The 2015 Ford Mustang, a car that has been 50 years in the making, will hit showrooms next month in the U.S. with engine choices ranging from a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine to a throaty V-8 to entice a wider range of buyers.
The engine choices — a 4-cylinder, a V-6 and a V-8 — all put out at least 300 horsepower. The car also features Mustang’s first independent rear suspension and is packed with more technology to appeal to purists and newcomers alike.
The newcomers could be younger buyers in the U.S. who want a smaller engine and an automatic transmission, or they could be buyers in Europe and Asia where Ford’s “halo” pony car will go on sale for the first time next year.
The average age of Mustang buyers is 48, but Ford is trying to attract younger buyers with its emphasis on fuel economy and technology, said Melanie Banker, Mustang marketing manager.
The U.S. advertising campaign ramps up next month and will run until just before Christmas, then resumes after the holidays, said Banker. It will consist of TV, print and online ads.
The fastback hits showrooms next month, followed by the convertible with a cloth top at the end of the year. All are made at the Flat Rock (Mich.) Assembly Plant, including right-hand drive models for export.
Banker said her counterparts in Europe and Asia must educate buyers on the Mustang lineage. The car goes on sale in Asia first, then Europe.
“The marketing approach is a very detailed plan to leverage the changes we’ve made,” said Raj Nair, head of global product development for Ford.
Nair said the automaker knew there was pent-up demand around the world for the car but early orders for the sixth-generation Mustang have exceeded expectations both here and in Europe where the U.K. sold out a 500-car allotment within two minutes.
“It will be interesting satisfying all this demand,” Nair said.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, said recently the automaker is prepared to add a third shift at Flat Rock if demand warrants. The order bank in the U.S. opened in May for the fastback and in August for the convertible. Banker would not give specific figures but said Ford already expected strong demand and the orders have exceeded those expectations.
While purists think a true Mustang must have a V-8, Nair expects less than half of sales — about 40% — will be the most powerful engine. He thinks the 4-cylinder will be popular in foreign markets. The base 3.7-liter V-6 is expected to be popular in the U.S.
Banker said ads will focus on the optional turbocharged 2.3-liter generating 310 horsepower, 320 pound-feet of torque and 21 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on the highway driving without mentioning that it is a 4-cylinder engine.
2015 Mustang’s three engine choices:
- 3.7-liter V6 generates 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque
- 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder generates 310 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque
- 5-liter V8 generates 435 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.