The big attraction at the New York motor show was the 50-year limited-edition Mustang, so called because just 1964 examples will be built.
It’s a salute of sorts to the year the Mustang first appeared and builds on the 2015 GT model with design details that hark back to the original pony car.
But don’t expect any of the limited-edition cars to make it to New Zealand or Australia next year – all 1964 specials are left-hookers earmarked for sale in North America.
However, there was talk on the Ford stand in New York that Ford Australia might deliver a limited edition Downunder model of its own for sale on both sides of the Tasman.
Other nameplates on show in the Big Apple, like the Subaru WRX STi, for instance, will make it to New Zealand within the next few months. But more on those cars further in this story.
Ford has said that the 1964 Mustang models – all hardtops, no convertibles; two colours only, Wimbledon White or Kona Blue – will be some of the first off the assembly line when 2015 production begins later this year. They borrow original design cues such as chrome trim on the grille, windows and tail-lights, louvered rear-quarter windows, a large fake fuel cap, and 50-year badging.
Other enhancements standard on Performance Package Mustang GT models include six-piston Brembo front brakes and 19-inch alloys. Under the bonnet is a 5.0-litre V8 engine delivering 313kW and 520Nm of torque and driving the rear wheels via six-manual or automatic gearboxes.
Mustang enthusiasts will note that the 50-Year model marks the first time Ford is offering its Performance Package with an automatic gearbox.
The four-paw Subaru WRX STi is one of four cars unveiled in New York that will land in New Zealand this year. The STi gets here in June, its turbocharged 2.0-ltre engine likely to deliver around 220kW. The 1.8-litre Alfa Romeo 4C coupe is due in June, too. The other two, the all-wheel-drive BMW X4 and updated Mini Countryman, are expected around the third quarter.
Four others from the New York show, the Subaru Outback, Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG coupe, Kia Carnival, and Nissan Murano, will land in 2015. So too will the Mazda MX-5, sitting on a lightweight new chassis, part of the carmaker’s bundle of SkyActiv technologies that is expected to give the new two-seater a perfect 50:50 front-rear weight distribution.
The fifth-generation Outback gets a more rugged look than previous models. To offer more secure load-carrying options, rope hooks have been added to the crossbar-type roof rails and a step fitted to the side sill to provide a foothold when loading bicycles or other items on the roof.
“With the continuing shift to crossover and SUV vehicles, Outback is an important model for us,” said Subaru NZ managing director Wallis Dumper. “Even some of our loyal Legacy buyers have changed to the Outback in recent years.”
The S63 AMG will come with a twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8 engine delivering 430kW and around 880Nm and driving all four wheels via a seven-speed Speedshift gearbox.
The Nissan Murano gets a reworked version of its venerable 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine. The Kia Carnival people-mover is apparently going to be a mobile connectivity centre, with Apple and Google systems.