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Ford's pony car to go on a massive diet according to a new report

Ford's iconic Mustang is due for a major redesign next year, which should give it some momentum against the Chevrolet Camaro, which has been outselling it in recent years (to be fair, the Mustang has clawed back in recent months). The new Mustang is supposed to gain a few new engines and an independent rear suspension.
However, a new report from Edmunds suggests that the new Mustang is also supposed to lose a lot as well -- namely a few hundred pounds from its curb weight. According to sources familiar with the 2015 Mustang, the vehicle will be a minimum of 400 pounds lighter than the current model.
Ford hopes to achieve this astonishing weight loss partially by trimming down the dimensions of the pony car. "The big thing is that it will be a 'smarter' size," said Edmunds' source for the 2015 Mustang information. The vehicle will feature shorter front and rear overhangs, trimming just over a foot off the overall length. The new Mustang is also reported to be about 6.5 inches narrower.

Computer rendering of a possible design direction for the 2015 Mustang
"They are going to use more aluminum, better structural engineering in terms of spot welds and so on and so forth, basically using less material and making it stronger," added the source.
A 2014 Mustang with 3.7-liter V6 engine and a 6-speed manual transmission weighs 3,501 pounds and is rated at 19/29 mpg (city/highway). Opting for the automatic transmission boosts the EPA rating to 19/31 (city/highway).
We previously reported that the 2015 Mustang is set to get a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine producing close to 300hp. There are also rumors that an EcoBoost V6 engine will join the existing 5.0-liter V8 engine in the lineup. All of the new engine options will be optimized to improve fuel economy in response to government CAFE mandates.

2015 Mustang test mule
The Mustang, however, isn't the only upcoming Ford model set to go on a serious diet. The best-selling F-150 could see a weight reduction of up to 700 pounds due to a greater use of aluminum and high-strength steel.

Source: Edmunds

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Finally we are seeing real engineering improvements
By Hulk on 8/14/2013 2:06:19 PM , Rating: 4
It's about time auto manufacturers started really getting serious about improving efficiency. Cutting weight is a great place to start as cars have been getting larger and heavier over the years. Time for a reset. Smaller sizes, more aluminum and composites yielding lower weight and better structural rigidity is a win-win when it comes to acceleration, handling, and mpg.

For those of you worried about safety fear not you will still be able to drive an M1A1 tank if you really want it.

One thing that does concern me is the race to the "Basking shark" that Ford and Mazda are engaged in styling-wise.

By Brandon Hill on 8/14/2013 2:21:37 PM , Rating: 3
Given the reduced dimensions, I can imagine this as a slightly larger and heavier BRZ/FR-S with a torquey V6 or V8...


By Voldenuit on 8/14/2013 3:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
The BRZ/FRS comparison will depend on the chassis and suspension tuning of the new Mustang.

The current Mustang is not a bad handler, more impressive that it actually handles decently with a live rear axle rather than being a good handler objectively.

The Fiesta ST is a great handler even with a twist beam rear suspension, though it's not up to FRS standards.

I think Ford has the talent and chops to make a great handling car, whether it's a priority to them for the market the Mustang serves is a different question.

People are right though that the runaway costs of new cars are driving millenials away from new car purchases, which doesn't bode well for the auto industry. All that aluminum and high strength steel and independent rear suspension won't come for free...

By KCjoker on 8/14/2013 8:17:37 PM , Rating: 2
They're getting rid of the live rear axle. And yes it does handle well do a youtube search on mustang gt vs bmw m3.

By Owls on 8/15/2013 11:23:10 PM , Rating: 2
done. and the gt gets destroyed. as it should by a 70k+ car.

By soccerballtux on 8/15/2013 11:09:01 PM , Rating: 5
millenials just fubar'd in general.
obscene college costs? check
still overpriced housing? check
weak labor market? check
labor market transitioning to part time to avoid employer mandate? check
not accounted for in unemployment statistics until
1. 25, and
2. have acquired a job, and lost it

By Flunk on 8/14/2013 3:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking more like a Hyundai Genesis competitor. The ~300 HP turbo 4 especially.

This actually brings the Mustang more into the range of car I would actually buy. Independent rear suspension? Check, Power? Check, Reasonable size? Check, Reasonable price? Here's hoping.

It sounds like Ford is really trying to build a car that younger people (not the 50+ crowd who buy for nostalgia) want to buy.

By M'n'M on 8/14/2013 4:27:40 PM , Rating: 2
I was thinking Z car competitor. Again a lot will depend on the "Track" model (or whatever it'll be called) tuning but at 2900-3000 lbs and a good V6 and revised steering ... I could see it.

By Spuke on 8/14/2013 3:43:14 PM , Rating: 1
Given the reduced dimensions, I can imagine this as a slightly larger and heavier BRZ/FR-S with a torquey V6 or V8... BOING!!!!!!
BOING is right!!!! Holy sh!t this will be one fast car! The present Mustang is a stellar handler if you read the reviews on it, especially in Boss 302 trim. This should be interesting. Can't wait till the tests.

By BRB29 on 8/15/2013 8:33:22 AM , Rating: 1
I'm still waiting for my 35MPG drag and track monster :)
.....and affordable!

Corvette or Mustang. Let's see who wins my money in 2 years.

By FITCamaro on 8/15/2013 8:43:36 AM , Rating: 3
The Corvette and Mustang are two completely different cars. They may come close in a straight line, but in terms of handling, the Mustang will never be what the Corvette is.

By BRB29 on 8/16/2013 7:29:47 AM , Rating: 1
That's why I'm waiting to see what Ford comes out with for the next generation. The current Mustang have improved handling substantially.

