Corrections & Clarifications: An earlier version of this story wasn’t clear on Mustang’s new engine option
Ford begins building the new version of one of its two most highly anticipated new models Thursday, the 2015 Mustang.
The first new-generation Mustang will officially roll off the line at Ford’s assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich., becoming the sixth incarnation of the iconic pony car.
Like its other big launch of the year, the aluminum-bodied F-150 pickup, Ford is taking its share of risks with the new Mustang. It is trying to make sure the car is thoroughly updated to win new customers without alienating the car’s traditional diehard fans. Updates include a new suspension and choice of engines, including one of its modern gas-saving 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged motor for the first time.
The updates could prove critical in trying to broaden the car’s appeal beyond North America, its traditional stronghold. Mustang will be sold in 120 countries, Ford says. It will even come in a new right-hand drive version for markets like the United Kingdom and South Africa.
“Mustang is and will continue to be an automotive icon,” says Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas, in a statement. “Expanding its availability globally affords our customers around the world the opportunity to have a true firsthand Mustang experience – one unlike any other.”
Ford says it has sold 9.2 million Mustangs in the 50 years it has been on sale.