The following interview with Bosnian designer Kemal Curić was made by Daniel Tomicic and republished here with permission. Also check the full gallery of exclusive images and sketches.
Icons are in! Everybody is digging past in search for cool cars that could be brought to market again. History is repeating as in 1964 when Ford launched Mustang, GM and Chrysler followed.
With Mustang Mk V in 2005, Ford created burst that attracted the other Detroit manufacturers to follow him again. Ingenious Lee Iacocca concept of giving huge power to ordinary car created the most American car niche – muscle car, or pony in its less powerful version.
Almost a decade later, Chrysler transferred concept to Simca, on the other side of Atlantic, and bellowed hot-hatch niche fringe started with Renault 5 Turbo and VW Golf GTi as first evangelists.
Sixth generation of Mustang is just arriving in stores. Designed by Bosnian designer Kemal Curić (35), it blends Evos “One Ford” design strategy with Mustang heritage in mostly attractive way.
Curić started successful career as designer in Ford Europe only a decade ago and already designed exteriors of Vertrek, Kuga Mk II, Focus Mk III 5-door and Station Wagon, together with interiors of Iosis concept and Ka Mk II.
Interview with Kemal Curić
What is your first memory of Mustang?
Bullit, the movie, with Steve McQueen. I remember watching it with my father. For me, Mustang and Steve were ultimate “bad-asses” at that time.
When travelled to the States for the first time, I drive Mustang for the first time. It was December and it was snowing, but I didn’t care. I had wanted to drive a Mustang for so long, that I didn’t want to delay it anymore. It was great fun listening to the V8 engine for the first time.
For what kind of people it’s designed?
Mustang is one of the world’s most recognized and loved vehicles and one of only few American sports cars that have been in continuous production for nearly five decades. It is ageless – it doesn’t matter if you if you are young or old, female or male – it’s made for everybody who believes in the spirit of freedom.
Mustang has fans all over the world: with over 5.5-million “Likes”, Mustang is the most popular vehicle nameplate on Facebook. Over 55% of those fans are from outside of the U.S.
How do you reinvent an icon?
You don’t have to reinvent it, you need to stay true to the original formula and interpret the design elements in a modern way.
There are key elements of Mustang design DNA, including the fastback, tri-bar taillights, shark-bite front end, long hood and a muscular rear end that make the All New Mustang unmistakably a Mustang.
We worked hard on editing the different cues – for example, we eliminated the hockey stick on the body side and removed the added on plastic louvers.
We also wanted this car to be genuine and authentic, so for example the hood vents are functional – they extract air; the diffusor is functional – it creates in combination with the rear spoiler down force.
What are key design elements that every Mustang must have?
Great proportions and stance, the shark-bite nose profile, the recognizable silhouette (fastback) and the tribar tail lamps.
What is your favourite detail / angle?
I like the rear 3/4 view of the car – that is probably the view that most of the people going to see when the car drives by.
But there really are so many great views of this car – the more you see it, the more you appreciate the overall dynamic sculpture and its aggressive front.
The All New Ford Mustang is a walk up experience, the 2D images really only tell half of the story. You have to see in person.
Will Evos design elements after Mustang be introduced to the rest of the gamma? If so, is there a danger that Mustang would become just Mondeo coupé?
I don’t think there is such danger – the new Mustang is clearly a Mustang, which blends our heritage Mustang styling with the Ford design DNA, including the forward-leaning trapezoidal grille that first appeared on Mustangs in the 1960s.
Front and rear end are sculptural, with lamps going wide a side and especially distinguished rear lamps.
The rear lamps are a very distinctive feature on all Mustangs since the very first one – no other car can claim having this signature for 50 years.
In the All New Mustang, we interpreted them in a very modern way, using indirect led technology which gives you the uniform look and three dimensional quality.
As to the front, we took the front fascia cues from the 60’s with shark gills and translate them in to the 21th century white LED signature.
Both front and rear lights will be very distinctive at night you will always know there is the new Mustang coming.
What will change with J Mays departure?
J left a great operating team behind him which will continue to deliver great and innovative products in the future under Moray Callum.
How do you like life in the States?
I love it. Its great country with a lot of opportunities: if you have a great idea they will support you fully in order to get the best result.
(Image Courtesy: Daniel Tomicic for Car Body Design)
Beautiful sketches. Nice work!
I gotta say that these new articles are thorough and make a good effort to cover the issues. Keep it up.
I’ve been waiting for this mustang for a LONG time. It was definitely worth the wait. Beautiful car. I am the proud owner of #436. How can I get Kemel to autograph it?