By on October 6, 2021

Despite the Mustang Mach-E clearly receiving the brunt of Ford’s marketing efforts, the manufacturer is still trying to retain customers who prefer the real one original. We’re inclined the believe that a traditional American sports coupe offering 310 horsepower out of the box for under $30,000 is probably reason enough to keep the Mustang on your radar. But Ford has debatably sweetened the pot with a couple of factory appearance packages designed to give the car more character.

For 2022, the Mustang will offer a new Stealth Edition option for well-equipped EcoBoost models and an updated version of the classic California Special for the GT. 

The Stealth Edition is effectively an offshoot of the Ice White Edition that’s obviously intended for cocaine dealers and/or people who don’t drink coffee during their morning commute. However the Stealth nixes the white interior and exterior for alternate vehicle colors (Atlas Blue, Carbonized Gray, Dark Matter or Shadow Black) with a smattering of black trim. It also gets some unique dark badging, 19-inch wheels (also in black), a rear spoiler, and borrows the clear taillamps found on Ice White vehicles as the signature aspect.

We thought Altezza tail lights went out of fashion in 2011 and are betting Ford has a parts bin absolutely full of them. Ice White sales commenced at the start of the fall. Our guess is that the automaker now views the clear lenses as leftover Halloween candy that needs to be offloaded before they’re allowed to load up on Christmas goodies.

Meanwhile, the California Special (below) harkens back to the glory days of pony car appearance packages. Introduced in 1968 as a way to thank the Golden State for buying up the most Mustangs, and also help the model compete against the upcoming Camaro, GT/CS cars originally came with factory equipped unique badging, side stripes, fog lights, hood pins, side scoops, rear spoiler decklid, unique gas cap, and taillights nabbed from the 1965 Thunderbird.

Whereas the old package could be affixed to most Mustangs in Ford’s roster, the current California Special has been limited to the GT coupe and convertible. Vehicles come with the iconic GT/CS badging, obligatory stripes, a black grille, and rear fender scoop. Coupes will likewise come with a factory spoiler, while convertibles will have their spoilers deleted. On the inside, ‘Stangs will have black Miko (faux) suede-trimmed door inserts and seats embossed with the applicable logos in red. The theme carries over to the floor mats and the instrumental panel finished in “carbon hex aluminum” with California Special script badge on the passenger side.

The GT/CS cars also feature unique five-spoke 19-inch painted wheels and a signature strut tower brace to help you show off the 5.0-liter V8 (460 hp/420 lb-ft) to the neighbors. While there may also be some performance advantages associated with the brace, Ford actually recommends buying the GT Performance Package that’s compatible with the California Special if you’re a serious driver.

From Ford:

As a California Special-first, the GT Performance Package is now available, enabling greater handling and driving dynamics for the most capable California Special ever.

The GT Performance Package adds an array of performance and handling features including Brembo six-piston front brake calipers, unique chassis tuning with heavy-duty front springs, larger tubular rear sway bar, overall lower ride height, K-brace, strut tower brace, front subframe V-brace, TORSEN limited-slip differential, unique stability control and electric power steering tuning. Staggered 19×9-inch front and 19×9.5-inch rear wheels with Pirelli summer tires further the handling grip.

The performance suite can set you back by about $6,000 right now. But Ford hasn’t issued a price for the 2022 model-year Mustangs, nor did it elaborate how much difference the appearance packages would make to the final MSRP. Whether that’s designed to give dealerships another opportunity for markups or simply because the economic solution has made pricing next to impossible, we couldn’t say. But appearance packs tend to ballpark between a grand or two and are rarely worth the money unless you’re hunting for a future collectible or totally sprung on the accouterments.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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41 Comments on “2022 Ford Mustang Sports New Fashions for EcoBoost and GT...”


  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    It’s only the utter crap quality of the interior that keeps me from buying the Mustang, otherwise I love the look of any variation of this generation.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    Are those while tail light lenses DOT legal in the US? I don’t think they are.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      The applicable standard, FMVSS 108, from 1966 (for cars starting with model year 1967), last amended in 2011 states that there has to be two red reflectors on the rear, as far apart as practical:

      https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2011/08/08/2011-19595/federal-motor-vehicle-safety-standards-lamps-reflective-devices-and-associated-equipment

      Search the page for “Reflex reflectors”, and you’ll find this (two red, on the rear):

      “On the rear, at the same height, symmetrically about the vertical centerline, as far apart as practicable On a truck tractor may be mounted on the back of the cab not less than 4 inches above the height of the rear tires.”

      It doesn’t mater if the taillights are clear, so long as they, when lit, display a steady burning red light to the rear.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    The California Special should include a poster of Nancy Pelosi not getting legislation passed, along with a trunk full of materials for cleaning up oil spills.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Hey look an article on a real Mustang and not the SUV imposter.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    That’s not a Mustang! *cue terrible Buick music*

  • avatar
    ajla

    I think I’d need to do a convertible on the CS.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    Not a car I’d buy, but I like and respect it. Love that shade of blue. I’ve never had a blue car and I want one.

