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by Adam Lynton
The next-gen Mustang will step out of its retro clothes and into distinctively modern new apparel.
The Wall Street Journal has reported on the direction Ford will be taking with their upcoming next-generation Mustang. According to "people familiar with Ford's plans" and "people who have seen the new Mustang," Ford is working on a radical makeover to attract the younger generation of car buyers. These rock-hard sources also claim the new Mustang bears a close resemblance to the Evos concept revealed at Frankfurt last year.
While the story certainly piqued our interest, the inner cynic was quick to come out: could this simply be a subtle ploy to gauge public opinion about Ford's intended design strategy for the Mustang? Yes, the Mustang hasn't been selling as much as Ford would like lately; for the past two years it has been out-sold by the Chevy Camaro. And yes, the new Mustang must attract Generation Y - the 80 million or so prospective buyers born between 1980 and 1999 - who are entering their peak car-buying years. So the need for a refreshed vehicle is beyond doubt; as is the demand for a successful one.
With a new turbocharged four cylinder engine, a 2.7-liter turbocharged V6 and a turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 purported to represent the next Mustang engine lineup, the technical and mechanical side of things seems to be well under way. But how close is Ford to nailing down the design? According to the WSJ, Ford will mark the Mustang's 50th anniversary with a model that draws heavily on the aforementioned Evos concept coupled with Aston Martin styling cues while retaining the round headlights and shark-nosed grille. That's enough to send even the best rendering experts cross-eyed, but what is clear is the need to get the design right.
The 2005 retro-style Mustang was a big hit, and to change the design too fast and too dramatically is a big risk. Perhaps with mainstream stories such as this, Ford will utilize the feedback they generate to ensure the design of the 2015 Mustang has the right amount of modern to attract the Millenial generation, without sacrificing the muscle car's roots. Photos displayed are of the 2013 Ford Mustang coupe and Ford Evos Concept.