2018 Ford Mustang: The Original And Still The Pony Car Leader

The first Mustang was introduced on April 17, 1964. It was based on the platform of the compact Ford Falcon. That first Mustang was wildly successful, establishing the “pony car” class that soon saw competition from the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, Plymouth Barracuda, Dodge Challenger, and AMC Javelin. 

Now entering its 54th model year, the Mustang has endured. It is the only car in its class that has been in continuous production since it was first introduced. It has also been the overall sales leader. It has outsold the Camaro, its closest competitor, on an annual basis during the vast majority of the years that both cars were available. On Facebook, the Mustang holds the title for the most popular car, with more than 8.4 million ‘likes.’

The new 2018 Ford Mustang is a refresh of the sixth-generation car that was first released as a 2015 model. It offers a variety of upgrades in performance and technology, to help it maintain its status as the image and sales leader in the pony car segment.

What’s New On The 2018 Ford Mustang

The 2018 Mustang is immediately recognizable by its new front-end design, similar to that which was first seen on the 2015 Shelby GT350 model. A reshaped, more aerodynamic front grille surround allows for a lower, more sloping hood flanked by standard LED headlights. The rear end has also been subtly updated. Three new exterior paint colors and 12 different wheel types have also been added.

A new 12” all-digital LCD instrument panel is also available. It is customizable and offers for normal, sport and track mode display options. The new Mustang MyMode with memory function allows owners to save their favorite drive settings, including suspension and steering preferences.

Changes To Engines And Power Outputs

Let’s start with what is no longer available – the 3.7L 300-hp Cyclone V6 engine option is gone. To try and make up for it, Ford has increased outputs in the remaining engines. The 2.3L 310-hp EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder engine has had its torque increased from 320 lb.-ft. to 350 lb.-ft. under full acceleration.

Then there is the legendary 5.0L Coyote V8 engine, which has been thoroughly reworked and goes into the 2018 Mustang GT with a major power upgrade. It has been uprated from its 2017 output of 435 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2018 version will pack 460 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque, a significant increase.

The transmission options are also new for 2018. The big transmission news is the introduction of the all-new 10-speed automatic, which has quicker shifting, less friction, and electronic controls that adapt for different drive modes. It also comes with paddle shifters for manual shift control. If you prefer a fully manual transmission, be aware that the six-speed manual transmissions for both engines have been upgraded to handle the greater torque. 

New Driver Assistance Features

The 2018 Mustang will feature a variety of new driver assistance technologies. These include pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, distance alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and driver alert system. Ford SYNC Connect with FordPass will also be available on the 2018 Mustang for the first time. This allows the use of the FordPass smartphone app to start, lock, unlock, and locate the vehicle.

The 2018 Ford Mustang Is Trying To Keep Up With The Times

These are not great times for cars like the 2018 Mustang. With the mass market migrating to SUVs of all sizes, sporty coupes are seeing their market share shrink. Mustang’s strategy is to be even better than the competition and increase its market share. The 2018 Ford Mustang is a sharper looking, higher performing, and technology-packed pony car that will appeal to anyone in the market for this type of car.


About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.