Ford drops an engine, lowers bonnet and introduces 10-speed automatic option
Story & photos courtesy of Automotive News
Ford Motor Company is dropping an engine and lowered the bonnet on the Mustang as part of the car's 2018 model year freshening. The updated Mustang gains a more aggressive look that includes new hood vents and an optional spoiler; designers lowered the hood by about 20 mm - compared with the current model - to make it look leaner and more athletic. It also has an updated grille, front fascia and new headlights. It also gets an optional 12-inch digital cluster, new-generation LED headlights and taillights available across all trim lines, and a number of new tech features.
The company is also dropping its 3.7-liter V6 engine, which officials say account for roughly 15 percent of sales, in favor of the turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V8. Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission, which debuted last year on the F-150, will come as an option with both engines too. The 2018 Mustang went on display Tuesday at the 2017 Detroit auto show and was unveiled at other events in Los Angeles and New York.
“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, Ford’s president of the Americas, said in a statement.
In 2015, Ford took the Mustang global and currently sells it in 140 countries. It will expand that number to 146 with the 2018 model-year car, which goes on sale in the US in September this year. The Mustang’s redesign in 2015 was well-received by enthusiasts and helped Ford win the muscle car sales crown from crosstown rivals General Motors and the Chevrolet Camaro the past two years.
And although Ford’s cutting an engine option, the midcycle update is meant to offer more choices to customers. Firstly, the optional digital instrument cluster - a new technology for Ford that originally debuted on the GT supercar - can be customized with three separate views and dozens of different colours. Secondly, customers can choose from a dozen alloy wheel designs, and the car will come in three new colors, including a bright hue called “Orange Fury.”
The traditional manual transmission has been upgraded: The transmission paired with the V8 engine has been redesigned to include a twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel for increased torque. Then, the 10-speed automatic transmission boasts quicker shift times, better low-speed response and reduced friction losses compared to the six-speed automatic it replaces.
The V8 has been upgraded as well, and now includes direct injection and port fuel injection, which will increase fuel efficiency and horsepower ratings. Ford also said its EcoBoost engine will see an increase in torque.