U.S.A.:Ford Mustang to Get European Flair
Ward's Auto World - August 15, 2003
Ford Motor Co.'s Mustang, arguably the most American of all automotive industry icons, will feature some European flair when its next-generation model bows next year, Ward's learns. Addressing criticisms that the current Mustang suffers from refinement issues linked to its 1970s-era Fox platform, Ford borrows steering attributes from the agile European-spec Focus, specifically its boost curve.
Phil Martens, vice president-North America product creation, tells Ward's the '05 Mustang will be "a much more refined product." Attributes of the current Mach I Mustang also will be apparent, he says.
The inspiration to tap into Ford of Europe -- where Martens worked on the acclaimed Mondeo sedan before contributing to Mazda Motor Corp.'s Mazda6 and RX8 as that company's product guru -- roughly paralleled some springtime testing of a Mustang mule.
"In Florida, we had a come-to-Jesus meeting," he says. "Every program has to have a come-to-Jesus meeting. And then, two weeks later, we had a second meeting, a second drive."
By then, the direction was clear. The improved refinement derived from the modified DEW platform that shoulders the new car demanded steering to match.
Martens says Ford immediately put in some of its best dynamic tuners, which likely wouldn't have happened a year ago because he says Ford's engineering ranks were "so scattered" at the time.
Copyright 2003 by Primedia Incorporated.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....