What Changed for 2008:
- New Shelby GT convertible
- New 540-hp Shelby GT500 KR due in spring
- Interior ambient lighting newly available
- Front side air bags now standard on all models
- High-intensity discharge headlights newly optional
With rear-wheel drive and available V-8 power, the Ford Mustang has been called the quintessential American \"pony car.\" Mustang was last redesigned for the 2005 model year, and Ford has expanded Mustang offerings with performance models ever since. For 2008, two new Shelby models are offered: the top-of-the-line 540-hp Shelby GT500KR coupe and the 319-hp Shelby GT convertible. The GT500KR (for King of the Road) is due in spring. All Mustangs have 2+2 seating with a small back seat. V-6 and V-8 power are offered, and Shelby GT500 models have supercharged V-8 engines.
The Mustang comes in two body styles: coupe and convertible. All convertibles have a power folding top with a glass rear window. V-6-equipped models and V-8-powered GT models are available in Deluxe and Premium trim. GTs come standard with fog lamps, rear spoiler, sport suspension, and 17-inch aluminum wheels. The GT Premium has leather upholstery.
Shelby GT trim upgrades the GT with a unique front fascia; special hood scoop and side scoops; high-flow exhaust; performance suspension; lowered ride height; Hurst short-throw shifter; and 18-inch aluminum wheels. The Shelby GT500 features P255/45R18 front and P285/40R18 rear tires, leather upholstery, Brembo front brakes, and an SVT-tuned suspension. The Shelby GT500KR will have a shorter-throw shifter; 3.73:1 gear ratio versus the GT500's 3.31:1; carbon-fiber hood; and unique suspension tuning. The KR will be limited to 1000 examples.
Models featuring the V-6 engine are offered with a Pony package to give them the look and handling of a GT. A California Special package dresses up a Premium GT with 18-inch wheels, side scoops, tape stripes, larger air intake, special interior trim, and signature front and rear fascias. Available options include a 1000-watt audio system; heated front seats; Bluetooth hands-free cell phone link; remote engine starting; Sirius satellite radio; navigation system; high-intensity discharge headlights; and Ford's ambient lighting.
Mustang's base engine is a 4.0-liter V-6 that makes 210 hp and 240 lb.-ft. of torque. GT models get a 4.6-liter, 300-hp V-8 engine with 320 lb.-ft. of torque. The Shelby GT's 4.6-liter V-8 engine is tuned for 319 hp and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. The V-6 and 4.6-liter V-8 engines are offered with a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. The Shelby GT500 has a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 engine with 500 hp and 480 lb.-ft. of torque, and the Shelby GT500 KR produces 540 hp. Both Shelby GT500 models come only with a 6-speed manual transmission. Fuel economy ratings are 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway for a V-6 engine with manual transmission; 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway for a V-6 engine with automatic transmission; 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway for a 4.6-liter V-8 engine with manual transmission; 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway for a 4.6-liter V-8 engine with automatic transmission; and 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway for the Shelby GT500. The GT500 is subject to a $1300 gas-guzzler tax. All GT and Shelby models have a limited-slip rear differential, but no Mustang has an independent rear suspension.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Ford Mustang receives 5-star ratings for the driver and passenger in frontal impacts, a 4-star rating for the driver in side impacts, and a 5-star rollover resistance rating. Safety features on all Mustangs include dual-stage front air bags, seat-mounted front side air bags, and a tire-pressure monitor. Anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and traction control are standard on V-8 models and optional on V-6 models.
Ford's ambient lighting illuminates the front and rear footwells and front cupholders in the driver's choice of seven colors. The available navigation system is DVD-based. The available Bluetooth hands-free cell phone link allows cell phone calls to be played over the speakers.