CAR GIZMOS !
"BUILT-IN" MUSTANG TECHNOLOGY !
We decided to look at the "hi-tech" stuff that comes with almost every new Mustang sold today. We could not possibly mention ALL of the amazing features included in new Mustangs like dual-air bags, anti-lock brakes, power driver seats, cruise control, rear window de-frost, etc. Nor did we mention the hundreds of tech bits relating to the incredible 4.6L overhead cam engine, gear box, suspension or ECC5 on board computer. No... we just looked at the "nice" items that we're glad Ford decided to include in it's latest performance machine, the Mustang.
Remember, as the rock band "Bush" says... "it's the little things that kill...." or in this case "count". The average sticker for a new car today (all manufactures & makes) is over $20,000! Remember that the Mustang is a performance car with a great price tag. Not all of these items are new to Mustang, some have been in place since '94, some since '64 1/2 !
Notice there is nothing "overkill" here like in other performance cars. No digital oil pressure gauges, trip computers, memory settings for seat position, no "lame" computers to reset whenever you change the oil, no cryptic controls that take a large manual to understand...why do you need that junk for ? In the Mustang it's pure, simple, and to the point. Everything is there for pure driving enjoyment. No pretentious items included, ok... maybe the flip-out cupholder, but that's it !
Go ahead, try to steal my Mustang GT ! Included on all new Mustang GT's and Cobras since '96, this system marks "the end" to the "hot wire" criminal. A special chip in the key sends a code to the engine's computer, if it matches the engine starts, if it doesn't the engine won't start. There are millions of possible combinations. No 2 keys are alike. The engine simply can not be started any other way. This system works so well that many insurance companies give discounts if installed. Since introduced, this system reduced new Mustang theft by 77% ! If you really want to steal a Mustang these days you'll have to use a flatbed tow truck!
In most cars when you change radio stations the clock disappears or it's just impossible to figure out how to set the damn thing. Ford hit one out of the park with this item ('94-'97 model year). Gone are the days of trying to figure out how to set your car's clock! To set your Mustang's clock, just press and hold the hour or minute buttons. That's it ! It also sits in a great location on your dash. Which is why so many "racers" use this location for gauge pods. Simple idea, hi-tech implimintation.
Traditionally, pony cars never came with cup holders. You needed to go down to Pep-boys and choose from 50 different plastic gizmos, none worked well and most drinks spilled anyway. Even though the Mustang comes with only 1 cupholder, it's one of the best working and designed cupholders I've seen. It works very well, it can hold a drink from a Med. size on down and when you don't need it, it retracts back into place! You could race Laguna Seca with a medium "capped" Slurpie in the Mustang's cup holder and it won't fall out! The '98 stang has dual cupholders.
Ok, some people don't like this feature because when they try to crack their windows "just a little" the window goes down all the way. If the button is tapped quickly, it starts to go full down. You can always interrupt "full down" operation by simply holding down the button or pressing it again. It takes a little getting use to, but once you do, you'll always use it. It frees up your hands for driving. It also looks cool pulling up to the fast food drive-through window with "just you" in the car and both hands on your wheel, people wonder "hey, hows' the window going down?" I once told a guy that my window "automatically" goes down when I approach a drive-through window, he believed me..... just kidding.
Most floor mats have a "mind of their own" don't they? They move all over the place! Especially if you drive a stick. In the new Mustang Ford put in a floor mat retaining hook. This little item holds the floor mat in place during any type of driving! No more "magic carpet" rides on your floor mats anymore! Again, simple idea, hi-tech implimintation.
This would mean that you actually have two outlets, your cigarette lighter and this one by your shifter. Actually, Ford does not recommend using the cigarette lighter location for accessories, they prefer you use the one by the shifter, why? My guess would be for safety. Most cars have the cigarette lighter locations close to their center ash trays (seems logical) BUT, most non-smokers use this area as a "coin tray" and not for ashes. This means if the lighter were removed or missing, an "overfull" coin tray could possibly toss a coin into the lighter socket and cause an electrical short (in a rare case). With this new socket, you'll never have to worry about this!
Ok, some cars have this, some don't. If you don't, it's just harder to clean the windshield. Nice touch. Hi-tech.... we think so.
Remember back when "stock" car stereos "sucked" (like 2 years ago). Well, the new stock stereo in the Mustang is actually quite good. It offers Dolby noise reduction, AMS (automatic music search) on your cassettes, 18 radio storage locations and more. You can auto-reverse the cassette play and when "reversed" the rewind button is always rewind and the forward button is always forward! In the base configuration it's pumping out to only 4 speakers, but I think it sounds better than any previously offered 6 speaker system. I use the AMS feature all the time, to skip a song on a cassette just hit FWD while playing, the player will find the next "gap" in the music and then continue playing. Remember, this is the system that ships with most Mustangs, the optional Mach 460 is simply awesome, more speakers, more power!
I don't use these much, but the ladies do. It's nice having this on the driver side as well. In some cars they only put vanity mirrors on the passenger side. Hi-tech? Here's a project for you...find the switch that turns the lights on and off.
Ok, so there is seemingly nothing hi-tech about this, it's more nostalgic. You pull this knob one click for parking lights, two clicks for headlights, rotate it left one click to turn on interior lights, rotate it right to dim the dashboard gauge lights. All this exterior and interior lighting control from one knob. This knob was standard on Mustangs back in the 60's ! It worked the same way then as it does today. It was changed in following years, to switches, etc.... but made it's return in '94-97. You know what they say about something that works well...."if it ain't broke...".
With this you never have to use the keys to pop your trunk. You're just one button click away. This feature has been standard on most Mustangs for over 10 years.
This switch may save your life in case of a bad accident. What it does is kill the power to the fuel pump. It needs a hard "shock" to activate. Ford mentions this in the manual in the rare case that you set it off going up a curb at 30MPH ! It never goes off when it's not supposed to, but in case it does you can re-set it. This is also where I put a switch to "kill" the fuel pump on the '89 GT. Hit the switch and a thief will spend hours wondering why your Mustang won't turn over.
Like we said before, there is so much technology in a new Mustang we could not mention it all, this is just a small sample, until next time...see you on the street.