Most significant changes: New trim packages, hood-mounted turn signal indicators
Price change: TBA
On sale: Fall
Sales of the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang are through the roof as the new pony car trounces the aging Chevrolet Camaro and recently updated Dodge Challenger. But Ford isn’t wasting much time, releasing a number of special editions and packages for the Mustang’s 2016 lineup, which includes the return of California Special and Pony packages. A new Black Accent Package joins the options list, as does the Performance Package for convertibles; it previously was only available on the fastback body style.
Related: More Ford Mustang News
California Special and Pony packages originated in the 1960s and are joined by another throwback cue from the 1967 Mustang in the form of driver-facing turn-signal indicators added to the hood vents of GT models. Ford said in a statement that Mustang fans have been clamoring for the return of this subtle addition for years. Those fans will now be able to get it as standard equipment on the Mustang GT.
Step up to the Mustang GT Premium and the California Special Package becomes available with numerous features including 19-inch ebony-painted wheels, leather interior with red contrast stitching, unique aluminum dashboard with a California Special badge, hood and side stripes plus a black rear spoiler and a front splitter. There’s also a unique grille treatment, strut tower brace with California Special badging and black-painted side mirrors and hood vents.
If you’re going for a stealthier approach, then the Black Accent Package might be up your alley. GT fastback and convertible models get black 19-inch wheels, black rear spoiler, dark taillight trim and black-painted 5.0 and pony emblems.
Turbocharged four-cylinder Ecoboost models aren’t left out of the onslaught of new options with the Pony Package adding 19-inch polished aluminum wheels, a unique grille, side stripes and chrome window highlights to the 310-horsepower Mustang.
For 2015, the Mustang GT fastback was the only body style to receive the Performance Package, but now the convertible gets the track-focused package with increased structural bracing and revised suspension, brakes, wheels and tires. The inclusions are a larger rear sway bar, heavy-duty front springs, six-piston front brake calipers, a limited-slip differential with a 3.73 axle ratio, a more aggressive front splitter plus rear spoiler delete and more.
The 2016 Ford Mustang goes on sale in the third quarter of 2015; California Special and Black Accent packages will be available in the fall, though the Pony Package is said to launch by year’s end.