Well what happened here? The current Mustang is a retro rework of modern muscle car art, but with the recently unveiled 2018 Ford Mustang, it’s suddenly morphed into a sad yellow goldfish. Some of our editors went as far as calling it “a face only a mother could love,” but didn’t our mothers always tell us never to judge a book by its cover?
Whether or not you dig the new looks, the 2018 Ford Mustang stays fresh with a reworked V8, a new 10-speed automatic transmission, a louder exhaust, and the MagneRide adaptive suspension sourced from the raucous Shelby GT350. Let’s take a closer look at the revisions.
First and foremost, the new Mustang looks much sleeker than before. Aside from the droopy headlights, the grill looks more aggressive, the rear end has been redesigned with a big wing and V8-models will adorn quad-tipped exhausts, similar to the one in the raucous Shelby GT350. EcoBoost models (turbocharged four-cylinder engines) will retain dual tips.
The Mustang also gains a new all-digital 12-inch instrument cluster that replaces its classic binnacle analog gauges. The Mustang is further equipped with the latest of driver assistance features such as Pre-Collision Assist, Lane Departure Warnings, Lane Keep Assist, and Pedestrian Detection.
The real news with the 2018 Mustang lies with its performance. The base V6 engine has been axed (possibly due to poor sales), while the 5.0-litre Coyote V8 has been reworked with dual-fuel injection to produce more power and to rev higher as well. Ford has not quoted any horsepower figures just yet, but we expect it to be in the mid 400s.
Also new is a 10-speed automatic transmission sourced from the F-150, a revised manual transmission to cope with the added power, and an active exhaust that addresses our previous complaints about its V8 soundtrack being too quiet (especially when compared to the Camaro SS).
Arguably the most important addition to the 2018 model is MagneRide suspension, which is optional on the Mustang Performance Package. Like the one used in the Shelby GT350R, its suspension contains metallic particles that change the viscosity of the fluid in the dampers thousands of times per second, meaning it will stiffen up or soften up depending on the terrain. You can even select five different drive modes: normal, sport, track weather, and drag (yes, the latter is for drag races).
We’re looking forward to trying out the new V8 and its subsequent transmissions, and though we’re not exactly keen on its new looks, we’re fairly certain that the new Mustang’s improved engines and added performance will keep it fresh and competitive in the muscle car world.
LOS ANGELES, Calif., Jan. 17, 2017 – Today, Ford partnered with its ambassador of Service, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, to introduce the new Mustang – the world’s best-selling sports coupe and the company’s most advanced Mustang ever.
A host of improvements including new technology and design changes give owners ways to customize Mustang to their preferences, even better performance from more powerful engines and new MagneRide™ suspension technology. Customers have more ways than ever to personalize Mustang to make it their own, with three new paint colors, 12 distinct wheel choices and a customizable digital instrument cluster.
“The new Mustang is our best ever, based on more than 50 years as one of the iconic sports car in America and now, the world,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of The Americas. “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.”
Ford tapped Johnson to reveal the new Mustang to the world by giving one of the first models available to a deserving member of the military. A video of the debut was launched on Johnson’s social channels, including Youtube, Instagram and Facebook, where Mustang holds the title for the most-popular car with more than 8.4 million ‘likes.’
Technology for greater personalization
Mustang makes available Ford’s first 12-inch all-digital LCD screen in the dashboard. This all-new customizable instrument cluster can be easily personalized, offering three separate views. Customers can personalize the displays for normal, sport and track mode. All-new Mustang MyMode with memory function allows customers to save their favorite drive settings, including suspension and steering preferences.
The new Mustang is so customizable that even its engine note can be adjusted. Delivering an audible experience like never before, an all-new active valve exhaust system is optional on Mustang GT, with a fully variable soundtrack to match the entire acceleration range.
For the first time, Mustang benefits from a vast array of Ford driver-assist technology. Customers can feel more confident than ever behind the wheel with new features like Pre-Collision Assist with pedestrian detection, distance alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and Driver Alert System.
Ford SYNC® Connect with FordPass™ is available on Mustang for the first time. When using the FordPass® app for smartphones, drivers can start, lock, unlock and locate their car for ultimate convenience.
Performance is at the core of Mustang DNA, offering drivers a unique thrill of acceleration and cornering for the ultimate fun-to-drive experience. On all models, new shock absorbers make for better ride control, a new cross-axis joint in the rear suspension leads to increased lateral stiffness, and innovative stabilizer bars bring sharper response and handling.
MagneRide damper technology is a new option with the Mustang Performance Package to optimize ride and handling in all situations.
The proven 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine continues to offer outstanding performance advantages versus the outgoing 3.7-liter V6. Using Ford’s transient overboost technology uniquely calibrated for Mustang, torque is increased for wide-open throttle acceleration.
Ford’s legendary 5.0-liter V8 engine has been thoroughly reworked. It is more powerful and revs higher than any Mustang GT before. This power increase was achieved with the first application for Mustang of Ford’s new dual-fuel, high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection on a V8 engine – delivering robust low-end torque, high-rpm power, and improved fuel efficiency.
The manual transmission for both engine options has been upgraded for optimal torque. For the V8, the manual transmission has been totally redesigned to include a twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel to increase torque capability and deliver more efficient clutch modulation.
A new 10-speed automatic transmission, available with both EcoBoost and V8 engines, is the best automatic Mustang has ever offered. With a wide-ratio span and optimized gear spacing, this all-new gearbox helps deliver higher average power for acceleration – improving responsiveness and performance.
Compared to the previous six-speed, the new 10-speed transmission has quicker shift times, better low-speed tip-in response and significantly reduced friction losses. The all-new electronic control system includes unique tunes for different drive modes and features real-time adaptive shift scheduling to ensure the right gear at the right time. Steering wheel-mounted shift paddles allow drivers maximum manual control.
Energy in the design
Overall, the car’s exterior design is now more athletic, with a lower, remodeled hood and grille that deliver a leaner look and refined aerodynamics, upper and lower front grilles, and a new position for hood vents. For the first time the entire Mustang line will feature all-LED front lights including signature lighting, low-beams, turn signals, efficient projector high-beams and available fog lamps.
The rear of the car gets revised LED taillamps for a more technical look, plus a new bumper, fascia and available performance spoiler. Dual-tip exhaust is standard for EcoBoost® Mustang, while V8-powered Mustang GT gets a standard quad-tip exhaust.
With a dozen available alloy wheel designs and fresh exterior color choices – including all-new signature Orange Fury – enthusiasts can order a Mustang with the look they’re after.
Improved touch points and visual cues with a more premium look and feel characterize the new cockpit. The center console adds a new hand-stitched wrap with contrast stitching and padded knee bolsters while door handles, rings and bezels are finished in aluminum. Restyled seating surfaces feature new patterns and color choices, the instrument panel sports an updated Mustang badge and there’s a new key fob design. A heated steering wheel is optional.