History of the 2005-2014 Ford Mustang

History of the 2005-2014 Ford Mustang

Last Updated February 5, 2020 | Sam Padgett

All of the Mustangs sold between the years 2004 to 2014 fall into a generation named S197. Overall, the S197 Mustangs are marked by their retro, early Mustang inspired looks, numerous technological upgrades, and a large selection of fan-favorite special editions.

S197 Design Overview

The new Mustang was based on the D2C platform, which Ford also used on the Thunderbird and Lincoln LS. While the Mustang was still sharing a platform, it was the first new platform for the pony car in 25 years when Ford launched the Fox platform on the 1979 Mustang. Once the platform had been set, Ford Group Vice President of Design, J Mays, was responsible for the first major redesign in over ten years.

S197 Mustang Concept Car

The result was a new Mustang with a design that paid homage to the past, yet incorporated modern elements to make it one of the best looking, handling, and performing vehicles of its time. The exterior features a big grille and round headlights, reminiscent of the 1967-1969 Mustangs, while other elements recall 1965 Mustangs, like the triangular side windows, fastback roofline, and taillights. Inside, the retro cues continue, with the dual-hooded dash and aluminum accent panels, recalling those of the 1967-1968 Mustangs. Big instruments, circular vents, and a round steering wheel hub complete the retro look.

Modern cues come into play with the changeable backlighting on the instruments, modern suspension components, bigger brakes and modern engines. The all-new design was unveiled to the public at the 2003 North American Auto Show, which showcased a Torch Red GT convertible and a Tungsten Silver GT coupe, and was labeled the most significant concept of the show. This design wasn't too far from what was launched for the 2005 model year.

The Launch of the New Model

The 2005 Mustang

In early 2004, the new 2005 Ford Mustang was officially launched. Two models, a V6 and GT, were available, along with numerous trims within each model. The new 2005 Mustang was also available in coupe or convertible formats. The V6 was powered by an all-new 4.0L engine that put out 210 horsepower and 240 lb-ft. of torque, which was a nice increase over the outgoing model's V6 power. Meanwhile, in the GT, the 4.6L V8 was carried over from the previous model but received a nice power boost as well, up to 300 horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque.

2010: The Redesign

The S197 Mustangs took on a different look halfway through their lifespan, similar to the SN95 and New Edge Mustangs. On the exterior, the sheet metal was wholly restyled for better aerodynamic performance. It also included a revised pony emblem, a new headlight design, and LED taillights with sequential turn signals. While it looked dramatically different, it retained the S197 platform and the exterior dimensions were nearly the same.

On the inside, the overall quality was increased. Ford used better materials, including real aluminum trim, and made their SYNC system an available option on all models, except the base model 2010 Mustang. It also included upgraded safety equipment to comply with more stringent federal safety standards.

Red 2010 Mustang GT

Their performance was improved slightly as well. Ford increased the power available in the 4.6L V8 to 315 horsepower, while the 4.0L V6 was a carry-over from the previous model. All models also included larger standard and optional wheels, and standard traction control.

For the 2010 model year, the Shelby GT500 also received a sizable redesign. The new GT500 was faster, more powerful and handled better than ever before. Engine revisions to the 5.4L supercharged V8 resulted in 40 more horsepower and 30 lb-ft. of additional torque. It also received new springs, a new rear differential ratio (3.55), and new 19-inch wheels and tires for better grip. As a result, acceleration improved, with a 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds, and many drivers reported that it felt like a dramatically different car, especially when cornering.

2011: The Return of the 5.0

While the look of the Mustang stayed basically the same and overall changes compared to the 2010 redesign were minor, the biggest news of the 2011 model year was the all-new engines and transmissions. The V6 was replaced with an all-new, advanced 3.7L, while the GT featured a return of the '5.0' engine, though this time as a brand new, highly powerful, modern V8!

The 3.7L V6 featured twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT), resulting in much more power, all while using significantly less fuel. It's made of aluminum, which decreases its weight and increased performance and efficiency. It produces 305 horsepower and 280 lb-ft. of torque, amazingly just shy of what the old V8 produced. It's also designed to provide more low-end torque, exactly what Mustang owners crave.

2011 Mustang GT 5.0

However, the real excitement came with the announcement of Ford's new 5.0L "Coyote" V8. Featuring the same Ti-VCT technology, it delivered 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft. of torque, both big increases over the outgoing GT engine. Combined with a lighter overall weight and the new transmissions, the new 5.0 got even better economy than the old V8 while still being immensely fun to drive. Despite being an entirely new and very different engine, for long-time Mustang enthusiasts, the return of the 5.0 moniker also harkened back to the old 5.0 V8 that appeared in the Mustang from the late 1960s until its retirement in 1995.

The 2011 Mustang also received two new transmissions: a 6-speed MT-82 Getrag manual transmission or Ford's 6R60 6-speed automatic transmission. Both contributed to the car's better economy and performance, while the extra gear in the manual definitely added to the fun-to-drive factor as well.

