By on January 17, 2017

2018 Ford Mustang

After luring journalists away from last week’s Detroit auto show for a sneak peak, Ford is ready to show the world its new 2018 Mustang.

That face. Online backlash was moderate to severe when leaked b-roll footage of the new ‘Stang appeared online last night, with some wags claiming the updated model must be unhappy. Beneath the downturned face, however, there’s a host of upgrades designed to satisfy performance-minded enthusiasts.

On that front, ‘Stang purists can breathe a sigh of relief. The 5.0-liter Coyote V8, rumored to be replaced by a 4.8-liter unit, won’t disappear after all. But one long-running engine choice had to skip this party to attend its own funeral.

2018 ford mustang

Okay, we’ll get to the looks later.

As we reported recently, the 3.7-liter V6 has vanished from the 2018 Mustang’s order list, leaving only four- and eight-cylinder powerplants under the hood. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder emerges as the base engine, newly energized with overboost technology designed to push torque past the existing 320 lb-ft during full-throttle acceleration.

There’s a lot more happening inside Ford’s reworked 5.0-liter V8, which adopts port and direct fuel injection for optimum performance at all engine speeds. Horsepower, torque and fuel economy should see significant improvements, though Ford isn’t saying how significant. Leave ’em wanting more, and all that.

The EcoBoost model gains an optional 10-speed automatic jointly developed by Ford and GM, replacing the previous six-speed. Expect that base engine/10-speed combination to boast attractive gas mileage numbers. The same automatic will be available on the high-torque engine it was designed for, joined by a redesigned six-speed manual boasting a twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel.

Ford says the automatic, which comes with paddle shifters, contains custom tunes for different drive modes.

18fordmustang_hr_04

Because the automaker wants each driver to tailor the Mustang to his or her driving preferences, the 2018 Mustang is more configurable than before. An active valve exhaust system gives drivers the ability to literally pump up the volume of their exhaust note, as well as turn it down in polite neighborhoods. MagneRide damping is available to Performance Package buyers, and your favorite suspension settings can be accessed via the Mustang MyMode system’s memory function. Drivers can also alter steering stiffness through the same feature.

Underneath, all Mustangs benefit from upgraded shocks and stabilizer bars, as well as a cross-axis joint in the rear suspension to keep those back wheels firmly in line.

Safety usually comes somewhere after “Number One” on a Mustang buyer’s list of must-haves, but Ford let 2018 models have it nonetheless. The healthy dose of driver safety aids available on the 2018 ‘Stang include Pre-Collision Assist with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist and Ford’s Driver Alert System. Who wouldn’t be alert in this thing?

18fordmustang_hr_09

Now, for that face. Ford claims it looks meaner and more athletic, though some would say it just looks frowny. I’d argue there’s a taste of Jaguar XKR in the new look. Regardless of what you see in the face, the automaker claims the redesigned prow increases airflow to the engine and, thanks to a hood that’s eight-tenths of an inch lower, improves aerodynamics.

In a move that could please the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, all of the 2018 Mustang’s lamps go LED, while the taillights see a mild tweak. Ford designers carefully added a new bumper to the rear — something few will notice — and added quad tailpipes to the V8 model, bolstering the vehicle’s visual athleticism. A new spoiler rises well above the lip, causing this author to worry about a return to a troubling trend from yesteryear.

Ford decided to shake up the model’s color choices, too. In a paint salvo fired at GM and FCA, “Orange Fury” joins the roster for 2018.

Love it or not, the new Mustang goes on sale this fall.

[Images: Ford Motor Company]

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71 Comments on “2018 Ford Mustang Reveals More Than Just a Controversial Face...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    ugh, a step backwards. I was never hot on the 2015+ Mustang’s styling in the first place.

    well, at least it’s not as bad as that Fisker-Galpin abomination.

    • 0 avatar
      Eyeflyistheeye

      Two garbage organizations coming together to ruin a Mustang. Fisker, who scammed the government, and Galpin, who tries to scam every customer who walks through their door.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        That thing is hideous.

      • 0 avatar
        russification

        I actually prefer the new mustang to the last body style. the hips are very good looking from the rear. what I don’t like are the paddle shifters which have been covered on this site, that take all the driving acumen out of the “sport” of driving. I want a stick shift and a clutch so i can fell the engine pull. I want to be able to downshift instead of using the breaks…..i was just looking at the new BMW m6 and its nothing short of a super car, but its got those f__king paddle shifters on there that completely ruin the whole thing, particularly if your spending all that money on a performance car that you can’t really perform with. the whole enjoyment for me is letting out the clutch and getting the transmission torque and the characteristic rev of the engine. Thats all taken away now in the design stage.

