The 1999 Mustang’s shape draws equally from the knife-edge lines of the original Mustang and the taut, New Edge design of the breakthrough GT90 concept supercar of a few years ago.
Slim, wraparound headlamps are new, and for the first time the rear deck is made of sheet molded compound, which reduces weight and eliminates corrosion.
Pronounced wheel arches are complemented by flat spokes on new 15-, 16- and 17-inch road wheels.
Larger, 3-inch-diameter, dual tail pipes on the GT provide improved exhaust sound and advertise the significant engine upgrades.
Heritage cues include the classic long hood and short deck; a prominent hood scoop; enlarged, sculptured side scoops, with a bold triangular shape; and Mustang signature tri-bar taillamps. The galloping chrome pony centered on the grille is once again circled by a chrome “corral,” as it was on the original Mustang. All ’99 Mustangs have a 35th-anniversary version of the tri-color-bar emblem on the sides of the front fenders. Other familiar details include an optional rear spoiler (standard on the GT), honeycomb grille textures, and side character lines that echo the original Mustang’s design.
Powertrain: More Performance Across the Board
Engines for the 1999 Mustang are refined to optimize horsepower and torque, which results in much quicker acceleration.
“We’ve given more muscle to the Mustang engines,” said Bill Koche, Mustang powertrain engineering manager. “Mustang enthusiasts will be thrilled when they learn about our across-the-board enhancements.”
Mustang’s split-port-induction 3.8-liter V-6 engine gets a boost of 40 horsepower. It is now rated at 190 hp at 5,250 rpm, and torque is up by five foot-pounds, to 220 at 2,750 rpm.
The Mustang GT’s 4.6-liter SOHC V-8 boasts an increase of 35 horsepower – now 260 at 5,250 rpm. Torque is up by 10 foot-pounds, to 302 at 4,000 rpm.
The California version of the 3.8-liter V-6 meets Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) requirements and the California 4.6-liter SOHC V-8 meets Transitional Low Emission Vehicle (TLEV) requirements.
The 1999 Mustang V-6 and Mustang GT are equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, or an optional four-speed automatic with overdrive. Both have a performance-oriented 3.27:1 rear axle ratio.
Chassis: More Stability and Driver Control
For the first time, Mustang offers a traction control system, available on all models. When needed, the all-speed system uses a combination of powertrain and braking controls to provide enhanced vehicle control, particularly on wet or slippery roads.
Other 1999 Mustang chassis improvements include reductions in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), more precise, responsive steering with improved on-center feel, and turning circle reductions of approximately three feet to improve maneuverability.
An increase of about an inch in rear suspension travel and a 1.4-inch increase in rear track further enhance Mustang ride and handling.
On the convertible, retuned engine mounts and the addition of underbody rails serve to increase chassis rigidity and reduce mid-car shake.
And That’s Not All …
A revised premium speaker system upgrades Mustang’s audio systems, and buyers are offered a combined AM/FM stereo cassette and CD player. The MACH 460 audio system is still available, powered by two dedicated amplifiers and featuring a powerful subwoofer assembly.
A one-inch-longer track for the driver’s seat provides accommodation for taller drivers. The driver’s seat also is now available with 6-way (instead of 4-way) power for improved adjustability and comfort.
Updated colors and materials freshen Mustang’s interior appearance. These include two new colors (Dark Charcoal and Medium Parchment), thicker, more durable material on the door trim panels, as well as new seat fabrics and sew patterns. All ’99 Mustang front seats have a pony emblem embossed on the seatback to commemorate the 35th anniversary.
“It all adds up to the fact that the 1999 Mustang really has a lot to offer,” Bay said. “Its design is strong, contemporary and true to Mustang’s original concept. Performance improvements make the 1999 models very exciting and satisfying to drive. Make no mistake about it, everything we’ve done – and will continue to do – makes Mustang better and better, building on its heritage of free-spirited fun in a rear-wheel-drive, all-American sports car.”