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The Ford Mustang is already the lightest of the current crop of muscle cars, at around 3,600 pounds for a GT coupe with the six-speed manual transmission. That's almost 260 pounds less than a Chevrolet Camaro SS and about 450 pounds less than a Dodge Challenger R/T, which means the Mustang has a pretty big advantage when it comes to handling, braking, accelerating and economy. More good news: The next Mustang will be even lighter.
According to a report from Edmunds, the sixth-generation Mustang, which is set to debut at the 2014 North American International Auto Show, will shed an additional 400 pounds of body fat. That 11-percent weight reduction will be thanks to lightweight materials, with a particular focus on using stronger, but less material in construction. Aluminum will feature heavily, but Edmunds' inside source warns that there is "nothing terribly exotic" coming to the original pony car.
The other big news is that the new Mustang will be smaller overall. It's going to be 15-inches shorter than the 188.5-inch Mustang on sale today, while it'll also be 6.5 inches narrower. Shorter overhangs, both in the front and rear, are also good signs for those that want an agile Mustang.
You might not be interested in owning a subcompact (B-segment) hatchback for $20,000. Let's be clear from the get go here: there are any number of reasonable arguments for staying away from the highest-content versions of these small cars. Ford's player in the B-segment arena is the newly updated 2014 Fiesta, and the Titanium trim represents the most luxurious instantiation of the model. We recently were loaned a Fiesta Titanium for a week, whose final sticker price hit $20,390, with navigation being the only standalone option added to the bottom line. By way of comparison, the most basic version of the all new, one-segment-up Mazda3 hatchback costs $19,740 with delivery and destination accounted for, and no options added on.
Hold on to that thought for a moment, we'll get back to it.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally may be about to announce his long-rumored retirement from the Blue Oval, according to a pair of insiders who spoke to Bloomberg. An official statement on the succession could arrive as soon as May 1. Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields is rumored to step up as the new CEO. The company is said to be readying the announcement soon to ensure an orderly transition of power, according to the insiders.
Mulally's retirement from Ford has been a hot topic for a while. He was seriously rumored last year to be leaving the automaker to take over as the CEO of Microsoft. The board even said at one point that it was okay with them if he stepped down early. However, the CEO maintained he would stay with the business through at least the end of 2014. Fields has been rumored as a frontrunner to take over the top spot at the company since he was promoted to COO.
For the moment, Ford isn't officially confirming any of these plans. "We don't comment on speculation. We do have succession plans in place for our key leadership. We take succession planning very seriously," said Susan Krusel, Ford Global News Manager, to Autoblog.