By on June 2, 2014

jt

The Mustang’s been the lightest of the available ponycars since the arrival of the Pinto-based Deuce forty years ago, but if a recent blog post by a Mustang tuner is any indication, that advantage might be disappearing.

Steeda is well-respected in club-racing circles for the stellar work they’ve done with SN197 Mustangs. In a post meant to reassure potential 2015MY owners about parts availability, the company notes that

Our work is cut out for us because unbeknown to most Mustang aficionados (and not “officially” confirmed by Ford for obvious reasons), the 2015 Mustang ended up gaining 200-300 pounds in this remake – and with weight being the “enemy of performance”, there are plenty of challenges needed to ensure that the 2015 iteration of America’s favorite Pony Car isn’t left at the starting line spinning its wheels against the competition.

That is where Steeda Autosports will make a big difference.

Uh-oh. Steeda goes on to state that they will be taking delivery of four 2015 Mustangs in the near future. Presumably they’ll put those Mustangs on a scale and see what’s actually happened, as will everyone else. In the meantime, expect thousands of anguished comments as the Internet’s most experienced forum warriors frantically estimate weight from JPEGs.

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68 Comments on “Is The New Mustang Heavier Than Expected?...”


  • avatar
    Sky_Render

    “Steeda is well-respected in club-racing circles…”

    Not nearly as much as they used to be. Steeda mainly makes appearance and bling stuff. Although they have a road-race program, it is not nearly as developed as Roush, Griggs, Cortex, and others.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Fair enough, but it wasn’t THAT long ago that Robin Burnett was winning American Iron.

      • 0 avatar
        rdsymmes

        I don’t care much about the ’15 Mustang, one way or another, but Heavy Horses is the last great Jethro Tull album. Good catch.

        • 0 avatar

          There are those of us who think the peak was Benefit. I think that after the huge hits of Aqualung and TAAB, Anderson’s ego grew and he got even more self-indulgent.

          I saw the band on the tour they did to support Aqualung. They were just starting to break, not yet an arena scale band. Great show!

          And props to Ian Anderson for not kowtowing to those who want him to boycott Israel (and the Stones too).

          • 0 avatar
            Blackcloud_9

            I’m not about to get in a debate about the last “great” Tull album (I was quite fond of Storm Watch and Broadsword and the Beast). But just seeing the Heavy Horses album in TTAC made my day.
            Thanks Jack

        • 0 avatar
          ex-x-fire

          I agree! Thumbs up!

  • avatar
    NotFast

    Shades of the ’89 Thunderbird??

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Same company that is investing millions to make an aluminum truck in order to make it lighter at the risk of losing sales to the competition, makes no sense.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      While it sure doesn’t feel right, it unfortunately does makes economic sense. The F series sheer volume makes it a bigger part of Ford’s revenue and thus it will have a larger R&D budget than the Mustang.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    “since the arrival of the Pinto-based Deuce forty years ago,”

    I thought it was based on the Falcon.

    And would not the new independent rear be a reason for the weight gain…or lots of it?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      The original Mustang was based on the Falcon.

      The Mustang II was based on the Pinto. It was introduced in September of 1973, and that’s forty years and eight months. Does that make you feel old? It makes ME feel old. :)

      • 0 avatar

        It makes *you* feel old? By 1973 I was in college, having been driving for a couple of years. That summer, my brother’s friend, Frank Klegon, who before the bankruptcy was briefly in charge of product at Chrysler, managed to buy what was probably the last triple-white convertible ’72 Mustang made.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      That struck me too, as the original Falcon-based Mustang was quite light. But the early 70s Mustangs were porkers, so Mustang’s current run as light-weight pony car champ starts with the Mustang2.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        The early 70s Mustangs might not have been pony cars, but I still think they looked cool in Sportsroof trim and I’d still gladly drive a 351 4V Mach 1.

