It has arrived earlier than many expected and it may be more evolutionary in design than some scuttlebutt suggested. But that's probably a good thing for there's no mistaking the 2015 Mustang for anything else.
Almost all the traditional styling cues are there, from the open-mouthed grille and long-hood, short-deck profile, to the recessed, full width tail-lamp cavity and signature triple-element tail-lamps.
The sixth-generation Mustang made its global debut simultaneously today in six cities on four continents – Dearborn, New York, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Shanghai and Sydney.
Many Mustang aficionados had expected an April debut in New York, to correspond with both the 50th anniversary of the original Mustang's World Fair launch there on April 17, 1964, and the opening of the 2014 New York International Auto Show.
Ford does have big plans for anniversary celebrations at that time, but Ford marketing chief, Jim Farley is quoted as saying, "Mustang is such an iconic car for us, we want to make sure it has its own time in the sun."
The latest rendition of the iconic pony-car is said to be a clean-sheet design. "You only get one chance to make a first impression, and when you see this car you immediately see a Mustang strong and true," said Moray Callum, Ford executive director of design for The Americas.
Both fastback coupe and convertible models will be offered, along with three engine choices – the current 3.7-litre V-6 and 5.0-liter V-8, in a new, more powerful form, plus an all-new 2.3-litre, four-cylinder member of the EcoBoost engine family.
Ford says the new Mustang is the "most nimble pony ever," with dynamic capabilities targeted to surpass those of the Boss 302. Aiding in that quest, all 2015 models feature a much-awaited integral-link independent rear suspension.
The geometry, springs, dampers and bushings all have been specifically modified and tuned for high-performance application and aluminum rear knuckles help reduce unsprung mass to improve ride and handling.
There's a new suspension up front, too. It's still a MacPherson strut configuration but mounted to a new perimeter sub-frame that is said to help stiffen the structure while reducing mass and providing a better foundation for more predictable wheel control and better steering, handling and ride.
Bigger, more powerful brakes and three available brake packages are expected to make the new model the best-stopping Mustang yet.
Each 2015 model will include a badge on the instrument panel with the galloping pony logo and the words "Mustang – Since 1964."
The 2015 Mustang will go on sale first in the United States and Canada in the fourth quarter of 2014, followed by China and then Europe sometime in 2015.
We'll provide more details about the new Mustang as they become available.