|Ford Motor Co. is still trying to decide the fate of its long-running
"pony car," the Mustang, when it reaches the end of its current life cycle
in 2001-02. In the meantime, the company will heavily revise the current
car this fall for the 1999 model year.
The '99 Mustang will get restyled front and rear ends, including new grille, headlamps, fascias, bumpers, hood and tail-lamps. The sheet metal will also be mildly updated, as will the interior trim.
Much of the car's undercarriage will be carried over unchanged from the current model. Ford will continue to offer the Mustang as a Coupe and a convertible, with a choice of 3.8-liter V-6 and 4.6-liter V-8 engines. There should also be a limited-edition SVO Mustang Cobra.
Ultimately, Ford may shift the Mustang to another rear-drive platform
- perhaps a version of the new DEW98 chassis that's been developed for
the Lincoln LS6 and LS8.
|The changes affect external sheet metal, suspension, and powerplant. External sheet metal changes in the Mustang will leave the car with a wider grille opening and a more "squared" version of the current head light assembly. A horizontal hood scoop will return, and the front fenders will have a more defined ridge at the top of the fender. Additionally the front facia and the front fenders appear to have no seam between them, almost as if they were one piece. As you can see from these pictures it also looks as if the side scoop will become much larger than the current scoop. It also appears to be much more "squared" off to match the design of the hood scoop. It also looks as if the rear valance will drop down like the valence of the 1987-1993 Mustang GTs. Some of these apparent changes, however, may be the result of disguising by Ford engineers. As tail lights have changed twice already, you can probably expect the same for 1999.|
|The rumor mill had it that the Mustang would see an Independent
Rear Suspension by 1999. Our Internal sources believe that there is a 98%
chance that the Mustang GT will not get IRS in 1999. Speculation
exists that Cobra models may get IRS.
Power plant changes will breathe some more life into the Mustang. Our source tells us that the GT will get a much needed horsepower boost. Head changes will give the 4.6 liter Single Over Head Cam Mustang GT motor an estimated 250 bhp from the factory, up from 225. The Cobra should also see an increase from its current 305 bhp to 320-325 bhp.
Other exciting news regarding the future of the Mustang is at hand as well. The awesome Cobra R may return in 1999. This ultra-limited edition car will be available only with a competition racing license at the time of order. So far it looks as if the 1999 Cobra R may be powered by...get ready for this...a Dual Over Head Cam 5.4 liter modular motor!
It also looks as if 1999 will see the return of an Anniversary Mustang! Ford has often been pretty slack regarding anniversary models, so we'll see how this tip pans out. The last true Anniversary Mustang was the 1984 GT-350. Our source tells us that the car will be issued as a 1999 1/2 Anniversary Mustang and will be somewhat similar to the Cobra R. The 35th Anniversary Mustang will be offered in mass quantity, unlike it's Cobra R sibling.
If you can stand to wait, hold off on that new Mustang purchase! It looks as if 1999 may see the beginnings of the return of some real horsepower.