By FITCamaro on 8/14/2013 2:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
Because they weren't already as a result of higher fuel prices...

By FITCamaro on 8/14/2013 2:23:55 PM , Rating: 1
Also don't forget that the government standards are also driving many newer vehicles out of the realm of affordability of many people. Which then in turn hurts auto sales. The list of mandatory features today is utterly absurd.

By Brandon Hill on 8/14/2013 2:43:26 PM , Rating: 5
Please tell me, where are these "expensive" vehicles you're talking about?

Subcompact: Nissan Versa starts at $12,000

Compact: Most start at around $16,000

Midsize: Camry/Accord/Legacy/Mazda6/etc. all start around $21,000

Compact Crossover: Start at around $19,000 to $21,000

Midsize Crossover: Start around $26,000

Fullsize Pickup: You can get a base full-size pickup for $20k-ish or lower after incentives

And most vehicles today come loaded with features. Of course, you can jack up the price if you want options on these things, but it doesn't seem that pricing is out of line with new cars.

By hubb1e on 8/14/2013 2:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
You make a good point. Cars are pretty inexpensive in the US. It's the gas that adds up. But it's difficult to argue that government mandates aren't raising prices on cars. For example the Tata Nano is devoid of our safety regulations and it's dirt cheap. Nobody in this country should buy one because a used car would be better and safer and just as cheap, but it IS cheaper to buy new.

I'd also argue that increased prices on gas has had more impact on the increasing fuel efficiency of cars than CAFE has. But that's a hard one to prove.

By Nagorak on 8/16/2013 6:31:02 AM , Rating: 3
Personally, I consider it an important "feature" that if I happen to get into an accident with my car, there's at least a solid chance of walking away from it. I'm sure car companies could make really inexpensive cars if they just disintegrated on impact, but who wants to drive around in that sort of death trap? If safety is of no concern to you, then you can always buy a motorcycle-- they are fairly inexpensive.

By Voldenuit on 8/14/2013 3:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
Average selling price of a new vehicle last year was $31,000, which is one of the highest (adjusting for inflation) recorded.

This is one of the reasons the average age of vehicles on the road is now up to 11-point-something years.

You make a good point that advertised car prices are very low, but nowadays manufacturers are making a fine art of advertising stripper models that are never available on the lot, or find ways to add hidden costs to their vehicles. I once test drive a V6 Mustang at a shady Ford dealership, that, no joke, had a price on the invoice for a non-existent racing stripe and a dealer charge (for ~$250) for removing said stripe.

By Flunk on 8/14/2013 3:36:53 PM , Rating: 2
I think the reason that the average age of cars on the road being ~11 years is because cars are now built better than ever before so they last longer.

By Spuke on 8/14/2013 3:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the number went up when the economy tanked. Nothing to do with being better built.

By BRB29 on 8/14/2013 9:41:25 PM , Rating: 3
In other words, a massive decrease in disposable income is causing massive decrease in new vehicle sales. Wow, the correlation.

Avg age of vehicles have been increasing since the 80s. However, it was a steady slow pace. It took a spike since 2009 and it was no surprise.

By JediJeb on 8/15/2013 3:34:44 PM , Rating: 3
Wow I am above average on vehicle age I guess since mine is 17 years old.

If they made something new that I actually liked maybe I would buy new... well actually no, I still consider the new ones far overpriced.

My newest to me vehicle is now an 85 Jeep Cherokee that I am restoring. Why don't they make vehicles like that anymore, just plain and simple.

By Spuke on 8/15/2013 5:15:51 PM , Rating: 2
Why don't they make vehicles like that anymore, just plain and simple.
Three words: safety, emissions, fuel economy. Cars will never be "simple" again. About the only cars I find interesting are on the expensive side. I will mention that I find the Honda Accord Coupe with V6 and 6 speed manual (yes a MANUAL and only available in that configuration) transmission to be very interesting.

BTW, cars are still mechanical devices. The only thing somewhat complex (direct injection ECU's ARE complex..the regular one's aren't) is the electronic control systems and there's nothing to figure out there as they're closed units that rarely fail. I find that most failures are sensors and mechanical items.

By Nagorak on 8/16/2013 6:35:13 AM , Rating: 2
It's hard to say what that statistic means. It could easily mean that the poor economy has had a much more detrimental impact on those in the lower and middle classes, than those who are better off. Therefore they have cut back on purchases more, while the more affluent have kept buying. In other words, the mix of sales could have changed, resulting in the increase in average cost, rather than cars across the board costing more. I actually suspect that is a large part of the equation.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2013 3:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
Please tell me, where are these "expensive" vehicles you're talking about?

Ummm what??

Vehicle prices have reached a new high, which isn't revealing in-of itself. As the cost's always go up and never down.

However it's a fact that car prices are steeply rising well beyond the traditional rate of inflation. The average price for a new car or truck rose to $28,341 in 2011, up 11% from 2008, according to data from J.D. Power.

By Brandon Hill on 8/14/2013 3:19:04 PM , Rating: 4
I'd argue that the reason for the higher average transaction price has more to do with WHAT we are buying.

It used to be that families could get by with an Accord, Taurus, or Camry as their family vehicle. Nowadays, everyone thinks that they need a Pilot, Explorer, Highlander, etc. which are thousands more. And then of course they load up options like GPS and panoramic moonroofs and rear-seat entertainment centers, jacking up the price.

Also, another reason why the average price is jumping: full-size pickups. They have skyrocketed in avg price far faster than the rest of the auto market (2x the average). And America buys a crapload of full-size trucks:

By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2013 3:41:26 PM , Rating: 3
So let me get this right. During the worst economic downturn of our lives, high unemployment, low workforce participation, home foreclosures up a gillion percent, all that: people just so happened to start spending more on car options than ever before? Nation wide, on average...

