By Theodore Opara
Mr. Joel Piaskowski, head of the team that redesigned the all-new Ford Mustang, has described the iconic sports car as the best job by his team so far, having worked in leading automobile companies across continents. The Mustang, which took the motoring world by storm when it was introduced into the market 50 years ago, has metamorphosed into one of the most powerful sport cars in the market at the moment with the creativity of Piaskowski and his team.
In Cape Town, South Africa, late last year, Vanguard Motoring had a chat with Piaskowski at a dinner in The Bay Hotel in Camp Bay, and his excitement knew no bounds as he explained how they created what people now describe as a perfect sports car. Piaskowski brought his wealth of experience in automobile designing from across three continents to bear in redesigning the new Mustang.
Having worked in General Motors, Hyundai Motors and Mercedes-Benz, Piaskowski noted that redesigning the Mustang was challenging and yet very exciting with the backing of his team, who set out to surpass the expectations of Mustang lovers the world over. He said he had done several designs in the past in leading auto companies, but that the Mustang was quite outstanding in every sense. “One of the best jobs I did with a dedicated team is the Mustang,” he said, taking time to explain the creativity and technology that gave life to the new Ford Mustang.
Its qualities, values
The new Ford Mustang, he explained is very fast and fun to drive no matter the engine you settle for: whether 2.3 litre Ecoboost or 5.0 litre V8 engine. Even with 50 years between the first edition and the current model, Piaskowski said you could always notice the connection between the old and latest Mustang.
According to him, “the first challenge was how can we create this car and bring in more customers? We agreed it must be a special car, having realised that there is raw passion for what Mustang meant to its customers, hence we came up with a Mustang with amazing value— great performance, styling, modern technology and yet competitively priced. “We targeted Mustang customers whose passion for Mustang has no comparison, and the result is the new Mustang that meets expectations of our customers.”
Piaskowski has this to say about the design of the new Mustang: “The clean-sheet design of the Ford Mustang Fastback and Convertible evokes the essential character of the vehicle, retaining key design elements of the classic Mustangs recognisable to car fans across the world, including the long-sculpted hood and short rear deck, with a contemporary execution.
“Several key design features define the new Ford Mustang, including its low roof height and wide stance, the sleek profile enabled by the steeply sloped windshield and rear glass; the contemporary execution of the iconic car’s signature trapezoidal grille and shark-bite front fascia, plus the famous three-dimensional tri-bar tail lamps.
“Ford Mustang Convertible drivers will appreciate the standard multilayer insulated cloth top that gives the car an upscale appearance and a quiet cabin. The top has a sleek profile when folded for sunsoaked open-air motoring. “Large, clear instrumentation puts vehicle information right in front of the driver in the roomy cabin with an aviation-inspired cockpit, while ergonomic and tactile switches and knobs provide intuitive control.
“The vehicle’s width and sophisticated rear suspension contribute to impressive shoulder and hip room for passengers and a usefully shaped boot space that can accommodate two golf bags. “The way Ford Mustang looks, drives and sound is key to the visceral experience. The Mustang offers outstanding power options and an advanced chassis designed to meet the expectations of the most demanding drivers.
“Ford’s acclaimed 5.0 litre V8 engine employs sequential multiport electronic fuel injection and variable camshaft timing to produce a hefty 435HP along with a thunderous 400ib-ft of torque. “This enables the Mustang 5.0 V8 GT Fastback Manual to sprint from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.8seconds.” The design chief further noted that the line-up includes the all new 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine that brings state-of-the-art technology to Mustang, delivering turbocharged performance with outstanding fuel efficiency.
This ground-breaking engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to deliver impressive all-round performance with 310HP and 320 lb-ft of torque— sufficient to achieve a remarkable 0-100km/h time of 5.8 sec for the 2.3EcoBoost Fastback Manual. He added: “All three engines can be specified with a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission in Fastback guise, or the option of the six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission (Fastback and Convertible). “Combined with race car-inspired paddle-shifters on the steering wheel, the automatic gearbox delivers superb convenience and ultimate control.”