Going Back to Cali: Ford Mustang GT California Special Returns to Updated 2019 Mustang Lineup


Posted on: March 12, 2018

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2019 Ford Mustang GT California Special


While Ford has very nearly covered the full gamut of great Mustang models of yore with remastered editions for today—and promised to resurrect the vaunted Mach 1 as some kind of electric crossover—the carmaker has found another name to bring back into play for its pony car: the GT California Special.


Also known as the GT/CS, the original iteration debuted in 1968 with the contemporary Shelby GT350’s full-width taillights, sweet stripes, and other minor tweaks, and the name has been used at various other times throughout the Mustang’s history. The 2019 Mustang GT California Special benefits from a familiar treatment, although because today’s Shelby GT350 and regular Mustangs share rear-end styling, the GT/CS lacks unique taillights.


2019 Ford Mustang GT California Special


The ’19 California Special—which will be available both as a coupe and as a convertible—also has special split-five-spoke wheels, body-side stripes that fade just before they reach the faux intakes aft of each door, the Mustang Performance package’s front splitter, a blacked-out grille, and GT/CS trunk badging. The interior makeover is subtler, with black microsuede-covered seats wearing embroidered GT/CS logos and contrasting red-colored stitching. For an extra ’60s-tastic touch, Ford added California Special script lettering to the passenger side of the dashboard.


Ford simultaneously announced a few welcome updates to the rest of the Mustang lineup for 2019. Turbocharged, four-cylinder EcoBoost Mustangs are now available with the dual-mode exhaust introduced on the 2018 GT, while every stick-shift GT now has computerized rev-matching functionality for downshifts. Audiophiles—or fans of just plain loudness—can look forward to the B&O Play audio system slowly proliferating through Ford’s lineup; in the ’19 Mustang, the optional setup features 1000 watts of output, a 10-channel amplifier, and 12 speakers. New paint colors including Velocity Blue and Need for Green join the Mustang’s palette, too.



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