Ford is taking the Mustang under the knife to bring the world a heavily revised machine for 2018 that features some of the biggest changes the muscle car has experienced in its six-decade history.
Visually the new Mustang is a refinement of the current design, but the new car has a smaller front end that sits lower than before. Along with the smaller shape we get some revised ducting for better air flow through the engine bay. In practice, the whole package looks much closer to the front end of the GT350. New headlights, standard LED units no less, and redesigned side lamps finish off the nose Move down the side and you’ll find lightly massaged fenders to accommodate the new front clip and new wheel options. The rear changes are more subtle, but a sharp eye can pick out the resculpted shape, new taillilght design and altered exhaust tips.
The real big news for the 2018 Mustang is not it’s new looks. It’s not the more refined interior, and it’s not the new 12-inch digital dash. The real news for the 2018 Mustang is all hidden under that sheet metal.
Now that Ford’s pony is sold worldwide, it needs to get faster and more refined. MagneRide shocks are now available to provide a smoother ride with even better handling. The chassis has been stiffened for improved road feel and to allow tighter tuning of the suspension. And then we get to the engine and transmission options. Every engine in the lineup is getting more power, although official numbers have yet to be released, and there is a new 10-speed automatic transmission.
But the biggest departure and change for the car, the thing that could redefine muscle cars sales in America as a whole, Ford has killed the V6 engine option. Starting next year, the only Mustang you can buy will be the 2.3L EcoBoost model, or the V8 GT. With similar power and torque as the old V6, it makes sense on a numbers basis, but only time will tell what the backlash from consumers will be. Traditionally, Mustang owners don’t exactly favor change, and killing the V6 entirely in favor of a small turbo-four is a pretty major change.
At least they are still offering it with a six-speed manual, so not all is lost.