognizable as Mustangs, yet they
stretch the design far into the future with a distinctly modern look.
Like the Mustang 1 concept, the GT concepts are two-place sportscars:
one a coupe and the other a convertible. Both cars started out with
a significantly modified Ford Thunderbird rear-wheel-drive architecture.
The platform was sectioned to achieve the proper proportion. The front-end
geometry is all original customized to accommodate the signature
Mustang MOD 4.6-liter V-8.
In concert with plans for the all-new Mustang, due in 2004, the exterior
and interior designs of the Mustang GT concepts were penned by designers
in Fords Living Legends Studio in Dearborn, Mich., and Fords
California Design Center in Southern California. The concept design
execution was done exclusively at the California Design Center.
Getting the proportions right is the magic to making the entire
design work, says Mays.
When youre designing a new Mustang, youre the steward
of 40 years of automotive history. If you dont get it right, youve
got 8-million Mustang fans to answer to. I think we got it right,
The silhouette of the car is unmistakably Mustang. The coupe conjures
images of 1967 and 1968 Fastbacks while the convertible brings back
cues of the early Shelby Mustangs, especially in its show bar
and wide-element tail lamps.
Inside, theres no mistaking the no-holds-barred Mustang classic
cues. The cockpit is dramatic for the driver and passenger with lush
red and charcoal leather accented by billet-aluminum hardware. Theyre
reminiscent of another era yet, inside and out, the Mustang GT concepts
are thoroughly modern.
the Mustang was first unveiled, Ford chose the 1964 Worlds Fair
in New York as its stage. A global audience sat and watched an automotive
revolution roll into existence. Fords timing couldnt have
been better as the baby boom generation was just coming of car-buying
age. The baby boomers wanted something very different from what their
parents were driving. They wanted to express their own individuality.
The Mustang was their answer.
The cars barely had time to relax between the production line and the
showroom floor as dealers churned out more than 22,000 orders on the
cars first day on sale.
It debuted at a price of $2,368 and weighed only 2,572 pounds. With
its 170-cubic-inch, six-cylinder engine, three-speed, floor-mounted
manual transmission and seating for four, it offered a comfortable ride
and functional appeal.
Mustang rapidly evolved into a vehicle judged by much more than just
numbers. In Chicago, a dealership closed early and called police to
slow the stampeding Mustang prospects while a restaurateur invited his
customers to sample his hotcakes that were selling like Mustangs.
Something special was happening.
million were sold by March 1966. They were parked in everyones
driveway, but Ford was most excited about those people eagerly awaiting
their first drivers license. They wanted their cars to be different
and Mustang delivered.
The 1964½ model was the patriarch of subsequent changes to hoods,
interiors, headlamps and spoilers. As Mustang weaved in and out of different
generations, the vehicle generated an iconic status. Running alongside
the best European road cars, it soon became a racing-inspired legend.
Mustang needed racing as much as racing needed Mustang. Right out of
the blocks, the pony car was a champion, taking both first and second
place in the 1964 Tour de France International rally. By the end of
the sixties, Mustang led the SCCA Trans-Am series.
Body styles and engine sizes changed throughout the decade. By 1969,
the Mustang offered major style changes, a roomier and more luxurious
interior and even more power. To performance enthusiasts, 1969 meant
Mach 1, Boss 429 and Boss 302.
Throughout the seventies and eighties, Mustang evolved from a stocky
and imposing-looking machine to a vehicle with clean and crisp lines.
The 1979 Mustang design wound up running a full 15 model years thanks
in part to its performance roots. In 1987, the basic design became truly
slick with a smoother nose, flush headlamps and black body trim, and
in 1989, Mustang celebrated its 25th birthday and received another successful
Dramatically restyled and churning with power, the 1994 Mustang got
a performance pump from Fords Special Vehicle Team (the second-generation
SVT Cobra) and was sold to customers with the slogan It is what
it was. The rest of the decade molded the Mustang into a vehicle
that mingled nostalgia with new lines and curves
and, of course,
The last major redesign of the Mustang came three years ago. Since then,
the company has continually kept customers excitement with special
interest models like the Mustang Cobra, Cobra R racing edition and the
Mustang Bullitt GT. For 2003, the Mustang Mach I returned replete with
the shaker hood scoop and more than 300 horsepower.