        Granted, I’ve always liked the Aussie Falcon XB GT too and that’s basically the same thing as a 71-73 Mach 1…

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          Not only do I feel old…Ronnie was still getting into college and I was already a full mind blown hippie.
          And talk about porkers! My mom’s…I think it was called a Grande, or something…was so damn fat compared to our 1967.
          It was to me the beginning of the Ford Porker years when the Mustang, ThunderBird and my beloved Cougar al became these ridiculous looking large cars.
          They were not the only ones as the Buick SkyLark and such became cartoons as well.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    It’s hard to imagine a new modern performance car with a truck axle under the rear, BUT, I’m sure that’s where most of this weight gain came from.

    Solid axles are simple, lighter, and there’s no better way to get power down to the ground. Plus there’s a big difference between how it’s attached to a Mustang compared to a F-150 ( I wouldn’t expect most automotive journalist to be able to comprehend this though).

    So Ford updates the rear to make all of the “enthusiasts” happy, but if said enthusiast really knew what the hell they were talking about in the first place…. now we’re going to hear whining about how heavy it is.

    I’m sure it rides better. I don’t have a problem with the way my 12′ rides. It rides pretty proper to the car, and sure, if you hit a bump around a corner at speed you can feel the axle wiggle around a bit under there, but it’s nothing a proper driver and a man with balls should be fearful of.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Hmmm… horses for courses I guess. I still am a an IRS fan, but an live axle with torque arm system is quite decent for an everyday/performance/cost compromise. GM used it successfully on the H, G, and F bodies. Such a system would have been my first choice. Ford does a lot of market research, so if IRS is what the customers want, that’s what they’ll get.

      Now, Mr Ford, may I please have a modern Capri RS2600 with Revo-Knuckle in front, and axle with torque arm and LSD in rear?

      • 0 avatar
        AMC_CJ

        Funny you mention the GM “G” bodies. Those cars from the late 70’s and early 80’s are some of the best chassis I think anybody has come up with, espicially GM.

        Full frame, light weight, front control A-arms with rear coils. If you can ever find a factory F-41 suspension equipped car it’s pretty amazing. The ride is still nice, but it’s far stiffer and doesn’t roll like the lesser variants. Such great cars, I own both variants, and the F-41 equipped coupe is so easy to drive. It handles great, far better then most people would ever imagine, and that car is so easy to control. You can swing the rear around a bit if you want and it’s easy to catch and put back straight.

        The base model V6 Mustang will take a corner far beyond any legal posted speed limit, and I’m pretty sure most drivers out there, even true “enthusiast” aren’t capable of putting that car to it’s limit, especially on public roads. My 79′ might not have quite as high of a threshold, but it’s closer then anyone could imagine, and it feels a lot better while doing it.

    • 0 avatar
      snakebit

      AMC_CJ,

      Glad you chimed in, I wondered who Ford was building Mustangs for in the past many years. What I really wondered was who was blaring and repeating ‘Solid rear axle’in Ford’s ear each time a Mustang refresh was in the planning stage.

      Well, now, Ford apparently is building a Mustang for me, instead. I have two Bimmer 3-Series coupes. In between, I owned a ’94 Mustang GT and a little later a ’96 Cobra SVT. Also had two ’65 Mustangs and rented a slew of 1979-1994 Mustangs for work. I gave Ford many opps to get with the IRS program and I got nothing but lame excuses like ‘our buying demographic loves a solid rear axle’ and the old chestnut ‘IRS won’t take the power of a Mustang’. What changed? What changed is that a V8 Mustang now costs as much as a 3-Series/4-Series or comparable Infiniti or Challenger/Camaro, and all those players have IRS.

      You want to continue buying Mustangs with solid rear axles? Maybe you can still order a 2014 if you hurry.

      • 0 avatar
        Madroc

        Problem is, after the early (dead sexy IMO) Evos-based design concepts drew howls of protest, Ford chickened out and went to much butcher American red-meat styling that won’t appeal to a lot of BMW cross-shoppers. A shame, perhaps, but there you have it. And the high-end GTs will only be priced in 3-series territory for the first year of the design cycle, after which nobody will pay anything close to sticker.

        You’re definitely on to something, but the question is whether they can woo import-intenders in significant quantity without alienating the fan base that ponies up for high-margin trim lines and packages. Tough line to walk.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Ford kept the solid axle for so long because such a huge part of their buyer demo are drag racers. There are a lot of enthusiasts who are p1ssed about IRS only this time around. I understand the decision for IRS was made this time around to be able to more thoroughly market it as a world car.

