2003 Ford Mustang
On April 17, 1964, Ford’s Mustang rolled onto the streets and changed the automotive world. With its low profile, long hood and short rear deck, Mustang promised performance, style and enough options for buyers to express their own personality. The original Mustang still is considered one of the greatest automotive success stories of all time.
Today, Mustang shares this heritage in performance and design and outsells every other car in the hotly contested small-specialty segment. The legendary Mustang also is the best-selling convertible in America and a preferred racer on local tracks all over the country. For 2003, Ford is boosting enthusiasm with two special-edition Mustangs, the 2003 Mach 1 Mustang and Pony.
Mustang is the nation’s best-selling convertible. In total, customers purchased 54,783 Ford convertibles in 2001 (17.6 percent of U.S. convertible market), surpassing all other makes by more than 7,500 units.
Mustang comes in Standard, Deluxe and Premium trims with a V-6 or V-8 engine. It is built in Dearborn, Michigan.
New Pony Package
From its earliest days, Mustang has represented affordable performance and style. The product strategy always has been to offer a wide range of models from base models to GTs to special editions and make certain there is a Mustang that will meet nearly every budget. So even though the base Mustang might not offer the ultimate performance and speed of the top model, it proudly carries the spirit that has made the car a living legend.
The 2003 Mustang Pony is a special-edition appearance package offered on the V-6 model. The Pony package combines 16-inch, polished-aluminum wheels, unique striping with “Mustang Stampede” graphics, a special rear bumper with blackened “Mustang” lettering, a GT hood and scoop, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Comfort and Convenience
The 2003 Mustang has reduced wind noise thanks to expandable foam seals around the body, particularly at the outside door handles and belt molding on the doors.
Standard comfort and convenience features include air conditioning, power windows and door locks, tilt steering column, full-length center floor console, remote keyless entry system and interval windshield wipers.
Reclining cloth front bucket seats are standard, as are 50/50 split-folding rear seatbacks on coupe models. A six-way power driver’s seat is available, as are leather-trimmed bucket seats.
An interior overhead storage net is standard on all coupes. The Mustang convertible features a power retractable fabric top with a hydraulic system that allows for quick raising and lowering. The convertible top features a scratch-resistant glass rear window and black semi-hard boot, which protects the top from dust when lowered, and provides an aerodynamic exterior appearance.
The standard Mustang engine is a 3.8-liter OHV V-6, producing 190 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 220 foot-pounds of torque at 2,750 rpm. The engine features split-port induction, which helps optimize fuel economy, along with enhanced-flow cylinder heads and anti-friction piston coatings.
GT models have a standard 4.6-liter SOHC V-8 that produces 260 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 302 foot-pounds of torque at 4,000 rpm. The engine features large valves, equal-length intake manifold runners, and cams with high lift and long duration to maximize engine air intake for increased horsepower. A coil-on-plug ignition system provides improved ignition control for more consistent starting. Combustion chambers are shaped for optimum power and fuel efficiency, and aluminum upper main, upper thrust and rod bearings help to improve engine durability.
New for 2003, the Mach 1 models have a standard 4-valve, DOHC 4.6-liter V-8 producing over 300 horsepower.
The Mustang GT uses the Tremec TR3650 manual transmission with a tall 5th gear ratio for improved fuel economy.
For 2003, both V-6 and V-8 engines are more refined with stiffer accessory drive brackets and improved bearings to reduce variability.
Ride and Handling
New for 2003, Mustang has a retuned suspension, including new shock absorbers. New microcellular urethane jounce bumpers make engagement upon impact more progressive, and a pinion snubber on the top of the rear axle reduces the amount of axle travel to improve ride quality.
Mustang’s rear-wheel drive layout provides excellent performance feel and handling response. Mustang uses a modified MacPherson strut front suspension to allow each wheel to react to road imperfections independently, while its weight balance of 57 percent front, 43 percent rear contributes to agility. Four-bar link rear suspension and power rack-and-pinion steering are standard on all Mustang models.
A traction-lock rear axle, standard on the GT, transfers driving force to the rear wheel with the best traction for improved performance on slippery or uneven surfaces and under strong acceleration.
Safety and Security
The 2003 Mustang features improved head-impact safety features, including a new A-pillar, headliners, sun visors and a revised D-ring seat belt attachment. The firing strategy on both driver and passenger side air bags also has been updated.
Front safety belts with pretensioners to tighten the lap and shoulder belts in the first moments of a crash also are standard. Energy-management retractors gradually slacken the safety belt, if necessary, to help reduce the force of the belt on the occupant’s chest. BeltMinder provides a gentle reminder to the driver to buckle up.
New for 2003, Mustang has added anchorages in the rear seat to implement the industry-standard LATCH system for child safety seat attachment.
Standard on GT and available on V-6, the anti-lock braking system and four-wheel disc brakes enhance stopping power, while all-speed traction control harnesses drive forces. A second-generation air bag restraint system helps provide occupant protection in frontal collisions.
The Mustang is fitted with an emergency trunk release handle to guard against trunk entrapment.
The SecuriLock passive anti-theft system scans an encoded chip embedded in the proper ignition key to help prevent a thief from starting the engine.