Over the different Mustang generations, Ford Motor Company assigns nicknames to their new platforms before they’re released. Usually, these nicknames or “codenames” are used when Ford is currently researching and developing the newest body style. Usually, when the latest body style gets released, nicknames get released with that body style shortly after. Starting with the “Fox Body” platform, we at LMR are delving into each codename and showing why they got their name as well as more about the generation.
The origin of the “Fox” name originated from Ford’s Fairmount/Futura of 1978. In that era, Ford often used animal names for its chassis configurations. This platform was designed to be relatively lightweight and was a simple replacement from the Ford Falcon style vehicles of the 1960s. At the end of the 70s, many manufacturers were looking to downsize their vehicles. This warranted Ford to expand its Fox platform for redesigning their vehicles, which the Mustang was one of them. Even though the Fox platform went all the way from 1979-04, it was only called a “Fox Body” from 1979-93. From years 1994-04 the codename “SN95” was used.
The 4th generation the "SN95" was introduced from 1994-04 which included the “New Edge” Mustang from 1999-04. "SN95" stands for Specialty/Sporty North American Market Project #95. Each Acronym has a specific meaning:
As mentioned earlier, the "SN95" was built on the Fox platform but Ford reserved $700 million to redesign the 1994 Mustang. Their main focus was to give the Mustang a more modern look while improving handling and NVH (noise, vibrations, and harshness).
While this platform is also under the “SN95” name. The “New Edge” name is used specifically on the 1999-04 years because of the featured sharper edges than the previous Mustangs. It also was separated from the older SN95s by getting a small engine upgrade and interior features to match. This engine upgrade included a “performance increased” cylinder head that pushed a little more power out of the 2-valve motor.
This 5th generation Mustang was made between 2005-14 and the “S” from “S197” actually stands for “Sport” and the “197” is just the codename for the model. This code name was built on Ford’s D2C platform which stands for:
This new “retro-futurism” styled Mustang took many ideas from the 1964-70 Mustangs which resulted in a much wider body that were much different from the New Edge model. Also, the interior was upgraded from the curved dash to a new classic and modern style blend.
This is the 6th generation of the Mustang family and currently spans from 2015-2020. This is also the first Mustang to be marketed and sold globally which was parts of Ford’s “One Ford” business plan which applies to other Ford vehicles as well. The “S550” codename follows the "S197" method of making the “S” stand for “Sport” and the “550” was just the program number assigned by the product planners. This generation pulled from many of the Mustang generations such as the retro look from the 1st generation, the sharp lines from the "New Edge", and added some new curves to keep it even more aggressive.
Learning these codenames will greatly help you with classifying different year ranges of the Mustang platform and we hope that this brief history of each generation has better informed you of how these codenames got their name.