      • 0 avatar

        I’d bet that Ford Racing is developing a bolt in solid axle for the new Mustang for the drag racing demographic.

        Production Camaros and Challengers come with IRS but the factory NHRA drag cars, the COPO Camaro and the Drag Pak Challenger, are modified to take a four-link coil sprung live axle.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Drag racing isn’t the only disadvantage for IRS Mustangs. Live rear axles are superior for circuit tracks, auto-x and corners that are’t tore up. It’s a very narrow window where IRS is distinct advantage, but it’s the area where whiners make the most noise over.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          ” Live rear axles are superior for circuit tracks, auto-x and corners that are’t tore up. It’s a very narrow window where IRS is distinct advantage, but it’s the area where whiners make the most noise over.”

          Good Lord, man. Don’t keep this knowledge to yourself! Write Formula One immediately and let them know.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            ” Good Lord, man. Don’t keep this knowledge to yourself! Write Formula
            One immediately and let them know.”

            F1 runs trans-axles. Drrr… Come on, you knew that one!

            You have to rule out everything that’s rear/mid engine and or, trans-axle. And rule out front engine luxury/sophisticated, sedan/coupe and sports car based racers.

            Keep in mind the Camaro and Challenger are based on preexisting sedans.

            So just how many front engine AND dedicated racers are there? Not many.

            Oh there’s the Caterham than runs a De Deon rear beam axle.

            What else ya got?

          • 0 avatar

            A well controlled solid rear axle can handle very well but I’d say the reason why Caterham uses a De Dion tube rear suspension may be more historical than for performance, since some of the original Lotus Sevens had that setup. Higher end Caterhams have IRS. There are advantages (on the road and on the track) in terms of camber, contact patch and unsprung weight with IRS.

            Lotus Elans have IRS. I think the Seven was the last Lotus road car with a solid rear axle. The later Elite from the 1970s is front engined and has IRS. Jaguar E Types have IRS. The Datsun 510 has IRS as does the BMW 1600/2002 and neither one of them, certainly not the 510, was considered a sophisticated luxury car. BMW’s reputation as a luxury car maker is based on much later cars.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Historically, IRS had a huge advantage over solid live axles, but consider how tall and thin tires were in the ’50s. As tires evolved, so has live axles. But super wide 30 series tires now require wheels remain as parallel and flat against the road as possible, for max contact patch. Not a problem with IRS sports cars for spirited driving and such, but when pushed hard into the turns, different story. Then add a combination of hard braking or accelerating into the mix, under hard cornering. Never mind sharp elevation changes during all this.

            You can’t really beat a live rear axle’s ability to keep a tire flat against the roadway, without links trying to cope with the weird geometry of anything other than static ride height or suspension travel.

            And the rebound of the LRA’s extra unsprung weight can be kept under control by tuning damping.

            History is one thing, but unless you compare 2 very similar, current cars, one with and one without IRS, it’s real hard to tell what’s better for the track.

            Oh wait, there’s the M3 vs the Boss 302. The way the BOSS beat the M3 ugly at Laguna Seca, one of most highly technical tracks this on side of the world, really says it all.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @AMC_CJ – IIRC Ford will offer a solid axle kit for the Mustang to keep drag racers happy.
      They are about the only ones that would bemoan the loss of a live axle.

    • 0 avatar
      Sky_Render

      Independent rear axles can either be heavier or lighter than a stick axle. It depends upon their design.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      The switch to IRS probably accounts for less than 50% of the weight gain on a fully loaded 2015 GT (Steeda is now back peddling on their story but R&T is claiming an inside source is pegging a fully loaded GT at 250 pounds over a similarly configured S-197 GT)

      The IRS used under the 1999 and later SVT Cobras in total added 85-125 pounds(depending on who you ask)compared to a live axle car and that was an Ad Hoc item that could not be weight optimized due to its plug-in nature in a car designed exclusively for a live axle.