    • 0 avatar
      TheDoctorIsOut

      One of my two objections to the current model was the hood just ahead of the front wheels looked a tad too high which I blamed on making the Mustang compliant with European pedestrian safety laws. I assume the engineers may also have repackaged the under hood components by a similar dimension so I’m hoping it’ll look better to the eye.
      The backend still looks way too wide but there’s only so much a mid cycle refresh can do.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I don’t see that radical of a change to the “face” of the car. I’ll have to look twice once they go on sale to determine if it is a 2018 Mustang I’m seeing or not.

    • 0 avatar
      tooloud10

      I gotta say, I’m not seeing what the uproar is about either. Even side-by-side with the old car, I’m hard-pressed to tell much of a difference. At least not enough to warrant the number of articles and horrified comments I’ve seen already about this car.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I don’t see the problem with the front end styling at all.

  • avatar
    tnk479

    I am left confused by this paragraph:

    “The EcoBoost model gains an optional 10-speed automatic jointly developed by Ford and GM, replacing the previous six-speed. Expect that base engine/10-speed combination to boast attractive gas mileage numbers. The same automatic will be available on the high-torque engine it was designed for, joined by a redesigned six-speed manual boasting a twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel.”

    Are you trying to say that both the EcoBoost and the GT models are getting the 10-speed automatic…or what?

    Magneride + 5.0-liter V-8…wow, I will seriously consider this and I am in the market for a new car in 12 months as my current lease ends. I hope they offer it without the tall spoiler as I prefer the cleaner look. I don’t drive on tracks so I really can’t see how a spoiler will help.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      According to the press release, the 10-speed will be available with the 2.3 and 5.0.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      Also is the redesigned 6 speed only for the 5.0 or does the 2.3 also get that?

      What about the twin disc clutch and dual mass flywheel(5.0 only or both engines)?

      Very poorly written.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        5.0 gets the twin disc only. The 2.3 will not be making in stock form at least what I think the 5.0 will be making.

        Remember the GT350 has a twin disc clutch and its rated at 526 hp/429 tq.

        That makes me think the revised 5.0 (really 5.0 mark II) will be making that much torque or more since the current engine is rated at 435 hp/400 tq.

        I’ve posted what I know and am guessing what will be below.

  • avatar
    tnk479

    I think this is one of those designs that will look much better in person than in online photos.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I love the mechanicals in the V8 version… adding MRC makes me drool. I have no problem with the new face, although the car I see most clearly in it is the ND Miata — probably not what Ford was aiming for.

    But I have a hard time getting past the sheer size. This is too big to be a coupe with a barely usable back seat. It’s not much smaller than an E-Class sedan. It’s less than a foot shorter than my giant LS460.

    Maybe I’m just sensitive to this because my garage is tiny. But if I’m going to downsize to a coupe, I want it to free up a little storage space, or at least give me enough room to walk behind the car with the door closed. This Mustang wouldn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      I don’t think of the Miata when I look at it, but I see what you mean. It’s that little forward extension of the “brow” of the headlights that does remind one of the Mazda.

    • 0 avatar
      True_Blue

      Ah, that’s where I’m getting deja vu from, the ND Miata’s face.

    • 0 avatar
      Nedmundo

      I agree the Mustang is just too big (and heavy). Not only that, it FEELS big, and the lower hood might help reduce the sensation of size from behind the wheel. Lowering by 0.8″ might not seem like much, but it could make a real difference.

      I’m looking forward to testing it out, and I’ll be even more excited if the new steering has better feel/feedback.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Agreed – the packaging is awful. Somehow the Camaro is even worse, with about the same footprint but a small trunk with a tiny opening in addition to the useless back seat.

      I know Mustangs are never rational purchases, but driving a car that size while giving up so much interior space might cross the line for me.

  • avatar
    NoID

    Quick, marketing guy! How do I make four-fifths sound more significant?

    Call it eight-tenths!

    Genius!

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      The room I’m in is 12 feet wide. Would it be better to day four yards?

      If your unit of measurements is a tenth of an inch, marketing probably had nothing to do with it.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Compared to what Toyota has done to the front of their cars and to Lexus, I think it’s downright gorgeous!

  • avatar
    tylanner

    The fat Jaguar gets fatter. Fords styling has been so derivative.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Everyone’s styling is derivative of someone else’s. When there is a truly new style, it’s too controversial or ugly. There are really no fresh/original styling ideas.

      • 0 avatar
        N8iveVA

        Exactly. Don’t want derivative? Go drive a new Prius. : )

      • 0 avatar
        tylanner

        Look at the competitors, the Camaro and Challenger….tell me what they are derivative of…maybe old Camaros and Challengers?

        This car has clear elements of the new Miata, Jaguar, and of course the old ford favorite Aston Martin.