A Coke bottle, a swoosh, the hula hoop all are instantly recognizable
shapes in American pop culture. So too is the unmistakable silhouette
of the all-American pony car, the Ford Mustang.
That silhouette is taking on a striking new definition with the introduction
of the Mustang GT coupe and convertible concept cars. The new concepts
give a strong indication of the design direction of the next-generation
Mustang, due to debut in 2004.
With its signature long hood and short rear deck, Mustangs design
has endured for 39 years. Adorning the legendary shape are classic design
cues that define Mustang: C-scoops in the sides, three-element tail
lamps and the galloping pony in the center of the grille.
The Mustang GT coupe and convertible concepts are clearly the latest
evolution in a long line of Mustang models.
Casual observers will instantly recognize these cars and that
is the greatest testament anyone could make to the timeless design of
Mustang, says J Mays, Ford Motor Company vice president, Design.
This level of universal acceptance comes not from simply copying
past designs, but from melding the character of 39 years into these
The unmistakable design of Mustang is universally appreciated and unequivocally
respected. It is a mosaic of historical design and product attributes
that has linked three generations of the car together.
The latest incarnations continue the tradition. From a distance, there
is no denying the Mustang GT concepts heritage. Up close, there
is no denying their cutting-edge, modern, revolutionary attitude.
Superlative Coupe, Free-Spirited Convertible
since the original in 1964, the Mustang coupe and convertible have been
a matched pair. So it was only fitting to introduce the new designs
at the same time. Each underscores key elements of the Mustang persona
in its own way. The Tungsten Silver coupe interprets the performance
edge of Mustangs heritage while the Redline Red Metallic convertible
conjures up images of wind, sunshine and the rocky shores of Big Sur.
Zooming in from the trademark silhouette, an aficionado will appreciate
the modern interpretation of the sleek nose of the 1967 models. Yet,
the car is uniquely modern thanks to taut surfaces and high-tech hardware.
The Mustang GT concepts adaptive headlamps are like technical
jewels. Two concentric rings are shielded behind a single lens. The
rings rotate in a helix pattern to zoom in and out like a professional
camera lens. From a single light source, the Mustang GT concepts use
fiber optic ribbon to deliver adaptable light levels through their highly
An upward rake angle makes the cars appear to be in motion even while
at a standstill. The 20-inch wheels and 13.8-inch vented Brembo®
disc brakes are pushed out to the corners and anchor the design to the
There are no extraneous styling cues on the car. A sharp accent line
runs the length of the body just above the rocker panel and culminates
in a C-scoop design behind the door cutline. The design
creates an intentional visual link with the C-pillar design. The angled
appearance of the scoops and their relationship to the door cut give
them the look of precise technical integration that combines flair with
function. The hard-creased edges of the scoops are mirrored in the design
execution on the hood scoops.
functional hood scoops help the supercharged engine breathe as it churns
out nearly 400 horsepower; an aspirational number for muscle car customizers
in the 1960s. Naturally, the engine bay is a focal point in both cars.
It boasts a MOD 4.6-liter 90-degree cast-iron block V-8 with aluminum
heads, a belt-driven supercharger and a liquid-to-air intercooler.
The vehicle finally comes to a halt with three-element taillamps that
span the width of the vehicle, enhancing its proud stance. The sequentially
firing tail lamps appear to have no hot-spots thanks to
a unique design using forward-facing LED projection lamps set against
a satin-finished silver parabola.
new Mustang GT convertible concept incorporates vintage Mustang cues
into an entirely modern design
next to its counterpart, the Mustang GT convertible concept speaks to
another group of followers who yearn for sunshine and open-air driving
exhilaration. The body design theme is the same as the coupe. But, the
drop top Mustang GT concept gives a completely different look and serves
another purpose. The convertible engages passersby, providing a full
view of its inviting interior. It features a distinct showbar
with a rim of billet-aluminum trim picking up where the instrument panel
and console trim leave off.
The Mustang GT concepts take a highly recognizable heritage to the limit
by subscribing to a revolutionary formula that mixes successful design
cues from the past with artful lines that will sculpt the future.
The view from behind
the wheel of a Mustang GT concept is as good as the view from afar.
The Mustang GT concept vehicles put the driver and the passenger in
a most enviable place the future of the pony car.
