Why a dissapointment - I say the new Mustang is a winner!

Discussion in '2005 - 2014 S-197 Mustang -General/Talk-' started by sondesign, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. Hello all. This is my first post, but I am a LONG time Mustang fan, previous owner, and pending 05 owner. Having grown up in Dearborn, and now working for a large firm as a designer and previous engineer (at a big three outfit I will not mention here) I can tell you exactly what happened to the 05 Mustang. The majority of the changes are proportion, due to package and requirements. Thet interior and detail of this car are PHENOMINAL! I mean, they finally got a clue that the console and dash will NEVER LINE UP (My dad has owned three mustangs 99-01 and NEVER has that loopy line that goes from the dash brows into the console and around the shifter lined up across the assembly plane between the console and IP. Hooray to Ford for making a design where it doesn't HAVE TO. Beyond that, here is what happened:

    Considering the demands of impact, safety (general) federal regs, lighting, CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy), and packaging requirements, I can say that the new Mustang is a COMPLETE SUCESS given the rigorous requirements.. 1) Front End. Given that the front of the car is smashed with a GVW weight (car + cargo = 3450+1500(est) ~ 5000lb) load at the center of the car, and NOTHING CAN BE DAMAGED, the sharknose is EXTREMELY WELL HANDLED. This test usually dictates 35-50mm (1.5-2in) offset between the most forward point of the nose to ANY DAMAGEABLE S/MTL ETC. The concept's nose simply would not pass this test. The FOGS in the grille are a result of both design and cost. Early mustangs had fogs in the grille (heritage), and the size of the fogs dictates cost. The large diameter of the fogs is dictated by reflex, and the smaller the parabola, the higher intensity the bulb=more cost. The 30deg offset hit requirement probably also aced the fogs from the lower fascia, due to the 5000lb load that hits the corner of the car- which would require the fogs to be set far back into the fascia, reducing diameter (due to mold flow of the fasica hole needing to be tapered 5 deg) and therefore increasing costs. I personally LOVE the grille mounted lamps, since they evoke more heritage. Considering all that, PLUS Federal Frontal 35mph impact requirements and 5* crash ratings, etc, it is amazing that the Front Overhang (distance from front spindle to tip of front end) is so short! In an impact scenario, it takes distance to dissipate the load of the car over time. If the car accepts too much load too quickly, the G forces on the occupant can cause death. There is no amount of structure that can make up for air space (sounds wierd, but basic physics here). It looks like Ford has chosed to put the crush space behind the motor instead of in front a la BMW, to give a shorter nose appearance, and more drama in the porportion BRAVO This is the first American RWD car to do this! While the Concept front end looks shorter, it would certainly not pass impact standards.
    2) Roofline / IRS: Ford claims that the IRS was lost to "Keep the drag racers happy" OK. There are plenty of FAST/QUICK straight line cars with independent rear suspension!!! (Viper, Corvette, Porsche GT3, Audi S4, and the list goes on and on) The REAL reason, is that Ford Design (I gaurantee) wanted the roofline lower than the LS (which the platform was based on) so what does that do to the package? With the lower roofline, the occupants HAVE to move down to keep the 2+2 package (for customer and INSURANCE COSTS - (Mustangs already cost a fortune to insure, if Ford wants to sell them, they can't have Corvette price insurance on a Mustang) Once the occupants are reduced in height to form acceptable (not comfy) packaging, the seat buckets (guess what!) run right into the IRS Package space (Hence the contorted structure of the current Cobra IRS subframe to fit the old Live axle pickups) So Ford had a decision, 1) Raise the roofline, keep LS package and IRS susp (no investment cost option) 2) Lower roofline to design request (to keep the theme), and develop a new IRS (this equals LOTS of investment, Piece cost, and DELAYS launch probably by a year for development) or 3) (what they did) Lower the roofline, and place a more sophisticated live axle setup in which is significantly lower cost, is easier to develop (since they already have one) and "old school" Mustang enthusiasts will likely be OK with I personally think Ford is missing out on a conquesting market share with a lot of foreign sports car buyers (350Z, Infiniti G35 cpe, BMW 3, etc) and settling for just current owners that want an upgrade, but what the hell do I know? I mean, how cool would it be if Ford finally trumped BMW, etc in perception and appeal, and magazines wrote good PR instead of "We love the chassis....except it seems a bit dated already in comparison to the competition" Those words are like poison on the launch of a new product line. You can never shake that perception once it is out there, so to me it is worth the investment. sigh... After owning 15 cars (83 Mustang GT 5.0L, Ford Ranger,79 Thunderbird,97 Neon ACR,87 Audi 4000Q, 85 Golf GTI, 93 Audi S4 Stage III+, 79 Merc Capri 5.0, 66 Fairlane GTA 390, 86 Mazda RX7 GenI, 01 Ford Focus, 00 Dodge Neon ES, 02 Jeep Liberty, 03 Jeep Wrangler, 88 BMW M5) and having driven MANY competitors, I hate to say it, but the Japanese and Germans ALWAYS kick our ass in handling and stering refinement. I have been impressed with two American cars' handling though - 97 Neon ACR (a GOKART! ) and the Ford Focus. I hope the new Mustang will be as nice (lets wait and see!- maybe the live axle is tuned well enough)
    3) Rear end Overhang: Given that the Mustang is a 300HP V8, and a 2+2 package for insurance, the car is very size inneficient. If Ford did not make the rear end long enough, and trunk big enough, the car would fall under "Economy" class with the likes of Civic, Corolla, Neon, Focus etc, making its V8 a little "thirsty" for the class, and thereby causing LARGE FINES for the corporation, making it IMPOSSIBLE to PRODUCE A GT or COBRA, which WE ALL LOVE AND WANT! So, if you don't like the rearend, at least thank if for being big enough to make the business case solid to give you a 300Hp V8... YEAH BABY! ...Plus, there is a new impending rear impact requirement that says the car must withstand a 50mph rear hit at Curb load...3450lbs going 50mph, you do the math.... crush space is a beautiful thing.

