Ford has used the slogan “Everyone has a Mustang story” since the unveiling of the sixth-generation muscle car and accompanying documentary in 2015. As its successor for the 2024 model year arrives, the company still uses the phrase, but also shouts. that nostalgic feeling through Easter eggs in style and substance, nodding to past ponycar models.
“The people who work on the Mustang team are enthusiasts, so we have people who are passionate about the Mustang itself, who have their own Mustang stories, because everyone has a Mustang story,” said Jim Owens, Ford Mustang Marketing Manager at a press event for the Detroit auto show.
“But it’s not just the team that works on the Mustang. It’s the leadership. It’s the Ford family. You know, Bill Ford has had almost every Mustang out there, he graduated from the Ford Performance Racing School. Jim Farley races a Mustang on the weekend,” Owens said.
The retro kinks begin with the design of the three-bar taillight, a nameplate feature, which has now been carried over to the headlamps. The new rear design retains the three illuminated sections with sequential turn signals, but designer Chris Walter (whose Mustang story includes a 2010 GT with lowering springs and a racing exhaust) tilted them out to widen the car and folded them back into the body for a three-dimensional visual effect.
“Some guys came up to me and asked if we made the new ones wider,” Walter said. “The corners have been extended a little bit, but we haven’t enlarged the track. Visually this angle makes the rear of the car look wider, and from the long distance when you go down the road you get nice taillights to follow. They’re just a little cheeky and in your face.’
The third-generation Ford Mustang was one of the classics with a story, running from 1978 to 1993. It rode on Ford’s TBEN platform, leading to its nickname TBEN Body. It was featured in movies like Back to the Future II and Goonies, TV shows like 21 Jump Street, and in Vanilla Ice rap videos.
As part of the 2024’s large, customizable digital instrument panel, Mustang owners will be able to digitally duplicate the analog gauges of the third-generation vehicle. During the day it looks like white numbers and hashes on a black background. At night it changes to green designations, like in the 1980s.
“We’re introducing a TBEN Body thing because when I was in high school, everyone wanted a TBEN Body,” said Ford Mustang interior designer Ricardo Garcia. “We not only captured the daytime look, but also the nighttime look. It was exclusive at the time, but now you don’t have any of the problems we had then.”
Even people who are not car enthusiasts have Mustang stories. It could be a parent’s special project, a cousin’s car, a sister’s boyfriend’s prized possession. There are almost 60 years to draw from. With the seventh generation, still on petrol, there will certainly be a few more stories in the coming years.