While the evocative unmistakable exterior designs draw admirers, it
is the inviting interiors that demand closer inspection. The modern
interior designs pay homage to another era in Mustang history while
their use of high-quality materials, precision craftsmanship and technical
innovations point to Mustangs to come.
The Mustang GT coupe and convertible concept cars interiors are
awash in supple red and charcoal leather and accented with billet-aluminum
hardware that gives an appearance that is robust and highly technical.
These incredible interiors speak volumes about where Mustang and
Ford are headed in the future, said J Mays, Ford Motor Company,
vice president, Design. The functional, contemporary look of this
interior and its precise execution set a new standard for muscle car
opening the door, both driver and passenger will see the Ford logo proudly
displayed on a billet-aluminum sill panels.
interior includes perforated red leather surfaces on the seat backs
and steering wheel, as well as a billet-aluminum shifter for the 5-speed
automatic transmission, four-point racing-style seatbelts and unique
instrument gauges that look like a fine watch with its face removed.
Unlike production Mustangs, the Mustang GT concepts have only two seats
racing-inspired with red perforated leather. The interiors of
the GT coupe and convertible are executed with the same performance
characteristics, with the coupe configuration boasting a key element
more typical of racing. Instead of a 2+2 design, the Mustang GT coupes
strut support linking the two rear shock towers serves as the primary
hold down for a backseat mounted spare tire. Consistent with the trim
throughout the interior, a billet-aluminum strut brace holds the tire
in place. Early Shelby racers used this functional design.
Four-point harnesses brace the occupants for what they see next. The
cluster instrumentation is unique, but features a familiar, round optical
look. The mechanicals of the display resemble the movement of a fine
timepiece. As the driver stirs gearbox, the tachometer and speedometer
put on a show like no other car. The bezels of the gauges are trimmed
with sprocket gears around the inner circumference. Rather than using
needle pointers, the gauges feature a small, gear-driven, trolley scored
with indicator lines that rides around the inside of the bezel matching
the rpms and groundspeed.
The upper brow of the dash is covered in charcoal leather, reminiscent
of past era Mustangs.
From that point down, a billet-aluminum band makes the transition to
the future. Two air vents and an analog clock form the center cluster.
Below the trio, a row of cockpit switches allow the driver to control
suspension as well as set the air/fuel mixture.
The center stack displays a boost gauge for the supercharged engine.
The gauge gives the driver a visual indication of actual boost from
a lean to rich mixture. The circular gauge uses an analog indicator
similar to those found in the vehicles tachometer and speedometer.
The billet-aluminum shifter controls six manual gears in the coupe and
five automatic gears in the convertible, each transmission contributing
to the concepts athletic, muscle-car acceleration capability.
A similarly designed parking-brake lever is positioned nearby on the
Like the 1967 model, the steering wheel has three spokes with a center
hub marked by the Mustang GT logo in a precision typeface, a cue that
carries over to the front quarterpanel and fender badging. From a distance,
it harkens to the original GT bold font. Up close, Mustang
is inlaid underneath: two components wedded into a single, simple statement.
The cluster gauges, three-spoke steering wheel and innovative cockpit
dash design are clear cues from a rich Mustang history, but there is
no denying that Fords new Mustang GT concepts celebrate
that heritage in a dramatically modern interpretation of the future.
Drivetrain layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine type 90-degree MOD V-8, cast-iron block, aluminum heads, belt-driven
supercharger with liquid-to-air intercooler
Valve gear DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Bore/stroke, in/mm 3.55 x 3.54/90.2 x 90
Displacement, in/mm 280.8 / 4,601
Compression ratio 8.5:1
Horsepower @ rpm 400 @ 6,000 (estimated)
Torque @ rpm 390 @ 3,500
Redline, rpm 6,500
Transmission 6-speed manual (coupe)
5-speed automatic (convertible)
Axle ratio 3.55:1
Final-drive ratio 2.24:1
Brakes Brembo 13.8-in vented disc
(rear) 20 in x 8.5 in aluminum
20 in x 9.5 in aluminum
(rear) 245/40ZR20 BFGoodrich g-force T/A
275/35ZR20 BFGoodrich g-force T/A
Body style 2-door coupe and convertible
Seating capacity 2
Legroom, in 44.0
Shoulder room, in 57.6
Hip room, in 54.9
Headroom, in 37.0
Length, in 182
Width, in 74.7
Height, in 50.8
Fuel capacity, gal 18