RICK KRANZ

Ford preparing to lock down design for 50th anniversary Mustang

Ford's J Mays on the next generation Mustang (pictured is the 2011 model): “It has to look like a Mustang. But you go down a list of things that might or might not be necessary to make the car look like a Mustang.”
Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.

FRANKFURT -- Ford’s design chief, J Mays, says the styling for the next-generation Mustang is “being locked down.”

The redesigned car arrives for 2014 and coincides with a big historical event for Ford enthusiasts, Mustang’s 50th anniversary.

So can we expect another evolution of today’s retro look?

No way, Mays said this week during an interview at the Frankfurt auto show.

Mays points to the Mustang redesigns introduced in 2005 and 2010: “Both of those cars everybody would say, ‘they are retro vehicles.’ ”

But Mays said the next-generation Mustang will follow a different road.

“The challenge or the opportunity for 2014 with a 50th anniversary car is to not just look back over your shoulder, but to try to win all of the Mustang faithful yet bring the brand forward as well,” he says.

“It has to look like a Mustang. But you go down a list of things that might or might not be necessary to make the car look like a Mustang.”

The bottom line: The car arriving for 2014 will be a fresh, new interpretation to “Mustang” and a car that just might catch the eye of a new group of buyers.¬¬

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