First generation (1964½–1973)
The first-generation Ford Mustang is the original pony car, manufactured by Ford
Motor Company from 1964 until 1973. The new design was styled under the direction
of Project Design Chief Joe Oros and his team of L. David Ash, Gale Halderman, and
John Foster, which produced the winning design in an intramural design contest instigated
by Lee Iacocca. As Lee Iacocca's assistant general manager and chief engineer, Donald
N. Frey was the head engineer for the T-5 project—supervising the overall development
of the car in a record 18 months. The T-5 prototype was a two-seat, mid-mounted
engine roadster and employed the German Ford Taunus V4 engine and was very similar
in appearance to the much later Pontiac Fiero. The origins of the original 1964
1/2, 101 horsepower Mustang was the humble Ford Falcon.
It was initially introduced as a hardtop and convertible with the fastback version
put on sale the following year. At the time of its introduction, the Mustang, sharing
its underpinnings with the Falcon, was slotted into a compact car segment.
The 1965 Mustang was equipped with a 200 cubic inch, 120 horsepower 6 cylinder engine.
The original Mustang sold for only $2368. Options included air-conditioning for
$283, three choices of V-8 engines ranging from about $100 to $328 and you could
also order the Shelby GT 350 for about $4547 and a full race version for approximately
Second generation (1974–1978)
Lee Iacocca, who had been one of the forces behind the original Mustang, became
President of Ford Motor Company in 1970 and ordered a smaller, more fuel-efficient
Mustang for 1974. Initially it was to be based on the Ford Maverick, but ultimately
was based on the Ford Pinto subcompact.
The pony car market segment saw decreasing sales in the early-1970s with many buyers
turning to lower-priced, fuel-efficient compacts like Ford's own Maverick. The Mustang
II production was 385,993 units the first year. The 1973 Mustang reached 134,867,
and the 1974 version was 418,812. Over five years the Mustang II recorded four of
the ten top model year Mustang sales.
The car was available in coupe and hatchback versions, as well as a luxery model
designed by Ford's Ghia of Italy. Changes in 1975 included the 302 CID V8 option
and an economy option called the MPG Stallion. Other changes in appearance and performance
came with a "Cobra II" version in 1976 & 1977 and a "King Cobra" in 1978.
Third generation (1979–1993)
Built on Ford’s Fox platform, it evolved through a number of sub-models, trim levels,
and drivetrain combinations during its life. It underwent a multi-faceted update
Body styles included a coupé, (notchback), hatchback, and convertible. Available
trim levels included L, GL, GLX, LX, GT, Turbo GT (1983–84), SVO (1984–86), Cobra
(1979–81; 1993), and Cobra R (1993).
The beginning of a performance revival began in 1982 with the return of the 302
cu in (4.9 L) called "High Output", or H.O. producing 157 hp. The 302 consisted
of new valves, a more aggressive cam, a larger 2-barrel carburetor, as well as a
better breathing intake and exhaust system. Trim levels were also revised to now
included L (base), GL, GLX, and GT. The Cobra option was no longer available. The
3.8 L Essex V6 replaced the 3.3 L I6, as the 3.3 L engine had little demand and
was dropped after 1982.
Fourth generation (1994–2004)
For 1994, the Mustang underwent a major redesign. The design, code named "SN-95"
by Ford, was based on an updated version of the Fox platform. It featured dramatic
new styling by Patrick Schiavone that incorporated some stylistic elements similar
to those of earlier Mustangs. A convertible model would also return, but the notchback
and hatchback body styles used in earlier Mustangs were not available.
In 1994 and 1995 the base model came with a 3.8 OHV V6 (232 cid) engine rated at
145 bhp. In 1996–1998 it came with a 150 bhp (110 kW) and had a standard 5-speed
manual transmission or optional 4-speed automatic. Ford retired the 302 cid pushrod
small-block V8 after nearly 30 years of use, replacing it with the newer Modular
4.6 L (281 cid) SOHC V8 in the 1996 Mustang GT. The 4.6 L V8 was initially rated
at 215 bhp (160 kW), 1996–1997, but was later increased to 225 bhp (168 kW) in 1998.
Fifth generation (2005–Present)
Ford introduced a redesigned 2005 model at the 2004 North American International
Auto Show, codenamed "S-197," that was based on the new D2C platform. Developed
under the direction of Chief Engineer Hau Thai-Tang and exterior styling designer
For 2005-2009, the base model was powered by a 210 hp cast-iron block 4.0 L SOHC
V6. The GT used an aluminum block 4.6 L SOHC 3-valve Modular V8 with variable camshaft
timing (VCT) that produced 300 hp (224 kW). Base models had a Tremec T-5 5-speed
manual transmission with Ford's 5R55S 5-speed automatic being optional. Automatic
GTs also featured this transmission, but manual GTs had the Tremec TR-3650 5-speed.
The 2010 Mustang was redesigned with a new exterior and a reduced drag coefficient
of 4% on base models and 7% on GT models. The engine for base Mustangs remained
unchanged, while GTs 4.6 L V8 was revised resulting in 315 hp (235 kW) at 6000 rpm
and 325 lb·ft (441 N·m) of torque at 4255 rpm. Other mechanical features included
new spring rates and dampers, traction and stability control system standard on
all models, and new wheel sizes.
For 2012, a new Mustang Boss 302, based on the original 1969 model, was introduced.
It had an upgraded engine, with 444 hp (331 kW) and 380 lb ft (520 N·m) output.
Only 3750 Boss 302s was produced. Most of these are 'regular' Boss 302s,
but the other 750 of them will be Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca Edition. These extra
special editions run about one second faster around Laguna Seca compared to the
base Boss 302. The Laguna Seca edition includes a large adjustable splitter in the
front, and a X-brace where the rear seats used to be, making it a 2-seater.
are also other changes to the Laguna Seca Edition. The package is $6995 more than
a base Boss.