Why did Ford rush the 2018 facelift?

101a

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No one mentioned the 13th gen F-150 which also came out in 2015 also had a 2018 refresh just like the Mustang?

I like the 2018 look a lot more. The old fog lights are off putting. The hood looks nicer lower. To each their own.

The problem I have is, Ford Performance. They don't have the engineering capabilities to use the 2018 refresh. They just don't have the prowess. The 2018+ GT 350 and the 2020 GT 500 stick out like a swore thumb. Really? You just couldn't do it? The Raptor gets the refresh but that's it?





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Having owned several Mustangs of the 80s 90 and 2000s. I would like to chime in.

First.. I owned a 15 and loved the styling and when the 18 came out the front clip did not do a lot for me. I, like others, said Ford was fixing what was not broken and doing too much. Fast foward to last January and I picked up my 19 and now the front clip had grown on me. I think the PP2 helped me get over my initial dislike of the 18 + front fascia (along with the digital dash and a few more ponies)


Secondly, I understand why Ford changes to keep the model fresh. Some of us lease cars and trade them in often or when the lease expires so we get the latest model and don’t have to worry about warranty expiring. it makes since for Ford will keep updating.


You are right OP..nothing wrong with the 15 to 17 clip. It Ford does the update to keep profits up and helps dealer hail the newest model year as improved or latest/greatest.
 

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@amk91 that was incredibly informative. I really appreciate you laying all of that out.

On a side note, I'm curious to see what powertrains they offer for the S650 in this march to electrification. With things like California's efforts to heavily reduce gas powered cars by 2025, it would be curious to see Ford not begin to consider the eventual demise of the V8 muscle car (much to my chagrin as a GT owner).
 

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No one mentioned the 13th gen F-150 which also came out in 2015 also had a 2018 refresh just like the Mustang?

I like the 2018 look a lot more. The old fog lights are off putting. The hood looks nicer lower. To each their own.

The problem I have is, Ford Performance. They don't have the engineering capabilities to use the 2018 refresh. They just don't have the prowess. The 2018+ GT 350 and the 2020 GT 500 stick out like a swore thumb. Really? You just couldn't do it? The Raptor gets the refresh but that's it?
The outgoing Raptor never got any visible refresh, so that's inaccurate. It arrived too late in cycle (January 2017), despite being finished design-wise in late 2013 (P552 Raptor design sign-off). Regular P552s hit dealers in December 2014.

  • 17FordRaptor_04_HR (1).jpg
(December 2014 Press Photo of 2017 Raptor Prototype)
  • 2_Truck_Raptors_Cliffs_Handheld_0005.jpg
    (Production-spec 2017 Raptor range)
  • maxresdefault (6).jpg
    (2020 MY Raptor 802A, end of the line)

I have no issue with Ford Performance retaining the front ends, when the original product design is that good (GT350/Raptor/GT500) and built on it, instead of making a caricature of it.

The 2018MY+ S550 front end is not as cohesive, but does the job in export spec, certain colors and with aftermarket improvements. 2015 looked elegant and appealed very well to conquest buyers because of it. 2018 car looks like it borrowed headlights from the Jaguar brand and lost any elegance it had, unless you remove USDM headlights.
ford_mustang_gt_50_years_13.jpeg
ford_mustang_gt_fastback_51.jpeg
aston_martin_v8_vantage_2011_blue_side_view_cars_speed-699093.jpg!d.jpg

It's really the 2018+ amber signals that ruin it for me and awkward bumper mounted lights.
2018-Ford-Mustang-GT-Performance-Pack-headlight.jpg

Mach 1 lower portion improved the front end for 2021. And so do the Euro clear signals on export cars 2018+.

ford_mustang_gt_fastback_564_020e01eb13180e24.jpg
(2018+ Export S550)

ford_mustang_2480.jpeg
ford_mustang_mach_1_50_0158015e0e1b0992.jpg


I could say more, but I won't, as it would need to be censored against pre-MCA vs post-MCA forum rules.

