Gallery: C&D “Leaks” 2015 Mustang Just Before Ford’s Release

2015 Ford Mustang Final C&D RenderingCar & Driver (C&D) Magazine has leaked their version of the 2015 Mustang, just a few months before Ford plans of unveiling the car. Not only that, but they’ve dropped a huge pile of insider knowledge and some of the juicy details surrounding the drivetrain options might come as a huge surprise to those who have been following the lead up to its release.


[Update: The 2015 Mustang has been revealed by Ford and has exclusive coverage of the whole unveiling, complete with specs, images and top-notch video.]


This is a deep, juicy and likely partially speculative article that has a ton of details about the 6th generation Mustang. We’ll break down the interior and exterior changes set to come, then go into the engines C&D is expecting for 2015.

Exterior & Interior Changes

Rear 2015 Mustang C&D Rendering

Exterior: The 2015 Mustang is going on a diet and you can expect at least “slightly smaller dimensions,” loosing more than a few inches in length, width and, most importantly, weight. The S550 could be up to 400lbs lighter than the S197. Taking into account the addition of a 4 cylinder to the Mustang’s herd, that much weight savings is likely to only be seen in the EcoBoosted 4-bangers–GT’s probably will see around half.

New Tail Lights: Said to be one of the most praised and unique changes is surprisingly the tail lights. A focus group member reported their “louvered” design way back in 2012 and we’ve seen 3D renderings from actual Ford CAD files that repeat this styling. Now, C&D had this to say:

“The rear end houses one of the neatest design features of the new Mustang. The car’s trademark taillight design with three vertical bars will continue but in the form of LED-lit transparent planes protruding from a concave surface set beneath the decklid. These lighting elements will illuminate sequentially, or course, when used for turn indication. ”

Air vents can also be seen on the rendering’s hood, giving the new Mustang a snarling, pissed off look that’s sure to fancy the tastes of more than a few enthusiasts(not to mention the functionality behind heat extracting vents).

Interior: More ambient lighting will give drivers a greater control over the interior ambiance while innovations and improvements to Ford’s MyFordTouch will be a welcomed change. The gauges and dash layout are going to stay similar to S197–probably close to what can be seen in the interior spy shots that recently surfaced. From the spy shots, it looks like Ford has nixed the rear seat headrests for greater vision, changed up the steering wheel and added paddle shifter. That’s right paddle shifters. Hopefully, Ford also plans to do away with much of the plastic interior parts that  have drawn more than a couple complaints over the years.

The Mustang’s future, at least in terms of powerplants, looks bright through Car&Driver’s eyes:

C&D leaked 2015 Mustang Rendering2.3L EcoBoost Turbo 4 Cylinder @ 310HP

– Return of Current 3.7L V6 @ 305 HP (base model)

Coyote Motor For The GT @ 500HP

EcoBoost V6 @ 400HP (not until 2017)

– Return of the GT500’s 5.8L Trinity Motor

Twin Turbo V8 Codenamed “Voodoo” @ 550-600HP (to replace the Trinity motor at some point after 2015)

Taking a look at these motors individually…

The 2015 Mustang’s 4 Cylinder EcoBoost Engine

2015 Mustang Front End Leak - Car & Driver

While C&D is claiming the EcoBoosted 4 cylinder will be 2.3L, we previously reported on a Car & Driver employee from Dearborn, MI who had stated it would be a 2.5L motor. Interestingly enough, the recent Ford survey sent to Mustang owners probing the 2015 Mustang’s options had a 2.4L 4 cylinder engine listed, and no 2.3 or 2.5L. What can we draw from all of this? Well, for one thing, there’s still a lot of conflicting information out there, even with the release set to be only a couple of months away.

At this point, the 4-banger’s displacement is rather negligible, regardless; C&D put the EcoBoost 4 cylinder at 310HP, Ford’s survey said 310HP and our previous report had it dialed in at 300HP. However you slice it, you’re getting a 300+ horsepower, turbocharged Mustang. The real question now is: Is this too far a deviation from the Mustang’s core roots and value, or is having another SVO (the last 4 cylinder Mustang was the 1986 SVO) Ford Mustang a good thing?

