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Unread 12-05-2013, 10:08 AM
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Default 2015 Mustang - Suspension and Drivetrain Discussion

So the 2015 Mustang release frenzy is in full swing. I found the best pictures showing the changes to the suspension and 5.0 motor in this Augoblog article's gallery: http://www.autoblog.com/2013/12/05/2...s-reveal-info/

Our photochopped 2015 Mustang showing lowered stance and Forgestar F14 wheels. Original image from TIME magazine

The shape of the images in that gallery was funky and hard to analyze, so I have recropped and rearranged the info about the suspension and 5.0 engine into these 4 pictures, which can each be clicked for larger versions. I have some initial comments about each picture below it.

Front suspension looks to be completely new, with no carryover parts. The strut tops, struts, lower control arms and spindle are all different. Gone are the beer can sized front LCA bushings but in the place of the 1-piece arm is now a 2-piece arrangement. Hmm.

Obviously the rear suspension has gone from a live axle to IRS, and this rendering of the set-up shows us that it is a modern 5 link system with toe control. Will it work or will it suck? Hard to say from pictures alone. I cannot say which chassis Ford stole this rear suspension layout from, but I suspect it is (edit) NOT from the an Aussie market ford Falcon. The rear upper shock mounts is a weird 2-bolts-thru-the-side mount, which I suspect could be a clue about where this comes form. (edit) Or maybe it really is all new?!

There looks to be some changes to the 5.0 engine (edit - with the best parts of the Coyote and Boss302 motors kept here), and luckily they've kept the Coyote intake manifold, which from our testing makes more power than the admittedly better looking Boss302 manifold at all RPM levels below 6500. The dreaded Boss302 engine oil "heater" (aka: "oil cooler") seems to be on this engine, however, so we will be working on a fix for that early on. This system is somewhat crude and uses radiator coolant through a sandwich plate above the oil filter to "cool" the oil. It works terribly in the 5.0 track pack and Boss302 engines, but maybe they got it right on the 2015?

New high flow ports sounds promising, as does the large camshaft profiles, so long as they didn't kill the lower RPM power that the Coyote 5.0 is so good at. Forged crankshaft and sintered rods are a carryover from what I can see but larger valves and stiffer valve springs sound like an upgrade. Looks like the same tubular steel shorty header carries over as well.

Nobody has a solid power number for the "new" 5.0 other than "it will make more than 420hp", which the 2013-14 model GT motors made. Like the C7 Corvette I suspect that the Ford drivetrain engineers will be tweaking the final engine and tuning package until weeks before production and we won't know the final power number until just before ordering starts. I suspect it will be rated around 440-450 hp, but don't quote me because that's just a guess based on what Ford has done in the past when introducing a new model but with a mostly carry over engine. This car will have the same MT-82 Getrag 6-speed, as our Tremec rep told us they didn't get the bid for the GT. But we're hopeful that there will be a Tremec Magnum XL direct shift transmission in the "Voodoo" powered version in the future...

Of course when Vorshlag gets our hands on a car it will be weighed, measured, dyno'd and tracked starting within minutes of delivery. I will post up those details in the upcoming Vorshlag 2015 Mustang Build Thread.


Last edited by Fair!; 12-06-2013 at 04:57 PM.
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Unread 12-05-2013, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag 2015 Mustang - Suspension and Drivetrain Discussion

A racer just sent me this link....


Left: Mondeo. Right: S550 Mustang

So the S550 seems to be based on the Mondeo/Fusion rear suspension.

Last edited by Fair!; 12-06-2013 at 04:57 PM.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Vorshlag 2015 Mustang - Suspension and Drivetrain Discussion

S550 vs S197 Mustang: An in depth comparison

As many of you might know, the 2013 Performance Racing Industry show (PRI) was held in Indianapolis last week and 4 of the Vorshlag crew went to check things out (we've been many times and even exhibited in the past). This is a show for the automotive racing industry and thousands of attendees and exhibitors meet each year to show off new products, and sometimes they bring cars to show them on. The racing groups at PRI range from circle track to F1, drag racing to IndyCar, road racing to NASCAR, muscle car builds to modern sports cars. People show up from around the world and it is not to be missed... if you work in the industry.