I hated the 2018-20 MY F-150 front end as well, which looks cartoonish. Raptor avoided that conundrum thankfully, as did GT350. 2021 is not remarkable either. J Mays did a great job on the pre-facelift stuff in the early 2010s, before Mr. Callum messed it up in mid-2010s.

023309658a2af12c53d93902b2e6f050.jpg
(2018 MY F-150, 2015 MY F-150 on bottom)

The 2013 Atlas Concept that Ford designed in 2012 was perfection and the 2018 truck should've been built on that for mid-cycle, instead of the cartoonish look they went with above.

ford_atlas_concept_78.jpg


There were other Ford refresh proposals that would've been better looking and much cleaner than what he settled on for each model (including 2017 Fusion). Thankfully they got the Broncos right and hopefully didn't mess up the next Raptor.


Secondly, 13th generation F-150 and 6th generation Mustang were deliberately aligned in terms of launch, as were the 2004 F-150/2005 Mustang and 2009 F-150/2010 Mustang.

S550 had Job 1 about 3 months (August) before P552 F-150 (November) in 2014 and both refreshes for 2018 were quickly designed (as in finalized) in latter 2015. The new 2021 F-150 is almost parallel in execution to what 2023 Mustang is, except just faster to market.

The idea was just to modernize both F-Series and Mustang for 2015 as best as possible, with newer SYNC, keyless access/start, revised Coyotes, and make them high tech in general, which hit the mark for me on debut in 2014.
 

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The problem I have is, Ford Performance. They don't have the engineering capabilities to use the 2018 refresh. They just don't have the prowess. The 2018+ GT 350 and the 2020 GT 500 stick out like a swore thumb. Really? You just couldn't do it? The Raptor gets the refresh but that's it?
LOL. I don't think it's a big engineering feat to design a different bumper. Ford chose to go in a different direction with the the 2020 GT500. Fine with me.
 

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Yeah, I came here to post the usual conclusion of these threads:

People have a preference for the MY/Style they personally own. End of discussion. I've never seen an 18+ owner say they prefer the 15-17's and vice-versa.
I'll go on record too: I prefer the front end of the '15-17's. No regrets on buying a 2020 but that really comes down to the Gen 3 coyote. The rear of the 2018+s is a solid improvement, despite me replacing the tails a week after buying.
 

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Why did it come so early? Why is it running so long? Well, there are deep reasons which @Ace and one other person did a good job of trying to explain why it has such a long run.

What does annoy me in this thread that I see multiple reasons that don't jive with the reality of how and why the refresh arrived for MY 2018. All I just see is how "great it was" or why "it was so bad".

I don't like it (outside of dark colors w/dark wheels) and wished I could afford a later GT350, but that's life. Forum management want to keep the peace, but I still don't like it and feel they really should've done a much better job, plus been more consistent with product cadence in terms of keeping it fresh.

It's funny how the performance models retained the original headlights and 2021 Mach 1 cleaned up many issues I had. Too bad it's not for the whole lineup for 2021 and 2022.:crying::thumbsdown::thumbsdown:




Most importantly, people have to (try to) get some perspective honestly, before commenting on certain subjects. Jim Hackett messed up a lot of things decided by Mark Fields, choosing to focus resources elsewhere. It wasn't supposed to run this long after the 2018 update.

I don't even work for Ford and never have, but I do my damndest to understand how and why things come together. By connecting with people who do and/or having a listening ear for what they state. I'm sure many of us do the same, but often don't say much.

Back in mid-2009, this S550 generation went into development after they released the 2010 S197 update and roughly 5 years after S197 2004 introduction.
2015-Ford-Mustang-Design-Story-720x540.jpg
03-2015-Ford-Mustang-Concept-Model-3D-Rendering-01-720x466.jpg

(2009-2010 S550 Program Sketches & Proposals)

The S550 2009 plan had actually been to release it in the spring of 2014. They were supposed to wrap up styling work in 2011 and then lock it in by early 2012, to leave 2 years to fully engineer & test before Job 1 in February 2012, for April 2014 launch.

