Pony Car Wars – 2015 Mustang Mule

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Though covered to the extreme, the photo does show some of Mustang’s plans for the 2015 model.

It takes from two to four years to develop a completely new car for production, and automakers like to pretend they can do it faster than others can. The process takes place in steps, with early prototypes using selected future-car chassis parts and body sections in current model mules. Later, as full body metal is developed and approved, finished cars – fully disguised by paint patterns or canvas – appear for testing.

The 2015 Mustang caught in this photo is in what you might call the late “pupa stage” – completely developed but not quite ready for testing on the road.

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Ford had plans more than a decade ago to use a common rear-drive platform for the Australian Falcon and the Mustang and a rwd Lincoln, but never pulled it off.

Though covered to the extreme, the photo does show some of Mustang’s plans for the ’15 model. Those high-mounted headlights are a departure from today’s recessed-in-the-intake scoop locations.

At the rear, the taillights also appear set higher in trunk lid. That split five-spoke wheel design could be a new feature too. In addition, is that an air exhaust port on the top left of the front fender? Note that the production bumpers are missing both front and rear.

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Here’s the rumored Mustang IRS on a prototype.

We cannot quite see the rear suspension, but reports have it that the new model will ride on independent rear suspension for the first time to counter the Camaro.

This chrysalis Mustang is expected to emerge in full elegance – undisguised – sometime in late 2014, but you can bet Ford will release a variety of teaser photos before then.

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