For the first 50 years, Ford didn't care at all about whether non-US buyers complained they couldn't buy it. Until now, Ford also did not understand customers from countries where they are driving on the wrong (left) side. But a lot has changed since the days of the best Mustang. The Mustang, the star of countless films and songs, has been forced to concede victory to its rival, the Chevrolet Camar, even in the past few years. Real Fords must have suffered more from the Mustang's demise than they were willing to admit. The first of these, William (Bill) Ford Jr., CEO of Ford, in his third generation after founder Henry Ford, has certainly been one of the most important defenders of the Mustang's reputation, which has risen a notch more than in recent years. Therefore, he was all the more pleased at last week's European Mustang event in Barcelona. Ford also took a somewhat unusual step in this regard, simultaneously preparing the presentation of the sixth generation Mustang in six cities on four continents. From the point of view of modernity, this was a rather bold decision. At 13:23 pm in Barcelona, that meant 20: 7 in Sydney, 6: 4 in Shanghai, XNUMX: XNUMX in New York, XNUMX: XNUMX in Detroit and XNUMX: XNUMX in Los Angeles.
The new Mustang is in many ways a significant improvement over its predecessors. Well, at least that applies to looks. Retired Ford chief designer Jay Mays retained the Mustang's distinctively long bonnet and shark-jaw mask. The rear also retains some of the features of the rear generation, such as the taillights.
But the new Mustang is also the first to replace the existing rigid axle with a modern multi-rail axle design. In the front, an auxiliary frame will be added to the already installed McPherson struts. This will make the Mustang easier to handle the more challenging roads in Europe and elsewhere, where it will now be exported from the American plant (Flat Rock in the wider area of Detroit). Of course, the electronics will take care of properly managing the transfer of power from the wheels to the road. The Mustang will be fitted with 19-inch tires as standard for Europe.
Ford has announced two engines for the Mustang. For the American market, the almost unchanged five-liter V8 is more suitable, which, of course, will be available in the European version, where it will have as much as 426 "horses". The smaller engine will simply be a four-cylinder with the addition of turbochargers from the current Ford EcoBoost engine series. The 2,3-liter engine will be capable of developing up to 309 "horsepower" and 407 Nm of torque at relatively low revs.
The latest Ford technology will of course be present in the new Mustang as well. This means that a wide variety of supplements that have been well accepted until now (especially in the US). Ford Sync with voice control combined with an eight-inch touchscreen will take care of the state-of-the-art infotainment system. European navigation software and 12-speaker audio device will also be available.
European Ford will only start selling the Mustang in a year, as of course they will first get the primary sale right at Ford's US headquarters. It will appear on the market from the middle of next year in both body versions, in the form of a coupe or convertible. In the domestic American market, the Mustang will face a tough challenge as it once again has to beat the Chevrolet Camaro, which has become more popular among Americans over the past two years.
The Mustang is one of 25 innovations promised to European Ford in the next five years.
European Ford in 2014 - also EcoSport and Edge
Besides the Mustang, Ford has introduced several other models that will hit the market in the near future. The first will be EcoSport in the middle of next year, which will be discussed in more detail in the next issue of Auto magazine. Towards the end of the year, the new, larger Edge crossover will be available for the first time to European buyers. It was first unveiled by Ford as a study at the end of November at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will hit the US market in the first half of 2014. The Edge will complete Ford's European SUV offering three models. In the Edge, Ford will be straining all the registers to further establish itself as a sort of sub-premium brand. Such targets have already been presented at the Frankfurt fair with the presentation of the new richly equipped Mondeo Vignale. At the Edge, Ford will likely introduce an automatic parking device (no driver behind the wheel) for the first time in Europe. Also in the Edge, the engine will provide adequate power that will later be available in the Mustang, a 2,3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, but with slightly less power.
Ka study predicts Ford's reaction to Dacia
We could also see a study of the new Ka in Barcelona, which was first shown in Brazil less than a month ago. It is not yet known when it will arrive in Europe, but it also has to do with the length of the Ford-Fiat agreement to build the current Kaja at Fiat's Tychy, Poland plant. In any case, the new Ka, which will be built in Brazil in mid-2014, is a completely different new product from Ford, not originally intended for European customers, but will try to penetrate emerging markets such as Brazil and neighboring Latin America. American countries, as well as India and some other countries in Asia and Africa. With Ka, Ford will establish a low-cost product strategy, but of course in anything that is also modern, safe and clean enough to be suitable for most markets around the world.
Text: photo factory Tomaž Porekar