In a global event spanning six cities on four continents, Ford unveiled to the world the all-new 2015 Mustang Thursday morning.
The iconic American sports car, now in the sixth generation and celebrating its 50th anniversary, will seek a younger, more global audience when it goes on sale in late 2014.
“Going forward, Mustang is going to help even more people see Ford differently around the world and connect with us in more meaningful ways,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s executive vice president, said at the Los Angeles debut in Hollywood. “We are taking Mustang truly global for the first time.”
The car, which also made an appearance on "Good Morning America," features a completely redesigned exterior with a fastback rear end that’s reminiscent of the first-generation Mustangs of the 1960s.
“The 2015 model takes the Mustang legend in a more aggressive direction,” said Raj Nair, Ford’s group vice president. It’s lower and wider, though the wheelbase remains unchanged.
“We set out to create a modern interpretation of the Mustang,” said Joel Piaskowski, design director for Ford. “First and foremost, it had to be a Mustang. From the overall proportions, you might say, yeah, it’s keeping up with the times. It has much more of a sports car-like proportion.”
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With more than half of the 5.5 million Facebook fans of the Mustang coming from outside the U.S., Piaskowski said Ford was eager to use this next generation as an ambassador.
“They appreciate the car for its American-ness, for being a true American muscle car, sports car," he said. "That’s what we’re building on.”
Under the new skin sits an independent rear suspension -- a first for the Mustang -- and one of three engine choices.
The base V-6 and range-topping GT with the V-8 remain. In the middle of the lineup, Ford will now offer a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that is aimed at buyers -- both in the U.S. and abroad -- who are looking for a balance of fuel economy and performance.
Underscoring Ford’s desire for overseas buyers, the automaker unveiled the 2015 Mustang at events in Sydney, Australia; Shanghai; Barcelona, Spain; New York; Dearborn, Mich.; and L.A.
The L.A. event played up the car’s rich history of more than 3,000 film and T.V. appearances by giving the Mustang its own Star of Fame in front of the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood.
Just feet from the Hollywood Walk of Fame for celebrities like Sandra Bullock, Steve McQueen and Michael Jackson, the 2015 Mustang rolled its front wheels into a block of wet cement.
“It’s fitting that we’re right here, amongst all the stars in Hollywood,” said Hinrichs before pressing a large Mustang logo into the ground. “We have our own star right here.”