Since 1964, the motoring public has been infatuated with the Ford Mustang. The Mustang sold quite handily from day one, serving as a favorite of consumers from every walk of life. Priced at an affordable mark, yet also gifted in terms of performance, there is little mystery as to the secret behind the Mustang’s success.
Despite this, the Mustang has also been a regular target of ridicule and skepticism among critics—many of whom questioned the car’s status as a true sports car. The bulk of this criticism centered around a perceived lack of originality and focused primarily on the fact that the Mustang did not originate from a blank slate design. Quite the contrary, the Mustang simply evolved from prior Ford models of the same era.
However, the vast majority of these criticisms finally faded in 2015, a year in which many felt that the Mustang became a proper sports car.
Reinventing An Icon: The New Ford Mustang
Prior to 2015, the Ford Mustang underwent significant revision. The 2015 Mustang debuted a sleek, streamlined appearance that was both ultra-modern and retro, all in a single package. Likewise, the new sixth-generation Mustang also received a revamped interior, complete with premium trim work.
Mechanically, the Mustang underwent additional revision. One of the high points of this redesign was the inclusion of a new independent rear suspension arrangement, which served as the proverbial nail in the coffin for the earlier Mustang’s antiquated live rear axle layout.
Ford also provided the sixth-generation Mustang with an additional powerplant option, albeit a somewhat uncharacteristic one. For the first time, in 2015 consumers could purchase the Mustang with an optional 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder. This mighty little engine was no slouch, producing a peak output of 310 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque.
How the 2015 Ford Mustang Leveled the Playing Field
The numerous revisions that went into the design of the 2015 Mustang were not without purpose. At the time, competition within the domestic sports car market was heating up. The Mustang found itself pitted against the likes of the revamped Camaro and Hellcat-equipped Challenger SRT, making it more difficult than ever to captivate the minds of consumers and convert interest into sales.
By all accounts, Ford’s efforts did not go unrewarded. Critics were quick to cite enormous improvements in the Mustang’s handling and ride quality as reason enough to bestow top marks. Many also praised the Mustang’s revitalized appearance, stating that Ford’s newest pony car looked equal parts stylish and aggressive.
Additionally, the 2015 Mustang’s interior served as a point of popularity with consumers. During previous generations, critics often complained that the Mustang’s interior appeared cheap and did not possess the same visual appeal as the interior compartments of competing vehicle models. However, the bulk of these issues was eliminated prior to the onset of sixth-gen production.
2015: The Year of the Mustang
Within weeks of the sixth-generation Mustang’s release, something remarkable occurred. Year model sales began to trend significantly higher than initially projected. It seemed as if Ford had finally unlocked the Mustang’s true potential, thereby enticing legions of fans and consumers. The 2015 Mustang was selling at a remarkable pace, which only seemed to increase as the year progressed.
Of additional note, 2015 was the first year in which the Mustang was available on a global basis. Even more remarkable was the fact that the Mustang became the most popular sports coupe in the world during its first year of global availability.
After final tabulation, Ford revealed that they had produced and sold more than 110,000 Mustangs globally during the 2015 model year. This was significantly more than any other sports coupe available during this period of time.
“U.S. consumers have enjoyed interesting foreign sports cars for decades, so it was time for the Americans to return the favor with the worldwide launch of the new Mustang,” said Ford sales analyst Erich Merkle. “Global markets have responded in a huge way. Ford Mustang was the only sports coupe in the world with more than 100,000 units registered last year.”
The 2015 model year provided the perfect storm in which the Mustang could flourish. It was at this time that the Mustang received a number of long overdue updates, including the addition of independent rear suspension. The Mustang was also offered to a much larger market than it had been historically, thereby feeding the appetite of motorists worldwide.
Simply put, consumers were ready for something new, and Ford delivered in earnest, dishing out the most iconic version of their legendary pony car to date. As such, consumers responded enthusiastically, jumping at the chance to own this instant classic.