What's the total number of Ford Mustang generations?

1966 Shelby GT350H Mustang
The 1966 Shelby GT350H, based on the 1966 GT350, featured a Cobra 289 High Performance V8 engine outputting 306 hp and 329 lb-ft of torque. Photo Courtesy of Hemmings Motor News

Question: What's the total number of Ford Mustang generations?

Answer: Chances are you’ve probably heard many different answers to this question. In all, there are currently six generations of the Ford Mustang. A generation represents a complete ground-up redesign of the vehicle. Yes, there have been many different Mustangs, but once again, according to the folks at Ford Motor Company, there have only been 6 generations, or ground-up redesigns of the car.

The generation breakdown is as follows:

First Generation (1964 ½ - 1973): On April 17th, 1964 the Ford Mustang was introduced. The first generation of this iconic car ran through 1973. This includes vehicles such as the classic Shelby Mustang lineup, Boss Mustangs, K-Code Mustangs, the “Bullitt” Mustang GT-390 Fastback, the original Cobra Jets, and all the other Mustangs most folks consider “classic”.

Second Generation (1974-1978): The second generation of Mustang is often coined the “Pintostang” generation because the cars were based on the Ford Pinto platform. Smaller and more fuel efficient, this generation featured the likes of the Mustang II, the Mustang Cobra II, and the King Cobra Mustang. It was also the first generation to feature a 4-cylinder engine.

Third Generation (1979-1993): This generation of Mustang encompassed more years than any other generation in the history of the car. Coined the “Fox Body” Mustang, this car was based on the Fox platform. It was light, European in design, and loaded with power. Does 5.0 GT mean anything to you? This generation of Mustang was also known for its powerful 5.0L V-8 engines.

Fourth Generation (1994-2004): In 1994, the Mustang’s 30th anniversary, Ford introduced the SN95 Mustang. It was based on the SN-95/Fox4 Platform. The fourth generation Mustang was larger than the previous generation and was engineered to be stiffer in design. In 1996 the popular 5.0L engine was replaced with a 4.6L modular V-8 engine. This generation spawned the “New Edge” line of Mustangs in 1999. Although the cars looked different, they were still based on the SN-95 platform.

Fifth Generation (2005-2014): In 2005 Ford introduced a new Mustang. Based on the D2C platform, this Mustang harkened back to the styling cues that adorned first generation Mustangs. The Mustang was longer than the previous generation and featured modern amenities such as GPS Navigation, heated leather seats, and satellite radio. This generation also saw the return of the Shelby Mustang when Carroll Shelby brought back the GT500 Mustang and the GT500KR. In 2009 Ford introduced a more powerful 2010 Ford Mustang. Although the car features numerous changes inside and out, it is still based on the D2C platform. In 2011 Ford brought the 5.0L engine back in the GT model, and produced a a 3.7L Duratec 24-valve V6 powered Mustang that produces 305 hp and 280 ft.-lb. of torque.

Sixth Generation (2015 - Current): On December 5, 2013, Ford officially revealed the new 2015 Ford Mustang. As Ford says, the car, which features a completely revamped design, was inspired by 50 years of Ford Mustang heritage. The new Mustang featured an independent rear suspension, push start technology, and a 300+ hp turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine option.