2013: Another Minor Refresh

Another, final update to the S197 was prepared for the 2013 model year. While this one was much more modest than the 2010 update, it did include a new front fascia with a larger grille and standard HID headlights, along with two LED accent strips that reflect back on the front design of early Mustangs. The rear was also tweaked, with new LED taillights with integrated reverse lights. LED projector lights on the side mirrors, reflecting the running horse image, were included on Comfort Package models for 2013. The most significant upgrade on the inside was a new 4.2-inch display on Premium models that was positioned between the speedometer and tachometer that allowed for statistics to be displayed while driving. The 5.0L V8 gained eight horsepower for the 2013 Mustang, up to 420. The Boss 302 remained for one more year, adopting the styling of the new model.

2013 Mustang GT

2014: The End of the S197 Mustangs

Very little was changed for 2014. A few colors were added and a few options were shifted around, but all of the 2014 Mustang trims were generally left unchanged, as buzz continued to build for the completely redesigned version coming for the next model year.

On June 20, 2014, the final S197 Mustang was built. With the advent of the S550 generation, the Mustang continues to move into the future. Plenty of things changed between the fifth and the sixth generations, and the differences between the 2014 and 2015 Mustangs are numerous. The S197 was a fantastic generation of Mustangs, but time keeps marching on.

Shelby GT500

S197 Special Mustang Models

V6 Special Editions

For V6 buyers, the Pony Package became available in 2006. The Pony Package included the suspension from the GT, along with 17-inch wheels with wider tires and a unique grille with fog lamps. It also included a rear spoiler, unique striping, and emblems. Later on in the S197's run, the Pony Package added a stainless steel exhaust and a power driver's seat.

Brochure from V6 Appearance Package

At the 2007 SEMA show, Ford launched the V6 Appearance Package. While it included a number of visual upgrades, like a billet grille, scoops, a spoiler, a grille with fog lights, interior trim updates and blackout trim treatments, it also had several performance modifications. The suspension was given an upgrade, it received the Ford Power Pack FR1, a true dual exhaust with X-pipe, a Pro-Cal tuner, a short-throw shifter and the FR3 handling package, which included upgraded shocks and struts, front and rear anti-roll bars, lowering springs and a strut tower bar. It became available for 2008 and 2009, only for Mustangs already getting the V6 Premium Package.

GT Special Editions

The biggest special edition news for 2006 was the return of Carroll Shelby to the Mustang. For 2006, Carroll Shelby International modified 500 Mustangs into 2006 Shelby GT-H models, which were sold to Hertz for the revival of their popular "Rent-A-Racer" program. Shelby rebranded the GT-H into the Shelby GT for 2007 and 2008. While the modifications remained the same as the GT-H, the new Shelby GT was available in numerous colors for both model years, though became best known for its look in Vista Blue. It became quite popular, too, with more than the planned 6,000 copies being sold.

2007 California Special Mustang

Also in 2007, Ford reintroduced the California Special edition after a nearly 40 year hiatus. The GT/CS package adds 18-inch wheels, non-functional side scoops and unique striping in lieu of the GT emblem. The GT/CS Mustang also features new front and rear fascias which are lower to the ground than the ones on the standard GT. Interior upgrades include special floor mats and leather options. Despite this being purely an appearance package, it was popular and remains available on the Mustang to this day.

For the 2009 model year, a panoramic glass roof option was added. More importantly, Ford celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Mustang. Unfortunately, the hard-hitting economic recession meant that resources were limited. There wasn't an official Ford limited special edition, so all of the "regular" models for the year (those that weren't Shelby or Bullitt trim) received some commemorative pony fender badges that featured a horseshoe and "45th Anniversary" text. Despite the subtle celebration for the production cars, an ultra-rare Iacocca Silver 45th Anniversary Edition Mustang was created that gave the pony car a much more fitting tribute.


After a seven-year absence, the Bullitt made its return in 2008. The Bullitt was last produced in 2001 and pays tribute to the GT390 driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 film. Manufactured for both the 2008 and 2009 model years, the Bullitt maintained the look of the original 1968 Mustang, with no exterior badges or a spoiler, a custom Bullitt-only faux gas cap, a custom grille and special Dark Argent Gray 18-inch wheels with matching brake calipers. An upgraded 3.5-inch exhaust tip was added. The Bullitt was only available in Dark Highland Green (like the movie's Mustang), or black.

2008 Mustang Bullitt

Under the hood, the 4.6L V8 was tweaked to produce 315 horsepower and 325 lb-ft. of torque. This was done through improved calibration, a custom cold air intake, and a revised exhaust, which was designed to mimic the sound of the original Bullitt. It also features an upgraded suspension, which slightly lowers the Bullitt. A manual transmission was the only gearbox available.

Boss 302

After a 42-year hiatus, the Boss 302 finally made its reentrance into the Mustang scene.

