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From Concept To Reality: Ford's 2005 Mustang Coupe and Convertible

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From Concept To Reality: Ford's 2005 Mustang Coupe and Convertible

Ford's Mustang, the quintessential pony car, is one of the oldest nameplates in the business. During its 45+ year run, the Mustang has provided a variety of power trains under its hood, from 4-cylinders to coachbuilt (and Lamborghini-sourced) V10s.

It has also provided people with near-endless variety. From the mainstream Shelbys and California Specials (both of which have returned for up-and-coming red-light racers), to lesser-known variants like the Twister and High Country Specials, the Mustang has always offered something for everyone.

In 2005 Ford went (way) back to the drawing board, offering old-school-inspired lines for the modern age.

Debut (Concept): 2003 North American International Auto Show (Coupe, Convertible)

Debut (Production): 2004 North American International Auto Show (2005 Model Year Coupe) ; 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show (2005 MY Convertible)

Lead Designer: Sid Ramnarace

Lost in Translation: The "upscale" color-keyed mirrors (which arrived for 2010), hood vents, and flush 3/4 window covers disappeared along with the classier, more aggressive front end. Below the beltline the brake scoops are gone, while out back the killer Shelby / T-Bird tail lights and tasteful exhaust outlets in the bumper decided not to show up.

But we got to keep: The coupe's awesome fastback roof line, the good-looking "retro-futuristic" body shape, and interior accents from the good-old days including the double hoods over the dash and chrome-trimmed round gauges.

And gained: 3/4 windows, that out-of-place spoiler on the trunk (available on both the coupe and convertible), a bulkier, slack-jawed face with a chunkier rear end. We also got the grille-housed fog lights straight out of 1969, poorly proportioned 17-inch wheels, and MyColor 60's-font gauges.

Fun facts: Ford got taken to court when it debuted its MyColor gauge system, which allows customers to adjust the character of the dashboard (specifically, the colors of the gauges). It eventually settled with the original patent holder, Frank Weyer, who developed the concept at MIT.

The concepts, which everyone and their uncle fawned over were actually designed after the 2005 production model was green-lit; they were created to gauge public reaction.

Did you know? Ford uses soy-based foam in 2008+ Mustangs' seats. Oh, and between 2005 and 2008, the Mustang's 4.6 liter V8 was a Ward's Top Ten engine.

Want more? A Shelby GT500 KR Mustang took over the role of K.I.T.T. from the original Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, first in a two-hour pilot movie in 2008 for a new Knight Rider TV series and then the series itself which lasted for one season and some 17 episodes.

A nice option would have been: A stripped GTS model with optional racing buckets and harnesses, a rear strut bar, and rear seat delete.

Where is it now?: For 2010 Ford's 5th-generation Mustang got a re-skin featuring an edgier Giugiaro-looking face, and in 2011 it earned its "5.0" badge back with an updated 412 horsepower Coyote V8 while the company also (finally) replaced the paleolithic 210HP 4.0 V6 with a an all-aluminum Duratec 3.7-liter DOHC Ti-VCT V6 producing 305 ponies.

- By Phil Alex



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