The Mustang’s Current 3.7L V6 and EcoBoost V6

As expected, the current base model Mustang’s 3.7L V6 will be back for 2015. Our previous report and the C&D article both have it pegged at 305HP (same as 2014). It’s worth noting the Ford survey had this engine listed as a 3.8L @ 300HP, but this was likely to throw off survey takers from the possibility they were being fed the 2015 Mustang’s drivetrain options.

The EcoBoosted V6 for the 2017 model year is an eye-catching detail for sure. For one, Ford certainly would have the capability to bump the 3.5L EcoBoost found in the Taurus SHO to that power level. Also, this is something we’ve heard as a future possibility from sources like the C&D employee in Dearborn and Automobile Magazine, and makes sense from a positioning standpoint. It will delver power that fits well between the EcoBoost 4 and Coyote V8 and when the N/A 3.7 is phased out, fits as a good middle ground engine.

The 5.8L Trinity and “Voodoo” Engines

No More 5.8L GT500 Trinity Motor

5.8L Trinity: Contrary to what C&D has said, numerous sources like Road and Track and The Truth About Cars have said the current GT500’s replacement is dropping the supercharged 5.8L Trinity engine all together. This is most likely do to the much tighter engine bay and hood clearance requirements (much of which was done so the Mustang could be sold in overseas markets)–it has even been said that Ford had a tough time installing the 5.0L Coyote motor on the S550 platform to begin with.

Voodoo – N/A 5.0-5.5L: There’s talk that the 5.8L could be replaced by a twin turbo Coyote variant that would push anywhere between 550-600 horses. C&D has this as the ShelbyGT350’s powerplant that will “eventually” replace the GT500 and Trinity motor in the 2015+ Mustangs.

A comfortable middle ground between the conflicting Car & Driver report and that of other various sources is to assume Ford is, in fact, dropping the Trinity motor for the 2015 MY (there has been strong words spoken about this motor not fitting in S550), but will replace it with this twin turbo “Voodoo” engine as the top offering. Taking that a step further, if Ford was to position Voodoo as a reincarnation of the SVT Cobra coming in 2015-2016 we’re told is retuning with the S550, that would put the GT350 as the perfect candidate for the Boss 302’s N/A replacement (afterall, the GT350 historically was a N/A car, and the SVT donned a power adder as standard in ’03/04). However, that leaves no room for the Mach 1’s return, so again, we’ll have to wait this one out and see what Ford has in store.


Written by Andrew

"You're telling me it's got four wheels, two seats and goes faster than the speed limit? Good, I'm driving."


  1. What’s the point of doing a V-6 return if the 4 banger has more power and is more economical?

    2.3L EcoBoost Turbo 4 Cylinder @ 310HP

    – Return of Current 3.7L V6 @ 305 HP (base model)


    1. If the write up is to believed the V6 will be getting the EcoBoost treatment too, but not until 2017. This seems silly to me. If you are introducing a 4-cyl with more HP than the V6, the V6 should get the ecoBoost as well at launch.

      But an ecoBoosted V6 would probably outsell the 4-cyl, so that might be a problem for 4-cyl sales.

      Its a good thing I won’t be in the market for a new mustang till 2017 anyway. I’m quite happy with my performance tuned 2012 V6 with CAI, X-pipe and Pypes axlebacks.


    2. The idea seems to be centered around 3 points: 1. Fuel economy of the 4 cylinder puts it at at least a slight premium over the V6 (saves weight, too)
      2. The 4 cylinder will probably have a greater ability to be tuned and will surely have a cult racing following (think about the last SVO)

      3. European sales depend of a lighter, more fuel efficient Mustang, even more so than the 3.7 can offer

      It is going to be interesting if the Ecoboost V6 pans out as well. Positioning it between the Eco 4 and GT is going to be tough.


      1. With the big jump in the coyote to ~500 hp it makes for a 170-190 hp gap to fit in. As far a price goes I also see the top end of the mustang line up going up significantly that should leave room for a ~400 hp 3.5 ecoboost


    3. While ecoboost engines provide good fuel economy and torque v6 engines provide quick throttle response as a non-turbo engine, low-bottom end torque and smoothness.


    4. 3.7L V6 might be couple grand less than 2.3L EcoBoost. Plus… I doubt 310hp.

      310hp / 2.3L = 134.7hp/L <—- going to happen with regular gasoline & kids beating under warrantee$$?

