Hanging limp, the restyled 2018 Ford Mustang made its officially official debut to the collective sighs of anoraks everywhere.
The most noticeable change is the new front and rear fascias which Ford calls more athletic and says refine the aerodynamics. The hood and taillights are evocative of the hallowed ’68 Mustang, but the new face makes it look like it has a big forehead and eyes too close together. Bigger changes wait beneath the sheet metal with a new suspension, a new transmission, a new exhaust and a missing engine; along with new technology improvements and customization options.
“The new Mustang is our best ever, based on more than 50 years as one of the iconic sports car in America and now, the world,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of The Americas. You tell ’em Joe.
Oh the technology front, the 2018 Mustang is the first Ford available with a 12-inch LCD touchscreen running the latest version of SYNC; this joins a brand-new, fully customizable, digital instrument binnacle which offers three distinct views that can be personalized based on the vehicle’s drive settings: normal, sport and track mode. The Mustang’s new MyMode function will also save suspension and steering preferences.
Ford also adds a suite of driver-assist technology to the pony car; for the first time shoppers can opt for Pre-Collision Assist with pedestrian detection, distance alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and Driver Alert System.
Ford also put in significant work improving the S550 chassis, giving it new shock absorbers, adding a new rear cross-axis joint which ups lateral stiffness, along with new stability bars. The headliner however is the addition of optional MagneRide dampers available through the Mustang’s Performance Pack.
The once loved 3.7-liter V6 has been killed, to fill the void Ford upped the output from its 2.3L EcoBoost using transient overboost technology borrowed from the Focus RS. No numbers were provided, but 400 lb-ft of twist shouldn’t be out of the question after what Ford did with the EcoBoost Power Packs.
Ford didn’t forget about the Five-Oh, the venerable V8 now shows up with more power and more revs available than any Mustang GT ever offered before. The power bump comes from a new dual fueling system, high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port injection, besides the power increase it also helps with fuel economy.
Ford also reworked the Coyote’s manual gearbox, giving it a new twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel which helps address complaints about clutch modulation on the current car.
Joining the manual is a new 10-speed automatic available with both 2.3 and 5.0-liter engines. The wide-ratio span and optimized gearing helps to always keep the car in the meaty part of the rev range, meaning better acceleration, better tip-in response and reduced friction loses.
A new 10-speed automatic transmission, available with both EcoBoost and V8 engines, is the best automatic Mustang has ever offered. With a wide-ratio span and optimized gear spacing, this all-new gearbox helps deliver higher average power for acceleration – improving responsiveness and performance. The transmission also includes different calibrations for the different drive modes, and adaptive shift scheduling which primes the next gear in anticipation.
The new design aims to refine the car’s aerodynamics and give it a more athletic looking stance. Every exterior light on the 2018 Mustang will now be LED; low-beams, turn signals, high-beams, tail lights and fog lamps. The GT also gets a new standard quad-tip active exhaust, both cars will be offered with three new paint colors and 12 distinct alloy wheel choices.
Mild improvements happened in the cockpit as well, with new hand-stitched wrapping on the center console, padded knee bolsters and new aluminum bezels and handles throughout.
Look for the new 2018 Mustang to go on sale in North America this fall.