        The Focus RS looks like a next-gen evo X.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    The one thing I never liked about the latest generation Mustang is that it looks so much like a Fusion (and other Ford cars) from the front end. And now I see that nothing has changed with the “facelifted” version. Still looks a lot like a Fusion to me.

    I like the quad tips though. The taillights, um, I dunno. I think the current ones look a little better than the new bent design.

  • avatar
    Von

    Did you include the wrong picture? Because I don’t really see a significant difference in “the face”, seems like a minor evolutionary change to recent Mustangs.

  • avatar
    mikey

    As the owner of 15 Mustang, I don’t see that dramatic of a difference .

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Slow press day (and TTAC-Jalop beef)

    I see no problem with it. I see they still haven’t fixed that massive rear end. Needs more tumblehome.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    Perhaps my eyes really are failing – I don’t see enough of a “change” here to justify the hate.

  • avatar
    carguy

    The front looks significantly better in a darker color. It also looks more Aston Martin than ever.

    The rest of the updates are all very welcome improvements – in particular the 10-speed auto and the MagneRide.

    This update also resolves the need for many popular after-market mods such as the GT350 quad exhausts (which look great) and improvements to the shifter. The switch to DI should also bump the power in line with existing Ford performance packs.

    I was rather hoping that the 3.7 V6 would be replaced by a mid-spec 2.7TT trim but I guess you can’t have everything.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    Umm, what did I miss? I don’t see it.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    In terms of paint colors, we don’t need Cheez-Whiz Orange, but Ford needs to bring back 2016’s Guard Metallic or better yet, Highland Green.

    • 0 avatar
      BiturboS4

      Here here! If Ford is going to ape British GT cars, they may as well have British Racing Green as a color option!

      Maybe there will be a Bullitt edition in the near future?

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      Guard Metallic was reason alone to buy a Mustang while it existed. Add the track pack or whatever, with accompanying black wheels, ooh baby.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        I had that exact combo in 2015, loved Guard Metallic. Hated the black wheels.

        Then again the murdered out or nearly murdered out look to me is as trite as the thoroughly ugly “Eleanor” Mustangs which manage to completely ruin the clean lines of the 67-68 cars.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    I don’t like it, at least not right now. But, I didn’t like the 2015 redesign when I first saw it, either. I suspect this will grow on me much the same way.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Standard 2.3 4 cal with optional 5.0 V8! Is Reagan coming back too? It’s like the 80’s all over.

    • 0 avatar
      OzCop

      Second gen SVO…I’ll take mine in yellow this time…

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Were they to drop all the handling goodies into the 2.3 turbo and call it an SVO it would be difficult for me to not purchase one.

        • 0 avatar
          OzCop

          The current model turbo 4s have performance suspension, wheel/tire packages, and gear rations…I have several friends within the SCCA ranks who have them. They were just re classified for 2017 rules and should be quite competitive in SCCA solo and racing events. Previously they were classed with the 5.0 GT models…

  • avatar
    derekson

    I think the orange color is the problem. Some other sites had images that aren’t that shade of orange and it looks far better: https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EgohC5jrpDY/WH5AwGi1CQI/AAAAAAASVfY/bcHODmPJjy8oOag9DPVv_Euxk5PpwpuUwCLcB/s1600/New-Mustang-18-15.jpg

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    The lowered hood lip is a welcome change in my opinion. The standard GT looks like a ship when parked next to a Shelby GT350.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    The fenders and hood are a bit more swoopy, but there’s not much difference other than that to my eye.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    The Mondeo called, it wants its nose back.

  • avatar
    thunderjet

    5.0 + 10 speed auto = win.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    this is first horse I actually like, in years. angry horse, yea!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m not wild on the new taper shape of the headlights (which, yes, does recall the late Jaguar XK); however, it’s a tasteful facelift. I do like the fact that the front clip has been lowered.

    Oh, and that Orange Fury color. Yes, please.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the nose of the 2015-2017 was droopy enough as it was, this is just worse. I’d rather the Mustang stayed North America-only than this forced EU uglification. globalizing the Mustang totally ruined it.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    Not impressed by the styling tweaks; seems like change for the sake of change. The front end reminds me of a Dodge Stratus coupe for some reason, or maybe an equally terrible Mitsubishi product. I have a ’16 and I had to stare at the photos for awhile to spot any difference in the back end.

    That spoiler is beyond awful. Those look like GT Performance Pack wheels in the pictures; I wonder if that option no longer deletes the spoiler? Hopefully you can still order the car without one, it looks so much better that way.

    I had a hard time believing Ford was going to replace the 5.0 with a 4.8 or whatever. You can’t buy the kind of name recognition that comes with “Five Point Oh,” you’d have to be a massive idiot to throw that away.

