Ford Mustang (2015) CAR interviews Mustang designer Moray Callum

Published: 05 December 2013

CAR talks to Moray Callum, Ford’s executive director of design, responsible for the new ‘Stang that Europeans will be able to buy from 2015.

How do you design a new Ford Mustang for a global audience?

In America people have the reference point of the older car. When it goes abroad you can’t rely on that, so it needs to stand out and make its own statement. One of the challenges was to make sure everyone instantly recognised it, but also make it from the 21st century. I want people to see a modern vehicle and see the heritage, but not think it’s retro.

How is the sixth-generation Mustang different from the fifth-generation Mustang?

The last car had some traditional American brutality and crudeness, but we’ve created a more efficient looking driving machine. A lot of what we’ve done is to improve the proportions. Along the sides, there’s nothing to interrupt the proportions and lines, no vertical interruptions ¬– we took out the ‘hockey stick’ and the body coloured B-pillar. We’ve gone from a notchback with vertical elements to something more low slung, and the fact it’s more usable with more space inside is just a happy consequence.

We’ve kept the bluff front end though, but proportionally accentuated the width of the grille. The ‘shark bite’ grille needs to lean forward, and it lacks subtleness, like a fist flying through the air – it’s sheer power. At the rear we’ve also made more of the diffuser, and in Europe it’ll house the rear fog lights.

What eras of the Mustang influenced you?

The first ten years of the Mustang really defined its styling and design. There’s the first cars, from ’64 to ’66 when we sold 1m vehicles in 18 months. Then there are my personal favourites, from ’67 to ’68, like the car you know from Bullitt. And between ’69 and ’70 is when the Mustang became a true muscle car.

Will the Mustang have a Ford badge?

I’ve been at Ford for 15 years and the debate about the Blue Oval badge on the Mustang comes up every time we make a new one. We definitely won’t replace the horse badge with a Ford one.

How do the Mustang Coupe and Mustang Convertible differ?

The bootlid on the outgoing Mustang was common between the two, but a new rear decklid helped us get the fastback look on the Coupe, and on the Convertible helped tuck the roof beneath the sheet metal. Before, we were limited with what we could do; now we have more freedom.

Different rear bootlid helped us get a fastback on this car, and on the convertible helped tuck the roof beneath the sheet metal. The decklid is common on today’s car which limits what we can do; having a different one allows us more freedom.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy