What do you do when your product’s character derives from a particular look? Here’s how Ford revised the Mustang for 2015.
The overall change is that Ford have accentuated the horizontal character of the vehicle, front to back. While the old car looked more brutal and Aston-Martin-esque, the new one has smoother blends, and the two features that interrupted the front-to-rear flow are gone: the heavy B-pillar and the J-shaped scallop. At the front the lamps are slimmer and wrap around to the sides, again stressing horizontality and width. I think the previous car looked more masculine and robust. The new one loses some of that in the name of flow.
In a sense there is not much you can do with a re-design if you have to maintain generation to generation visual continuity. The main elements are retained but all adjusted within limits. The same kind of thing has happened with the Audi TT and the Golf. The Mustang isn’t only about a package and a certain type of performance. The customers also want the look. And the catch with this is that signalling change can be difficult. Too much and the customers go away, and if the look is the same the critics criticise the conservatism.