With help from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Ford pulled the covers off their 2018-model Mustang today; with the update to the sixth generation 'Pony Car' described by the carmaker as the most advanced Mustang ever.
Rather than the usual motor show reveal, Ford presented the MY18 Mustang via social media (we’ll call that the ‘Trump effect’!).
“Tapping Mustang’s enormous fan base, we’re bringing the new Mustang straight to the people – and introducing the new car across multiple social media channels, reaching millions,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford - The Americas.
In a video shared through Johnson’s facebook, youtube and Instagram social media channels, the action movie star presented one of the first new Mustangs to a member of the US military ahead of its release to the North American market in Q3, 2017.
At first viewing, the only noticable changes on the new Mustang are at the front end.
Remodelling the bonnet and grille gives a leaner look, according to Ford, with bonnet vents repositioned, headlight surrounds reshaped and upper and lower grilles given the same treatment. In addition to giving the front end a more angular look, the changes are said to improve aerodynamics. All front lighting is now LED, too, including the turn signals.
At the back, the changes are less obvious, but the rear bumper and diffuser have been modified, and project less from the body than previously. The numberplate now sits in a hexagonally-shaped housing and the LED tail lights have been given a “more technical look” - whatever that means!
In harmony with this, the GT’s rear spoiler has also been redesigned.
Three new paint colours are coming for 2018, including ‘Orange Fury’ pictured, while US buyers will have twelve different alloy wheel designs to choose from.
Interior styling tweaks included an aluminium finish for the door handles and various bezels and trim rings on the dash.
The addition of a hand-stitched console wrap, restyled seat surfaces with new patterns, updated badging and padded knee bolsters are all part of giving what Ford calls a more premium look and feel to the Mustang’s cabin.
While they haven’t released any actual figures yet, Ford says the upcoming Mustang’s 5.0-litre V8 will be more powerful than the engine it replaces. Thanks to a “thorough reworking” that includes new dual-fuel, high-pressure direct injection technology, the V8 is claimed to deliver more power and torque, will rev higher and also be more fuel efficient.
On the EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, torque is increased via the adoption of transient overboost technology.
The manual transmission has been redesigned for both EcoBoost and GT, with the changes for the V8 including the adoption of a twin-disc clutch to complement increased torque delivery.
An all-new 10-speed automatic will replace the previous 6-speed self-shifter for 2018, delivering quicker shift times, optimised gear spacing and adaptive shifting, amongst a range of improvements.
Also new is MagneRide magnetic suspension technology as part of the optional Mustang Performance Package. This adjustable suspension technology, previously available on the likes of the Corvette, allows the driver to set the suspension compliance to suit various road and driving conditions.
All MY18 Mustangs will feature new shock absorbers, new rear suspension linkages and improved stabiliser bars to increase lateral stiffness, while also improving ride control and steering response.
The biggest change the 2018 Mustang adopts over the current model is in the technology area.
Chief amongst the new additions is Ford’s first 12-inch all-digital LCD instrument display. Fully-customisable, the dash display offers a choice of three views – normal, sport and track – with elements and readouts of the display adjusted to suit each mode.
An all-new ‘Mustang MyMode’ feature allows drivers to save their favourite vehicle settings, including suspension and steering set-up.
Optional on the Mustang GT is an all-new active valve exhaust system, which allows the engine note to be customised to suit individual preferences.
New safety tech includes Pre–Collision Assist with a pedestrian detection function, as well as distance alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and a Driver Alert System.
An upgrade on the Ford SYNC connectivity for 2018 is ‘FordPass’ which allows drivers to locate, lock, unlock and even start their car via a smartphone app.
How much of this tech will make its way into Australian-delivered Mustangs is yet to be confirmed, but it’s likely that locally-delivered examples will carry all of it.
Tucked away in the background of one of the interior images of the MY18 Mustang is a partial view of a Boss 302 Mustang, giving strong indications that a Boss 302 version will be available on this generation, as it was with the previous Mustang.
To be released in North America later this year, Australian delivery times for the 2018 Mustang are yet to be confirmed.