The current iteration of the Ford Mustang entered service in 2014 (2015 model year) and received its mid-cycle revamp three years later. And while the carmaker could’ve always extended the life cycle of the pony, Ford has all but confirmed we’re getting a next-gen S650 ‘Stang instead. And we’ve brought before you a rendering that showcases the newcomer—expected to land for the 2014 model year—with the pixel work based on the latest spy media.
As far as muscle cars are concerned, we’re partially reliving the 1970s, when stringent efficiency standards meant that ever-larger V8s with insane amounts of power—for the time—were no longer feasible. Sure, the output won’t suffer as it did back in the day, with electrification probably having the opposite effect, but what about the trait that’s arguably the defining one for this segment, namely character?
That characteristic can always be defined by the mix between the design and the driving dynamics. And, given the pixel work mentioned in the intro, we’ll start with the former when discussing the seventh-generation Ford Mustang.
The 2024 Ford Mustang is expected to trade off some of the retro lines for a sleeker design suiting its global presence
Having followed the evolution of S650 Mustang spy media, we can tell you that, in the past few months, spotted test vehicles have moved from test mules (i.e. new tech hidden under the retiring body) to what appears to be prototypes keeping the production body under wraps.
And in the process of putting this rendering together, digital artist Marouane Bembli (aka The Sketch Monkey) followed the visible lines of recent prototypes. In the video below, he aptly points out that the (admittedly incomplete) evidence seems to highlight a 2024 Mustang that will be less of a muscle car and more of a sports car, at least in terms of appearance.
We’ve seen the carmaker following the same direction when introducing the mid-cycle revamp for the 2018 model year, with the company citing the global presence of the current S550 Mustang as the reason for this.
From the proportions to details such as the front grille, the next-gen S650 Mustang seems to be quite close to the present car, but the artist also borrowed some lines for the Mustang Mach E electric crossover that entered production in 2020.
Speaking of which, we’ll remind you that the automaker recently announced it would be splitting into two entities: Ford Blue for internal combustion engine-powered developments and Ford Model e, which will cover EVs and connectivity. And we’ll elaborate on the electrification topic below.
What about the tech side of the 2024 Ford Mustang?
Judging by the soundtrack of various prototypes, there’s still a V8 engine in there. As such, the seventh generation of the Mustang is expected to at least maintain the entry-level EcoBoost turbo-four (currently a 2.3L unit) and a variation of the Coyote N/A V8, presently serving in 5.0L form.
As for the supercharged 5.2L Predator V8 gifting the GT500 with its 760 horsepower, this was only introduced in 2019 (2020MY), which should bring a bit of hope for its survival. Then again, with carmakers now having to pay to offset the emissions of such beasts, the company could end the bloodline here.
Nevertheless, electrification is all but a certainty for the next-gen Mustang. The rumors start with hybrid applications of the said turbo-four and V8 units, with a possible electric-fed front axle expected to deliver an AWD Mustang. For the record, Ford toyed with the idea in the 1960s when the original Mustang came around, but this never made it past the prototype stage.
For one, Ford’s ten-speed automatic, which is already present on the pony, can work with hybridized applications.
Then we have the all-electric rumors, which see Ford introducing a battery-powered two-door that would ensure the coupe/cabriolet’s survival for longer, especially since the automaker plans to go all-electric in Europe from 2030.
The now-aging S550 iteration saw the Mustang going from an antiquated live rear axle that made handling scary at times to an independent rear suspension. With that in mind, the S650, which could debut as early as the final part of 2022, should use an updated form of the present car’s platform.
In addition, the said Shelby GT500 threw in a dual-clutch transmission allowing the driver to extract the full performance of the supercharged engine on the track.
However, as the 2021 North American sales figures have shown, the crown went to the Dodge Challenger. This Mopar is a retro-flavored machine that’s been in production since 2008, relying on extensive revamps while the Mustang and the Camaro, received additional generations. So, as the Mustang continues to evolve, here’s to hoping it retains as much of its retro old-school American flavor as possible.
The future of the muscle car segment
While we’re talking about the Mustang’s competition, the are a few more aspects we need to cover.
For instance, over on the Dodge front, a 2024 electric muscle car has been confirmed, while rumors mention a twin-turbo 3.0L straight-six ensuring suck-squeeze-bang-blow continuity past the 2023 model year (Dodge has confirmed it will be retiring the supercharged Hellcat V8s past that point).
As for the Camaro, its situation looks bleak. That’s because GM has done nothing to quench the rumors about a 2023 demise, albeit while delivering a teaser believed to portray an EV successor for the Chevy.
At this point, the Mustang is the only muscle car that we fully expect to survive with a V8 and, regardless of how the 2024 model transforms the badge, that’s a massive achievement.