Mandates are a form of taxation, taxation isn't eaten by corporations, it's passed onto the consumer in one way or the other. Are you honestly making the argument that the CAFE mandate and all the others aren't impacting the sticker price?

Not to mention the car industry, flat out, TOLD US car prices would rise steeply. And everyone blew them off, laughed at them, and called them fools. You know, the people who have to make vehicles for a living - yeah what do they know!?

By Brandon Hill on 8/14/2013 4:01:04 PM , Rating: 3
Have you not heard that Sync/MyFord touch is in something like 80+% of new Ford vehicles these days? High-dollar options like GPS units are hot sellers. Ford, Dodge, GM, heck, even Toyota sell crazy-expensive top-end half-ton trucks loaded with supple leather and all kinds of options (think King Ranch) to appeal to big spenders. The Toyota Tundra 1794 Edition starts at $47,000.

I'm not saying that CAFE regulations aren't some part of the increase in the ASP of new vehicles, but I don't think that it's the ONLY or even the MAIN reason.

1) The types of vehicles that people buy today lead to higher transaction prices. Just about every mainstream automaker now has a crossover utility vehicle aimed at the masses. "Hey, you don't need a Civic, buy this CR-V. Hey, you don't need this Focus, get an Escape!"
2) People are opting for more expensive infotainment systems in vehicles which ups the price
3) Automakers are offering more expensive options in general (the new Mazda 3s can be had with adaptive headlights, radar cruise control, lane departure, automatic braking, etc).

Do you really think that people are smart enough to buy within their means? Look at the housing bubble. You have people taking out 10-year loans to buy cars

The standard length of car loans — once four years, then five — has been creeping up for some time. Extended terms are gaining traction in an era when cars last longer and have better warranties. Automakers have marketed the long loans aggressively, persuading some buyers to move up to pricier models they couldn’t otherwise afford. The median-priced new car now costs $28,555, according to Kelley Blue Book.

“Someone who really has the budget for a Corolla figures if they extend the financing out, they can buy a Camry,” said James Lentz, chief executive of Toyota Motor Corp.’s North American division.

By Spuke on 8/14/2013 4:25:14 PM , Rating: 3
I argue that automakers MUST offer big dollar options to justify the higher prices of these new cars. Cars aren't at 1986 prices with $30k in options. Even the base cost of cars is WAY more than ever. CAFE isn't to blame solely I agree BUT that, emissions, AND safety regs are definitely to blame. A safer, fuel efficient, clean running car costs more money, period. Not only that but it makes it heavier too which required more power to move (which costs more money). Extra reliability has to be built in too because could you imagine paying nearly $30k (say $28k without 2013 reliability) and having it be as reliable as a car from 20 years ago? Ha! People would be breaking out pitch forks on the automakers. And cars are only getting lighter now because they're priced to a point where automakers can incorporate these expensive building techniques without raising the prices that much more.

If you think the automakers are just arbitrarily raising prices you're living in a dream world. Quite frankly, I'd be VERY surprised if that was your viewpoint.

By Brandon Hill on 8/14/2013 4:36:12 PM , Rating: 1
If you think the automakers are just arbitrarily raising prices you're living in a dream world. Quite frankly, I'd be VERY surprised if that was your viewpoint.

My viewpoint hasn't been that car makers are arbitrarily raising prices. My viewpoint is that the TYPE of vehicle that Americans NOW choose to drive (compared to 10 or even 15 years ago) has resulted in the average selling price going up relatively quickly.

By Spuke on 8/14/2013 5:13:54 PM , Rating: 2
See my post below on what we're driving. It appears we're still driving the same type of vehicles.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/15/2013 3:41:56 PM , Rating: 3
You haven't even backed that up with anything. I've provided hard data, and I'm getting voted down because you've obfuscated the facts so much pushing your agenda. Congratulations.

We saw an 11% increase in new car prices in only a four year period! And you're saying American's all of a sudden made dramatic changes in the vehicles they purchase, all in unison, to account for that change.

Come on, how is that even possible? And if it is, it should be very easy to link me something to prove it.

By BRB29 on 8/16/2013 7:35:00 AM , Rating: 2
Look at sales data for BMW, Audi, etc... and you'll find your answer.

People just demand more standard features and the manufacturers pack more features as standard. That raises the base price. Do you know anyone who's still happy with rolling their own window? keyless entry is standard for most vehicles now and so is power everything.

Let's not forget the increasing amounts of safety and airbags in even the cheapest vehicles.

By Wererat on 8/15/2013 12:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
Yes. The people who still buy new cars (who weren't shafted by the new economy) are still ticking along and can buy more expensive cars.

The people who got hurt aren't buying any new cars and are stretching their existing cars as far as they can go.

Agreed 100% on the regulations/mandates as contributing to higher costs (and static MPG/efficiency)

By Spuke on 8/14/2013 4:12:35 PM , Rating: 3
Brandon, trucks have been the best selling vehicles in the US for 30 years plus. We have BEEN driving them. This is FAR from being a new thing. Your argument on their price increase affecting overall price increases is valid but we've been driving trucks for decades. That's nothing new. What IS new is that because of the current trend of appearing eco-friendly, trucks, SUVs and any other vehicle that isn't part of the trend is under the hairy eyeball (most of which used to drive these "hated" vehicles and, oddly, is NOT using any less energy at home than before yet they claim to be reformed planet watchers but I digress).

