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Goin' Back to Cali: Ford Mustang California Special Returns for 2019

2019 Ford Mustang California Special

CARS.COM — Ford is bringing back a retro-inspired California Special edition for the 2019 Mustang, as well as adding some vintage colors and new features for the 2019 lineup. The performance perks include rev-matching technology for the 5.0-liter V-8 engine and a variable exhaust option for the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder.

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The original 1968 California Special, or GT/CS, was a regional package cooked up for Golden State dealers. It was a coupe model tricked out with styling details adapted from a prototype Shelby GT500 coupe called Little Red. The limited edition included a blacked-out grille, twist-lock hood fasteners, a side racing stripe, a faux rear fender scoop, a rear spoiler and Thunderbird-style sequential taillights. Available with any powertrain, it has become a collector version. The California Special name was revived for a package in 2007 and has been offered off and on since.

The latest California Special edition will be available this summer and joins the Bullitt Mustang special edition for 2019 as well as a revived Shelby GT500. The GT/CS is an appearance package based on the Mustang GT trim level and adds a blacked-out grille, as well as borrowing a lower front bumper splitter from the Mustang Performance Pack 1. A fading racing stripe runs down the side into a faux rear fender scoop. The special gets its own wheel design and a black and red California Special badge on the trunk lid.

The interior gets microfiber suede-trimmed seats with contrast red stitching and a GT/CS logo; the logo also is embroidered into the floormats, and there is a California Special badge on the passenger-side dash panel.

Also new for the 2019 Mustang:

  • Rev-matching technology for the Mustang's 460-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 with six-speed manual transmission. The system predicts shifts and then matches the V-8 revs for the transition.
  • The variable valve performance exhaust offered for the V-8 now also will be offered with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. It is driver-controllable active exhaust and also has a quiet start setting Ford calls "good neighbor mode."[MP5]
  • You might need to use some good neighbor restraint with the newly optional, 1,000-watt Bang & Olufsen Play [MF6]audio system. The 10-channel, 12-speaker system is specifically tuned to the Mustang interior.
  • Three new vintage paint colors will be available, including Velocity Blue, Need for Green and, for the Bullitt model only, Dark Highland Green.

Brochure for original 1968 Ford Mustang California Special (GT/CS)

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