The next-generation Ford Mustang has been spied undergoing testing in the US in near-production-ready guise.
Though heavily disguised, the Ford Mustang prototype captured by CarAdvice’s spy photographers for the first time wears the body of the all-new pony car, which is set to step away from the current model’s retro-inspired styling in favour of a sleeker, more modern design.
The plastic-clad prototype appears smaller and lower-slung than the outgoing Mustang, featuring a tighter glasshouse with a more pronounced coupe-style roofline curve and sleeker side mirrors to match.
The Mustang’s trademark long bonnet and stubby rear-end look set to carry over into the sixth-generation model, which will launch in time to mark the 50th anniversary of the nameplate in 2014.
Late last year, Ford confirmed the upcoming Mustang would be sold in Europe. A right-hand-drive version is understood to be under development for markets like the UK. Ford Australia has expressed its interest in the halo sports model but has made no announcement about plans to reintroduce it to our market at this stage.
The new Mustang will finally ditch its dated live rear axle in favour of a more modern independent rear suspension (IRS) system. While reports have linked the Mustang to the Australian-made Ford Falcon’s IRS, it is unclear whether Ford Australia’s decision to cease vehicle production in 2016 would have any impact on such a program.
Codenamed ‘S550’, the new Ford Mustang will be powered by a 3.7-litre V6, while high-performance variants will feature an uprated version of the supercharged 5.0-litre ‘Coyote’ V8 engine. A turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost will also be prepared for Europe and potentially other export markets.
The all-new Ford Mustang is set to debut at January’s 2014 Detroit auto show ahead of the start of production around July.