Late-stage spy shots of the next-generation Mustang suggest than the next-generation pony car is not long from hitting showroom floors. Up to now, the specific timing has been somewhat of a mystery, but believed to be sometime in calendar year 2014. If the latest rumor from Mustang enthusiast site MustangsDaily.com is to be believed, the new Mustang’s debut will come sooner than later, with the model launching as a limited-edition 2014.5 model, much like the original 50 years ago.
In addition to the symbolic launch schedule, the production run of 2014.5 models is expected to be limited to just 1000 units, after which, the cars will presumably be labeled as 2015 models. With the 2015 model, the Mustang will reportedly go from strictly a North American model to a global one, with right-hand drive versions that will be destined for the U.K., Australia, and other markets. The staple performance engine is expected to be a higher-power version of the current 5.0-liter V-8, with a turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder and naturally-aspirated V-6 also offered. The site claims the limited-run introduction model will not bring any additional performance enhancements.
Reports also suggest the next-generation Mustang performance flagship may have a high-revving naturally-aspirated V-8 rather than the current Shelby GT500′s supercharged 5.8-liter 662-hp engine. To the delight (or chagrin) of Mustang fans, the long-running live rear axle will finally make way for independent rear suspension. The only other production Mustang to feature independent rear suspension was the 1999-2004 Mustang Cobra.
Is Ford making the right decision with a limited mid-year rollout of the new Mustang, or should it stick to a traditional summer/fall model year rollout?