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12-Month Promise: Ford Pledges New Mustang Every Year

Inside Line

Ford Mustang V6
(Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company)

Mustang GT
(Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company)

Shelby GT 500
(Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company)

DEARBORN, Mich. — Describing the Mustang as its "iconic" product, Ford executives on Wednesday promised to keep interest in the pony car high by providing "new product content" year over year.

"We will add new products to the Mustang lineup," Derrick Kuzak told Inside Line. "It's a commitment. Carroll [Shelby] will work every year on the Mustang."

Kuzak, however, gave no details on what's in the pipeline for Mustang. When asked if we can expect a 600-horsepower version of the car, he replied, "Never say never to anything." It was clear in interviews that Shelby and the Ford team may be a bit anxious about the prospects of a revived Chevrolet Camaro.

"With the new Camaro, they'd better not dream they'll have more horsepower [than Mustang]," Shelby told IL in an interview at the 2007 Ford full-line preview here on Wednesday, which showcased the 2007 Shelby GT500. When asked if the Mustang is racing toward the 600-hp mark, the automotive legend said, "It would be very easy for the Mustang to go to 600 horsepower — and north from there — and still pass the company's 50,000-mile warranty."

When asked if we could see a 600-hp Mustang in a year or two, Shelby responded, "Maybe."

"I'd get in trouble if I told you," he said, although he confirmed that a redesigned Mustang is due out in 2009. Shelby confided that while his health is good following both a heart transplant and a kidney transplant, he is now blind in one eye.

When asked for his impressions of the Camaro concept, Shelby said, "I don't think it's sensational, but I think it's adequate." He added: "I don't think the Camaro will come out with anything that puts us down. We are ahead of the game. And we know how to stay ahead. I don't see people — the general press or the public — knocking the design of the Mustang."

What this means to you: The Detroit muscle-car race sounds like it's about to get heated up in the coming years.
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