Picture the scene: the Ford Rotunda at the New York World’s Fair in 1964. Lee Iacocca—a 39-year-old auto man then unheard of outside car circles—stands by his boss, Henry Ford II. They share the stage with Walt Disney, who is cutting the ribbon for the launch of a brand-new car called the Mustang. Within a week, Mustang-mania has swept the nation, leading to a record billion dollars in sales the first year. No car launch has ever had such an impact on our culture at large. Fifty years and more than 9 million Mustangs later, Ford debuts the next generation (hitting streets in the fall). Saddle up, we’re going for a ride.

The new Mustang coupe and convertible retain the original’s DNA, but the latest versions have a wider, lower stance. The coupe features the return of the fastback, with more sloped rear glass.

We love the shark-gilled LED headlight and taillight designs, which add to the aggressive stature.

The aviation-inspired cockpit, with wraparound gauges and Ford’s voice-controlled SYNC system, makes this ride an ideal rolling office, with all the feel of a German luxury car.

Match a manual or paddle-shifted transmission to your pick of engines: a base 3.7-liter V6 (about 300 horsepower), a 2.3-liter turbo in-line four (305 horsepower), or the GT package (pictured above) with a five-liter V8 (420 horsepower). Pricing has not yet been set.

Flip a switch to sport mode to change steering response, engine and transmission settings and the new upgraded suspension setup. Commuting? You have a blind-spot-warning system for changing lanes and adaptive cruise control. Bonus: The launch-control feature alters the rpm for perfect zero-to-60 sprints.

Engine: five-liter V8 Horsepower: 420 Torque: 390 foot-pounds Top speed: 155 mph MPG: TBD Price tag: TBD