(Images courtesy of Ford)
The all-new Ford Mustang made its debut on Thursday, December 5th, in a global rollout in six cities on four continents. The new Mustang will be available globally for the first time in its history. The engine lineup? The 3.7-lieter V6 delivers at least 300HP and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. Smoother shifts are promised from the updated manual gearbox, while a reworked automatic transmission features new steering wheel-mounted shift paddles for drivers who want the choice between convenience and control. The Mustang GT continues with the latest edition of the 5.0-liter V8, now featuring an upgraded valvetrain and cylinder heads that yield more than 420HP and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. A new intake manifold improves low-speed breathing for better fuel economy, idle stability and emissions. The upgraded V6 and V8 engines are joined by an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost® four-cylinder engine. “This EcoBoost engine delivers where a Mustang driver expects it to, with a broad, flat torque curve that pours out when you stand on it for easy passing or hustling down a twisty road,” said Dave Pericak, Ford Mustang chief engineer. Ford's EcoBoost engines use direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to deliver power and fuel efficiency. A unique intake manifold and turbocharger housing enable the EcoBoost 4-cylinder in the Mustang to deliver a projected 305HP+ and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. “Ford Mustang inspires passion like no other car,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, global product development. “The visceral look, sound and performance of Mustang resonates with people, even if they’ve never driven one. Mustang is definitely more than just a car – it is the heart and soul of Ford.”
The new Mustang features all-new front and rear suspension systems. At the front, a new perimeter subframe helps to stiffen the structure while reducing mass, providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control that benefits handling, steering and ride, according to Ford. The new double-ball-joint front MacPherson strut system also enables the use of larger, more powerful brakes. This is expected to be the best stopping Mustang yet, with three available brake packages. At the rear is an all-new integral-link independent rear suspension. The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for this high-performance application. New aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass for improved ride and handling. The advanced new Ford-developed stability control system is tuned to maximize Mustang’s dynamic capabilities. The Mustang GT includes standard launch control. “We already set a very high standard for Mustang’s dynamics with Boss 302, and our goal was to go above and beyond that with this new car,” said Pericak.
The all-new Mustang "features a significant amount of innovative technologies providing drivers with enhanced information, control and connectivity when they want it," insists Ford's PR boffins. Stuff includes Intelligent Access with push-button start, SYNC®, MyKey® plus available Track Apps, MyColor gauges and a new Shaker Pro audio system. Using the available Selectable Drive Modes, a driver can tap the toggle switches on the console to quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings. For the first time ever, Ford will bring Mustang to customers in key parts of Europe and Asia. “We crafted this car with the goal of creating a contemporary interpretation of Mustang – an American automotive icon that symbolizes optimism and freedom for millions of people around the world,” said Jim Farley, executive vice president of Ford global marketing, sales and service and Lincoln. See a video about the new Ford Mustang here. And watch this video reveal for the new Mustang with Sienna Miller and Rankin.
Sergio Marchionne. Editor-in-Chief's Note: In yet another missive from the "It Won't Be Long Now" file, The Great Sergio is going to unveil his fourth - count 'em - plan (in ten years) to resuscitate Alfa Romeo next spring, according to Automotive News Europe. He's going to bet billions of euros that he can turn the tide after more than a decade of declining sales. Let's recall Sergio's pronouncement back in 2010, shall we? That was when he insisted that Alfa would be selling 500,000 units globally by 2014, including 70,000 or so in the U.S., a number that still elicits a reaction of weeping or blind fury, depending on which Fiat dealer you talk to. That number was revised downward back in 2011 and then again in 2012. The real number? Most analysts expect that Alfa will be lucky to sell a little better than 70,000 units globally next year. That's not here, of course, in case you needed to be reminded. No, the few Alfa Romeo 4Cs trickling in here will barely generate a blip on the radar screen. I'm happy to see the reality of The Great Sergio finally coming into focus for some of the less enlightened in the media who were quick to canonize him way back when. The fact remains that the latest Chrysler "miracle" wasn't because of Sergio and his espresso-fueled minions. No, it was because of the True Believers out in Auburn Hills who, in the darkest days of the Cerberus fiasco, kept the pedal down hard and focused on building ultra-competitive Jeeps and pickup trucks. Because at the end of the day, remarkably enough, that's where the money is and that's where the needed cash generation that Sergio's counting on to save Fiat is coming from. You know Fiat, right? Far from the whimsical cool little car company that Olivier "I'm a genius, just ask me" Francois portrays in his increasingly tedious advertising for the brand, Fiat is that perennial joke of a car company that, if it weren't for Ferrari, would have been deservedly relegated to the dustbin of automotive history long ago. Though anointed as automotive genius material, Marchionne is simply The Opportunistic Carpetbagger of this New Century, a guy who was handed an American car company because no one else bothered to raise a hand to take it. For that he expects to not only get paid - a lot - but he expects to save Fiat with profits earned on the backs of the True Believers at Chrysler who still gave a damn when no one else did. And so it goes. - PMD
Chevrolet will introduce the 2015 Corvette Z06 next month at the Detroit Auto Show. Chevrolet is saying that the Z06 will be "the most track-capable Corvette ever, designed to deliver supercar levels of performance through unique powertrain, chassis and aerodynamic features." Production is expected to begin in late 2014.
Ford posted various design concepts leading up to the 2015 Mustang reveal on Thursday morning (December 5th). This one, "Combining lines reminiscent of the 1960s Shelby Cobra Daytona coupe with Mustang cues including the side scoops, and GT500-style central driving lamps," according to Ford, was one of our favorites.
Audi calls this crossover concept "a compact sports car redefined" and "a crossover with a distinctly sporting slant – a car for all roads and tracks, for everyday driving and recreational use." We'll see what it looks like when it makes its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January, but it's clear that the hot, upcoming trend is going to be manufacturers calling crossovers sports cars. We're overjoyed. Not.
By Tom Pease
Beverly Hills. It's hard to believe that it has been fifteen years since the commercial "Moments" debuted at the Oscars telling us that Cadillac was going to come back from the dead zone of Vogue wheels and faux cabrio roofs. Yes, the first CTS wasn't exactly what it should have been, but the fact that they went there (and went to the Wachowski's - "The Matrix" - for product placement) said a lot. I skipped out on the LA Auto show this year, so I haven't driven the new CTS. I've seen it on the streets and it's a stunner - a perfect encapsulation of the design direction that Cadillac should be going for. You won't mistake it for anything other than a Cadillac from a mile off - unafraid to be brash, a little over the top, even a little vulgar in that "yes, I am wearing a Savile Row suit and a watch that costs more than your house and I am not apologizing for it" way those 60's beasts telegraphed.
It's certainly working here in SoCal. I'm seeing more vertical taillights here in the hills of Beverly than ever before. The SRX is everywhere and the ATS is doing well too. My only quibble is that you need to send every model out with the headlights from the premium model. Cheaping out on the headlights is old-school GM think. Cadillac's brand image is worth the extra bucks to make sure the message "Standard of the World" is brought home.
Adherence to Brand Image: The new CTS is a superb machine by any measure, but what does it mean for Cadillac? And where does Cadillac go from here? For more on Cadillac and its evolving Brand Image, read my column this week. - PMD