Talking ’Bout Your S197 Mustang Generation
Here is a look at some special Mustangs that were part of the fifth generation, 2005–2014.
The fifth generation of Mustangs brought the brand back to life in an exciting way. It had been given the code name “S197”—what that meant, or indicated, was that the Mustang was shifting to a new rear-wheel-drive platform, called a “D2C,” which stood for “D-class 2-door coupe.” According to the experts, that new platform consisted of MacPherson struts in front and a 3-link solid axle in the rear.
The energized new-look 2005 S197 Mustang was introduced at the 2004 North American International Auto Show. Ford looked back at what had made the Mustang an icon in the first place and strived to recreate the details Mustang enthusiasts loved. The Fifth Generation Mustang’s first years were defined by its wide-body stance, a long wide hood and a rectangular grille.
The S197 changed everything for the Mustang, perhaps rescuing and, indeed, resurrecting it. Ford historians later said it went “full retro” when the S197 Mustangs rolled out—the new look on a new Mustang was a major success. The redesigned platform allowed engineers to unlock all the potential and power that had been there from the beginning and was now on display, better than ever.
Here’s a look at some of the coolest S197 Mustangs.
The 2005 Mustang GT
The first Mustang GT from the S197 fifth generation rolled out in 2005 and featured a V8 engine upgrade, not the base V6. It came in Deluxe and Premium versions, both offering the 4.6L 300-hp V8, stainless-steel dual exhaust and the TR-3650 5-speed manual transmission. It also featured special wheels with performance tires, and grille-mounted fog lamps. The upgraded suspension featured a rear stabilizer bar and more flexible traction control. The top-of-the-line Premium package came with leather seats and a 1,000-watt Shaker audio system with 10 speakers. Best of all, the 2005 featured a retro look, harkening back to the first Mustangs. Motor Trend magazine scored the 2005 Mustang GT a perfect “10,” reporting that “Ford’s dashing new Mustang returns it to the gotta-have-it glory.”
The 2007 Saleen Parnelli Jones Edition
Former racing driver Steve Saleen and American racing legend Parnelli Jones created a limited-edition car to pay homage to the first Mustang Boss 302. All 500 built were painted in “Grabber Orange.” The Saleen team went above and beyond to make it a great-looking, head-turning car, and a great driving car. There wasn’t a Mustang 302 to start with, so Saleen built a 302-cu-in., 3-valve V8 engine that produced 400 hp and 390 ft.-lb. of torque. It featured a sporty new front, Saleen shaker hood, rear-window louvers, black “hockey stick” side stripes and a replica 1970 rear spoiler. And, of course, it had a Parnelli Jones steering wheel.
The 2012 Boss 302
This was a limited edition that saw 3,250 produced in 2012 and 3,500 the next year. This new Mustang was a newsmaker because it had been 40 years since Ford had sold a street-legal Boss 302. The version featured a new “U-code” 5.0L, 444-hp Coyote V8, and it inspired the Boss Laguna Seca 302. (Laguna Seca is the racetrack in Monterey Country in Northern California.) Some of the unique design features included side C-stripes, Boss 302 graphics, a wide black hood-stripe accent, and blacked-out fog lamps on a blacked-out grille. It also had a black lower front air splitter and thin black rear deck-lid spoiler. This car gave rise to the street-legal Boss Laguna Seca 302 and Boss 302S race car.
The 2011 Shelby GT350 45th Anniversary
This super-cool 45th Anniversary Shelby Mustang was a “Shelby American-modified” 2011 white Performance GT350, and was a more modified edition of the 40th Anniversary Shelby. Now hold your Mustangs because only 159 were produced. Stylistically, it’s a can’t-miss. The front and rear body panels suggest the ’65 Shelby GT350. It’s finished off with “Kona Blue” stripes, Carrol Shelby signature embroidered front headrests and front floor mats, special wheels, seats, badges and a performance package. Shelby would modify either a factory-new or owner-supplied white Mustang GT. Other cool features included the front and rear fascias, blue stripes, Shelby Cragar wheels and special 45th Anniversary badges.
The 2008 Bullitt
Forty years after Steve McQueen chased the bad guys through the streets of San Francisco in a ’68 Mustang GT390, Ford came out with the third Bullitt Mustang, in the iconic and rather exclusive PX Highland Green, of course. (There’d been a 2001 version…and there’s also a 2019 version). Ford put out a little more than 6,600 units of Bullitt Mustangs in the 2008–2009 model years. The special model, featuring a 4.6L, 3-valve single-overhead cam engine, included special satin-finish Euro-flanged wheels, dark-gray calipers and stainless steel–packed exhaust tips. The Bullitt Mustang was a $3,300 upgrade package to a 5-speed GT Coupe Premium—it featured a charcoal black interior, with leather trim.
Retaining Their Value
It’s no surprise that the S197s include some of the most collectible and admired Mustangs out there. The values of certain models are certainly climbing.
“Mustang Special Editions,” Car Tech Inc.: Jonathan Klein, Jeffrey Klein.
“Mustang by Design,” Car Tech Inc.: Gale Halderman