Things slipped, that it became a fall 2014 launch instead (yet 2014.5 rumor stayed):

Production S550 Interior was locked in by June 2012 (after early 2012 theme approval), while S550 exterior tweaks continued until around December 1, 2012 (final freeze).​

Before that, the Definitive S550 exterior design was set in January 2012 (below) as "Theme A", now unifying both front and rear passenger windows with black B pillar.
04-2015-Ford-Mustang-Design-Theme-Comparison-Profile (1).jpg

(January 2012 S550 Final Design Competition)

As you can see, it still wasn't quite done.

Thus, S550 got more tweaks into summer 2012, now being a dead ringer for the production car, then onto full-on feasibility sign-off after Thanksgiving 2012 (entered production 20.5 months later).

Before that "design freeze", we heard about a September 2012 customer clinic leaking details of the new design.

unnamed (29).jpg
2015-Ford-Mustang-Carscoop53.jpg

(Speculative renderings - October 2012)

That's why we originally heard 2014.5 rumors (hampered by delayed sign-offs, as 14-15 months isn't enough to work with between 2012-14).

Ford Design teams nowadays (21st Century) rarely spend 3 years* designing any car, which left the S550 to be one of the rare few models with that privilege (2009-2012), due to delays. A lot of cars at Ford probably only take 1.5 years* to design at most from start to finish, with more major stuff taking 2 full years +/-.
*Refers to the period between first ideas/sketches to final design proposal mockup in life-size.


I made a post explaining the 2018 vs 2021 planning aspect several months ago, but as usual it was ignored in favor of usual forum fluff. I made mention of it, to explain how, why, and when.

I also said way back in June 2014, that Ford was already starting work on the facelift S550 for 2018. I had paid close attention to one sole interview out of many given by designer Kemal Curic, who pointed out he was already working on the facelifted car.

Since S550 wasn't on sale yet, I pretty much got, reasonable responses, but too many "ur jumping the gun" or "who cares, ur just 2 bored to wait & already talking about 2025..." style responses.

In addition to enjoying my car, I just like to be ahead of what's coming down the road, so I predicted a 2018 facelift (not 2020) and 7-8 year S550 life cycle, more in line with "One Ford" at the time of global models with shorter life cycles and quicker refreshes and redesigns as desired by Alan Mulally (Ford CEO 2006-14).

I referred to my 2014 expectation of a redesign for MY 2022 or 2023 in the years 2021-22 and dismissed the expectation S550 would traditionally have a 10-11 year run like SN95 and S197.

In 2014, very few people would even predict that correctly. A few wise people at least cosigned that prediction, but most here panned it and claimed "NO CHANGES TILL 2020, CUZ tradition with 1999/2010". Or essentially "WTF are you talking about?"

I pretty much stopped posting here at that point (and lurked), until I ordered my own car in 2017.

Some people on here wisely stated (in 2015), a newer Coyote with around 460-465 horsepower in the cards for 2017-18 was coming, but didn't how right there were LOL. Everyone who said that, were damn right on it LOL, but little did we expect how long it would remain unchanged beyond its intro.




The real story is:

  • Under both Mulally and Fields respectively as of 2014 (when S550 was launched), Ford indeed planned to redesign the Mustang for 2023 as S650 and refresh S550 twice before that. First S550 refresh in late 2017, followed by 2nd refresh in 2020, and then S650 redesign in the year of 2022.

  • What happened? Mark Fields pulled the S650 program forward to MY2021 by early 2016, when his brainchild CD6 modular architecture for Lincoln & Ford icons, took priority and he wanted every vehicle associated with it, to be prioritized.

  • This meant a shift in S650 production start date by 2 years, from May 2022 to May 2020 (changed to December).

  • CD6 S650 then eliminated the need for a 2021MY S550 minor refresh (like 2013MY), as the 2018MY changes would only last under 3 years through summer 2020 and not 4-5 years.

  • As Fields made these decisions, I am 100% that S550 engineers had already dialed in the new exterior by early 2016 and planned to have it out by fall of 2017. S550 II was too far along to push back beyond Q4 2017. Thus a 2020 half-gen was unnecessary (ie 1999, 2010).

