First Impressions: 2015 Ford Mustang in the Sheetmetal

By | December 06, 2013
When winter sets in California, you'll be hard-pressed to drag a bunch of natives outside for an extended period of time. Yes, it's not as cold as New York or Detroit, but to those of us who live here year-round, anything below 60 is considered freezing. So where did Ford decide to debut the all-new 2015 Mustang? Right outside of the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Journalists, executives, and other members of the media were bundled from head to toe, braving the chilly 50 degree weather to get their first glimpse of the new Mustang.
Lining the streets of Hollywood Boulevard were previous generations of Ford Mustangs, with models dating back to the early days to last year's model. Enthusiasts came out to show their support of the iconic muscle car. Security had placed gates outside of the theater, steering away all those without Ford or Media badges. To really showcase how big this event was, the local news was covering the event, broadcasting on the streets alongside the rows of previous Mustang models.
The event itself kicked off right at 10 am. Looking to my left was a section of reserved seating for representatives from Ford Mexico, and to my right, reserved seating for the enthusiasts who had brought their cars for the event. There was an open section of seating for journalists and other media representatives, but that filled up rather quickly. The majority of the audience stood surrounding the covered car, just behind a row of photographers.
Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president, and Joe Hinrichs, Ford's executive vice president, walked out onto the platform to unveil the newest Mustang. Both talked briefly on the history of the model, its iconic status, as well as the reason why the Los Angeles debut happened at the Chinese Theater. The Mustang, which has been in over 3,000 movies, felt right at home among the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the cement engravings outside the theater. Ford believed the 2015 Mustang, which is one of the brand's brightest stars, should be shown off surrounded by what made it an icon.
The curtain was finally pulled back, and the audience erupted. Ford took the debut one step further and drove the new Mustang over a block of wet cement. The treads of the 2015 Mustang will find a new home outside the TCL Chinese Theater, surrounded by other famous stars. Although this moment was important, it was overshadowed by a bit of overthought and humor on Ford's part. Both Nair and Hinrichs were tasked with imprinting the Mustang logo in-between the fresh treads, and while the 3,700-pound car made it look easy, the cement was hardening and the two men barely left an imprint. Even with both men standing on the imprint, they barely made a dent.
From a personal standpoint, I've never been a huge fan of the newer Mustang models. To me, the late 1960s models were as good as it got for the pony car. While the 2015 Mustang has features that give a nod to past generations, there isn't a real "wow" factor with it. For starters, there aren't enough significant changes for me to consider it an "all-new" model. Yes, according to the automaker, nearly every facet of the new model has been tweaked. For me, the most noticeable changes are in the interior. The new aviation theme is clearly seen in the front dash, while the materials are definitely more upscale than the previous model. Looking at the exterior, it looks like a Fusion Coupe or Fastback variant. If you look at just the front end, take away the pony logo, and you're looking at the Ford Fusion. The new Mustang may be more modern in terms of the grille, lines in the hood, and new lights, but it feels like just another new Ford. There's nothing that screams "Mustang" or "New." Even though there are aspects of the older models in the new 2015 Mustang, you really have to look to see them. Overall, the new sports car looks less and less like the iconic Mustang many have come to know and love and more like just another new car in Ford's lineup. The brand has become so uniform, that many of the models have lost their individual touches. This can't be truer when we look at the 2015 Ford Mustang. We can only hope that the next model can further differentiate itself from the rest of the Ford lineup.