Now this isn't SEMA (which is for "premier automotive specialty products"), this is a real racing industry show. There are (almost) no scantily clad "booth babes", no drift exhibitions or monster trucks in the parking lot, no dueling dynos or circus acts, and definitely no 36" diamond encrusted wheels with LCD screens or spinners. Just manufacturers showing off racing related parts to other racing industry professionals. "Joe Q. Public" is not allowed inside the PRI show, and I am thankful for that (the SEMA show has turned into a zoo with just too damned many "regular people" there cluttering up the place, and you can't get any work done!)

To my pleasant surprise the new 2015 Mustang was shown there in the massive Ford Racing booth! There are only a handful of cars even shown at PRI, and the S550 Mustang debut was a popular one, judging by the people surrounding it all day. I got to crawl under and around it a bit, and I wanted to share my impressions after seeing this new Mustang in person. I got down on all fours and shot some "underskirt" pics, too. As I began writing this it was easier to show the new S550 chassis Mustang next to pictures (from a similar angle) of the current generation S197 Mustang. Luckily we have acquired thousands of pictures of the S197 over the past 3 and a half years, and I was able to use images of our red 2011 in this side-by-side comparison.

After each picture below (or pair of pics) I will try to share any insights that I can pull out of a hat about what you're looking at. The 3 days of the show were a blur, and it was the biggest PRI show I've ever attended. I ended up only spending 6 or 7 minutes around this Mustang, and didn't get very good pictures of the underside as I shot all of these with my phone (and the settings were all jacked up, which Brandon has since fixed). Our time at this show was very hectic and I never got back to look at the Mustang again, sadly. Vorshlag's photographer Brandon (who I should have brought with us to PRI!) did some clean-up work on my phone pictures and the gallery from the entire show is linked below.

Vorshlag's 2013 PRI gallery: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Car-Shows/PRI-2013/

Exterior Styling

The new 2015 Mustang looks very good in person, and frankly better than the 2D images portray it. Please reserve judgement on the "looks" of this new Mustang until you can see this car in person. And there could still be some small tweaks on the production models that might sway you, too. What I noticed right away was the size of this car... it is not smaller than the old car, from what I could see. This pre-production Mustang was sitting up on a pedestal, which might be making the car look "big" when I am standing 2 feet below ground level, and probably doesn't help.

The front end has that "Aston Martin" look to the grill shape and the headlights are pure Ford Fusion, no doubt about it. But I like the shape of the headlights and the LED inboard segments are a much needed modern touch. The headlights on the 2011 look huge in comparison, and those are small compared to the gigantic 2005-2009 model Mustang headlights. The lower portion of the S550 front fascia is also a little more exotic looking compared to even the 2011-12 Boss 302/California Special lower fascia shown on our 2011 GT. The center portion of the S550 lower fascia is kicked up (like the 2013-14 GT/Boss), which will make fitting a splitter more challenging, but it looks right. I'm glad they did away with the GIANT grill mounted foglights, which I got tired of in the 2005-2014 models quickly (we removed them from our 2011 GT about two years ago to improve airflow to the radiator, as did many others).

The interior (above left) on the S550 looks good - as good or better than the much improved interior on the 2011-14 models (above right). This was a 4 cylinder car (we think) and didn't have the optional Recaro seats or anything super fancy. I didn't get to climb inside of the S550 so I can't say for certain, but while the basic look is similar in many ways to the outgoing model it looks very good and a bit more modern. Its all just a little swoopier, newer, and flashier. Good stuff there, with nice materials.

The back end... MMMmmm, clearly the best angle of the S550 design. The recessed area of the inverted rear trunk area (above left) and taillights really works. This new set-up, with the gloss black inside panel, makes the 2010-12 Mustang's back end look unfinished, like it was hastily chopped off with a knife. The S550's rear bodylines are very tight and the fit and finish of the panels was amazing. But again, this is probably a hand built pre-production car, so who knows how tight the production model will be? The body color painted rear "diffuser" thing was a bit strange but that is nothing a rattle can of semi-flat black paint can't fix. The lack of a fake rear gas cap is a win, so big points go to the S550 out back.