  • Usually Ford MCE facelifts are internally designed /done by 1.5 to 2 years out. The mules running around in late 2015, highlight they were testing some aspects of it already. Many of us suspected it, even if I didn't comment then.
  • Mustang-1.jpg
  • Mustang-6.jpg
  • First shots of heavily 2018 prototypes appeared on streets in September 2016, ahead of December 2017 showroom launch.
    • ford-mustang-facelift_2.jpg
  • Basically between early 2014 and fall 2015, the 2018 model was designed and approved. That's record timing, to have a refresh finished just 1 year after generation intro, but not unheard of at Ford for the Mustang.
    • 2018_ford_mustang_22_1024x768.jpg
      (2015 Theme B Proposal S550 MCA MY2018)
    • 2018_ford_mustang_21.jpg
      (2015 Theme B Proposal S550 MCA Sketch MY2018)

  • The S197 was released in October 2004 as a 2005, based on a design brief completed in late 2001 and drafted in 1999. The 2003 S197 concept was a bait & switch preview, because Ford knew since 2001 the real deal was much more mundane for feasibility and dolled up the preview concept.

  • By September 2005, Ford had already finished what they intended to be the "2009 Mustang", scheduled for mid-late 2008.They started working on it sometime in the second half of 2004, right before the '05 even hit showrooms.
    • e245434a505a7441a83bf37a249813cc.jpg
      12b43669407e6c842ed264309fc7cd53.jpg
      (S197 Design Mockups 2005 & Mar 2006)
  • Due to some minor delays in 2006, updated S197 was instead introduced in March 2009 as a 2010 model and the Coyote & 3.7 got delayed too, into Spring 2010 for 2011.
    • 2010_00062_01.jpg
      (Production 2010 Mustang V6)
  • In 2009, Ford yet again began both further work on S197 (for early 2012 intro) and the S550 program itself. Those extra S197 changes were finalized in summer of 2010 and became the 2013MY S197 minor refresh, debuting at 2011 LAIAS in Nov 2011 before hitting lots in March 2012. The '13 changes previewed design direction of S550 on purpose.
    • 2013-ford-mustang-debuts-at-la-auto-show-news-car-and-driver-photo-429207-s-original.jpg
      (2013 MY Mustang GT Conv.)

Anyway, just like in the late 90s RWD DEW98, the 2016 Ford internal plan under Mark Fields and Bill Ford, became to introduce a litany of new CD6 vehicles between 2019 and 2021, RWD and some FWD D6 cars. Among all these was the 2021 Mustang, as desired by Mark Fields. Why? Profitability margins. RWD Lincolns and upper end Fords make $$$.

As of October 2016, the S650 was scheduled for Tuesday, December 1, 2020 Job 1 and was due to enter showrooms in February 2021 as a 2021 model. This is why we heard about "hybrid Mustang by 2020" for so long.

Well, CEO Mark Fields was "convinced" to resign in May 2017 and very quickly, the CD6 S650 which had been on target to get final styling approval later on in 2017 (ahead of late 2020 Job 1) as the '18 cars hit the dealers, was quietly killed by new CEO Jim Hackett and many other projects, to fund higher margin stuff (Mach E, Bronco, etc)

Since S650 would've been all-new, it probably needed some 3 years to go from final styling mockup to production. Hackett ensured at that point in 2017, it become a 2022 heavy facelift model for 2021 intro and no longer CD6, so they wouldn't have to commit serious funds right away.

People on this forum told us this (@Ghostrealm and etc) in early 2018, but many people (including me) didn't listen or want believe Hackett had canned the CD6 Mustang.

Sometime in 2019, it became a 2023 model in spring 2022 and now this placed it at 4.5 years since 2018 update.

When I got a hint from a relative at Ford back in January, I went searching for S650 and stumbled on a LinkedIn job application.

On that, I found the 2023 MY designation and put to rest what seemed to be a mystery about "when to expect it". Which is why all those news outlets, who couldn't figure shit out, now use that LinkedIn info for clickbait and many didn't give this forum any credit. Yet, still falsely claim its CD6.:facepalm:

S650 is also not what the 2010 was to the 2009 Mustang, but it's definitely evolutionary for obvious reasons.

