2015 Mustang styling commentary.
- sorry I forgot to put the photos in my first post (can't seem to delete it either, so here they are).
I've been a fan of Mustangs for 30 years, and I've seen bad and good. I personally was't that big a fan of the Fox body, decent car but didn't keep the "flair" of the car alive. The 5.0 engine was great though and make no mistake, THAT is what made that car so popular. The earlier Mustangs from the late sixties are what EVERYBODY wanted....again. Combine that with the retro styling that other auto makers were pursuing, and Ford took to it with the 1994 to 2004 version, which gave us some of those design cues but didn't quite "copy" the 67'-70' years the way we all wanted. So the S197 was born and we all got what we wanted...right?
Ford has to refresh the design...it's the way of product development cycles. They want to keep the interest brewing, and also guys...they want the next generation to get hooked on thes cars NOW. They have Marketing people trolling the internet and looking for how the design concept is being viewed by the public. So we need to put our opinons out there but we can't just say flatly NO...becasue the car will die without our support. Ford Marketing lets this stuff "leak" out because they WANT our input, they need it to check themselves and where they are going with it to make sure they aren't going in the wrong direction (they are too close to it). So let's give them helpful, meaningful feedback, that's what they want!
Let's start at the front:
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79325826@N02/7268496018/" title="2015_frontquarter by THS_Steed06, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7078/7268496018_9eacdf1ded_z.jpg" width="640" height="426" alt="2015_frontquarter"></a>
The hood shape isn't that different from S197 now, look at where the curve down toward the bumper starts. They even have the rasied center section of the hood, granted I think it's too narrow at the front but the concept is okay. If they go with a less steep V shaped angle on that it will have a good carry over from the S197 design.
They captured that GT500/2010 + grille shape beautifully while still staying true to the new Taurus and Fusion "Aston" look. The fog lights probably need to be revised some because they are meant to play off the shape of the agressive projector head lights. Those lights are a bit too "un-mustang" like and carry too much design cues of the Focus. They should probably be less swept into the fender and a bit taller (they did this to share the existign lights with Focus most likely) but they don't work with that grille very well. I think they should also have the turn markers on the inner corner like current S197's do.
The lower fascia is very good actually, though I think the opening below the bumper needs to be larger and will give it a more Mustang like look. The bumper probably needs to be a bit more protruding too, since there's not really much overhang.
Front fender and wheel arches look okay, but the body accent line on the top and bottom of the doors is excellent, really speaks to the Mustang crowd. Though I don't think the subtle line that dips down just below the windo works, I'd just carry the fender line all the way back straight across the door. The window pillars and quarter windows are very good also, almost a direct carry over of the "fast back" look.
Now on to the rear
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/79325826@N02/7268496098/" title="2015_rearquarter by THS_Steed06, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7239/7268496098_ef02c84253_z.jpg" width="640" height="426" alt="2015_rearquarter"></a>
The rear quarter panel works well, but the rear wheel arches are a bit too heavy for me (bulges too much), cut those back by about 25% and you strike a nice balance. The tail lamp shape is good and not all that different than current S197, just a shorter profile. They probably wrap around a bit too far for "Mustang", but it could be tolerated. I'd prefer to terminate the length about 2" short of what they are now and shorten up the deck lid lens with the pony logo (narrow it about 25%). A really cool design element would be to have that pony emblem back lit or glow from behind that lens (super awesome concept). LED tail lights are the future and I welcome it, just tint the lenses about 20% smoked and those will be very sweet looking tail lights. Though I don't think they should have that "race track" LED outline. That copies Dodge too much and I think they can achieve the same concept with some red or orange pin striping type technique around the perimeter.
The rear valence is a bit too large for me, bring the trunk down further and drop the valence 2" and you'll strike a nice balance. I totally dig the rear window, but I'm worried that the rake is too steep for rear passengers. One of the best things abou the S197 is that full sized adults can sit in the back and won't hit their head on the windows (limited leg room not withstanding). My boys (age 3 & 6) love to ride in my Steed and I'd want that to be possible for years to come when I buy the next Mustang (hopefully one like this).
I think Ford is on a good path with this car, it just needs some tweaking in the details (similar to what I've outlined above) to achieve a true evolution to the next platform. Actually the rendering posted by 4LiterSonic has some of the changes I'd like to see and approaches a better look.