      SVO 365hp / 3.5L = 104.3hp/L
      GT500 662hp / 5.8L = 114.14hp/L
      using those numbers:
      2.3L x 104.3hp/L = 240hp
      2.3L x 114.14hp/L = 263hp
      rounded up to 120hp/L:
      2.3L x 120hp/L = 276hp

      I'd have an "Eco Mode" (low boost) giving 240hp & push one button on steering wheel for 276hp "Performance Mode" (high boost). Aftermarket could tune Performance Mode's ECU Boost, Fuel & Ignition maps. Leaving Eco Mode stock for emissions & daily driving. ** Hey, I can Dream **

      If you think my logic is flawed. Take this into consideration:
      305hp / 3.7L = 82.4hp/L
      412hp / 5.0L = 82.4hp/L

      Anyway I think:
      2.3L turbo: 276hp (120hp/L)
      3.7L V6: 333hp (90hp/L)
      5.0L V8: 450hp (90hp/L)
      5.0L V8 twin turbo: 600hp (120hp/L)


      1. You are failing to take into account the advancements they are making with the Ecoboost tech. Maybe a better number to look at is the Focus RS3 SL that has the 2.0L ecoboost putting out 305 hp.


      2. 2011 Focus RS 305PS are 5 cylinder 2.5L (2522 cm³)
        305ps = 300.8hp
        300.8hp / 2.5L = 120.3hp/L , pretty close to my number!
        *(Ford/Volvo 5 cylinder 2.5L is actually 2.522L or 119.3hp/L)

        Pat’s 305hp 2.0L Special:
        305hp / 2.0L = 152.5hp/L
        2.3L x 152.5L = 350.75hp/L

        If Mustang sells well, Ford of Europe, will most likely have high hp special edition I4 turbo model.
        I doubt US market will get the +$15k (need at least GT spec brakes & interior, plus bigger radiator & oil cooler, unique exhaust, LSD, etc..) / 340-360hp special edition. We’ll probably just order an aftermarket Ford Racing 300hp tuner kit for $950. Something simply like ECU re-flash, drop-in filter & exhaust. Then buy aftermarket performance brake pads & good to go.

        Actual price difference between engines:
        3.7L to 5.0L = $1,000 (F150 option)
        3.7L to 2.3L = $1,500? (crate 2.0 ecoboost $820 > V8)
        3.7L to 3.5L = $2,095 (F150 option)

        using 2013 price:
        V6: $22,995
        2.3L: $24,495? (w/V6 spec’d chassis & interior)
        2.3L: $26,900? (w/V6 & V8 mixed spec)
        V8: $30,900
        cost too much:
        2.3L: $31,400? (w/V8 spec’d chassis & interior)
        2.3L: $35,400? (+ Brembo, Recaro, basic Ford Racing suspension & LSD)
        2.3L: $36,900? (+ bigger turbo & injectors, tuning & exhaust)

        2014 estimate:
        V6: $23,495
        2.3L: $24,995? (w/V6 spec’d chassis & interior)
        2.3L: $28,400? (w/V6 & V8 mixed spec)
        V8: $32,900
        cost too much:
        2.3L: $33,400? (w/V8 spec’d chassis & interior)
        2.3L: $37,400? (+ Brembo, Recaro, basic Ford Racing suspension & LSD)
        2.3L: $38,900? (+ bigger turbo & injectors, tuning & exhaust

        It’s fun to speculate.


    5. 1) cost – they need to keep the low base price.
      2) I think the 310 hp is an under estimate for the 2.3 ecoboost. The is being developed by the RS team for the Focus RS in Europe and will likely be closer to 330 hp. The extra 25 hp and lower weight will give make it quicker and with better mileage to make it worth the extra cost for some.


  2. Looks like their plan in for more engine options. This makes sense since it will be offered globally now. Their line up is looking to be
    3.7 @ 305 hp (needed to keep low entry price point)
    2.3 ecoboost @ 320-330 (news from the RS team working on the 2.3 has more than 310)
    3.5 ecoboost @ ~400 hp
    5.0 coyote @ ~500 hp
    5.0 voodoo @ ~600 hp
    Don’t be surprised to see a Duratorq diesel being offered in Europe


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