Ford Mustang V (2005-2014), the retro-futurist muscle car revives the myth
Unveiled at the 2003 Detroit International Auto Show, the Ford Mustang V immediately struck the public's imagination. The rare detractors said that the designers had run out of ideas, but by remaining sensible the future of the concept was mapped out. The fervor around the stand spoke for itself and there was a palpable tension as amateur photographers happily clicked away. A divine mix of classicism and modernity created the retro-futurist style of this legend.
It was the undisputed star of the show and the last muscle car in activity (RIP the Camaro and Firebird), but the public still dreamed of popular sports cars.
It was only one step from the prototype to the production line and in 2004 the enthusiasm recalled the early days of the Mustang. The style of the Mustang 350 GT of the 60s surely had something to do with it, a sort of nostalgia took hold of customers at the sight of the wide-open grille and the two round headlights in their square niche. The return to its origins was highlighted by the fastback look and side scoops. The emblem of the galloping mustang still reigned on the grille. To reinforce its aggressiveness, Ford made the stone guard more massive, the wheel arches were striking and highlighted the 17-inch five-spoke wheels.
With such a wild design, you can only expect to find untamed power under the hood. Built on the much stiffer Lincoln LS platform, the Mustang V possessed adequate engine power: the 4-liter V6 already offered 210 horsepower and the modular 4.6 L V8 (3 valves per cylinder) delivered nearly 300 hp at 5750 rpm with 433 Nm of torque. The symphony orchestrated by this engine was extremely well studied (acoustic research) for the joy of passers-by. Performance and sound went hand-in-hand and confirmed the esthetic attraction of this new Mustang that was to become car of the year.
The interior complied with the vintage trend of the style of the new Mustang V: the dashboard was largely influenced by the historical context by revisiting the curves, gauges and even the font of the figures. To copy the original, would the designers have the impudence to reduce the rear space and the path to get there? The question arose, but comfort seemed accessory in this domain. The trim was not perfect either; certain materials appear to be of poor quality and Ford seems to have skimped in order to keep prices down. For a little more than $25,000, success was assured: over 160,000 Mustang Vs were sold in 2005.
There was a special option for 2006: the Pony Package. This included wider tires, improved suspension, a grille adapted for the new fog lights, rear spoiler, special paint with stripes and stainless steel tailpipes. The GT and Shelby delighted fans; the latter, named after the designer, delivered no less than 500 hp at 6000 rpm. The Mustang, with its supercharged 5.4 L engine, was equipped with braking to match: 4-piston Brembo calipers for the front discs. It showed its worth on the track even though the special press did not lavish praise on the car. A 2008 Shelby version also made news with the 540 hp of the Mustang GT 500 KR, which stood for King of the Road.
For the 2008 and 2009 vintages, the Mustang V brought back the Bullitt series that had already been produced in 2001. To celebrate the Mustang's 45th anniversary, a special edition came out with very specific porthole windows. At the end of 2009, in homage to the father of the Mustang, a limited-edition (45 units) Iacocca version sold out at an exorbitant price (auctions today attract around $400,000).
On the race track, Mustang won two seasons (2008-2009) for driver, team and builder.
From 2010, the styling changed a little, notably for the brand emblem; it was restyled to match the improved aerodynamics. The front lights changed style and engulfed the indicators, the fog lights were reduced and at the rear they were divided into 3-lens LED taillights. The interior was better cared for, the Ford Sync system added features, and a reverse camera provided well-appreciated assistance. The GT engine was changed for the 4.6 L V8 and crossed the threshold of 315 horsepower.
A new engine was developed for 2011: the 3.7 L Duratec delivered 305 hp at 6500 rpm. For the GT, a new 5-liter engine, the Coyote, reached 412 horsepower at 6500 rpm. The Boss 302 arrived in 2012 with 444 galloping horses! The Shelby followed suit with up to 550 horsepower. The transmission was upgraded to 6 speeds. The engines continued to evolve in 2013-2014, and the 5L went up to 420 hp, while the new Shelby 5.8 L delivered 662 hp, recalling the race for power of the 1960s.