      I imagine the majority of the weight gain will be from safety enhancements to meet various international requirements, NVH enhancements and content creep rather than the IRS itself,

  • avatar
    Aquineas

    I think Ford is in real danger of too much pre-vehicle availability hype. Build and ship the damned thing already before the evolutionary design (which I don’t think will have much market “staying power” to begin with) is old before it even hits the dealerships.

    • 0 avatar
      davefromcalgary

      An astute observation that could also be re written to say “I think the world is in real danger of too much pre-product availability hype.” Damn internets.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    How much of this weight gain is due to trim level changes? The linked post makes it sound like they haven’t taken delivery of the actual development cars yet. Did Ford give them a spec sheet? Did Ford let them borrow an engineering model to take initial measurements so they could get started? Was it fully loaded when they put it on the scale?

    It would definitely be disappointing if it gained a lot of weight, but I think it may be best to have a wait and see attitude. I thought that Ford had claimed it would be lighter, not heavier. There are certainly more options available on the new car, and those add weight.

    I want to see a 2014 V8 with manual and no options put up on a scale next to a 2015 V8 with manual and no options before I shed any tears.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      It may improve the front/rear weight distribution.

    • 0 avatar
      Flipper35

      Maybe Ford means lighter in the same way that the government means budget cuts. It is more than before but less than it could have been.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve-O

        I don’t believe Ford ever said the 2015 was going to be lighter. I do remember a LOT of speculation on the internet that it would be “smaller, lighter, more powerful” but without any specifics nor confirmation from the company itself. Hell, we still don’t even know the true power outputs of the engine lineup…

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      It sounds like they’re just reporting a rumor. Until they have a production model on the scale (anyway, I suspect the pre-production cars won’t be showing up at this point) and there is an official weight given, I wouldn’t believe it.

  • avatar
    Quentin

    The Mustang is the everyman sports car[sic]. Everyman includes the large, the small, those with kids, those with friends, those with no other car, etc. It needed to continue having a sizable cabin that could fit 4 adults in a pinch. So, the cabin has to be a certain size. In order to look sporty (rather than looking like a 1 series with a tall greenhouse and the cat belly), the rest of the car’s proportions have to match the cabin size constraint. So, the car got a little bigger in ever dimension and a couple hundred pounds were gained. They’ll bump the power and the new looks will keep the Mustang selling well because the people that actually buy the Mustang just don’t care about a couple hundred pounds. The only people pissed about the heavy mustang are a few enthusiasts who wanted to buy a 5 year old one as a track rat. They should be in a Miata/RX8/S2000/Corvette anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Yup.

      The Mustangs I see on the street mostly aren’t even V8 models – and who can blame anyone? The Mustang is a cheap way to get 300 horsepower in a perfectly decent package *and* be reasonably comfortable [at least out of the back seats] and look okay*.

      Serious enthusiasts might like the Mustang, but they *are not* its actual target market, in terms of where Ford is actually selling them or, really, aiming them.

      (* I’m not a muscle car guy, but the Mustang is at least the least ugly of the new muscle cars, and not entirely unattractive.)

  • avatar
    patman

    This is disappointing to me. I always thought the 400 lbs lighter than the S197 rumors were a bit of stretch – where was that much weight going to come from? But, it was supposed to be a little lighter. To hear that it may actually end up being not insignificantly heavier is a bit of a let down. It will still probably end up being a better car all around than the current car, just as the S197 is better than the SN95/Fox in just about all respects despite an extra couple hundred pounds of its own. Oh well.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    so much for aluminum.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      The rear subframe should be aluminum like the Lincoln Mk VIII if it isn’t already. Swapping one of those into a MN12 Thundercougar takes off a bit of weight without a loss in handling.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “…there are plenty of challenges needed”

    What? Changes needed perhaps?

  • avatar
    Jesse

    I love that Jethro Tull album. That is all.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    ‘I’ll tell you one thing that really drives me nuts is people who think that Jethro Tull is just a person in the band.”

    “Who is Jethro Tull?”

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      And by the way, which one’s Pink?

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      Have run into people that think Led Zeppelin is a guy in the band.

    • 0 avatar
      DevilsRotary86

      This is just hearsay that I have heard in various articles and wikipedia so take it with a grain of salt.