By gamerk2 on 8/14/2013 3:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
I find those numbers hard to believe, given you can buy a Prius for cheaper then that (just got one for around $27k).

Are we talking average sticker price of all models, or are we talking what people actually paid for a car on average [eg: The average cost of a sold car]?

By Spuke on 8/14/2013 4:28:36 PM , Rating: 2
It's what people pay on average for a new car.

By Spuke on 8/14/2013 3:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
The average price of a car has raised at least $10k in the last 10-15 years and supposedly 2 million people have been removed from the market because of price increases so, yes, cars are more expensive then before.

By Brandon Hill on 8/14/2013 4:11:08 PM , Rating: 3
Hmm, let's think. What type of vehicle has risen to prominence in the past 10-15 years? Crossovers. What vehicles cost thousands more than their sedan counterparts? Crossovers.

2000 Camry LE: $20,388
2000 Accord LX: $18,540
2000 Mazda 626: $18,515

2013 Camry LE: $22,235
2013 Accord LX: $21,680
2013 Mazda6: $20,990

The bread and butter of the car market hasn't moved much in the past 13 years, so you have to look elsewhere for the increases...

By Spuke on 8/14/2013 4:40:44 PM , Rating: 2
Your prices are off a bit. I don't think you can compare a 626 to a Mazda6 but that's my opinion.

2013 Camry LE: $23,490
2013 Mazda6: $20,990

If you look at actual sales, we're still buying the same cars. Yes, crossovers are the fastest growth category but they still haven't taken over the traditional leaders yet.

PS - looks like pickup sales are back to normal.

By Monkey's Uncle on 8/14/2013 8:39:13 PM , Rating: 2
The Mazda6 is the renamed Mazda Cronos which was in turn the renamed Mazda 626. Just as the Mazda 3 is the renamed Mazda Protegé which was in turn the renamed Mazda 323.

You can certainly compare them directly.

If you look at each model and trim of a car the price of that car really only rises incrementally per year even though there are steady advances in these cars. Look at Brandon's Camry comparisons. The newer car has gained features such as 4 wheel disk brakes, 6 speed automatic transmissions, bigger & more powerful motors, better wheels/tires, better economy, etc.

Look at the differences in prices over 13 years. Does the difference in price really account for the added features and the technical advances?

Sure, in every model you are going to get different levels and options. You max out that Camry and you will be paying almost double for it. You want the toys, you have to pay for them. The base 2013 mustang in my neck of the woods costs about 26K. You trick it out with the top end Shelby 500 packages and you are going to lay down almost $60k for it (not to mention the painful hit you will take on the insurance and at the gas pumps).

By Spuke on 8/15/2013 2:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
A little confused so bear with me. Is the new Mazda6 still based on the Chronos?

By Brandon Hill on 8/15/2013 2:57:56 PM , Rating: 2
The Mazda6 is a Mazda6.

What he's saying is, the Mazda 626 was replaced by the Mazda6 in the world lineup. Back in the day, the Mazda 626 was a midsize sedan that used to compete with the Camry/Accord/etc. When the 626 nameplate was discontinued in the early 2000s, the name Mazda6 was used in its place.

Kind of like how the Acura Legend became the Acura RL.

The Mazda6 is still a midsize sedan.

By Spuke on 8/15/2013 5:58:43 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the clarification.

By FITCamaro on 8/14/2013 7:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
The bread and butter of the car market for the past 10-15 years isn't Camrys and Accords. It's trucks and SUVs. That didn't change really until 2008. And even today they remain a high percentage of sales. Automakers make very little comparatively on sedans. They make more on SUVs and trucks. Crossovers are the result of people not needing bigger SUVs and trucks but still wanting to feel higher up. So they go for crossovers that offer better mileage but still that "powerful" feeling of being higher up.

By Monkey's Uncle on 8/14/2013 8:50:40 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on the SUVs, but not so much on the on the pickups. Sure there a buttload of them sold -- the trades have to work :D But not everyone works in the trades or has space for one in the driveway as a second vehicle.

There are huge numbers of folks that commute to the office in midsize sedans like the camry/accord as well as driving those SUVs/crossovers/mini-crossovers. There are still an awful lot of minivans out there but the perceived safety of the SUV/CO 4-wheel drive has been taking a big bite out of the minivan market (thank freaking GOD!).

By FITCamaro on 8/15/2013 8:46:04 AM , Rating: 2
And plenty of people commute in trucks. I work in software engineering and out of 125 people, there are about 30-35 trucks in the parking lot.

By Monkey's Uncle on 8/15/2013 11:16:10 AM , Rating: 2
I worked in software engineering too (retired ;)) Out of the 1500 cars in our parking lot there were only about the same 30-35 pickups trucks. There were a lot more SUVs, minivans and crossovers though - I would guessimate about 60% of the lot was taken by those. But pickuips? Nah, vary few and of those most were owned by the support & maintenance staff (we kept full time HVAC, Electrical, plumbing and grounds keeping staff onsite).

By Spuke on 8/15/2013 2:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
Half of vehicles sold every month are "trucks". Statistics considers minivans, SUVs, pickups, and crossovers as "trucks". The other half are cars. Crossovers sell the most in the pickup category and midsized cars in the other category (with small cars very close behind). I must apologize to Brandon as I read the car data all wrong. I was focusing too much on the individual make and model sales and not on the category sales. He's entirely correct on crossovers being near the top in sales. Midsize cars still outsell crossovers BUT not by much and crossovers are growing. Hell, I own one (wife's car).

I'll also change my statement and admit that it does seem that the switch to crossovers accounts for the average price increase in cars. They do cost more than the average midsize sedan.

