2010 Ford Mustang Scores 5-Star Safety Ratings

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More good news from Ford, their current gen Mustang is as safe as a car can get. At least that’s according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, who just awarded the Mustang a five out of five star safety rating. I don’t know why this struck me as being surprising, but when I thought more about it, there’s no reason for it not to be a safe car.

Sports cars, or sporty cars, or even pony cars always seem to have a rep as being unsafe. Probably part and parcel of that “speed kills” indoctrination I put up with as a kid in school. And apart from dealing with issues like size and such, something like a basic pony car, a Mustang or a Camaro or a Challenger, should actually come off better than most. They’re quite rigid for their size, and being American, they’re apt to make the sheet metal thicker than their Euro counterparts.

Ford, as you would expect, is quite pleased with the safety news.

Steve Kozak, Ford Chief Engineer for Safety Systems said \”We\’ve made many upgrades to the new Mustang that contributes not only to the car\’s safety, but also to its driving enjoyment thanks to a stiffer structure.\” And Sue Cischke, Ford Group Vice President of Ford Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering added, \”The Mustang offers top safety ratings that, like its design and performance, other sports cars cannot match.\”

Anyway, apart from the corp.-speak crowing, the relevant bits of news are as follows.

The 2010 Ford Mustang coupe earned the U.S. government\’s top 5-star safety ratings, not only for the driver and passenger in front crash tests, but also got 5 stars in side crash tests and in rollover crash test performance as well. The Mustang getting top marks only adds to Ford’s enviable safety record since they have more U.S. government 5-star ratings than any other automotive brand, which is very impressive. And Mustang sales figures continue to impress, with nearly a 40 percent share of the sporty car segment in April and May sales are already ahead of projections.

Crisis? What crisis?

Here’s Ford’s press release:

2010 FORD MUSTANG SCORES 5-STAR SAFETY RATINGS
CONTEXT / BACKGROUND:

The 2010 Ford Mustang coupe has earned the U.S. government\’s top 5-star crash-test rating, adding to widespread acclaim for the new car\’s unmistakable design and upgraded performance that builds on the formula that\’s made it America\’s favorite pony car for 45 years. Ford has more U.S. government 5-star-rated vehicles than any other brand and more Top Safety Pick ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety than any other automaker.

DETAILS:

The new Mustang uses high strength steel in its body structure and uses ultra high strength steel in the door intrusion beams for additional side impact protection.

The Mustang\’s considerable body stiffness contributes to the coupe and convertible\’s driving performance and has a parallel benefit in accident protection. While the coupe\’s body structure is approximately 31 percent stiffer than the previous Mustang platform, the convertible\’s is more than twice as stiff – creating a structure that helps protect the cabin from deformation and intrusion during an impact.

The front structure\’s crush zones are computer-designed to absorb energy in a controlled manner and help dissipate it before it can reach the passenger compartment. Ford engineers have run thousands of design iterations of the Mustang\’s front rails to arrive at an octagonal shape that helps spread crash forces evenly to help protect occupants.

State-of-the-art technology adds to the convenience and safety of the 2010 Mustang, from the availability of the latest version of Ford SYNC®, with new features 911 Assist™ and Vehicle Health Report, to standard AdvanceTrac® Electronic Stability Control, which complements the all-speed traction control and standard anti-lock braking system (ABS).

Additional standard safety equipment includes Beltminder® and the Personal Safety Systemâ„¢ – a system that includes dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, safety belt pretensioners and Beltminder.

Sales Leader
Mustang remains the number one selling sports car by a wide margin, with the new 2010 model driving showroom traffic. In April, Mustang had nearly a 40 percent share of the retail sports car segment.

Photo from Flickr user ANATOLI AXELROD

About The Author

Tony Borroz grew up in a sportscar oriented family, but sadly, it was British cars. His knuckles still show the marks of slipped Whitworth sockets, strains to reach upper rear shock bushings on Triumphs, and slight burn marks from dealing with Lucas Electric "systems." He has written for a variety of car magazines and websites, Automoblog chief among them. Tony has worked on popular driving games as a content expert, in addition to working for aerospace companies, software giants, and as a movie stuntman. He currently lives in a secure, undisclosed location in the American southwestern desert.

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