The 2015 Mustang (at left) has a much flatter hood line than the 2010-2012 Mustang's hood (at right)

This is my least favorite angle of the S550. This low side shot of the front fender and hood line looks very odd to me. The S550 hood is almost perfectly flat across 75% of its length, then it tapers down, but still has a more squared off front end. We've heard all of the excuses about "European pedestrian crash standards", but I hope this looks better on the V8 cars, or on a car not sitting up on a 2' tall pedestal. The S197 cars had a more gentle sloping line to the long hood, like in this picture of our 2011. I'd have to give the S197 the point here, at least from this angle and on this one bodyline.

Next, look at the S550's front fender wheel opening shape. There is a lot more of a "curve" at the back of the front wheel opening, and the lower section of the fender itself flares outwards a good deal. Looks really good there, more curvacious. The rear of the S550 has similar curves and even more width, which I like. The '11 fender opening is pretty straight up and down there and curves inboard, too. Point goes to the S550 there.

One thing I didn't get a close-up shot of, but which is shown in all of the other magazine/online images, is the new rear quarter window. I like the "hidden" B-pillar of the new S550 and the upward tilt of the rear window's lower edge is pleasing to the eye. The greenhouse of the S550 looks to have better visibility and more glass, thanks in part to a slimmer A-pillar and the aforementioned B-pillar. The lines on the S550 all work for me... well, except for the weirdly flat hood.

Upskirt Pics!

Remember, as I've said before I almost don't care what the S550 looks like, as long as it can come with this new IRS, a Coyote V8 and goes VROOM! I'm going to get one. We'll race the hell out of a Coyote Ugly, don't care. So let's move past the frou frou "design studio critique" and get to what matters to real gearheads - how does the S550's chassis look underneath!? Suspension, weight, wheels, IRS, brakes, and is there room to improve??

This is where I tried to focus my time, but the lighting really sucked and all of my undercar images suffered, and most pics had to be junked. Still, I saw a lot of good things going on with the Independent Rear Suspension (aka: "IRS") on the S550, even if I didn't get many usable pics. Since the IRS and Solid Axle rear suspensions are so different between the new S550 and outgoing S197 models I will do away with the side-by-side image comparisons in this section.

Here you can see what appears to be an all aluminum 8.8" center section for the IRS rear axle. Lots of control arms going willy nilly, but the geometry might actually work this time. This IRS replaces the tried and true solid axle that has been part of the Mustang line-up for 50 years. Sure, there was an IRS in the Cobra Mustang from 1999-2004, but it was fraught with geometry troubles and was more of a "parts bin" add-on than a proper IRS design. The S550's system looks like the real deal. Its no Corvette IRS (no room for a rear transaxle if you want back seats) but its the next best thing and much welcomed in a ~$26K (base) Mustang.

The diff housing likely still has the 8.8" ring and pinion inside, which has been well proven in the 1986-2014 V8 Mustangs. This means that there will be dozens of optional rear gear selections available (from Ford and other sources) from day 1, as well as lots of aftermarket limited slip differential options. Ford seems to be on a "Torsen T-2" diff kick of late - in the higher performance GT500, Boss302 and Track Pack Mustangs - but I suspect we might still have a clutch plate "Traction Lok" diff in the lower end models; We shall see. I'm still likely going to upgrade to a better aftermarket diff (Torsen T-2R or OS Giken) in our 2015 Mustang, and the gear ratio might not stay within the standard range of three choices that include "3.31, 3.55 or 3.73", if the gearing/speed numbers don't work out. The Getrag MT-82 is staying in the S550 and that 6-speed manual doesn't play well (3rd gear is needed by 55 mph with the 3.73s) with the lower numerical ratios that come optional in the '11-14 cars, from what we've seen.

This close-up of the right rear lower control arm shows eccentric bolts that would be part of the rear camber and/or toe adjustment. This is a big plus for the IRS over a solid axle, as a fixed axle has fixed toe (zero) and camber (zero), which hurts overall cornering grip and corner exit traction. Sure, a solid axle "loses no geometry" in dynamic use, but it is far from perfect. And yes, that is black spray paint on the rear exhaust section. Probably done to cover up some sin in fabrication, the production exhaust will likely be a dull grey as usual. And the routing of the exhaust... as tortured as you would expect, so look forward to some exhaust flow gains to be had from a custom or aftermarket "axle back" exhaust on the S550s.