      First, Jethro Tull is an 18th century inventor who invented a number of horse-drawn farm implements that revolutionized agriculture. That is pretty firm and you can take to the bank.

      Now, how does that relate to the band? My understanding is that in their early days they weren’t all that good. In fact they were terrible. So terrible that the only way they could get a gig was to keep changing their band name and hope the small time bars and clubs wouldn’t notice. Jethro Tull was just the random name they happened to have when they made it big.

      Personally, I can believe this. Some here will hang me upside down by my toe nails for saying this but Jethro Tull isn’t all that good of a band. They are an OK band at best that happened to nail a few really good songs; notably “Aqualung”, “Locomotive Breath”, and arguably “Thick as a Brick”.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        knucklehead! Thier early albums were fantastic. Stand Up anybody!!!???
        Remeber the song..The Teacher?
        Bad band, my ass.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “So terrible that the only way they could get a gig was to keep changing their band name and hope the small time bars and clubs wouldn’t notice.”

        That’s one version of the story. I doubt that it’s entirely accurate.

        Here’s another version:
        _______________
        On the 19th of June 1967 the new band formed played for the very first time at the Marquee club as John Evan Smash and played a second gig on the 4th of August. At this stage Ian Anderson, Mick Abrahams, Glenn Cornick and Clive Bunker decided to start a new band, which during their first days worked under different names such as Navy Blue and Bag of Blues in order to get more gigs at the clubs as Ian Anderson remembers: “We played once at the Marquee as the John Evan Band, went back, sort of hiding our faces from John Gee the manager, and became Navy Blue the second time we played the Marquee, and the third time we played at the Marquee we were Jethro Tull, and luckily that was the one that stuck”.

        http://www.themarqueeclub.net/jethro-tull
        _______________
        The Marquee Club was an important club at the time. A lot of bands that ultimately became successful got their start there. It would seem that the name changes reflected slightly different lineups, plus an effort to get as much exposure at the club as possible. Gaining a residency would have been the goal of many a young band.

    • 0 avatar
      rolosrevenge

      The irony of this album is that Jethro Tull the man was the father of horse-hoeing husbandry.

  • avatar
    James2

    On ‘Autoline Detroit’ the Camaro’s chief engineer pointed out some of the reasons why the Camaro was heavier than the Mustang: namely, IRS and the wider tracks. Guess what? Ford added IRS and widened the tracks. But… this is still a rumor and Ford’s not saying a thing.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Not gaining that few hundred pounds (i.e. aluminum) would have raised the base MSRP – which is very attractive for a car this capable.

  • avatar
    BuzzDog

    This weight debate reminds me of a douchebag “customer” who was hanging around at the bicycle shop and making a nuisance of himself as I was having a wheel trued.

    He kept complaining that he wouldn’t buy a bike until the shop had one in his size that was 100% titanium and carbon fiber…”to save weight, you know.”

    Problem was, the bike size he needed would have to support a body weight of well over 300 pounds…

    Point is, many of us carry around excess weight on our “chassis.” I’m also not convinced that there isn’t as much as a 5% weight span between two identically-equipped vehicles rolling off of an assembly line.

  • avatar

    I think for the first time in history, Ford and GM are adopting different strategies. The 2015 Mustang looks more mainstream now with European buyers in mind. I hate how it no longer looks like a pony car but more like a Fusion coupe. This does however make the Mustang more appealing to a larger buyer segment comprising the 3series coupe, A5, 350Z and FRS, not to mention better reception in Europe. Chevrolet OTH will keep the exterior almost the same (though built on the ATS Chassis). Given how popular the Camaro has been over the Mustang I wouldn’t blame them. The segment will be interesting to watch over the next few years. Who will win? who will go bust? Will the traditional pony car styled Camaro prevail or will the softer mustang finally outsell the Camaro?

    • 0 avatar
      BuzzDog

      “Given how popular the Camaro has been over the Mustang…”

      Depending on the month you’re looking at, the winner of the Camaro/Mustang sales crown goes back and forth between the two, and the sales lead hardly qualifies either one as being “more popular.”

      It’s like saying how popular President Obama is; after all, he won over Mitt Romney with 51.1% of the vote…


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