When it comes to American cars, most of us will think of those muscle cars, and the most typical brands are Chevrolet and Dodge. But we forget to mention the Ford Mustang, the pioneer of American muscle cars, as well as a classic sports car that represents wildness and unruly.
Ford Mustang has gone through six generations since its birth in 1965, which is currently the longest-produced Ford car nameplate. Currently, in its sixth generation, it is the fifth-best selling Ford car nameplate. The namesake of the “pony car” automobile segment, the Mustang was developed as a highly-styled line of sporty coupes and convertibles derived from existing model lines, initially featured by “long hood, short deck”.
The First Generation: 1965-1973
In 1965, Ford officially released the first batch of Mustangs equipped with in-line 6-cylinder and V8 engines. Once released, the Mustang’s strong lines and powerful exterior design immediately attracted the attention of many people. At the same time, many unique designs of this car also won the crazy pursuit and favor of young people at the time, including the symmetrical three vertical taillights, and the wild horse and striped logo on the front side of the side, which has become the iconic features of the wild horse in the future.
From 1967 to 1971, Ford made changes to the Mustang model, which made the body size larger and larger, and launched the top-level model Super Cobra Jet with a maximum power of 287 kW 7L V8 engine. In 1973, the first generation of Mustang was discontinued.
The Second Generation: 1974-1978
The new model, called the “Mustang II”, was introduced in September, 1973, and its reduced size allowed it to compete against successful imported sports coupés such as the Japanese Datsun 240Z, Toyota Celica and the European Ford Capri. After the second-generation Mustang was launched, the V8 model disappeared from the model list, which caused a lot of dissatisfaction among Mustang lovers.
So in 1977, Ford introduced the Mustang Cobra model. And in the next year, a limited edition King Cobra equipped with a V8 engine was launched, and it was the first Mustang with a 5.0 emblem on its body.
The Third Generation: 1979-1993
The third-generation had two different front-end styles. From 1979 to 1986, the front end was angled back using four rectangular headlights, known by enthusiasts as “Four Eyes”. The front end was restyled for 1987 to 1993 model years to reflect the contemporary, rounded-off “aero” style of the Ford Taurus using flush-composite headlamps and a smooth grille-less nose.
1982 marked the return of the Mustang GT which used a specially-modified high-output 302 cu in (4.9 L) engine. In 1983, Ford launched a convertible version of the model, this is the first time after 10 years, Ford launched the Mustang convertible again.
The Fourth Generation: 1994-2004
In 1994, Ford launched the fourth-generation Mustang. The Mustang has undergone great changes in many aspects, though it was based on an updated version of the rear-wheel-drive Fox platform called “Fox-4.”
To comprehensively improve the power, comfort, body stability, handling and safety of the fourth-generation, Ford spent 700 million US dollars for this. At the same time, Ford also introduced the more powerful Mustang GT, which is equipped with a V8 engine with a maximum power of 158 kilowatts.
The fourth-generation shows us the efforts that Ford has made in recent years to regain the hearts of Mustang fans. Both in appearance and power, the Mustang has become a sports car with real power.
The Fifth Generation: 2005-2014
Ford introduced a re-designed 2005 model year Mustang at the 2004 North American International Auto Show, codenamed “S-197” based on the new D2C platform. For the 2005 to 2010 production years, the base model was powered by a 210 hp cast-iron block 4.0 L SOHC V6, while the GT used an aluminum block 4.6 L SOHC 3-valve Modular V8 with variable camshaft timing that produced 300 hp.
In 2011, the engine was revised. And the 3.7 L engine came with a new dual exhaust. The Shelby GT500’s 5.4 L supercharged V8 block was made of aluminum making it 102 lb lighter than the iron units in previous years. It was rated at 550 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque.
In 2012, Ford introduced a new version Mustang Boss 302 which equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. The GT’s 5.0 liter V8 gained eight horsepower from 412 hp to 420 hp.
The Sixth Generation: 2015-Present
The new Mustang was introduced as a 2015 model year vehicle, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Ford Mustang. The sixth-generation Ford Mustang (S550) is the current iteration of the Mustang pony car manufactured by Ford. In a departure from prior Mustang models, the sixth generation Mustang includes fully independent rear suspension on all models, as well as an optional 2.3L EcoBoost turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder engine.
The sixth-generation is also the first Ford Mustang to be marketed and sold globally, and represented the first time that factory right-hand-drive Mustangs were produced in addition to the left-hand drive models.
Through Mustang has undergone various changes within the 60 year, it always the pioneer of classic sports cars. “When was the golden age of Ford Mustang？” I will say, the golden age never comes to an end.