While the 5.0L V8 that was introduced last year was an excellent foundation, designers wanted to get more track-like performance from the Boss 302, so some modifications were required. It started with a new intake and continued with revised camshafts and a more aggressive tune. The result was 440 horsepower and 380 lb-ft. of torque. That was combined with a race-inspired clutch, intake manifold, and a short-throw 6-speed transmission for an amazing experience behind the wheel.

2012 Boss 302

Based on the Boss 302, two more special editions were also added to the line up: The Boss 302 Laguna Seca and the Boss 302R. Both were geared towards racing. The Boss 302 Laguna Seca lost some creature comforts but added performance upgrades, like an upgraded suspension, Recaro seats, and a rear seat delete (with cross-car X-brace for increased rigidity). The Laguna Seca was meant to bridge the gap between the Boss 302 and the Boss 302R, which was a race car and not street legal.

Shelby GT500

After a multi-decade absence, Ford and Shelby again partnered up to bring back the Shelby GT500. The GT500 had a 5.4L supercharged V8 that produced 500 horsepower and 480 lb-ft. of torque. It also included a Tremec 6-speed manual transmission, custom suspension tuning, a body kit, and custom 18-inch wheels.

2008 Shelby GT500

An even higher performance GT500, the Shelby GT500KR, was introduced for the 2008 and 2009 model years. It contained a custom cold air intake and unique tuning, which boosted the power from the 5.4L supercharged V8 to 540 horsepower and 510 lb-ft. of torque. The GT500 "King of the Road" edition was designed to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original edition and featured several appearance and performance upgrades to set it apart from the GT500. Only 1,000 were made for 2008 and 571 for 2009, with this number matching the original car's 1,571 production.

Not to be outdone, owners could send their already powerful GT500s to Carroll Shelby's plant in Las Vegas where, for an additional $27.995, it could be rebuilt into a Shelby Super Snake. The Super Snake received either a 605 horsepower version of the 5.4L V8 or a twin-screw supercharged version with over 725 horsepower.

The 2011 Shelby GT500 received minor tweaks. The the biggest change regarded the engine, which was no longer based on a cast-iron block, and instead used aluminum. This shaved off some weight and allowed for 10 additional horsepower. Torque was unchanged. Aside from a few other mechanical tweaks and standard HIDs, the GT500 was unchanged.

Another major revision was in store for the 2013 Shelby GT500. The biggest news: 662 horsepower and 631 lb-ft. of torque from an all-new 5.8L supercharged V8. It has a top speed of 202 mph. New mechanical features were also added to support the engine and the car's amazing performance, including the Launch Control system that was first seen in the Boss 302. The new GT500 also added many of the styling and performance enhancements that came with the new base Mustangs, making the car more driver-friendly than ever before. Ultimately, the differences between the 2012 and 2013 Mustangs are individually minor, but altogether significant.

Colors Unique to S197

There are plenty of interesting colors that are completely unique to the S197 generation. If you are curious about all of the colors available during this generation, or simply want to browse every Mustang color ever, be sure to check out the Mustang paint codes article on our Resource Center.

  • Brilliant Silver
  • Performance White
  • Legend Lime
  • Windveil Blue
  • Tungsten Gray
  • Yellow Blaze
  • Sterling Gray
  • Alloy
  • Vapor
  • Dark Candy Apple Red
  • Vista Blue
  • Sunset Gold
  • Red Candy
  • Lava Red
  • Gotta Have it Green
  • School Bus Yellow (Boss 302 only)

S197 Mustang Engine Specs

Below is a list of the engines used during the S197 generation. As you can see, the power put under the hood of the Mustang continues to increase with each year.

Mustang Engines
Engine Model Horsepower Torque Years
4.0L V6 Standard 210 hp @ 5300 RPM 240 lb-ft @ 3500 RPM 2005-2010
3.7L V6 Standard 305 hp @ 6500 RPM 280 lb-ft @ 4250 RPM 2011-2014
4.6L V8 GT 315 hp @ 6000 RPM 325 lb-ft @ 4250 RPM 2010
5.0L V8 GT 412 hp @ 6500 RPM 390 lb-ft @ 4250 RPM 2011-2012
5.0L V8 GT 420 hp @ 6500 RPM 390 lb-ft @ 4250 RPM 2013-2014
5.4L SC V8 Shelby GT500 540 hp @ 6000 RPM 510 lb-ft @ 4800 RPM 2010
5.4L SC V8 Shelby GT500 550 hp @ 6200 RPM 510 lb-ft@ 4250 RPM 2011-2012
5.4L SC V8 Shelby GT500 662 hp @ 6250 RPM 631 lb-ft @ 4000 RPM 2013-2014
5.0L V8 Boss 302 444 hp @ 7500 RPM 380 lb-ft @ 4250 RPM 2012-2013

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Sources: Mustang Evolution, Mustangs Daily

History of the 2005-2014 Ford Mustang

The fifth generation of Mustangs, otherwise known as the S197 generation, represents the Mustang's return to form. With this generation, many classic pony car elements can be seen making a big come back. That being said, the Mustang continues to adapt, and while it takes inspiration from the past, remains a fully modern vehicle.