Shake it Up!
Ford improves the audio system in the all-new Mustang
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
We realize that the audio system most of our readers are concerned with is the one that growls out of the mufflers. Yes, a Mustang is about performance, and a great exhaust sound is key. However, admit that sometimes you enjoy cranking the tunes while you are out for a cruise.
Fortunately, Ford engineers had every aspect of the car on the table while developing an all-new Mustang.
“As our team developed this Mustang, the goal was to improve the car’s fidelity in every respect—from the way it slices through a corner to the way the audio system reproduces the sound of favorite driving songs,” Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer, said. “The process of rebuilding this car from the ground up allowed us to improve all aspects of the driving experience.”
Apparently some of the car’s improvements in chassis rigidity actually proved beneficial to the listening experience. Yes, we love that the 2015 Mustang is 28 percent more resistant to twisting. That also translates to less noise in the cabin. When combined with the car’s better aerodynamics, the quiet S550 sets the stage for cleaner tones from the audio system.
“With a fundamentally quieter baseline to work from, we had a better acoustic environment to tune the audio systems in the new car,” Joe Kafati, multimedia systems supervisor, said. “The reduction in ambient noise enabled us to achieve the same sound pressure levels in the cabin with much less power and distortion.”
There are three audio systems available in the new Mustang. The base configuration gets six speakers, while the premium upgrade steps up to nine speakers with an 8-inch touchscreen. The top-of-the-line system is the 12-speaker Shaker Pro with a trunk-mounted subwoofer.
Opting for the premium system nets you a center speaker atop the instrument panel and all the speakers are upgraded with lightweight neodymium magnets. This system also replaces the single full-range door speakers of the base system with two speakers to carry the load of low and midrange frequencies. Stepping all the way up to the Shaker Pro not only adds the aforementioned subwoofer, it upgrades all 12 speakers with durable polymer cones.
“We took advantage of our new acoustics lab to tune the equalization modes for each system to provide improved clarity across all frequency ranges and in different driving conditions,” Joe added. “The lab provides us with a consistent baseline for measuring the response of audio systems with a wide variety of music and spoken-word content.”
“Whether it’s a V8 rumble or ‘Mustang Sally,’ we’ve worked to make this the best-sounding Mustang ever,” Joe enthused.