Move Over Chevy Camaro, Ford's 2015 Mustang Is Coming Fast


Ford's 2015 Mustang. Source: Ford Motor Company

Unless you've been living under a rock over the past year, you probably have heard Ford Motor Company's (NYSE: F  ) prized pony car, the Mustang, is turning 50. In a way, it already feels ancient as the last redesign took place almost a decade ago, in 2005. Ford's iconic Mustang has been a vital part of the automaker's image and has played the role of a hero car in numerous films, dating all the way back to the epic chase scene in the 1968 film Bullitt, to this year's Need for Speed.

While it would be impossible to generate the same level of excitement around the Mustang this year, as Ford did in 1964 with the original Stang, the next-generation muscle car has a chance to be a game-changer for other reasons.

The 2015 Mustang has a modern and more aggressive exterior. Source: Ford Motor Company

Opening new doors
In 2015 Ford is doing something unprecedented and attempting to export the American love affair with the Mustang globally -- and it has a good chance to succeed. This is where the folks at the Blue Oval have modernized the Mustang's sales strategy, to try and walk a fine line between not alienating the cult following the muscle car has grown over the decades but managing to open the doors to a massive amount of car buyers that haven't considered buying in the past.

The first new door the 2015 Mustang will be knocking down will be to the younger and more fuel conscious car buyer here in America. Mustang loyalists, like myself, have to be honest: times have changed. Look at how sales of the Stang have slipped while more fuel-efficient rides, like Ford's Fusion, have only driven higher.


Chart by author. Information from Ford's annual sales releases.

Ford needed to design a new Mustang that would break out of its niche segment in a competitive market.

Really? A 4-banger Mustang?
To solve that problem Ford introduced a new engine to the Mustang lineup, a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine. For a slightly higher price, consumers that aren't interested in the purist V8 engine can opt for the EcoBoost, which puts out approximately 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque, compared to the base V6 model with 300 horsepower, and should get an improved miles-per-gallon rating.

Sure, the Mustang purists out there are moaning that the V6 is "bad enough" -- but us purists can still have the 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 engine and allow a different and new type of consumer to join the ranks of Mustang drivers.

The Mustang's chief rival, the Chevrolet Camaro, has narrowly won the sales race between the two muscle cars since 2010, but that's about to change. IHS Automotive predicts the 2015 Mustang is going to surpass the rival Camaro in sales, and should top 100,000 in U.S. sales for the first time since 2007.

"The old Mustang is a little long in the tooth, and the Camaro has been kicking our butt the last few years," Randall Reed, CEO of World Class Automotive, says, according to Automotive News. "The new Mustang styling is a game changer."

2015 Mustang during its debut. Source: Ford Motor Company

In fact, not only is the new EcoBoost engine, fresh redesign, and improved fuel economy key to opening new doors here in the land of the brave, it's going to be the Mustang's only chance for success in Europe and China where the muscle car hasn't been a good marketing fit, until now. 

In addition to the Mustang opening new doors in America, and across the globe, the 2015 is just flat out better in every aspect. The Stang is finally getting an independent rear suspension, and has a lighter platform which will help its daily driving and handling performance. It's also doubling the amount of airbags found in previous Mustangs to improve safety and will boast other new features such as sensors to detect the severity of a crash, a precollision system with radar cruise control, among others.

Outside of the Mustang's new features, the next-generation is guaranteed to bring in numerous special models to ignite excitement and sales. The 50th anniversary edition is already available, though only 1964 of them will be sold. It appears as though Ford will launch a GT350 and Mach 1 in the near future, and who knows what else is cooking behind the scenes in Dearborn.

One thing is for sure, expect the 2015 Mustang to have more success than it has in a long time. If Ford's muscle car can accelerate sales to a level not seen in ten years, on top of purely incremental sales overseas, it will be a big win for Ford. So far it looks like it's not a matter of if the Mustang will reclaim its sales crown among muscle cars in 2015, but of how badly it will leave the competition in the dust.

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Read/Post Comments (10) | Recommend This Article (23)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2014, at 8:05 PM, Jason87467 wrote:

    I still think the Camaro will remain the king of the muscle cars

  • Report this Comment On July 20, 2014, at 10:18 PM, kafantaris wrote:

    It is rumored that the new Mustang will use aluminum and carbon fiber to shed 400 pounds.

    This alone would blow away the competition -- at the drag strip as well as the road course.

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2014, at 3:06 AM, Peambros wrote:

    At last we can buy a RHD version in Australia not available since 1979. That said we will be the last country to get the new model and Ford Australia are so no communicative it's not funny.

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2014, at 7:37 AM, Jason87467 wrote:

    The Camaro will still remain the top dog wait and see.

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2014, at 8:52 AM, leadfoot97 wrote:

    I've seen dozens of photos of the 2015 Mustang, but finally got to see one up close and personal last week in Myrtle Beach during Mustang Week, and it is absolutely stunning ! In comparison the Camaro looks like a cigar box with wheels.

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2014, at 9:01 AM, TMFTwoCoins wrote:

    @kafantaris

    That was the original rumor, though, it appears the Mustang will be just a few pounds heavier -- no big deal.

    @Jason87467

    You might be right, however, I really think the Stang takes the sales win next year by a fair margin. I'll be curious to see what GM does to redesign the Camaro in 2016 model year.

    @leadfoot97 I also agree, for some reason Ford's gallery pictures don't do the car justice! In person, it's seriously awesome.

    Thanks for reading.

    Daniel

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2014, at 10:14 AM, CrankyOldGuy wrote:

    Until they make a separate chassis that is seriously lighter for the 4 and 6-bangers, nothing much will change. Not likely a turbo-4 will do any better in actual mileage hauling 3800 lbs around (and I've read the T-4 weighs more than their V6??). But in other markets where engine size is the basis for taxes, the 4-banger may have some appeal.

    I'd expect GM's lightening team is already working on the new Camaros and will actually beat Ford to a sub-3500 car. But they all need to drop the 500+ HP engine options to get much lower.

    What's lost in all this is that the original ponycars were cheap, while none of the current offerings are.

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2014, at 11:16 AM, bpainter wrote:

    When is the Mustang going to change that dead catfish front end.

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2014, at 11:20 AM, markietoon wrote:

    Of course, it's really too bad that GM hasn't had the Camaro on the market for 50 straight years, and that they had to borrow money from the taxpayers to stay in business. Oh, and that they always copy and base everything they do AFTER Ford does it. GM will always be Government Motors because let's face it....they WILL go bankrupt again.

  • Report this Comment On July 21, 2014, at 12:50 PM, ohiodale wrote:

    The new Mustang will out sell the Camaro at least for a year or so. The new Mustang looks really good in person. The Camaro in 2016 will also be a nice car. Why does Ford always have to be the ground breaking company so GM can copy it. Its really hard to make cars lighter today because of all the safety features added every years. The GM Alpha platform should shave some weight for the Camaro. I never heard how the alpha platform compares to the current Camaro chassis.

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