Ford unveils revamped Mustang for 2010

Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:10am EST
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By David Bailey

DETROIT (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co unveiled a new version of its iconic Mustang sports car on Tuesday with an exterior that differs in every way from its predecessor, except for the roof panel.

Ford expects significant fuel economy improvements with the 2010 Mustang GT and improved horsepower over the current version that gets about 22 miles per gallon on the highway. But it will still be gas-thirsty.

Ford and fellow U.S. automakers General Motors Corp and Chrysler -- which is owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP -- were in Washington on Tuesday to plead for a $25 billion U.S. government bailout package.

Detroit's Big Three have suffered plunging auto sales as consumers have abandoned their bigger, gas-guzzling sports-utility vehicles, pickup trucks and minivans. The credit crunch has further hurt sales, as many consumers have found auto loans increasingly hard to obtain.

But Ford's unveiling of the Mustang, ahead of an auto show in Los Angeles, was a sign that at least one of the three major U.S. automakers was pushing ahead with its basic program of building cars.

The new Mustang, a 2010 model year revamp from the Pony emblem on the front to sequential turn signals on the rear taillights, brings modern touches to the last major redesign that brought back familiar shapes from its 1960s origins.

"The design is very recognizable as a Mustang and yet everything is new," said Peter Horbury, Ford's executive director of design for the Americas.

"You ought to be able to see this car 100 yards down the road at night and know what it is," Mustang chief designer Doug Gafka said.   Continued...

<p>Car enthusiasts look at Ford's 2010 Mustang at an unveiling in Santa Monica, California November 18, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser</p>