Better materials, fit and finish make for good news.
09-18-08: In all of the revealing of details of the 2010 Ford Mustang in the past weeks, we are learning more about the car bit by bit. One of the chief complaints about the current Mustang is the cheaply executed interior. In the 2005-2009 Mustang, nearly every surface is a tappy hard plastic, surfaces from one part to another are not consistent, and many of them don’t fit together well.
Ford has heard us loud and clear they say. While continuing with the same classic Mustang interior design theme, they have worked to expand on the design but add more quality and fine detail. “The double-brow design is a critical part of Mustang interior DNA,” says Robert Gelardi, senior designer. “But it’s been modernized and integrated into a one-piece, dramatically sculptured instrument panel, executed with the highest levels of fit and finish.”
To the criticism of all that hard plastic that we keep complaining about, they have replaced the entire dash assembly with a new soft touch one piece unit. “Hard-plastic instrument panels are a thing of the past,” adds Gary Morales, design manager. “The 2010 Mustang instrument panel is exquisitely crafted in soft seamless TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) skin, fully encompassing genuine aluminum trim. Every line, proportion and surface has been carefully optimized to create an exciting cohesive driving environment.”
More design morality comes in the form of genuine materials used in trims. Good times are here again with the use of genuine aluminum trim instead of faked out plastic. “The Mustang is about honest, real American muscle,” says Jennifer Atanasovski, color and materials designer. “Therefore, silver paint was not acceptable - real aluminum with the soft IP and high quality leather was essential.”
Ford has now settled into a regimented teasing of dripping one official photo out per week to pull the skin off the onion so to speak. Last week we got a half dozen photos that show little things. This week we were given the single interior shot that lets us see more. They are having fun with this!
“Today’s photo really shows the shape and sculpture we put in the design,” says Gelardi. “The engine and transmission are the heart of the Mustang, so all the lines expand outward from this central nucleus of power: Notice the dramatic sweep of the aluminum panels, and how the exhaust-inspired air registers and fully circular gauges appear drilled into and precisely inset into the metal,” he says.
What that photo shows indeed is a better looking execution of the interior through fit and finish. We obviously want to see more in the way of colors and finishes. The console face rises higher into the dash and now includes Ford’s “poke through” radio and HVAC components, which by the way have a way high quality feel in their buttons and action. The square vents above the console hark to the 1967-68 Mustangs as well. Best yet, the door panels show that the speaker grilles have been moved up higher in the door. The cheap looking round grill from the 2005-2009 Mustang is gone.
“The world-class fit and finish, strong yet modern connection to Mustang heritage, and upgraded materials make this a standout interior,” says chief designer Douglas Gaffka.
We obviously hold final judgment until the day we sit in the car and do the grip and grab test, but it is looking better and better.