Let's start at the back and move forward…
Ford Mustang with U.S. flagEnlarge Photo
2010 Ford MustangEnlarge Photo
The 2010 Mustang gets its tail lamps presented proudly on a chambered surface. The basic design also reaches back to the original Mustang, but is more closely related to the second-generation car that we have represented by a shot of a Mach 1 proudly flying Old Glory.
Any aerodynamic engineer will tell you that a blunt rear end helps detach the airflow from the rear of the car. When you look past the 2010 Mustang's aft detailing, you'll see that it's a pretty blunt shape. The general shape pays dividends in fuel economy and aerodynamic stability, while the details make it attractive.
In a slick bit of showmanship, Ford engineered the LED tail lamp to fire sequentially when indicating a turn. This is a nice bit of detailing, and something that hasn't been seen on any Mustang since 1969.
The rear fender kick-up
Ford Mustang fastbackEnlarge Photo
Ford Mustang pace carEnlarge Photo
Our first image shows a first-generation Mustang GT350. The 2010 Mustang owes its rear fender design as much to this car as any other previous Mustang. The design originated with the 1964 ½ design, and was used on all subsequent designs until the introduction of the fifth-generation Fox platform Mustang (represented here by a 1979 Indy Pace Car replica). This generation of Mustang didn't offer even a hint of rear fenders.
While the currently waning Mustang does have some detailing of the rear shoulders (the fender area), the 2010 design is much stronger and powerful looking.
The hood and nose
Ford Mustang GT350Enlarge Photo
Certain colors show off the shape of metal better than others. One 2010 Mustang we spied was slathered in silver paint, a color that clearly reveals the front end's new look. We were particularly taken with the complexities of the powerdome hood and the way the fenders sweep toward the center of the grille. It comes together artfully.
Perhaps design inspiration came from third-generation Mustangs, and particularly Shelby models that featured raised hoods. The lines are more intriguing than the outgoing Mustang, and give the car a bolder nose.
The grille and headlights of the 2010 Mustang are evolutionary compared to the current car, but like the rest of the design, add visual interest. The overall shape of the front end is clearly influenced by aerodynamics. You can tell by noting the new car's rounded-off front corners (by the headlights) and a brooding forehead look to the hood's overhang above the grille.
2010 Ford MustangEnlarge Photo
Mustang faithful will note that the iconic Mustang pony badge has been carefully updated for the first time in the car's 45-year history. The changes are subtle and respectfully update a horse that's grown a little long in the tooth.
More to come
There's more to come from the L.A. Auto Show regarding the 2010 Mustang … and we heard rumors that announcements about upcoming Shelby Mustangs will come at the Detroit Auto Show in January. Stay tuned and we'll keep you up to speed on all the details.