By Monkey's Uncle on 8/15/2013 6:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
yes indeed. If you you pull SUVs, minivans and crossovers into the truck category I can see that would definitely be covering at least half (if not more) of automotive sales.

My limited view of the world usually sees trucks as pickups and the large haulers ;) But yes I will agree that these others could be put into that same category (we do call our Venza a 'truck').

By Spuke on 8/15/2013 7:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure where you live but I was always under the impression that pickups mostly sell in the western states. Might account for you not seeing them that much. Where I live (CA) trucks are as common as Camry's. I own one of those too. :)

By Dr of crap on 8/15/2013 9:01:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry you feel that $20,000 for a car isn't TOO much. But try paying for a new house, daycare for two kids, and then add all other bills, don't forget school loans, and then add a $25,000 car loan or maybe two car loans, see the problem?

By Brandon Hill on 8/15/2013 9:45:00 AM , Rating: 3
In the grand scheme of things, $20,000 for a brand new car is pretty reasonable in today's dollars. If people can't afford to buy a brand new car, there's always the used car market.

People need to learn how to live within their means. If you have a ton of financial obligations, buying a brand new car is probably not in your best interests.

By mike8675309 on 8/15/2013 10:57:32 AM , Rating: 2
Buying a used car today is no better of a deal then buying one in the past. While the increase in new car costs has trailed inflation, used car costs have also increased. That includes the cost of maintenance. A lot of the drive to own a new car by those with lower income is to have the warranty and avoid the chance of dealing with shady mechanics.

By Monkey's Uncle on 8/15/2013 11:22:39 AM , Rating: 2
Buying a used car is still far cheaper than a new one - sometimes as much as 20-25% cheaper.

If you buy used even from the previous 1 or 2 years, chances are that you are not going to get hit with huge repair bills. And there will still be a factory warranty - most factory warranties are 3 years with some going as long as 10 years. Most extended warranties are transferable as well.

The only real benefit to buying new is that you are getting a virgin car and you get to pop its cherry. That and the new car smell.

By Jeffk464 on 8/15/2013 12:04:00 PM , Rating: 2
Eh, buy a reasonably priced new car, baby it, and drive it for 15 years.

By Nagorak on 8/16/2013 6:45:03 AM , Rating: 2
You're never off buying a new car. Buy a 1-2 year old car and drive it for 15 years. Or buy a 10 year old car and drive it for 10 years, even 5 years. You come out way ahead either way.

The new car premium is just way too high.

By JediJeb on 8/15/2013 4:02:18 PM , Rating: 2
In the grand scheme of things, $20,000 for a brand new car is pretty reasonable in today's dollars. If people can't afford to buy a brand new car, there's always the used car market.

People need to learn how to live within their means. If you have a ton of financial obligations, buying a brand new car is probably not in your best interests.

I have to disagree here and this is why I feel that way. Back in 1973 my father was working as a mechanic, barely above minimum wage and was making a whopping $8000/year. He bought a new 73 Plymouth FuryIII which was considered just below a car like the Lincoln Town Car, or Cadillac Coupe DeVille, it only lacked the power windows and door locks that those had. He paid $3000 for that car or less than half his yearly salary.

Can someone making $10 per hour now afford a car of that class? Currently for even an economy car most people making that type of wage would need to spend almost 100% of their yearly salary. Where are the nice new cars that someone making $20,000 per year can buy for less than $10,000? The don't exist. To make the ratio work for even those base mid-size cars listed above like the Camry a person needs to make $45,000/year to be near the same ratio of wage to price as back then.

By Monkey's Uncle on 8/15/2013 6:35:25 PM , Rating: 2
K bro, gonna ghave to shoot you down here.

1. Your dad making 8000/year was NOT just above minimum wage for the time. Minimum wage for the time was pegged at $2.00/hr (I know because I was working in a factory at around that time for min wage). Work it out - $8000'yr = 2000 hours (50 weeks x 40 hrs a week) and with a quick bit of 'rithmetic comes out to $4.00 an hour. Double min wage.

Apply that to today's conditions (minimum wage is $10) and the same work week, you dad is making $40,000 a year in today's dollars.

2. OK, I'm an old fart. I remember a neighbor of mine in 1967 bought a brand new Camaro RS/SS(offical pace car version). He paid $2500 for that. At the time it was a pretty high end Camaro (though not the legendary Z/28). I remember it clearly as I was drooling all over his fenders when he brought it home and asked him directly how much he paid for it. He was pretty proud of the car and had no problem telling me. Gas at the time was $0.21 per gallon (just had to throw that in).

I have very strong doubts of your dad picking up a car in the same class as an Eldorado or Town car for $3000 6 years later (I remember as well the Plymoth Fury IIIs - they were used as fleet cars by the police - similar class to the Chargers and Crown Victorias today. They were most certainly not in the same class as an Eldo or Town car! For a Fury I would expect to see it at the same level as today's Dodge Charger which is also used as a fleet car for police. I just checked Chrysler's site. They start at just under $27,000.

Today the minimum wage is $10. Wanna apply the same logic as your dad's salary? Call it double minimum wage - $20 for 2000 hrs a year. That is $40,000. It is certainly enough to plunk down on a car that is $27,000. It is still very close to half of your dad's pay in today's dollars and still affordable.

By homebredcorgi on 8/14/2013 3:06:27 PM , Rating: 2
I agree to an extent, but it's silly to point out affordability of anything for the average American without pointing out that median wages (inflation adjusted) for the bottom 90% of earners has been nearly stagnant for the last 30 years. The real issue is our reliance on economic policies that have completely demolished our middle/working class.

