After a number of presentations to Ford board members, the first prototype 1962 Mustang I was produced. It was a mid-engine two-seat roadster, named after the legendary World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane. On October 7th 1962, race driver Dan Gurney drove the Mustang I prototype over the U. S. Grand Prix course at Watkins Glen, New York.
For 2010, Ford unveiled a redesigned Mustang prior to the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The 2010 Mustang remains on the D2C platform and mostly retains the previous-years drive train options. The Mustang received a thoroughly revised exterior, with only the roof panel being retained, that is sculpted for a leaner, more muscular appearance and better aerodynamic performance. There were 10 models available for the 2010 Mustang. For 2011, Ford revised all the current model engines. The engines feature advanced technologies such as Ti-VCT (twin independent variable cam timing). The Shelby GT500s 5.4L block is now made out of aluminum, instead of iron as in previous years, and is rated at 550 hp and 510 lb•ft of torque. Due to being made of aluminum instead of iron, the new block is 102 lb lighter than the old one, which helps to improve fuel economy, acceleration, handling, and steering precision. All models are available with either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission.
The 1973 OPEC oil embargo brought with it more stringent pollution laws and the desire for fuel-efficiency. This was also the first time in automotive history that the Big 3 were having to compete with imports. The new Mustang II was smaller than the first version but, due to the additional equipment required to meet new US emission and safety regulations, was heavier than the first model. Performance was reduced and in the first year only 385,993 cars were sold. Second generation Mustangs were available between 1974 and 1978 and available in a coupe and hatchback version.
Ford actually previewed the showroom model Mustang to a continuous flow of automotive reporters and buff book writers beginning in January 1964. Product information and photos provided by Ford were put under an embargo, meaning reporters agreed not to reveal full details until the official public introduction.
The official press release announced, "Styling and features of expensive European road cars are combined with American mass-production price, compact economy and traditional Ford quality in the Mustang - a new line of cars from Ford Division of Ford Motor Company."
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