Ford Mustang GT Concept Coupe

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While Ford has yet to reveal the all-new 2005 Mustang, every indication is that it will be virtually identical to the much-acclaimed concept car shown here.

(from Ford Press Release)  Presented as a two-seat fastback coupe and convertible, the Mustang GT concepts are strong indicators of the next-generation Mustang’s design direction. They emerge as a bold testament to the timeless value that automotive enthusiasts hold for the original American pony car.

“These Mustang concepts are thoroughly modern automobiles that point to a bright future for Mustang,” says J Mays, Ford Motor Company vice president of Design. “Their powerful stances, smooth surface language and ultra-modern interiors set new standards for muscle cars. Above all, these concepts communicate the soul of Mustang: a classic, cool and quintessentially American muscle car.”

The designs are modern, crisp and reveal the true character of what Mustang means to so many people. The original 1964˝ Mustang actually evolved from the racing-inspired, two-seat concept car called the Mustang 1. After reviewing archived files, Mustang’s modern-day crafters were struck by how the original design embraced the same inspirational cues that communicate performance. The design team looked beyond production models to the Mustang 1 concept for modern inspiration. Much like the Mustang 1 and the later Mustang Mach 1 show car in 1968, the Mustang GT concepts are rare, radical designs that will appeal to everyone.

“By melding the true character of Mustang into these fully modern offerings, we’ve ensured that even the uninitiated will instantly recognize these cars as Mustangs,” says Mays. “We went beyond their exterior designs to truly understand the extent to which Mustang has embedded itself in American culture.”

The Mustang GT concepts are instantly recognizable as Mustangs, yet they stretch the design far into the future with a distinctly modern look. Like the Mustang 1 concept, the GT concepts are two-place sports cars: one a coupe and the other a convertible. Both cars started out with a significantly modified Ford Thunderbird rear-wheel-drive architecture. The platform was sectioned to achieve the proper proportion. The front-end geometry is all original – customized to accommodate the signature Mustang MOD 4.6-liter V-8.

In concert with plans for the all-new Mustang, due in the 2005 model year, the exterior and interior designs of the Mustang GT concepts were penned by designers in Ford’s Living Legends Studio in Dearborn, Mich., and Ford’s California Design Center in Southern California. The concept design execution was done exclusively at the California Design Center.

“Getting the proportions right is the magic to making the entire design work,” says Mays.

“When you’re designing a new Mustang, you’re the steward of 40 years of automotive history. If you don’t get it right, you’ve got 8-million Mustang fans to answer to. I think we got it right,” says Mays.

The silhouette of the car is unmistakably Mustang. The coupe conjures images of 1967 and 1968 Fastbacks while the convertible brings back cues of the early Shelby Mustangs, especially in its “show bar” and wide-element tail lamps.