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No More Retro as Mustang Prepares to Turn 50

New pony car reportedly will echo styling of Evos concept as it goes global.

by on Apr.16, 2012

Are you the 50th anniversary Mustang? A rendering by artist Sean Smith blends classic pony car cues with Ford's Evos concept. Used with permission of

Has retro finally run its course?  Much like Hollywood studios, automakers like to bet on sure things, and showrooms have plenty of examples of how everything old can become new again, like the latest reincarnation of the Volkswagen Beetle, and the revival of the Chevrolet Camaro.

But Ford, which scored a huge hit with the old-is-new ’94 Mustang remake, and which subsequently created a studio specifically to develop more retro design opportunities, is apparently ready to step into the future.

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An all-new version of the original pony car – dubbed Mustang III by Ford insiders – will debut just in time for the nameplate’s 50th anniversary, in mid-2014.  And it will have a lot more in common with the widely acclaimed Evos concept that Ford unveiled last autumn than with the current Mustang.

And the changes will be far more than skin deep.  Reflecting both the desire to start marketing Mustang beyond North American shores, as well as the need to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy standards, insiders report the new model will offer an array of advanced high-mileage engines.


Chevy Takes Aim at Mustang with New ZL1

Fast, faster, fastest.

by on Sep.12, 2011

Chevy takes aim at the Mustang Shelby GT with the new 580-hp Camaro ZL1.

It’s been a quarter century since Chevrolet last held the lead in the pony car race and it’s ready to up the horsepower count to keep its lead over its perennial rival, the Ford Mustang.

The trick to remaining king-of-the-hill, Chevy planners recognize, is to keep a steady stream of updates to the recently revised Camaro.  So, we’ve already seen the addition of a ragtop and now comes the ZL1.  While Chevy gave us a peek at the high, higher, highest-performance version of the Camaro line-up a few months back, the maker is now giving us some official numbers.  And they aren’t going to make the folks at Ford happy.

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When it hits showrooms sometime in the mid-2012 model-year the Camaro ZL1’s 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 will make a jaw-dropping 580 horsepower and 556 lb-ft of torque.  That’s aimed “right between the eyes” of the 550-horsepower Mustang Shelby GT, noted Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser.


First Look: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Heating up the pony car wars with the fastest Camaro ever.

by on Feb.09, 2011

Chevrolet rolls out the fastest, most powerful Camaro ever , the 2012 ZL1, at the Chicago Auto Show.

Chevy is adding a little more muscle to the pony car wars by bringing back the once-formidable Camaro ZL1.

The General Motors division rocked the market when its reborn Camaro outsold the Ford Mustang, last year, for the first time in a quarter century.  But GM officials admit it won’t be easy to keep that momentum going – not without broadening the Camaro line-up.

The long-delayed Chevrolet Camaro Convertible is about to go on sale.  (For a review, Click Here.) Now comes the 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1, which is making its debut at the Chicago Auto Show.

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Ed Welburn, GM’s vice president of design, recalled how the original Camaro ZL1 became an instant classic when it first appeared in the late 1960s.  The hope is to repeat that success with the new car.

“The 2012 ZL1 will be the most technically advanced Camaro every built by GM,” Welburn said, during the GM press conference.  “The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology,” added Welburn, who said the car will be rolling into Chevy showrooms next January.


New King in the Pony Car Wars

Camaro trounces Mustang for the first time since 1985.

by on Jan.05, 2011

The winner and new champion...

The automotive equivalent of the Hatfields versus the McCoys has been roundly resolved – at least for the moment, anyway.

For the first time since 1985, the Chevrolet Camaro has trounced its cross-town rival in the pony car wars, the Ford Mustang.

But who’ll take the crown this year is anything but certain.  Both clans are arming themselves for another shoot-out.  Chevrolet is readying the long-delayed Camaro Convertible, while Ford not only has the big Boss 302 on tap, but also a pair of new powertrains for both the base and Mustang GT models.

Competition, it’s often said, improves everyone’s game.  That assessment was questionable for many years.  While Ford firmed up its hold on the pony car segment, Chevy and now-abandoned Pontiac seemed to be just going through the motions for many years, finally calling it quits and pulling their Camaro and Firebird twins from the market, a decade ago.


December Car Sales Promise “Robust Finish” For 2010

Preliminary numbers “significantly beating expectations.”

by on Dec.17, 2010

Unstoppable? The Chevy Camaro is set to outpace the Ford Mustang for the first time since 1978.

Deck the halls … and clear out the garage.  December is normally one of the weaker months of the year when it comes to car sales, consumers typically focusing on gifts small enough to fit under the tree.  But preliminary signs suggest that, this year, recession weary buyers are spending big, with car sales “significantly beating expectations,” according to J.D. Power and Associates.

Through the first two weeks of the month, dealers tracked by the California-based research firm report that December could, in fact, bring the best retail sales numbers of 2010, an annualized sales rate of 10.8 million.

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Noting that, “Retail transactions are the most accurate measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles,” Power analysts said that if trends hold, December retail sales will come in at 936,300 cars, trucks and crossovers, a 19% increase from year-ago levels.  That would be a “robust finish for 2010,” according to Jeff Schuster, Power’s executive director of global forecasting.

“Even with the possibility that sales in the third week of December may be affected by the recent winter storms, the strength in sales during the second week is expected to continue through the rest of the month,” said Schuster. “As a result, it appears that 2010 will end on a high note.”


First Drive: 2011 Ford Mustang GT and Mustang V6

Shoot Out at the Pony Car Corral.

by on Mar.29, 2010

Like a rock? Ford weighs in for 2011 with rock-solid new engines for the Mustang and Mustang GT.

It’s easy being sherriff when you’re the only gunslinger in town.  But ever since the Camaro rolled back into town, last year, there’s been a real shoot-out in the pony car corral, and for the first time in nearly a quarter century, Mustang has been outgunned.

Chevrolet’s reborn muscle car has garnered all sorts of accolades for its styling, power and performance – and even won over skeptics with the sort of fuel economy you never used to associate with the pony car segment.  Add the appeal of being the new kid in town, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise Ford is suddenly on the run. (See “Camaro Kicks Mustang’s Derriere Again,” by clicking here.)

But the Dearborn maker is armed and dangerous, and will show its willingness to duel when the 2011 Ford Mustang and Mustang GT gallop into showrooms later this year.  And this time, Ford is drawing both a six-shooter and an eight, delivering a pair of powertrains that could put it back in charge again.

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“Outselling Camaro is a huge motivation,” admits Amy Marentec, marketing director for the 2011 Ford Mustang.