    All in all, if you consider that Fords has been able the improve the package (seven inches longer wheelbase means more room for rear seat passengers - aka no broken ankles for the little chickies you pick up in your phat ride, lower insurance rates, and better room for drivers), and STILL make the car fster to 60 (5.2 secs!) with MORE HORSEPOWER AND TORQUE, with BETTER FUEL ECONOMY makes for a winner! Only thing I am waiting for is to read the highlights in "real" not studio photog lighting, and "Feel" the car's chassis in September to see if it delivers as they say on steering feel and handling. I can already tell that the panhard rod has made a difference in lateral axle slop because the stance to the car is MUCH BETTER than the previous. The wheel to body (distance between the sidewall of tire/wheel an the fender lip, laterally) is more like a BMW = AWESOME!

    Lets all wait and see what the Detroit show brings! I, for one, am encouraged to be back in the Mustang buyers circle!
  2. I say the new mustang will be a hit. Its all the attention to detail that makes this car special. Its nice to see a car thats all new and doesnt reuse hundreds of parts from previous mustangs
  3. I love the 2005 Mustang too, I agree that on paper it appears that the 2005 Mustang will be better than ANY previous Mustang. Given the requirements that you described very well I think the styling is great too.

    But, I don't buy your arguement on the IRS.

    Early on it was said that the Mustang would have the Control Blade IRS, which has already been developed by Ford Australia and it does not have the height issue you described on the DEW98 (I assume due to the upper A arms). There is going to be IRS in the SVT Cobra version, so IRS is going to be done one way or another anyway. Ford may have done a wonderful job with the new live axle, but there is no way a live axle is going to handle the bumps and keep the 2005 Mustang planted in a corner the way a good IRS can do it. If a live axle was so great, why did SVT go though all the trouble of putting IRS in the last Mustang Cobra? Why wouldn't the new Ford GT use a live axle? Why doesn't Audi, BMW, Mercedes, etc. use live axles? Come on, even the freakin' Focus has IRS.

    You know that once the Car Rag road tests start, Ford is going to get a lot of flack over the solid rear axle and it will be the one thing that keeps them from saying that the Mustang is as good if not better than the impors. Lets hope that IRS is a reasonably priced option on the 2006 Mustang GT.

    PS. I don't buy your argument on the foglamps either. Look at the little tiny headlamps on the last Cougar and the reduced size high beams on other Ford vehicles like the Explorer & Lincoln LS (they use the same bulbs as the older models with larger reflectors). The big foglamps kill the agressive look of the GT's front end.
  4. Sondesign, kudos for an involved, articulate post. Obviously you are an engineer. Why? You spelled words correctly if they were related to engineering. Regular every day words were butchered. I still remember my college English professor telling all of us Strenth of Materials and Physics for Engineers students, "You will need to spell and write a coherent sentence in your jobs you know!!!!" To which we all said, "That's what secretaries are for!" She just about had an cerebral embolism on that one...

    'One man's magic is another's engineering.' -- L.Long

    'People who do not understand the importance of mathematics are not human. Merely tolerable subhumans who have learned to bathe and not make messes in the house.' -- R. Heinlein
  5. What 351CJ said.

    edit--Oh, except the fog lights are kind of growing on me. And they flow well with the lines in the hood. :nice:
  6. cargasm

    Looking at the new pics, this car is everything I wanted and then some. I'll be buying one as soon as I possibly can.

  7. You just made my argument: "they use the same bulbs as the older models with larger reflectors)" The reflector (or parabola as it is called in the industry) is what grows when older lamp/bulb technology is used, hence the larger fog lamps on the production GT than the concept. Look a projectors, notice they have NO REFLECTOR because they are not Incandescent., just like gas/Xenon lamps. the brighter the bulb, the smaller the parabola, the higher the cost. Hence, since a lower cost bulb was used on the new GT fog lamp, the reflector/parabola had to grow, making fascia mounting a challenge, and you get the grille mounted with the size it ended up.
  8. I would have to agree on the IRS to some extent. We know the Cobra will have IRS and we know it will be nearly another year for it to come out. So the mentioned delay in developement agrees with Cobra developement.
  9. No matter how hard one tries to word a sentance, it always seems it can be interpreted 5 different ways.

