Ford Mustang GT gets California Special treatment for 2019 model year

Article by Christian A., on March 14, 2018

Ford is introducing a new limited edition of the 2019 Ford Mustang GT – the California Special -- that boasts of aesthetics elements derived from the 1968 original version, modern performance and styling, as well as innovative technologies.

The very first Mustang California Special was born in 1968, with design cues inspired by the 1967 Shelby GT prototype. This came to be called the California Special. The original Mustang California Special was provided with distinguishing elements like a blacked-out grille and fog lamps, as well as a racing stripe running on sides through just ahead of the rear fender scoop.

In addition, the 1968 Mustang California Special was fitted with twist-lock hood fasteners, a Shelby-inspired spoiler and custom rear lamps. The spectacular looks of the Mustang California Special prompted Ford to put it to limited production. Soon enough, the California Special has become one of the much-sought-after special edition Mustang models.

Now, Ford has created the latest iteration of the Mustang California Special. This new 2019 Mustang GT California Special is crafted with design cues reinterpreted from the 1968 original. For instance, the front end of the 2019 iteration features a blacked-out open grille while employing the Mustang Performance Pack 1 splitter. Its sides are adorned by the trademark fading stripe spanning from the 5.0 side badge to the rear fender scoop.

Riding on distinct five-spoke painted machined wheels, the limited edition features a trunk lid marked by a signature Ebony Black and Race Red script California Special badge. The new Mustang could be wrapped in vintage-inspired colors like Dark Highland Green, Need for Green and Velocity Blue.

The interior of the 2019 Mustang GT California Special comes with California Special script badge on the passenger-side dash panel, as well as rich black Miko suede-trimmed seats (with embossed GT/CS insignia and contrast red accent stitching). Custom embroidered GT/CS floor mats are also featured inside the special edition. The California Special is equipped with Bang & Olufsen Play audio system featuring 12 high-performance speakers and a 10-channel amplifier that could deliver 1,000 watts.

According to Corey Holter, Ford car group marketing manager, the Mustang GT California Special is made for hardcore Mustang fans and enthusiasts who are looking for performance that’s more potent than the Bullitt.

This is made possible by a re-tuned 5.0-liter V8 engine – paired to a six-speed-manual transmission -- that could deliver up to 460 hp of output and up to 420 lb.-ft. of torque, allowing the California Special to go as fast as 155 mph. This engine is complemented by rev-matching technology that help ensures a more seamless and more spirited drive, as well as a class-exclusive quad-tip fully variable active valve performance exhaust.

Press Release

CALIFORNIA SPECIAL RETURNS FOR 2019 MUSTANG, PLUS ENTHUSIAST UPDATES INCLUDE REV-MATCHING, B&O AUDIO SYSTEM AND NEW COLORS

America’s favorite sports car gets even more style and technology for 2019 thanks to the revival of the legendary Mustang GT California Special, new technology features including rev-matching on 5.0-liter manual-equipped models, the first-ever custom-tuned B&O Play premium audio system for Mustang and three new vintage-inspired colors and over-the-top stripes.

“No doubt, 2019 is an exciting year for Mustang enthusiasts, especially fans of our California Special and Bullitt models,” said Corey Holter, Ford car group marketing manager. “This year further targets hardcore Mustang enthusiasts who want even more performance from BULLITT, while new technology including rev-matching on manual transmission equipped Mustang GTs and active valve performance exhaust on EcoBoost® models means even more thrills.”

California dreaming

When Mustang first hit the streets in 1964, owners clubs sprang up around the country, with many regional dealers creating their own personalized pony car designs. One – inspired by the 1967 Shelby GT notchback coupe prototype – came to be called the California Special.

That original version featured blacked-out grille, fog lamps and a side racing stripe that ended ahead of a new rear fender scoop. It wore a Shelby-inspired spoiler, custom tail lamps and twist-lock hood fasteners. Impressed, Ford put a limited number of California Special cars into production for 1968. Before long, the California Special had joined the ranks of Shelby, Boss and Mach 1 special-edition Mustangs.

Today, the 2019 California Special for Mustang GT is a visual standout, featuring a trademark fading stripe that traces from the 5.0 side badge to the rear fender scoop. A signature Ebony Black and Race Red script California Special badge adorns the trunk lid. At the front, the car follows the blacked-out open grille and picks up the Mustang Performance Pack 1 splitter. The California Special wears unique five-spoke painted machined wheels.

Inside, driver and passengers will discover rich black Miko® suede-trimmed seats with embossed GT/CS insignia and contrast red accent stitching, and custom embroidered GT/CS floor mats. Signature California Special script badging appears on the passenger-side dash panel.

“Few things are more satisfying than dropping the top on a California Special and taking a drive down the majestic Pacific Coast Highway,” said Mark Conforzi, Ford designer. “This signature design takes its cues from the original California Special, while enhancing the personality of today’s Mustang.”

Rev-matching to level the field

Mustang GT’s retuned 5.0-liter V8 engine packs 460 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque and tops out at 155 mph.* When that torque gets delivered to the pavement via 6-speed manual and available Performance Package, you better hold on, because that’s where rev-matching gives Mustang drivers a leg – or a heel and a toe – up.

Advanced rev-matching helps smooth out shifts by predicting shifts and then quickly matching engine rpm – similar to the heel-and-toe methods the pros use. On downshifts, the engine rpm instantly kicks up to smooth out the transition between gears.

Sensational B&O Play audio

Like Ford Mustang, Bang & Olufsen is an innovator in both iconic design and heart-racing performance across its line of audio products. And now, for the first time, the B&O Play audio system comes to Mustang with a stunning 10-channel amplifier producing 1,000 watts across 12 high-performance speakers.

Customized to the acoustics of the interior, sound engineers tuned the B&O Play audio system to take both the static and dynamic states of Mustang into account to elevate the senses regardless of driving conditions.

Active valve performance exhaust now available on EcoBoost models

When the class-exclusive quad-tip fully variable active valve performance exhaust hit the streets for Mustang GT for 2018, critics and customers alike raved over the deep throaty sound of the 5.0-liter V8 engine. What took everyone by surprise was its driver-controlled, fully active exhaust mode and quiet start mode, also known as good neighbor mode.

Now, this Ford-patented fully variable active valve performance exhaust brings an aggressive snarl to 2019 Mustang EcoBoost models. This class-exclusive quad-tip exhaust system can be controlled by the drive mode system or via personalized MyMode settings through the 12-inch all-digital LCD instrument panel, as well as through the standard 4.2-inch cluster.

More personalization than ever; new colors

Mustang enthusiasts now have more opportunity to personalize their car than ever before, with exciting new vintage-inspired colors including Velocity Blue, Need for Green and the iconic Bullitt model’s exclusive Dark Highland Green.

“These intense new colors trace back to Mustang’s classic colors of the late 1960s and early 1970s,” said Holter. “While colors like Shadow Black and Magnetic Gray will still be popular for those who prefer to go stealth, these new colors pack a brighter, more vibrant punch for 2019.”

The 2019 Mustang goes on sale this summer.

Source: Ford

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