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: It has been going on now for a little over three years. Ford Mustang fans, auto enthusiasts, news people, spy photographers, and webmasters have been engaged in the dance of mystery that has surrounded the next Mustang. It has been a journey of hundreds of Photoshop renderings, spy photos, and literally thousands of forum threads across the net. Hundreds of hypothetical news stories exist in the dozens of Mustang websites, dozens of car magazines, and several other blogs. What a wild strange trip it has been.

The end date to all the speculation, foreplay, and debate has been set. The 2010 Mustang will come clean at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in November of this year. The day will bring everyone who cares about the Mustang together at once to either please or disappoint, to answer the big questions, and to put all the guessing to rest.

While Chevrolet has shown the 2010 Camaro to us now for over two years, Ford has been very careful about giving us too much to see of the 2010 Mustang. Spy photos in the past three months have been a bit more provocative, giving us a very clear sight of a brand new interior dash design. Increasingly transparent front camo covers have allowed us to get a clearer picture of the new headlights, grille and lower fascia profile. And downright sloppy rear coverings have let us see the new tail lights for what they are.

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Knowing very well the end is near, Ford teased us good with a parade lap at the Road America event. The 2010 Mustang made its first public appearance at the race weekend complete with a shiny new suit of camouflage duds. The car in question had one large single exhaust pipe which led many to believe it was a V6 model, perhaps even a turbo. Mustang brand marketing manager Fritz Wilke drove the car at the event and in most photos can be seen grinning from ear to ear. The youthful Wilke took over the helm this year at Ford as the many tides of change have been at his feet.

The development gestation of the 2010 Mustang will have spanned at least three Mustang brand managers, as these things take time. During that gestation the Camaro and Challenger played their cards early, giving Ford good opportunity to watch their development and adjust their game. Since then, gas prices have doubled and the government handed down a stringent new set of CAFÉ standards that the new Mustang will have to start living up to before its time is up.



Change. We have heard rumors that everything from a four-cylinder engine to a fire breathing six plus liter big-block BOSS V8 will sit under the hood of the 2010 Mustang. In the past year there have been many confirmations of a 5.0 liter engine to return, but also rumors that if it does it wont be in 2010. Chaos, confusion, and wonder. Then there is the advent of the new twin-turbo Eco-Boost engine line that is all but a certain addition to the Mustang at some point soon.

But what? What will we see in November? We will see a face lifted pony riding essentially on the same chassis as before. Engines? One thing is sure, the Mustang will have to work for its keep starting this year as the competition is back with a vengeance. Chevy just upped the ante big time with a standard V6 engine Camaro with 300hp, their standard V8 with 400hp.



To be honest even those of us in the news business have stopped making such forays into what the Mustang will or will not have as the story has changed too much. Credibility gets lost when the car has a new suggested engine with every new story. I will suggest that there might be a surprise or two, perhaps even a disappointment to be had in this arena, at least for the 2010 model year.

What I have been told by the people at Ford that have said what little they will say is simple. The car will be exciting and will offer Mustang fans more of what they have been asking for and then some. “You will be more than satisfied”, I have been told. What it wont offer is also likely some of what many Mustang fans been asking for, namely and independent rear suspension.



Between now and the big day we are likely to see more spy photos, and even some “oops we forgot to cover that up” pictures as well. If history is any guide, one of the big car magazines will accidentally break the embargo and show it all a week or two before the official unveiling. Perhaps someone will get pictures of the show cars getting their official corporate press pictures taken on a beach somewhere and email them to [email protected] to get paid for their sleuth work.

What we can promise to you is that November will be a very exciting time for Mustang fans. And you can be sure we will bring it to you LIVE from Los Angeles.

 
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