As we write this, the debates are escalating to record levels on social media as to whether the all-new Ford Mustang is a looker or a loser. And while looks will always be subjective, we can safely say Ford’s new pony car is stunning in the metal. At the very least, reserve final judgment until you see the car in the metal.
We were right there when the sixth generation of this iconic car was introduced in Sydney, Australia--and this was part of a coordinated global launch in cities that included Shanghai and Barcelona. As soon as the covers came off and the gray Mustang was revealed, we were surprised at how much better it looked than the first batch of press photos had suggested.
The outgoing Mustang doesn’t look bad at all, which adds a bit of a challenge for the new one because it has to trump a winning design. What Ford did was go for a lot more aggression, especially in the face. The big, eager headlights of yore give way to sleek light clusters with three built-in white light strips. Visually, this connects to the iconic three-strip taillights the Mustang is known for. The grille retains the same basic outline, but our launch car had some interesting bodywork under the bumper that complemented the grille. And the wheels look so good you can mount them on your bedroom wall.
We also admit we can see how some of our readers could pass judgment so quickly on this Ford’s styling. We see aesthetic touches that do seem inspired by Japanese cars, but these thoughts are banished easily once you see the new model up close. There’s still no mistaking that it’s a Mustang descended from its ancestors from the ’60s. The visual DNA is still very much there.
Because the Mustang during the event was a convertible, it was easy to see what the cabin looked like. Thanks in part to the reddish leather seats, the Mustang cabin beckoned guests to go for a drive using either the classic 5.0-liter V8 or the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost mill. We didn’t get to sit inside because of strict security, but the interior looked like it had the same practicality, macho vibe and signature Mustang touches that had convinced previous consumers to whip out their checkbooks.
If there was a weak spot, it would have to be the taillights and the rear angle. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they’re not as bold as the new Mustang’s face (and they're a little too retro). Maybe this duality is symbolic of Ford’s current push: Look to the future, but never forget the past.
And as Ford’s successful Mustang launch proved, the future still shines very bright for its muscle car.
Photos by Dinzo Tabamo