By Spuke on 8/14/2013 4:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
The real issue is our reliance on economic policies that have completely demolished our middle/working class.
I think this is BS information spread by politicians. Nearly flat income growth does not equal a shrinking middle class. I wish I could remember the data from statistics I got on this but basically some poor moved into the middle class and some from the MC moved into the wealthy class. A side note, if you have a household income of $90k a year or more, statistically, your income will continue to increase.

By JediJeb on 8/15/2013 4:07:28 PM , Rating: 2
A side note, if you have a household income of $90k a year or more, statistically, your income will continue to increase.

I don't think I know anyone making that much other than the owner of our lab.

By Spuke on 8/15/2013 6:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
A couple with two decent cubicle jobs will make that easily (household income not individual).

By Spuke on 8/15/2013 6:12:57 PM , Rating: 2
I know a TON of people in that income bracket or higher (wife and myself included). Most have degrees, some do not. My sis in law makes over $70k, no degree but has been there a long time, her husband makes $30k or so (no degree either). I know a helicopter mechanic that makes more than me, his wife is a teacher. I know an electrician that makes $60k and his wife works making $45k. It's not that difficult with two working people with decent jobs.

By spamreader1 on 8/14/2013 2:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
Wish I could find an M1A1 in my price range.

By 91TTZ on 8/14/2013 3:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think the main problem is that the cost of everything else is rising, leaving people with less money. You used to be able to buy a house, a car, and raise a family on one blue-collar job. Try doing that now. Try doing that on 2 blue-collar jobs.

Basically you need 2 white-collar workers in a house to maintain the same standard of living at 1 blue-collar worker used to afford.

By retrospooty on 8/14/2013 3:29:28 PM , Rating: 2
"Basically you need 2 white-collar workers in a house to maintain the same standard of living at 1 blue-collar worker used to afford."

Yup, and its not like it's just cars and CAFE that caused it... It's Home purchase/Rental prices, gas, insurance, and FFS, groceries are getting ridiculous.

By FITCamaro on 8/14/2013 3:41:48 PM , Rating: 2
My girlfriends dad does just fine being the sole provider for a family of still 6 (since her and her 3 brothers still live at home) on a salary of $45-50,000/year.

By Jeffk464 on 8/14/2013 4:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
It all depends on where you live. $45,000 in Kansas will go pretty far. Take the same salary in Seattle, LA or San Francisco and there is no way you could support a household of 6.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2013 3:03:37 PM , Rating: 2
Efficiency has been greatly improved, what are you talking about? The same displacement engine today gets much better fuel economy, AND a higher power output, than just years ago.

Measuring efficiency in JUST miles per gallon is a fools game.

Now thanks to the Government, moving backwards is viewed as a good direction to dumb Liberals like yourself. Cars will be smaller, less safe, and make less power. All in the name of fuel economy. More importantly, they'll get dramatically more expensive as manufacturers are forced to use exotic materials and technologies.

Let the consumers choose which cars get made, not Washington.

Your smaller more fuel efficient car has been available in one form or another. Stop telling us what the rest of us need to drive.

By Jeffk464 on 8/14/2013 4:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
Cars will be smaller, less safe

Using your argument its safer to crash in a 747 then a Cessna because the 747 is bigger.

By Voldenuit on 8/14/2013 4:24:42 PM , Rating: 2
It is much safer to fly in a modern airliner (4 deaths per million flight hours average) than a light aircraft (22 deaths per million flight hours).


It is also safer to crash in a modern airliner because modern airliners have more sophisticated crash structures (seat rails rated for 27G, engine nacelles designed to break away on crash to avoid igniting fuel tanks, etc) than light aircraft.

However, I don't think the plane analogy is applicable to cars, because light plane vs heavy plane is a difference of kind, whereas light car vs heavy car is usually a difference of degree.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2013 6:07:10 PM , Rating: 2
However, I don't think the plane analogy is applicable to cars, because light plane vs heavy plane is a difference of kind, whereas light car vs heavy car is usually a difference of degree.

Also because we're discussing a smaller car colliding with a heavier one. Plane crashes usually involve the plane hitting the ground. So I agree, bad analogy, and a wrong one to boot.

p.s. pretty cool we both used the same linked source lol

By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2013 5:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
Using your argument its safer to crash in a 747 then a Cessna because the 747 is bigger.


Did you actually research that one before you spoke? Because, yes, you have FAR more of a chance surviving a crash in a 747 than a Cessna.

Most people in passenger liners survive the crash. The leading cause of death is smoke inhalation. A third of all deaths are from smoke inhalation, NOT the crash itself.

Notice your Cessna, a general aviation craft, has orders of magnitudes more fatalities than a passenger liner.

I don't know if they just don't teach physics anymore in school or what. But why does this discussion keep happening? I'm sorry this doesn't jive with your political ideology, but all safety equipment being equal, a larger vehicle is inherently more safe for the passengers of that vehicle. And it's a simple matter of physics to understand why, if you people would just apply yourselves.

By Jeffk464 on 8/15/2013 12:06:57 PM , Rating: 2
The roads would be more safe if everyone drove mid sized sedans that were well designed for crash tests. What happens when your chevy suburban collides with another suburban. Sorry two accords crashing is a safer bet.

By Argon18 on 8/14/2013 5:12:36 PM , Rating: 1
A very good point. Engine efficiency is way WAY up from even just a decade or two ago.

Automakers are all using that newfound efficiency however, to enable them to create large heavy vehicles with many hundreds of horsepower, while still getting the same MPG as before. In other words, they are keeping MPG the same, in order to give the consumer a larger and faster vehicle.

If instead, they reduced size and power, and used the efficiency to deliver superior MPG, they could create some really fuel efficient stuff.