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    Nice car . I’m contemplating the few “ Ford haters” around here will disagree – c’est la vie.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    0-60 times:

    Mustang Base EcoBoost: 5.8
    Mach-E: 4.8
    GT: 4.2
    Mach 1: 4.1
    Mach-E GT: 3.8
    GT500: 3.3

    Oh, never mind. A 1975 4-cylinder Mustang with a 0-60 time of 13.8 seconds is welcome to The Club, but the electric version isn’t. Pharisees.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The “is the Mach E a real Mustang” argument will go on and on and on. The haters probably wouldn’t even if it wasn’t named “Mustang”. Come to think of it, I’d say most of the haters aren’t going to buy a “real” Mustang either.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Wait until we get a Corvette badged version of the Lyriq. You just know Barra is going to do it. Maybe they can call it the Whale Shark?

        https://www.motor1.com/news/361622/chevrolet-corvette-c8-suv-rendering/

        https://www.autonews.com/cars-concepts/gm-mulls-bigger-corvette-lineup-ev-crossover-report-says

        https://electrek.co/2021/01/15/an-electric-corvette-crossover-gm-is-thinking-about-it/

        https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a28266580/chevrolet-corvette-suv-render/

      • 0 avatar
        el scotto

        @FreedMike Sir, my reply is not directed at you personally but I needed to work it in somewhere. I had a ’67 Mustang GT convertible in high school. AC/Pony Pack/Hi-Po engine too. The original Mustang was based on the Falcon. Now, one of those Falcon Rancheros would be sweet, but I’m wandering. The original Mustang could seat four people. It was snug in the back but it could fit four people. Back then I was dating a hot thin blonde who these days is a hot blonde grandma. I had a 90 Fox body GT convertible. Red, the kids were small enough to fit in the back. Along the way, Mustangs became 2+2’s or someone can fit in the back in a pinch. The kids are doing fine. The Mach-E can fit four people fairly comfortably and is fairly quick at a reasonable price. Not at all the “ermahgerd gotta get one!!!” like a ’65 but competent. Repeating myself, seats four, fairly quick, decent price. Ford might even get someone switching from another brand.

        • 0 avatar
          mikey

          Though a dedicated GM guy, my late wife and I loved Mustangs. Over the years we rented countless Mustangs and bought a couple of used versions.

          I bought a new 15 EB, and it gave me four trouble free years..A six foot grandson, and a hockey playing granddaughter made the EB just too impractical for daily driver use . I replaced it with one of the last of the Impalas.

          I do have an original 2005 GT drop top , stick , sitting in my garage ..It functions quite well as a toy car.

      • 0 avatar
        sayahh

        Are any of the new GM cars a real GM? I mean technically GM is a new GM, even though we know they did it just to escape its financial responsibilities and failures.

        Also, I haven’t been inside any of the most recent Mustangs. Ppl here are saying that they are comparable to the Camaro’s and the Challenger’s interior, but are they comparable, better or worse than, say, a Camry’s or Accord’s interior?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “the electric version isn’t.”

      That’s not why people don’t like the Mach-E. It’s not even the CUV body style. There’s just no connection between the two vehicles beyond a badge and some surface styling touches.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “Oh, never mind. A 1975 4-cylinder Mustang with a 0-60 time of 13.8 seconds is welcome to The Club, but the electric version isn’t. Pharisees.”

      Yeah, you don’t get it. Ford could slap a galloping donkey on a clapped-out Aerostar (which, in modern terms, is exactly what they did) and you would be fine with it.

      “That’s not why people don’t like the Mach-E. It’s not even the CUV body style. There’s just no connection between the two vehicles beyond a badge and some surface styling touches.”

      Exactly. Smart people can see it for what it is.

      “Ford introduces all-new generic CUV” isn’t exaclty an attention grabber.

      “FORD MUSTANG EXPANDS FAMILY: ALL-ELECTRIC MUSTANG MACH-E DELIVERS POWER, STYLE AND FREEDOM FOR NEW GENERATION” generates headlines and articles at an incredible rate.

      Ford knew they couldn’t design an electric vehicle that could stand on it’s own merits. So they used the Mustang name to gin up interest and get people talking.

      I’ve always said the only thing Ford does well is manipulative marketing. Build junk and then market it like crazy. It’s clear where the majority of vehicle development budgets goes at Ford….marketing.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    I’m just kind of tired of the endless semantic debate over the Mach E’s name. Whatever. It’s not FWD, and that’s good enough.

    Back to the Mustang at hand here… I’ve got a lot of respect for this car. It’s got a twin-cam V8 that can stand toe to toe with the engines in six-figure supercars, in a package that’s more usable than the Camaro and doesn’t scream to everyone in earshot that you’re a roid-raging meathead like the Challenger.

    With that said I’d personally stay far away from these appearance specials. The plainer and less showy a Mustang is, the better it looks. I’d take a GTP in anonymous silver with the GT Performance Package, MagneRIde, spoiler delete, and the sliver forged wheels.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    I dig it. I also like that it can make 460/420 from a 5.0L. I like the 400/400 from my 6.0L but more is usually better. I’ll have to look up the torque peak, mind – mine is 4400RPM

  • avatar

    Interior sucks, transmission is broken and it is not a SUV. What a disgrace!

    • 0 avatar
      multicam

      Yeah, how is this not brought up more often? Presumably because the manual transmission is dead… but geeze. It’s kind of a big deal.

      So the Getrag MT82 has issues. Got it. It’s a real shame too because I owned a 2012 Stang with that transmission and after installing a Barton short shifter it was my favorite manual transmission I’ve ever driven, far surpassing the Tremec in my wife’s Camaro. Turns out the Tremec would have been the better long term option. Thankfully we own neither car now.

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