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Auto blogFri, 20 Dec 2013 14:59:00 EST
Now that we've finally seen the 2015 Ford Mustang, it's fun to go back and look at the spy shots we spent months pouring over, trying to dissect what was under all the camouflage. For the most part, Ford did a good job of concealing the car from spy photographers, and it released a video showing how much work went into doing so.
As crude as the Mustang's camo looked, all of the hard plastic, foam, vinyl and ratchet straps were actually created and put in place by a specific design team. The whole idea was to hide the car's identity, but it certainly ended up acting as a magnet for attention, too. According to Ford's press release, it took less than an hour for spy shots to appear online after the car was taken on public roads for the very first time - this is likely in reference to our first official spy shots of the Mustang from June, shown in the gallery below.
Scroll down for a press release and video, which shows footage of the 2015 Ford Mustang testing with minimal camouflage. This is probably the same track session where we got our first look at the Mustang's face back in August.
As automakers continue to find uses for autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicle technology, Ford of Europe has announced that it is developing a self-parking system for future use. More advanced than the Active Park Assist already offered in many Ford products, the new Fully Assisted Parking Aid can take full control of the vehicle and can navigate angled and perpendicular parking spots.
While today's Active Park Assist can only parallel park with the driver controlling the gas, brake and gear selection, Fully Assisted Parking Aid can operate steering, gas, brake and gear selection all while making sure the car is properly parked in the intended space. As with APA, the driver pushes a button to make the car look for a proper spot (at speeds of up to 18 miles per hour), and when an adequate space is located, the operator pushes another button (either inside the car or outside via remote control) for the car to park itself - the button must be pressed throughout the whole parking maneuver. Even though Ford says that the car can effect gear selections on its own, the system must still start from Neutral, and the automaker isn't saying whether the car can put itself into Park when done or put itself in Drive when the operator is ready to go.
Ford is also taking the opportunity to announce its new Obstacle Avoidance technology. This automated system is able to detect objects - including pedestrians - in the road, warn drivers of said objects and, if needed, stop and steer automatically to avoid hitting the obstacle. Both systems are still in the prototype phase, so there is no word as to when we could see either on a production vehicle.
Autocar has some sour news for fans of go-fast Ford products. According to Roelant de Waard, Ford's president of marketing in Europe, the automaker will probably never offer more than one RS performance model for sale at the same time. That statement runs contrary earlier rumblings that suggested Ford would launch its next-generation Focus RS in 2015 and follow the hatch with a spate of other vehicles with an RS badge. But de Waard has made it clear that Ford of Europe is now focused on squarely on the next Mustang, even though there may be more RS models on the way eventually.
"What is clear is that the RS shouldn't be a series, or a car badge that we have in our portfolio all the time. It is an extreme car - something more than ST," he said.
That philosophy makes plenty of sense. We loved the old Focus RS - shown above in RS500 trim - because it was generally bonkers and plenty exclusive. Diluting either aspect is sure to end in disappointment for everyone involved.