Engine:3.0L 182Cu. In. V6 GAS OHV Naturally Aspirated
Trim: SE Wagon 4-Door
Number of Cylinders: 6
Drive Type: FWD
Adak, Alaska, United States
Fiat Chairman John Elkann has been turning to an unusual source for advice on the car business. While speaking during an interview with The Detroit News, Elkann said he often asks Bill Ford Jr. for advice on how to proceed with the turnaround at Chrysler. "It's great to have the opportunity to share this with someone like Bill, who has experienced many things and gone through many things ... especially linked to Detroit." Elkann said.
As the Agnelli family heir, Elkann has inherited a long and fruitful friendship with the Ford family. While Giovanni Agnelli built his first Fiat four years before Henry Ford created his first vehicle, it was Ford that showed Agnelli the benefits of mass production and helped pave the way for what would become the Fiat empire.
Giovanni's grandson, Gianni, helped mentor Bill Ford when he was elected chairman of Ford Motor Company. Now, Ford is returning the favor by helping Elkann navigate the automotive industry's tumultuous waters.
Ford is ready to tell the story of its 2015 Mustang Convertible, the can't-miss bits being the easier, quicker and quieter roof operation, a more robust roof build for a coupe-like cabin noise, more trunk space, better visibility and reduced in-cabin buffeting. The top release system has been completely redesigned with a single, center-mounted latch on the windshield frame instead of the dual latches of before. The driver can now release the roof without having to lean over into the passenger space, after which the top goes down fully automatically with the press of a button. Ford doesn't say how long it takes to stow, but it's apparently done in half as much time as before, so figure around 8 seconds.
The roof uses a five-bow structure, with the fabric outer and full inner headliner sandwiching ten millimeters of insulation. Detailing work on the top has eliminated "unsightly folds" in the corners when the roof is up and made it more compact when down; its Z-fold assembly is 6.7 inches lower than before at its highest point when put down. Ford says the new electric drive internals make less noise when in operation, and the fully-finished droptop look is achieved with snap-in caps that flank the rear seating and stow in the trunk when not in use (the outgoing Mustang's top was higher and the front when folded and always looked like it was catching air and creating drag).
The compact roof and newly independent rear suspension setup in back means liberated trunk space, 11.4 cubic feet ready to swallow golf bags and tourist swag. You can read a lot more about it in the press release below, check it out in the short video of running footage and learn about the aerodynamic improvements made to the entire Mustang lineup that decrease drag and increase fuel economy.
Automakers face competing interests when it comes to developing a new generation of vehicle. On the one hand, companies want to build their cars to be safer and better handling, with more equipment and maybe even larger dimensions over the model it's replacing. On the other hand, they strive to keep weight down to the benefit of both performance and fuel consumption. Usually something has to give, and in the case of the new 2015 Ford Mustang, those efforts may have resulted in a weight penalty of two or three hundred pounds.
This according to Blue Oval modifier Steeda Autosports, which states that "the 2015 Mustang ended up gaining 200-300 pounds in this remake". Despite the Mustang not being on the market yet, it would appear the leading Ford aftermarketer has been given early access to the 2015 model to help jumpstart its tuning efforts (a rather common development among trusted tuners). If Steeda's assertion is accurate, that would make the challenge of getting the new pony car up to speed for both Ford and aftermarket customizers like Steeda that much greater.
We're waiting for official word from Ford on the veracity of Steeda's claim, but if true, it's bound to be a bit of disappointing news for legions of Blue Oval performance enthusiasts. Watch this space for more.