    The point I was making is that the NEWER vehicle models use SMALLER reflectors and the SAME bulbs as the older vehicles.

    The other thing I don't understand is are the "Fog" lamps really fog lamps at all or are they high beams or are they just for show. Most factory "Fog" lamps are really pretty much usless in fog in the first place. They are more for aestitics than anything else. If the V6 has low & high beams in one reflector, than the GT must too, so the grille mounted fog lamps must be for show and even if you loose a little efficiency that's not a big deal. Also since the fog lamps are not on the V6, cost must be far less of a factor since the GT is going to sticker for $5K - $7K more than a V6 so there should be an extra $33.45 in the budget to use projector lamps after all projector headlamps were used on Cougars that stickered for $18K.

    As you said what makes or breaks a car is often the details. The 2005 Mustang, is 97% of the way there. Its just that last 3%, like the missing IRS, :notnice: fog lamps, :notnice: mast antenna on the front fender, :notnice: Pirelli Tires, :puke: that will turn off customers and let the Car Rags rip on Ford.
  10. BFGoodrich reports that the 2005 Mustang V-6 will ride on 16-inch Traction T/A tires and the GT will use 18-inch g-Force T/A KDW tires. The T/A KDWs only come with traditional tread on the 265/40ZR18 size.
  11. But the 17"ers are Pirelli, Pirelli just sent out a press release saying so & C&D lists the 17" tires as being Pirelli.
  12. So opt for the larger wheels. Looking at the amount of people on here that change their wheels and tires nearly first thing. I don't really see any tire they choose to use. As being any kind of detractor. The could put cooper or continental tires on it.
  13. Exactly, and if you don't like the fog lamps, remove them, I'm sure the aftermarket or maybe even the dealer will remove them as an option, or just fabricate something.
  14. I wish IRS was an option. For the corner carving crowd, that's the thing to have. For the drag racing crowd, solid axle all the way. If I end up getting an 06+ Cobra, one of the first mods I'll do will be a solid axle conversion.
  15. Are you asking for the IRS to be an option on the Cobra?
  16. I don't want 18"ers, they are too expensive and will probably ride a lot harsher than the 17's and from what I've seen so far I like the 17" wheels a lot and I'm not all that warm on the 18's. I don't want to spend a lot of money modifying or putting add ons on a car. I want the original tires to last until I sell it, something my past experience with Pirellis says may be next to impossible. Once I buy a new car I prefer to spend as little as possible on it and use the money I've saved to get a new one every few years. Yea I know that seems anti-Stanger to the small minority of Stangers who live to modify their Mustangs, but every cent you spend modifying your car is usually wasted as you will never get it back when you sell it.

    I can see the V6 grille replacement mod. becomming even more popular than the current Mach 1 grille delete modification, though. :D
  17. You don't drive your car very hard do you?
  18. I remember when the redesigned 1999 stangs pictures first came out and most people thought they were ugly to the point that sales would suffer. I also remember the first day my local dealer got the '99 stangs in, because my father-in-law bought the GT that very day. For the next few weeks, every time I'd meet up with my father-in-law, I could find him in the parking lot with at least a couple people gauking at the new sheetmetal. Young and old alike were taking notice.

    I like the whole package personally, because there are a significant amount of desireable upgrades. If a completely optioned-out GT can be had for under $30K, then I'm sold. Ford will not make the perfect Mustang, because that's bad for business. However, Ford is offering a better Mustang than the previous model and new looks to boot.

    The new Mustang will rarely win over consumers who are considering Vettes, Porsches, and the like. Heck, the NSX hasn't had a major redesign in a very long time and it costs over $80K and can't even touch a Viper at the same price, nor a Z06 at nearly half the price. Considering the other cars available in the Mustangs price range, the new 2005 Mustang GT has convinced me not to look elsewhere. Plus, it appears that the new power and handling will still keep stangs above the rest in its price range.

    There will be supporters and those who do not. In the end, Ford will have proven itself to be successful. Wait and see, but it will happen.
  19. I don't think the perfect mustang is possible. There are so many different types of people that own them. That you can't possibly get a consensus on what would even make a perfect mustang. Without having a billion options. That were all free.
  20. Maybe you haven't noticed but Pirelli is a very good tre. I mean only Saleen and Ferrari use them as stock equipment. If they are good enough for a Ferrari i am sure they will be more than acceptable for a Mustang. Not the missing IRS is a problem. I have it on my 97 Cougar and it is great. Lack of IRS will be a problem for me since I dont go to the track, just drive it like I stole it. The styling is good on the 05' Stang, myself and all the engineers i work with are salivating waiting to see one. Don't be hatin'