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2010 Mustang Gets First Class Cabin

Staff Report

Ford is no longer offering a coach class interior.

►Back to 2010 Ford Mustang Main Story Index

11-21-08: The 2010 Mustang introduces a modern interior that answers all the critics, soothes the senses and really raises the bar like we never expected. Gone are the cheap looking and feeling materials that dont match. Gone are the giant gaps and ill fitting pieces. This is a top drawer cabin like Mustang has never before seen.

“Everything about new Mustang’s interior is first-class,” said Peter Horbury, executive director of Design, The Americas. “It’s a step improvement, like going from ‘dial up’ to ‘high-speed digital.’ Our designers and engineers have created a car that is both superior and affordable – a rare combination to delight our customers.”

The 2010 Mustang’s interior design is dramatically shaped with tensioned surfaces and sculptured forms that use light and shadow to create dimension, and evoke power and speed.“The car’s stance is not unlike a sprinter in the starting blocks,” said Robert Gelardi, interior design manager. “Muscular surfaces and dramatic shapes were a design goal for the Mustang, inside and out.” Gelardi said the team moved away from some of the linear expressions of past Mustangs. In doing so, the interior design mirrors the motion and excitement seen in the exterior sheet metal.


Mustang’s unrivaled, 45-year heritage provided a strong foundation on which to build the next chapter in the Mustang story. Gelardi and team first identified several core DNA elements, such as the “double-brow” instrument panel, flow-through console and conical lens gauges. Then countless hours were spent evolving and executing those elements in a modern form language relevant to 2010 and beyond.

The new IP design resonates with powerful Mustang heritage, from the aluminum panels, jeweled design of the air registers and conical lenses on the gauge cluster. Gelardi tells how, when faced with a design challenge, the team found solutions that made the interior more of a Mustang, not less. He cites the new air register layout – necessary to accommodate the higher radio and navigation displays – as a good example.

“There is definite Mustang DNA in the 2010 air register design,” said Mustang Design Manager Gary Morales. “The combination of circular and rectangular register shapes is well-represented in our family tree, but the forms are modern and inspired by the exhaust outlets drilled into the aluminum. Each gauge is fully encircled with chrome rings inset precisely into the IP to achieve a well-crafted appearance.”

The center console, another strong Mustang design cue, was designed with a dramatic arc to provide a clean appearance and an uninterrupted area for shifting. The shifter – the main focus of the console – is accented with a chrome trim ring echoing the precise design of the air register rings. The armrests are padded and flush with the rest of the console, which can be accessed for stowage.

Morales and team agreed that flawless execution was the key element of the interior design. “The success of the interior was dependent on our attention to detail,” he said. “There is no room for error. We were entrusted with a globally recognized icon – a very symbol of the modern automotive era. There’s no greater honor. And we took that very much to heart.”

Morales defined execution as superior craftsmanship, world-class quality and premium materials. He said the very modern Mustang was designed with old-fashioned hard work.

The foundation of this world-class interior is a new, one-piece soft instrument panel exquisitely crafted in seamless TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin) skin, fully encompassing textured or genuine aluminum-finish panels. Morales said extending the soft skin and foam around the center stack was critical not only for better appearance and craftsmanship, but also to provide a softer, more comfortable rest for the driver’s leg.

“Gaps between parts – the chrome ringed air registers, for example, are accurate to within fractions of millimeters,” said Gelardi. “This attention to detail is the bedrock of the new interior and what sets Mustang miles apart from the competition. Our goal was a product goes above and beyond perceived quality to offer premium experience. We were absolute maniacs about the selection of materials and executing every detail.”

The goal for every design element was a hand-crafted appearance with world class-detail. The steering wheel emblem, now a genuine stamped aluminum disc, proudly showcases the new 2010 Mustang pony emblem. The premium trim steering wheel spokes are also genuine aluminum with integrated audio controls.

Further evidence is the design of the traction control and trunk release buttons. Instead of just a generic car symbol, the graphics were designed to show an actual 2010 Mustang.

“Once we achieved the shapes and surfaces we wanted, we continued advancing world-class execution to every last detail,” said Gelardi. “We never stopped at, ‘Good enough.’ We only stopped at ‘right,’ ” added Morales.

The 2010 Mustang features SYNC, the award-winning, in-car communications and entertainment platform, developed jointly by Ford and Microsoft. It allows users to control most MP3 players and Bluethooth-enabled mobile phones hands-free voice commands. SIRIUS® satellite radio and next-generation navigation are available along with dual-zone temperature controls.

“For most of our customers, the Mustang is a daily driver, so you want to have those convenience features,” said Mustang program manager Jackie DiMarco. “SYNC also offers 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report for 2010.”

Mustang owners are well known for personalizing their cars, and the MyColor system provides a unique level of customization. MyColor features a “welcome sequence,” greeting the driver with a sweep of the cluster needles, as well as staged halo and cluster lighting. Customers can create more than 125 background colors by mixing the red-green-blue palette.

The available ambient lighting system can coordinate the gauge cluster color, footwells, cup holders, door map pockets, rear footwells, even the “M U S T A N G” logo in the aluminum door sills.

See our 2010 Mustang Gallery

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