In Europe for example, 50 MPG is blah, while 50 mpg is nearly unattainable in the US. The most efficient cars in Europe have been hitting 80+ MPG for the past decade or so. Nothing is available in the US at that fuel economy level. Small turbo-diesel engines are doing amazing things in Europe, while they're completely unavailable here (outside of a paltry few VW models).

Even the Big-3 sell some amazing small turbo-diesels in Europe, but they refuse to bring them here. Why? Profit margin. It's more profitable for them to sell us low-tech vehicles. Solid axles, leaf spring suspensions, bland V6 gasoline engines, etc.

By Reclaimer77 on 8/14/2013 5:45:26 PM , Rating: 2
Automakers are all using that newfound efficiency however, to enable them to create large heavy vehicles with many hundreds of horsepower, while still getting the same MPG as before. In other words, they are keeping MPG the same, in order to give the consumer a larger and faster vehicle.

That's not really true though. Power AND economy have both increased on average.

If instead, they reduced size and power, and used the efficiency to deliver superior MPG, they could create some really fuel efficient stuff.

It's not really that simple. Especially when the consumers WANT the size and power over superior MPG. Why shouldn't they make the vehicles that people want to buy? That's sort of an important goal in any business don't you think?

Remember the GM offshoot GEO? They got GREAT mileage! But waning interest in small stripped down econo-buckets doomed the brand.

The truth is when it comes down to it, people are willing to pay more in gas for a much nicer, roomier, and powerful vehicle. There's mountains of consumer buying data to prove this point.

You're saying we should just abandon that, and force the manufacturers to make vehicles that people don't want to buy. All in the name of fuel economy, just because.

Even the Big-3 sell some amazing small turbo-diesels in Europe, but they refuse to bring them here. Why? Profit margin.

Wrong. I wish you would stop making stuff up.

They CAN'T bring them here because the EPA's mandates make it nearly impossible to bring small turbo-diesels to the market. We have the most strict emissions standards of any nation.

Not only do those "80+ MPG" European models fail our safety and crash test regulations, but they don't meet our emissions standards either.

Also a European gallon isn't a US gallon. There's no way to have an all-engine 80+ MPG vehicle using US gallons, it's impossible. And in Europe diesel fuel is MUCH cheaper, and in the US it's MUCH more expensive than petrol.

By Spuke on 8/14/2013 5:54:51 PM , Rating: 3
In Europe for example, 50 MPG is blah, while 50 mpg is nearly unattainable in the US.
You know I've seen you post here before so you should really know better than to compare these two. Not only is the unit of measurement different, the testing methods are different too. 50 mpg in the EU is NOT the same as 50 mpg here. You cannot compare the two.

By wallijonn on 8/16/2013 6:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
Let the consumers choose which cars get made, not Washington.

Marketing sways consumer's minds. It's also why they don't have disposable income - they're too busy texting, watching movies, playing games and listening to music on their cell phones. The average bill for people who package phone-internet-cable/dish is about $275 a month. That's almost the car payment.

By bug77 on 8/14/2013 3:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, well, usually a higher power/weight ratio is better, but if it's not heavy enough, you won't be able to put those HP to the asphalt. Of course, I don't expect Ford's engineers to be clueless, but it's something I'd keep an eye on. You never know when they think they can cut a corner and get away with it.

By invidious on 8/15/2013 10:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
Ford should be catering Mustangs to people who will actually be buying them. An idealistic mustang that is intended to appeal to both performance enthusiasts and eco enthusiasts will ultimately be bought by neither.

The people who do buy Mustangs do it for style and performance. Sacrificing either in the name of MPG is a bad move. Increase efficiency without sacrificiing style and performance like they did in the 2011 redesign is great, but making the car smaller and more european is not a direction their customers are interested in. Muscle cars are not supposed to be sports cars, they are supposed to be big, fast and loud.

If you are looking for making efficiency a #1 priority then you should be looiking into a Fusion, Focus, ect.

By Spuke on 8/15/2013 3:10:44 PM , Rating: 2
Except that Ford won't be sacrificing performance. Performace will actually even better!! The existing engines are being carried over to the new car with a ~30 hp bump in the V8's hp I hear. 400 lbs less with 30 hp is a BIG time win-win IMO.

By KFZ on 8/16/2013 12:14:20 PM , Rating: 2
"It's about time" isn't the same as "we have to do something because Uncle Sam says we're required to hit these targets by this date". And while people can welcome improvements, this is thanks in large part to laws, not innovation or smart business.

Oh, government is such a good guy, done his part to improve things because those nasty auto makers just care about making money. We heard the same thing about insurance companies. Out came the health mandate, out comes forcing coverage for birth control, bye-bye pre-existing condition policies, etc.

Yes, when we can't make progress the normal way, let's hand it off to our 300-pound government running back to move the ball forward. This is an extremely bad habit we've picked up, even if it does produce results. I will never believe that a government should be able to force a company to improve products beyond health and safety standards -- that is THEIR business. If they get something wrong, ideally another business can come and knock them out.

The problem is we've not simply grown businesses, we've grown empires that are "too big to fail", and government is entrenched in the auto industry just like with the banks.

I, for one, am not going to applaud for something that people were told to do. I'll never give credit to the Obama administration if more people than ever have health insurance -- when it is MANDATED.

400 lbs!
By Bagom on 8/14/2013 2:04:59 PM , Rating: 5
That's one whole American :P

RE: 400 lbs!
By Hulk on 8/14/2013 2:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
Before the all you can eat lunch buffet.

