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The Mass Media

Celebrating the Mustang’s 50th anniversary

Ford Mustang 2015
Ford Mustang 2015
For 50 years, Ford’s Mustang has commanded the attention of America, with its affordable pricing and high performance.
 
Debuting in 1965, the car was Ford’s answer to the increasing muscle scene. They aimed to produce a small, light car based on the Falcon chassis that was targeted for a younger demographic.
 
The Mustang quickly became a symbol of America, right next to apple pie and the bald eagle.
 
It is almost the 50th anniversary of the Mustang’s debut, so Ford has decided to do something drastic to commemorate the event.
 
At a first glance, everything on the 2015 model appears to be in order. There’s a base model V6 with 300 rear wheel horse power and 280 lb/ft of torque, as well as a high trim GT which features a 5.0L V8 with 435 rwhp and 400 lb/ft.
 
It has muscular hood curves, big wheels, and even bigger flared wheel arches. It produces numbers that rival the Camaro SS and the Challenger R/T. However, I wouldn’t expect to see a Mustang to rival the Challenger Hellcat. At 707 rwhp, the supercharged Hellcat is out of Ford’s range, for now. 
 
Taking a closer look at the specs, it becomes clear that the Mustang is not aimed at the American youth like it was in ’65. In fact, it looks decidedly European.
 
Nestled in between the V6 and the V8 is another choice, a turbocharged EcoBoost 2.3L 4 cylinder engine. Yes, this 4-pot is the midrange engine with 310 rwhp and even more torque than the V6.
 
It should be noted that the V6 engine, the same 3.7 which can be found in past models, is down on power so that it is not too close to the EcoBoost.
 
Another notable change that heralded the Mustang as a Euro-focused car is the independent rear suspension.
 
Since it was first introduced, the Mustang has dragged around a live rear axle, which is a large metal beam connecting the two rear wheels.  This setup is perfect for straight line speed, drag racing, and installing low-cost limited-slip differentials for killer burnouts. 
 
Live axles are perfect for the show-off in all of us. The independent rear suspension improves handling around corners and eliminates wheel hop.
 
As an aside, the GT will come stock with line lock, a system which allows the driver to engage the front brakes but not the rear brakes.  So now, talentless Johnny Showoff can roast his rear wheels without having to balance the brake, accelerator, and clutch.
 
Which brings us to the most difficult portion of the car, the price. The least you could pay for a new one is $24,000 after fees. A fully optioned Mustang GT Convertible will set you back over $45,000. 
 
What happened to the affordable powerhouse aimed at the young car enthusiast? The new Mustang appears to be aimed at affluent middle aged men who owned a 5.0 Notchback in ’86, and want to relive those burnouts with no discomfort. 
 
Ford spent millions of dollars designing a Mustang that would sell on the world stage, and they managed to create an amazing vehicle. However, they disregarded the features which made the car popular to American youth, and for that reason, I’m not convinced.