The Mustang’s S550 generation is coming to an end. When it first arrived, the S550 brought with it radical features that would change the Mustang brand forever. Its dual overhead cam V8 carried over from the second half of the S197 generation, only this time around it got more power. However, the S550 brought something truly unique to the brand, which was an independent rear suspension (IRS).
Only one previous model ever got a taste of this technology, and that was the 1999-04 Cobra. The S550 will soon depart, leaving behind a legacy of 460 horsepower, a Mach 1, Bullitt, and GT500. If the next generation is half as good, it’ll be a welcome addition to the Mustang legacy.
What’s next for the Mustang?
The next generation is the S650, which has been in the news for some time. At the moment, the S650 Mustang faces all kinds of rumors and speculation. Some outlets presume there will be a hybrid V8 Mustang, others believe it will be all-electric. Way back in 2017 Ford filed a patent for a hybrid twin-motor system, so the rumors aren’t entirely unfounded. There was some confusion around Ford’s reasoning for releasing an electric SUV under the Mustang brand.
Different schools of thought, however, surmise it could have been part of the groundwork Ford was laying out, in order to later introduce a more accepted electric Mustang coupe. Another rumor suggests the 2023 Mustang could release with an all-wheel-drive option and in fact may have been spotted testing that setup, according to Ford Authority. While an electric Mustang is inevitable, we may not see it for another seven or eight years.
Would an electric Mustang be so bad?
Signs point to Dodge building an electric muscle car, so at least the electric Mustang would have something to compete against in its class. The future of the Camaro seems uncertain, and that may play a part as well. Electric cars are developing at an alarming rate, so as long as the performance of the Mustang remains untarnished, it is completely feasible as a sellable car. So much of the Mustang’s identity derives from its V8, but if Ford can redirect what the Mustang is known for, the fact that it’s electric would become a footnote.
Electric cars are fast, and in many cases faster than gas-powered cars. The absence of an engine’s grunt leaves something to be desired, for now. However, reaffirming the Mustang as a speed factory could settle the dust from inevitable anti-electric muscle car fallout. The modding community may suffer, but with the RPM Act on the brink of obscurity, it may not be a problem anymore.
Whatever the Mustang’s future is, loyalists will surely buy it. Ford has an opportunity to tap into a new market, one that hasn’t even been invented yet. Will it keep the Mustang as an affordable sports car, while also making it all-electric? Time will tell, but not soon enough.