RE: 400 lbs!
By retrospooty on 8/14/2013 3:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... OK, but that huge weight thing is primarily in the central states. We keep them in the middle to help hold the Yellowstone supervolcano down. The normal sized people primarily flock to the coasts where grocery stores are safer for children ;)

RE: 400 lbs!
By Spuke on 8/14/2013 4:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
We keep them in the middle to help hold the Yellowstone supervolcano down.

RE: 400 lbs!
By retrospooty on 8/14/2013 11:38:24 PM , Rating: 2
Gimme twinkies...

RE: 400 lbs!
By Dr of crap on 8/15/2013 9:16:47 AM , Rating: 2
Hold it a minute - there are as many 400 lbs on the coast as anywhere.
How many times have you seen a size 6 stretch pants on a size 20 body. And these are not just in the middle US!

Just because you can't handle our weather here, don't go calling us ALL fat.

It's a personal choice to be 400 lbs, believe it or not.

RE: 400 lbs!
By retrospooty on 8/15/2013 11:48:06 AM , Rating: 2
Of course there are fatties everywhere, but in fattest country on Earth...

Ten states with highest obesity rates:(mostly central and southern)

West Virginia: 33.5 percent
Mississippi: 32.2 percent
Arkansas: 31.4 percent
Louisiana: 30.9 percent
Alabama: 30.4 percent
Kentucky: 29.9 percent
Tennessee: 29.6 percent
Ohio: 29.5 percent
Oklahoma: 29.2 percent
Iowa: 29.0 percent

Lowest are...

Ten states with lowest obesity rates: (mostly east and west coast)

Colorado: 18.7 percent
Massachusetts: 21.5 percent
Montana: 22.0 percent
Connecticut: 22.7 percent
California: 23.1 percent
Utah: 23.9 percent
Arizona: 24.1 percent
Rhode Island: 24.3 percent
Idaho: 24.4 percent
New Jersey: 24.4 percent
Washington: 24.4 percent

OK, Idaho and Montana throws out the whole Yellowstone Caldera joke... But still the coasts are much slimmer. The fattest of the fat asses are Central and southern.

RE: 400 lbs!
By BRB29 on 8/16/2013 7:41:11 AM , Rating: 2
How is Texas not in there?
Half of the top 10 fattest cities is made up of cities from Texas.

RE: 400 lbs!
By Jeffk464 on 8/14/2013 4:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse me. That reference is outdated, Mexico is now the fatest country in the world.

RE: 400 lbs!
By retrospooty on 8/14/2013 4:35:55 PM , Rating: 2
That is only because of Nafta. ;)

RE: 400 lbs!
By Spuke on 8/14/2013 4:53:17 PM , Rating: 2
That is only because of Nafta. ;)
You've been on a roll lately dude. LOL!

RE: 400 lbs!
By Monkey's Uncle on 8/14/2013 8:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
He do has his days doesn't he.


RE: 400 lbs!
By Spookster on 8/15/2013 1:04:15 PM , Rating: 2
It's only because the fat ones couldn't swim across the Rio Grande so they got left behind.

RE: 400 lbs!
By rountad on 8/16/2013 10:50:18 AM , Rating: 2
If enough fat ones failed at the crossing in the same place, they might form a new ford :)

By Argon18 on 8/14/2013 4:47:04 PM , Rating: 2
This is great news! Too many of the Big-3's vehicles are a bloated oversized mess. Too big and too heavy.

Look at the Dodge Charger (and the other models based off it) as a good example. It's cool looking, but it's monstrously huge. I'd take one in 7/8 scale. Plus its curb weight is over 4100 lbs. There are SUV's that weight less than this. It's stupid heavy.

It's about time the Big-3 started focusing on size and weight as a no-brainer way to improve both performance AND fuel efficiency.

RE: Awesome
By Spuke on 8/14/2013 5:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the present Mustang weighs the same as a 3 series coupe so its not bloated compared to the competition. The Charger is a large sedan and also doesn't weigh anymore than its competition. Weight savings is a good thing IMO but you guys will be giving up your precious safety to get the weight savings.

RE: Awesome
By Wererat on 8/16/2013 8:58:05 AM , Rating: 2
No, we won't. Raw mass is not the only way to be safe. As the article notes, better materials and welding methods will provide good strength along with weight reduction.

Besides, a lighter, more agile car allows drivers a better chance at the best safety -- not running into things in the first place!

RE: Awesome
By Wererat on 8/16/2013 8:59:35 AM , Rating: 2
Feel obliged to make a double reply; your other point about weight vs. comparable vehicles is spot on.

That's why the Charger runs alongside Beemers, Mustangs, Aston Martins, and Porsches in the Continental Tire series (see

By pandemonium on 8/15/2013 3:10:54 AM , Rating: 3
American car manufacturers are finally taking all aspects of what Japanese manufacturers have been doing for years...balancing weight, power, and handling to achieve a nimble and true driving experience while achieving efficiency simultaneously.

Why am I not surprised?

Soon the Mustang will be my Integra. /golfclap

Go ahead; hate all you want. Truth hurts.

RE: So...
By Spuke on 8/15/2013 6:14:52 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you haven't looked at ANY new Japanese cars, have you? Google is not just for searching pr0n.

The savings don't seem to be what I expected
By Myrandex on 8/15/2013 11:32:10 AM , Rating: 2
The 2011 model (my wife has one) in a V6 gets 31MPG on the highway. With these reductions, I was hoping to see it hop up to 35 or so with that same powerful V6.

Unimpressed but I'm looking forward to seeing what they end up with. We are big Mustang fans in this family.


By Spuke on 8/15/2013 3:21:36 PM , Rating: 2
Dude the new cars aren't out yet.

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