Ford News
Mustang GT Concepts: The Design
By Ford Media
Jan 5, 2003 - 10:51:00 PM

Overview | Design | Interior Design | Timeline | Technical Specs | Photo Gallery

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, Mustang’s 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 modern offerings.”

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

Ever 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 Mustang’s 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 focused lenses.

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 road.

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.

The 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.

The new Mustang GT convertible concept incorporates vintage Mustang cues into an entirely modern design
The Convertible

Standing 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., Copyright 2002-2010 All Auto Enthusiasts Network