The New Year in Mustangs: Inside the Latest Models
New year, new wheels. It’s the best time to gawk over fancy cars. Pony car lovers will especially get their fill this year—several new editions of the beloved Ford Mustang are being released. Check out all the action below.
Let’s start with the most eye-opening of the bunch: custom models from Roush, Saleen, and Hennessey. You know what these companies are capable of, so let’s jump right into these souped-up ‘Stangs.
These guys use four codenames for each customized Mustang: RS, Stage 1, Stage 2, and Stage 3. The RS starts at an additional $4,495 over the sticker price of a Mustang V6. Following previous models, the RS comes with a 3.7-liter V6 standard, and some awesome upgrades, like a custom grille, spoiler, and more.
The 2015 Stage 1 Mustang features an EcoBoost 2.3-liter four-cylinder, plus a brand new exhaust system coupled with the aggressive styling of the RS. At base price, it’s $5,895 above what you’d pay for a 2015 Mustang EcoBoost.
For the Stage 2, imagine a GT with custom Roush wheels and tires—but it’ll cost you $8,495 more than a regular GT. A Stage 3 hasn’t been announced just yet.
Like previous years, Saleen offers three S302 variants for 2015, ascending in quality: White Label, Yellow Label, and Black Label. All three are available as a fastback or convertible. You choose between a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
The base version—the White Label—comes with an appropriately tweaked 5.0-liter V8, producing up to 450 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. It adds some stellar performance and aesthetic modifications to make its own killer class of GT.
For the Yellow Label, the only thing that changes is the engine: a supercharged 5.0-liter V8, with 640 horsepower and 565 lb-ft of torque.
The Black Label has the Yellow’s V8, but it includes some serious upgrades in performance and aesthetics.
Crowned the “horsepower king” of 2015, the Hennessey Mustang is based off the 2015 GT with a standard 5.0-liter V8. That’s only the beginning, though—add a supercharger, making 717 horsepower and 632 lb-ft of torque, and you get an insanely fast car: 0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds.
Under the hood, upgrades include injectors, a stainless steel exhaust, a brand new fuel pump, and a one-of-a-kind calibration setup. It’s yours for only $59,500, but you’ll need to hurry; only 500 are being built!
Ford knows its customers—that’s why the automaker has entered the custom game, releasing the GT350 for 2015. And guess what? It has a brand new engine: the naturally aspirating, flat plane “Voodoo” 5.2-liter V8. This engine is special because it allows the cylinders to breathe better. Its unique cylinder firing order reduces exhaust pressure overlap. Specs are being kept under the radar, but Ford claims this car will have more than 500 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.
Now, here come the track-ready features: this Mustang rides on an incredibly stiff, lowered platform. Suspension adjustments are nearly instantaneous, thanks to MagneRide dampers. It sits on new 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels complete with custom Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.
Designed to conquer aerodynamics, the GT350 features a lowered hood and front splitter that increases downforce. The car has a wider stance, thanks to new aluminum fenders. Vents in the fenders eliminate turbulence in the wheel wells and direct it along the side of the car. The grille contains openings for the intake and radiator, as well as cooling for brakes.
Recaro seats allow for maximum comfort, and a flat-bottom steering wheel allows quick entrances and exits. A state-of-the-art driver control system has five modes for such features as stability and traction control, steering, throttle, and exhaust settings based upon weather conditions.
At this year’s Detroit Auto Show, a new pony was unveiled: the Shelby GT350R. Forget all the comfort food that comes with the GT350—that’s all been thrown out in favor of performance. It still has the 5.2-liter V8, but the whole body has been revised for track-oriented programming. The R gets an improved front splitter and a carbon fiber spoiler; but, most importantly, carbon fiber wheels.
Here’s the catch, though—no air conditioning, no backseat, no stereo, no spare tire. Racers rejoice! While you’re listening to the sweet hum of the engine, you can enjoy the fact that this car weighs 130 pounds less than a GT350.
If these ‘Stangs don’t get you excited for the new year in supercars, I don’t know what will.