2018 Ford Mustang brings an American icon into the modern era

Ford’s (F) Mustang is an American icon. It’s the everyday person’s sports car you can buy without ending up in the poor house. And for 2018, Ford is adding a host of new technologies that bring the classic pony car into the modern era.

Of course, no matter how much tech you add to the Mustang the most important things are that it gets a big, powerful engine and an exhaust so loud it will make your neighbors hate you. And thankfully Ford has improved on both.

The latest iteration of the Mustang gets some relatively mild aesthetic changes to its upper and lower grilles. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to actually notice the different between the 2017 model and the 2018 version. The biggest changes to the new Mustang’s front end include all-LED lights and updated hood vents.

Around back, the Mustang’s rear lights have been reshaped to look like large parentheses. Ford has also outfitted the rear of the Mustang with a new quad-tip exhaust, which just plain looks cool.

Ford says the Mustang’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and the beefy 5.0-liter V8 will get more horsepower and torque for 2018, though the company isn’t saying how much more. Notice something missing? Yep, Ford is dropping the V6 engine option for 2018, which isn’t a big deal when you consider the EcoBoost produces more power than the six-cylinder.

Ford is also rolling out a new 10-speed automatic transmission for the Mustang that promises improved responsiveness and performance. There’s also an updated 6-speed manual gearbox designed to handle the added power of the new V8.

But come on, if you’re not getting a V8-powered Mustang GT with a stick shift, you’re just plain doing it wrong.

The best news of all, though, is that Ford is adding the MagneRide adaptive suspension technology from the Mustang GT350 to standard Mustangs with the Performance Package upgrade. Sure, you’ll have to pay extra for it, but MagneRide will provide far better ride quality than standard shock absorbers.

I’ve got a 2007 Mustang GT, and while I love it to death, the car has a solid rear axle, which makes for a seriously rough ride over highway expansion joints and potholes. Ford switched to an independent rear suspension in 2015, which vastly improved handling and feel. But adding MagneRide to the 2018 Performance Package will make for an even smoother, more responsive ride.

As far as technology improvements go, the 2018 Mustang gets a new 12-inch instrument cluster that you can customize based on whether you’re using the car’s normal, sport or track drive modes.

Ford is also adding a host of driver assist technologies to the new Mustang including Pre-Collision Assist with pedestrian detection, which will automatically apply the car’s brakes if it detects you’re not slowing down in time to prevent an accident.

There’s also lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, as well as distance alert system built into the new muscle car, bringing this American classic into the modern era.

We didn’t get a chance to drive the new Mustang, as Ford says it won’t be available for a few months, which is a major bummer. Still, you can be sure we’ll get behind the wheel as soon as one’s available.

More from Dan:

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Email Daniel at dhowley@yahoo-inc.com; follow him on Twitter at @DanielHowley.

 

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