Does this solid axle Mustang look like it is going into positive camber on the outside rear tire, in this image?

We've seen what appears to be a loss of camber on the rear solid axle of our S197s under load, so dialing in a smidgen of static rear negative camber will be one of our first mods on the S550. Look at the image above of our 2011 Mustang exiting hard at NOLA's Turn16 corner. Does it look like that rear wheel is showing zero camber, or a tick positive? With an IRS we could dial in something like -1.5 or even more negative camber, which should make for more grip (a modern radial tire likes a little negative camber, even when loaded), and that rear toe-in trick is something we've also used on BMWs for a decade to get them to turn in faster.

Neil Roberts described this phenomenon best in his book ThinkFAST, on page 133, in the section called "Turn Radius Effects on Toe Settings":
Have you ever wondered why every competitive alignment includes front tow out and rear toe in? It is a simple consequence of simple geometry...
I don't want to plagiarize his whole book but the next 2 pages explain why this works, with diagrams. If you don't own this book and are a racer, get it and read it. Just know that adjustable rear toe and camber is a very good thing and IRS brings this, and much more. A 100+ pounds less unsprung mass is also a huge benefit of IRS over a solid axle! Not only will it ride significantly better than the solid axle 3-link it replaces, it should handle better as well.

In these pics I was trying to show how much unused room there was in the back of this chassis for something like alternate exhaust routing, or a diff cooler mounting, or a big ass rear diffuser. The shot of the rear spring is to show the fact that this layout does indeed seem to follow the image below, which I posted previously. Yes, these images I took are crap - and they are the good ones. :/

One thing I can confirm from sticking my head under the S550 rear fenders is there appears to be a large amount of extra room inside the rear fenders for more tire width. This S550 at PRI had some optional 20" wheels (apparently the 20x9" wheel that you can opt on most models, over the 18x8" and 19x9" wheels that come with some packages?) mounted with 265/35/20 tires.

The wheels were pushed out to the "bleeding edge" of the fender lips, and the tire to fender gaps were very small - neither of which will likely make it to the production model. It is rare for an OEM car, especially a Mustang, to have a "stance" and wheel fitment that looks this good. But fear not - there was at least 3 or 4 inches of extra inboard wheel room out back, meaning... our coveted 18x12" rear wheel might once again fit the back of a Mustang, just like we managed to do on the S197 (using every trick in the book!).

I couldn't see jack squat under the front end, as the car was low and the circular platform prevented me from looking up under the front bumper. But from what little I could see, the S550 at PRI appears to have the same front suspension shown in the image above, which was in the press releases two weeks ago. I would have paid money to be able to open that hood and inspect the strut towers (we make camber plates, remember??) but I think we will have the room we need to get the front negative camber adjustment this car will surely benefit from in performance driving or track use.

That dual ball joint suspension is popular on German cars (BMW, Merc, etc) and the benefits should apply to the S550 as well. Separating the tension and compression forces in the 2-piece lower control arm is also a German thing... and heck, it was kind of how the 1964.5 model Mustang did things up front, in the most basic of ways. The big (apparently) 4 piston front calipers looked beefy but they were definitely not a Brembo design I was familiar with. Did Ford make their own, or source this from another vendor? If it was a Brembo you know it would be printed and legible as such from 30 feet away. Strange, but if it works...

My biggest take away from this brief look at the pre-production 2015 Mustang is: this thing is not a smaller car as some are saying. It is still plenty big, especially the rear width, and therefore I don't see how it could possibly be "200-300 pounds lighter" than the outgoing car, if you compare the same drive trains from old to new. We shall see, and I hope I am wrong about this.

That's all I could glean from my 10 minutes next to this pre-production S550 2015 Mustang. I will keep adding to this thread as we find out more on this new chassis.


Last edited by Fair!; 12-18-2013 at 02:46 PM.
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