The Ford Mustang is one of the most iconic vehicles in automotive history. It remains one of the most popular models on the market since its debut in 1964. It has changed a lot over the years, with the last ten years making it more powerful and efficient.
1965-1973 (1st Generation)
The debut of the first generation of the Ford Mustang made it wildly popular in its class. It was unique with its long hood and short deck. Several engines were offered in variations of an inline-six or V8. It was available in three and four-speed manual transmissions as well as a three-speed automatic. This generation had few changes but most notably in 1969, which was the body length extension. In 1971 it grew again by three inches to hold a 7.0-liter V8, making the hood noticeably larger.
1974-1978 (2nd Generation)
This generation didn’t resemble the first generation at all and was known as the Mustang II. Smaller engines were also offered for the first time, including a 2.8-liter V6 and a 2.3 liter inline-four. It was built on the Ford Pinto platform, making it a subcompact car. Customers approved and it was quite successful, being awarded Motor Trend’s Car of the Year in 1974.
1979-1993 (3rd Generation)
Making this a midsize car, the third generation was built on the Fox platform and took on a more modern look. The Foxbody Mustang stayed, and it offered a variety of engines, including an inline-four, an inline-six, a V6 and a V8. The Mustang came standard with a four-or five-speed manual as well as three or four-speed automatics and rear-wheel drive. The long hood and short rear deck remained the same, with large rectangle-style headlights.
1994-2004 (4th Generation)
The Mustang was in for a new redesign, but it was still built on a Fox platform. It had the nickname of SN-95 by the automaker with its retro style, sharp lines and more heft. A 3.8-liter V6 and a five-speed manual transmission was offered in 1994-1998. With more power, the Mustang GT boosted performance with a 5.0-liter V8 engine.
2005-2014 (5th Generation)
This generation is referred to as S-197 and S-197 II 5th generation. The Ford Mustang has more retro-styling and a more muscular look, with a front grille and headlight placement of earlier models. Mustang offers a 4.0-liter V6, a 4.6-liter V8 or a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 with a five or six speed manual or a five-speed automatic for the first half of this generation. The second half of this generation Ford offered its biggest engine – a 5.8-liter V8 with a six-speed automatic transmission. It also saw a design remodel for better aerodynamics.
2015 – Present (6th Generation)
Mustang’s current generation has a fully independent rear suspension. The exterior design was made to look more futuristic but patterned by the original, with a long-hood, short-deck styling, a smallish backseat and rear-wheel drive. Four main engines became available, including a 310-horsepower, 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged inline-four, a 300 horsepower, 3.7-liter Cyclone V6 through 2017, a 435-horsepower, 5.0-liter Coyote V8 and a 5.2-liter Voodoo V8. With that came a six-speed manual transmission and a six-speed automatic was offered through 2017. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available.
A refresh exterior design happened in 2018, as well as stronger V8 and turbo four-cylinder engines with a new 10-speed automatic transmission. The base 3.7-liter V6 was also dropped. In 2019, the Bullitt model was introduced, and in 2020, the high-performance Shelby GT500 debuted. It also gained standard FordPass Connect and optional High Performance and EcoBoost Handling packages.
For 2021, the Mustang Mach 1 trim debuts and the Bullitt, Shelby GT350, and GT350R models are discontinued. CoPilot 360 driver assistance features are now standard, which includes automatic high-beam headlights, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and lane keeping assist.
The Ford Mustang has been one of the most well-rounded sports cars of all time; it has featured ample engine power, sharp handing, and a comfortable cabin. The Mustang delivers, whether you prioritize going fast or tackling curves.