Generally speaking, cars and trucks get lighter with age as new generations take advantage of innovative materials that help keep weight down even as more features are added to the car. Case in point: Ford’s (NYSE:F) new F-150 pickup is expected to save in the neighborhood of 700 pounds by swapping out its steel body for an aluminum one.
However, Ford’s other high-profile release this year, the 2015 Mustang, may not be so lucky. Whispers are going around that instead of shedding weight (the “enemy of performance”), the new Mustang actually put on about 200 to 300 pounds. That’s the word from Steeda Autosports, a Ford-themed tuner that is, as a result, quite familiar with the popular muscle car.
Though it’s uncertain how Steeda determined this, the tuner likely got its hands on an advanced model, as the Mustang is not yet available to the general public for research and design purposes. The official weight of the car has not been disclosed by Ford.
The report, if verified, could be disappointing to Mustang enthusiasts and avid drivers who use their Mustangs for more than just daily to-and-from transportation. Competition in the Mustang’s segment has never been more intense, as Chevrolet and Dodge have both unveiled new, envelope-pushing versions of their more road-going pony cars (the Camaro Z/28 and the Challenger Hellcat, respectively).
Will the weight gain render the Mustang uncompetitive? No, of course not. If the reported increase proves to be true, it will depend largely on how the weight is applied and distributed. A portion of that weight will likely come from the Mustang’s new independent rear-suspension setup; there’s also new safety equipment, and there’s now more technology than ever seen before in the model. So without some major changes to the materials used to construct the car (which as far as we know didn’t happen), it’s not a huge surprise that the car might have put on some added pounds.
However, in August, Edmunds reported that the 2015 Mustang “may be about 400 pounds less” than the current 2014 model, citing sources “familiar” with the new car. “That car will be around for 8 to 10 years so it has to meet anticipated regulatory requirements for that long period of time,” the source said, referring to the increasing efficiency demands for new cars.
That speculation is subject to change, though, and probably will, considering the new information from Steeda. Though the Mustang might have picked up some pounds with the new rear suspension and safety features, there are other opportunities for weight savings that could help offset at least a part of the rumored gains.
What would a gain mean for Ford? In its spec sheet, Ford’s horsepower and torque figures were peppered with “at least” and “more than” phrasing that would imply that the new car would see a power bump over its predecessor. How much remains to be seen, but even the base model will boast over 300 horsepower. Regardless, if the vehicle ends up putting on a few pounds and it bothers you that much (though we feel like the vast majority won’t even notice), then there are always firms like Steeda that will carry a deluge of weight-saving products for your new whip.