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      Agreed about the spoiler being terrible. According to C&D there will still be a spoiler delete option. Thank Jebus because the rest of the Performance Pack updates look awesome. Magnetic dampers and some decent tires (the P Zeros are junk) were sorely needed.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    This thing looks like the downs baby between a Jaguar XK and a current generation MX5.

    The 2015 was bad enough and Ford knew that which is why this refresh happened so quickly, but they made it worse!

    And dropping the V6 is a typical Ford asinine decision. Now buyers only have the choice between a gas guzzling, high-strung 4-banger and the only good engine Ford manufactures today, the 5.0L V8.

    Otherwise this refresh is high on hype and low on actual substance.

  • avatar
    raph

    The new nose is a variation of the GT350’s front fascia. I’m not sold on it but it looks better in darker colors.

    More important to me at least are the mechanical changes which are discussed in a video by two Ford guy on team Mustang. The 5.0 in the 2018 Mustang GT is using a spray bore block like the 5.2 in the Shelby which indicates that it is a big bore block so I suspect the engine is essentially a destroked 5.2.

    With that in mind Ford is either using a revised Coyote head or an “as-cast” version of the Voodoo head (the 2015 Coyote used a variation of the Boss 302 head) and I suspect with the adoption of DI/PI the manifold runner controls will disappear. The engine will feature a 12:1 compression ratio as well.

    The engine also seems like its getting the double disc clutch and dual mass flywheel from the Shelby and either features an upgraded MT82 or perhaps even the return of a Tremec (also possibly a Shelby trickle down).

    The big bore block in conjunction with even a standard Coyote head will pick up airflow enough I suspect for a 20 or more increase in power and likewise in torque not including what a full point in compression beings to the table as well as the more aggressive ignition timing DI allows.

    The double disc clutch makes me think this engine will be putting down 430 or more pound feet of torque and probably 450 or so horsepower (although parity with the Camaro would require 475 or so horsepower given the F-car’s lighter weight).

    The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S and Mag-Ride is an awesome addition (the Pirelli’s aren’t all that good and the Mag-Ride is flat out awesome).

    You guys can play with this ET calculator but I figure with a driver a loaded GT will be around 4000-4100 pounds with a driver and a Camaro in similar condition will be around 3800-3900 pounds with a driver requiring around 30 extra horsepower to make up the difference due to added mass

    >>https://robrobinette.com/et.htm<&lt;

    • 0 avatar
      maxxcool7421

      I think I might agree.. the more you make the cheaper the upper end parts become and the wider the testing pool for enhancements you can make to your premium tier.

      I’d love to see the head be non-cnc versions of the voodoo head.. that would open up the after market a bit more and again provide both sides of the coin the mass market savings and testing pool.

  • avatar
    geo

    The introduction of more curves reminds me of the Mustang II, though the II’s curves were more sweeping and pleasant. Not sure if I like these ones as the front looks a little bulbous (and angry about it) . Maybe the next-gen will be back to squares and straight lines.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    It doesn’t look that different, but I do prefer the 2015-2017 front end. Quad tips more than make up for it, though I suppose you can do that on the aftermarket with the older ones.

    Magnaride is a nice addition, though I wish you didn’t have to take the performance package to get it.

    Is it just me, or are the GTs getting expensive? I think the cheapest one I’ve configured landed around $37k. I still think it’s a good value, but not exactly V8s for the masses.

  • avatar
    SD 328I

    Controversial face? The only publication that stated anything was Jalopnik, and it was a “sad face” headline comment.

    I don’t think most people can even tell the difference between this facelift and the one before it.

  • avatar
    mmdpg

    I own a 2016 GT and I had to look at side by side pictures of a ’15-17 to the ’18 to tell the difference in the front end. Not a bad thing, I like both. Really like the quad exhaust and HP improvements, although my 435 HP 6 speed auto is a beast.

    Anyone concerned the 10 speed auto might have issues like the FCC 9 speed? Worth waiting a couple of years to see how it works in the real world?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Why would the Ford/GM designed RWD 10 speed have issues just because the ZF FWD 9 speed does? I’ve seen nothing that indicates that they had to use a dog clutch for packaging purposes. Plus it isn’t Chrysler doing a rush job on the calibration it is Ford who has the money and time to do it right. That being said I don’t think I would rush out to purchase one of the first.

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    WTH.. it looks kind of like they styled it after a 370z … weird.

  • avatar
    ceipower

    Mustangs never really followed the styling of the rest of the Ford line up. It stood alone. Now , this latest Mustang looks more like a RWD Fusion 2 dr. Not what it should be.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    One thing that I’m curious about, that no one mentioned. What’s going on with the gauges? It looks like there’s now a digital speedometer inside the analog one. Or is the whole thing a LCD setup?

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