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As we eagerly await the unveiling of the all-new sixth-generation Mustang, Ford has been giving us some great information over the past few months showing what has gone into shaping its venerable pony car. As many changes as the Mustang has gone through in its 50 years, though, it appears the fourth-gen model played a decisive and pivotal role in the car's future.
As is part of Mustang lore, the front-wheel drive Ford Probe was originally developed as a next-generation Mustang in the Eighties before cooler heads prevailed. The Blue Oval has just released a handful of images showing how bad things could have been - including a full-scale clay model of a front-wheel-drive Mustang (shown above). Fortunately, the FWD Mustang plan was scrapped and Ford went to work designing a rear-wheel-drive replacement for the Fox Body Mustang, with three design studies making it far enough to become full-scale models. These include the soft "Bruce Jenner" Mustang, the over-the-top "Rambo" Mustang and the middle-ground "Arnold Schwarzenegger" Mustang, which finally became the basis for the 1994 'Stang.
By early 1991, the design language of the fourth-generation Mustang had been worked out, and the rest, they say, is history. Scroll down for the fascinating press release telling the story of the fourth-gen Mustang, and be sure to check out the gallery of horribly misguided sketches and various design studies that were all on the table in the late 1980s.
Australia's Herald Sun newspaper has reported that the next-generation Ford Mustang is heading Down Under in 2016, just as Ford is hanging the "Closed for Good" sign on its Australian manufacturing operations and sending the Falcon to its grave. Ford hasn't offered any official word on the matter, but the paper says that Ford's global VP of sales and marketing, Jim Farley, is flying to Australia to make the announcement himself.
While Ford converted Mustangs in the early 2000s from left-hand to right-hand drive for the Australian market and then sold them at high prices, it's been almost five decades since Ford imported a dedicated right-hand-drive Mustang to Oz. The arrival of the global model specifically made for places like Australia and the UK means Ford will also be able to offer them at better prices than the converted models; the Herald Sun says the price is expected to be "close to $50,000."
And that's for one of the "V8 performance models," which are the only ones Australia will get; Ford apparently won't send the turbocharged four cylinder or the V6. The Aussies could find out in a month from now whether this rumor is true. We will all find out what this Mustang fuss is about when the car debuts at next year's New York Auto Show.
Despite having to share Ford's Detroit Auto Show stand with the hot new 2015 Mustang, the brand-new F-150 was arguably an even more important debut. Why? Ford moved some 700,000 examples of its F-Series truck in 2012, making it not only the best-selling pickup truck, but the top-selling vehicle in the US, by a long-shot.
The 2015 F-150 raises the bar for pickup trucks in a big way, with big-time use of aluminum. Because of this, roughly 700 pounds have been removed from the truck's overall weight, making it even more efficient than before, while still offering all of the capability that pickup owners expect. And with a host of engines under the hood, including a new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, the 2015 F-150 will surely offer something for everyone.
During the Detroit Auto Show, west coast editor Michael Harley took a closer look at the new F-150, talking to some of the truck's engineers. Have a look at the full video, below.