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Auto blogMon, 28 Oct 2013 09:30:00 EST
Few upcoming debuts have been as eagerly anticipated as the all-new Ford Mustang that's expected to debut shortly as the Mustang's 50th anniversary year approaches. Well, Car and Driver magazine would have us wait no longer as it claims to be leaking Ford's new global pony car early.
Of course what you're looking at is just as likely to be a composite rendering based on what C/D projects the new Mustang to look like, but to our eyes it looks spot on. Combining design traits from the Evos Concept with classic Mustang signatures and Ford's Aston-inspired grille treatment, C/D's images - including a complete 360-degree digital navigator - show a Mustang not only for the modern era, but also for global distribution, taking a quintessentially American car to markets its predecessors were never designed for.
Those global considerations are expected to spell the demise of the outgoing Mustang's holdout live rear axle in favor of an independent suspension, and a slight constricting of the exterior dimensions. And thanks to a separate leak, coming from a digital survey, we have apparent confirmation of what will power the new pony car. While the existing 3.7-liter V6 and 5.0-liter V8 engines will apparently carry over with only slight adjustments in output, the survey confirms a new 2.4-liter turbo four will be positioned in between them, offering slightly more power than the V6 but markedly improved fuel economy for a manageable $560 premium over base.
The Ford Mustang that we all know and love made major waves in the auto industry way back in 1964 by offering style and reasonable pricing with optional V8 power. Its long hood and short rear deck, combined with a low-slung and sporty cockpit, made a lasting impression in the minds of consumers and car designers alike, and its basic shape has so endured the test of time that it's still in use today.
This being the case, you may be interested to know that the first Mustang of 1964.5 wasn't actually the first Mustang at all, being preceded by a concept car that made its public debut in 1962. This concept was nothing like the car that would eventually make it into production, with a radical wedge shape and a small V4 engine sitting behind the car's two occupants, driving the rear wheels. In other words, the conceptual Mustang was pretty much the complete opposite of the production Mustang besides the name.
Ford has kindly decided go through its massive archive to bring the original Mustang concept back into the public eye. The company goes so far as to pose this question to fans of the pony car: "Should we borrow a few of these style elements for the next iteration of the Mustang?" Check out our image gallery above and then let 'em know what you think in the Comments below.
The Russian auto market, in decline for the past year and further hit by the declining value of the ruble and recent sanctions over its annexation of Crimea, has forced Ford to cut jobs and shifts at two of its joint venture plants there. Around 700 of the 2,700 total workers who build the Russian-market Focus and Mondeo will be cut at the plant in Vsevolozhsk, near St. Petersburg as it drops to a single production shift. A second plant about 700 miles away in Yelabuga, in the Tartarstan region, will lose 250 workers. That plant builds seven vehicles, including the Explorer, Kuga and Edge.
The Moscow Times says Ford has been especially hit by the market decline, the overall market losing 5.5 percent in 2013 compared to the year before, but Ford sales dropping 18 percent in 2013 year-on-year. This year isn't going any better, with The Blue Oval posting a 21-percent decline through the first two months of 2014. That's why, though the Yelabuga plant builds the CUVs that customers are moving into, even it is facing cuts.
The job cuts in Vsevolozhsk come on top four-week plant shutdown planned so that the paint and body shops can go to one shift. In a statement, the company said, "Ford Sollers remains absolutely committed to the Russian market and is confident it has the right product plan, people and assets to deliver long-term profitable growth."