I am not buying the "till 2030" redesign plans and will see what happens, because 2025-26 had been thrown around for a very long time (2017 to 2020), for a 99-100% new car on CD6.

S650 is supposed to be a stopgap, so 8 years is too much. By 2030, CD6 will be 11 years old! Why put an all-new Mustang on an 11 year old architecture? No one even knows what the market will be like by 2025, let alone 2030, to be certain what is possible for Mustang as it is now. A RWD, unibody pony car with a V8.

All I know to be credible, is the 2023 model year redesign and no more. By 2030, the underlying D2C basis will be 26 years old (like Fox) and possibly even 31 years old, if you count the 1999 Jag/Lincoln LS DEW98 bits.
2005_mustang_08.jpg

(S197 Chassis)


If not for stupid Jim Hackett's penny pinching and short term stock-raising tricks 3 years ago, we would've had our first 100% new Mustang in 16 years, entering production 2 DAYS AGO and in our driveways by February/March!

Instead we get another redone D2C/D5 platform basis car for the billionth time in 2 MORE years, being kind of like what the 1994 Fox-4 Mustang was to 1993 Mustang (Fox-2).

I read that they were gonna do a lot with CD6, aka D6R. Yet, we only got Explorer and Aviator in the end. The 5 RWD Lincolns on CD6, only became 1 Aviator. And no Mustang.

The S550 and S197 are very similar for a reason, as will be S650. It is not even an actual CD6 car, like so many people keep falsely repeating and ignoring those of us who correctly state otherwise.

ford-sculpture-front.jpg

Thank you. Don't ever stop posting here!

Yet another informative and insightful post. Forum members..........listen to this man!


One point. The rumors of the 8 year model cycle for S650 seemed to come from leaked information sent to suppliers. I'm assuming said supplies get this information in the form of contracts for parts and I'd also assume those contracts would state the timescales involved. Whether that would include information on the rumored first facelift for the '26MY, I've no idea, but that's what Automotive news reported (and I think they were the source of this information, which was then picked up by multiple websites). I do agree though, a further 5 years ('26-'30) on the current (albeit heavily modified architecture) does seem crazy. But your explanation on project changes and delays, above, would lead me to expect it's quite possible Ford will take this route. Perhaps with Jim Farley in charge, things will improve for Mustang.


https://www.autonews.com/cars-concepts/next-gen-mustang-gets-8-year-life-cycle

"Suppliers have been told that annual production volume for the next-gen pony car will tally just under 100,000 vehicles a year: Coupe volumes are projected at 77,000, and up to an additional 20,000 convertibles are planned, suppliers say.

The vehicle is scheduled for a freshening in 2025, suppliers have been told."
 

torqued

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Secondly, I understand why Ford changes to keep the model fresh. Some of us lease cars and trade them in often or when the lease expires so we get the latest model and don’t have to worry about warranty expiring. it makes since for Ford will keep updating.
In Australia there's no leasing available for the general consumer. It's only possible to do in certain cases through your employer, or if you're self-employed, and in those cases it's called a novated lease. It's confusing and I don't know very much about it. I always pay cash for my cars (no financing, no complications).

By the way, why does Ford India still list the pre-facelift Mustang on their website?

https://www.india.ford.com/cars/mustang/

Interestingly, the Indian Mustang GT only has 395 hp because it's de-tuned to run on the cheapest grade of fuel.
 
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ice445

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That's not the only incandescent lol. The side markers are too, as are most of the interior lights like the dome/map lights. I get what you're saying though, I swapped an LED in there as one of the first things I did. The reverse light is just for legal compliance though, it does basically nothing as far as actually lighting your way. The brake lights on the other hand...those are brighter than the sun so I just ride my brakes enough to light them while I back up if it's really dark out. Ez
 
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Is the rear fog light LED now? On my 2017, it's not, nor are the front fogs.
 

ice445

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I think they everyone with an 18+ who's come out of the woodwork to tell me that they prefer the 15-17 front end is just really excited at the prospect that I might call them all unicorns :cwl:
18+ is the superior flavor of ice cream, people just like to prove you wrong for some reason lol
 

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