FORD UNVEILS 2005 MUSTANG GT PACE CAR
Ford Press Release
2005 Ford Championship Weekend Mustang GT Pace Car
*All-new 2005 Mustang GT will pace the field in Ford 400 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event in November.
*2005 Ford Freestyle and Five Hundred named "official" vehicles of the Championship Weekend.
CORAL GABLES, FL, July 21, 2004 - Ford Motor Company, today unveiled a special 2005 Mustang GT to serve as the official NASCAR pace car during the Ford Championship Weekend in November at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Mustang unveiling marks the kick-off event for various Championship Weekend community activities targeting local youths, teens and families.
The all-new pony car, along with the all-new Ford Five Hundred flagship sedan and flexible all-wheel-drive Ford Freestyle, were also on display and will serve as official Year of the Car feature vehicles during the Championship Weekend when NASCAR series fans descend on the state of Florida.
"From the Hispanic Heritage Race Car Art contest, to the Year of the Car customer drive program with Ford Racing drivers, this year's Ford Championship Weekend will be extra special for the community of south Florida," said Francisco Codina, vice president of Ford Customer Service Division, who was on hand to unveil the new Mustang. "Ford is committed to developing programs that directly benefit local families and the communities that they live in."
Camilo Pardo, Ford GT and SVT supercar designer and Mark Martin, Ford NASCAR Nextel Cup driver and Ford dealer were also on hand to show their support for the upcoming Championship Weekend activities and to show off the design and driving dynamics of Mustang GT, Five Hundred and Freestyle.
"These Year of the Car products, along with the 500-horsepower Ford GT and a new midsize five-passenger sedan, are redefining the car segment for the Blue Oval," said Pardo. "They set an impressive benchmark for design, comfort, versatility and safety that will directly resonate with customers."
"The command-of-the-road seating positions and all-wheel drive capabilities on the Five Hundred and Freestyle plus the 300-horsepower V8 in the Mustang GT are proving to the world that Ford is ready to show its dominance in the car marketplace," said Martin. "As a driver, these are great products to drive. As a Ford dealer, I can't wait to show families this new line of Ford products."
Year of the Car
Never before has Ford flooded the market with so much new product and so many all-new Blue Oval cars in one model year. The corners stone of this product lead transformation include the new Five Hundred, Freestyle and Mustang.
An American Icon: Ford Mustang - Since its debut on April 17, 1964 at the World's Fair in New York, Mustang has become inextricably linked with American culture. The car has been featured in more than 500 films; it has inspired countless rock and roll songs, including "Mustang Sally," graced postage stamps and has been the personal car of presidents. More than eight million Mustangs have been sold. Now, Ford is preparing to launch only the fifth all-new Mustang in history.
The 2005 Mustang retains the classic "pony car" styling cues of a long hood and short rear deck in a design that is modern, muscular and immediately recognizable as a Mustang. Designers have described the boldly styled interior as a "$30,000 interior in a $20,000 car." In a new-car first, Mustang owners can customize their instrument panel lighting to any of 125 colors, thanks to LED technology.
The heart and soul of any sports car are its engines and chassis, and the 2005 model charts new ground for Mustang while preserving technologies essential to the car's legions of fans. For example, Mustang's architecture is an all-new design for improved steering, ride and handling. But it retains the live rear axle beloved by drag racers for its durability and traction-enhancing geometry.
Power also is part of the Mustang mystique and the 2005 Mustang GT will be the first GT to offer a 300-horsepower V-8 straight from the factory. The Mustang's V-8 is a far cry from traditional Detroit iron of the 1960s. The new engine is an all-aluminum 4.6-liter V-8 that uses three-valve cylinder heads, instead of two-valve heads, for improved torque, horsepower and lower emissions.
Customers for the Mustang V-6 will enjoy 210 horsepower and performance that rival Mustang GTs from the 1980s and 90s in a well-equipped car that Ford promises will have a base sticker price under $20,000.
Ford's New Flagship: The Five Hundred - This all-new flagship of the Ford car showroom was developed in the U.S. with a vehicle architecture and safety package inspired by Volvo, which is part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group. The Five Hundred is about the same length as a Ford Taurus, but it boasts about twice the rear-seat knee room, and a bigger trunk than the much larger Ford Crown Victoria. In fact, the trunk is so well designed it can hold up to eight full-size golf bags.
Another feature that drivers and passengers will immediately notice is the Five Hundred's Command Seating™ position. A car with Command Seating gives drivers an SUV-like view of the road because their "H-point" - the pivot point of the hip when seated - is about four inches higher than competitive vehicles, such as the Toyota Camry.
Under the hood, the Five Hundred boasts sophisticated powertrain technology, including six-speed automatic and continuously variable transmissions. These new technologies allow the car to out-accelerate similarly sized sedans with larger, thirstier engines.
Ford's fuel-saving transmissions complement Five Hundred's 3.0 liter Duratec 30 V-6, which has exceptionally clean tailpipe emissions. Five Hundred - along with the Mustang and Freestyle - will be certified to a government standard that is twice as clean as the Ultra-Low Emissions vehicle standard.
Another invisible but potentially invaluable feature is the Five Hundred's available all-wheel drive system. This system, which requires no driver action whatsoever to engage, can shift power between the front and rear wheels almost instantaneously to keep the car moving confidently in rain, snow and sand.
Ford Freestyle: Bridges the Gap - Freestyle is an all-new vehicle that bridges the gap between SUVs and traditional passenger cars by combining SUV design cues and available all-wheel drive with car-like ride and handling. But its watchword is versatility. Freestyle can carry up to seven passengers across three rows of seats, or almost any combination of people and cargo - including a10-foot extension ladder. That's because Freestyle's third- and middle-row seat backs, as well as the front-passenger seat back, fold flat.
And unlike many other six- or seven-passenger vehicles, passenger comfort is not sacrificed to fit three rows of seats. Freestyle will have best-in-class second- and third-row legroom and third-row legroom and third-row knee clearance, plus natural chair-like seating positions.
Freestyle shares many of the same pioneering technologies as the Ford Five Hundred, including its fuel-saving and performance-enhancing CVT, powerful but clean V-6 engine and advanced Volvo-inspired safety features, including an available Safety Canopy air curtain system that protects all three rows in side-impact collisions and rollovers.
Pricing and Availability: The Ford Freestyle and Five Hundred will begin arriving in Ford showrooms in September. The Mustang will arrive later in the fall. Pricing for all three vehicles will be announced closer to launch.