S650 and S550: What’s the Difference Between the New and Old Mustang?

The new Ford Mustang promises to change the beloved American muscle car significantly. However, the upcoming pony car has big shoes to fill in replacing the sixth-generation car, or the “S550.” So what is the difference between the new S650 and the outgoing S550 Mustang? Is the new car worth it?

Do the S650 and S550 Mustangs look the same?

While the S650 and S550s share some design language, the two are very different. Both cars incorporate the modern grand tourer styling of the post-S197-generation design, but the S650 brings an aggressive angularity to the pony car. Up front, the new car sports a tri-chambered set of squinted headlights and more aggressive ventilation than the outgoing 2018 Ford Mustang or newer S550s. Ford says the new car also features a longer, lower horizontal brow across its hood compared to the S550.

The new S650 Mustang has a more aggressive fascia than the old S550 Mustang.
2024 Ford Mustang | Ford

Working to the rear of the vehicle, the side profiles of both cars are quite similar until you reach the rear. The most dramatic difference between the two cars is the creased taillights of the new Mustang compared to the outgoing S550’s lighting. Of course, whether you love or hate the S650’s exterior styling, the interior sports a much-needed refresh. 

Is the new Mustang’s interior different?

The seventh-generation Mustang’s interior is where the most notable updates reside. Unfortunately, Ford ditched the double-bubble dash characteristic of classic iterations in favor of a more modern cockpit. Instead of a series of toggles and an optional eight-inch touchscreen, the S650 boasts a 13.2-inch center stack that joins a customizable 12.4-inch digital gauge cluster. Moreover, the new car incorporates sportier features like a flat-bottomed steering wheel and an optional “Electronic Drift Brake.”

The new S650 Ford Mustang's interior is much more modern than the old S550 Mustang.
The new Mustang’s interior | Ford

How much HP will the S650 Mustang have?

Like the outgoing S550, the S650 Ford Mustang will offer an EcoBoost and GT with similar power figures. Car and Driver says the 2022 Ford Mustang GT produces 450 horsepower from its 5.0L Coyote V8, and the 2021 Ford Mustang GT boasts 460 ponies. However, Ford said at the Detroit unveiling that the new car would be the most powerful Coyote-powered GT ever. That means the upcoming V8-powered muscle car will have over 460 horsepower. 

A 2022 Ford Mustang is different from the newest pony cars.
2022 Ford Mustang GT | Ford

Further down the trim lineup, the EcoBoost and EcoBoost Premium will pack a similar 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder engine to the outgoing model. As a result, the S650 EcoBoost will likely have around 310 horsepower, just like the outgoing EcoBoost.  

What special edition S550 and S650 Mustangs are there?

The S550 Ford Mustang offered many special edition cars during its eight-year run. First and most noteworthy, the Shelby GT350 and GT500 are special editions steeped in racing pedigree. Moreover, higher-horsepower and less ubiquitous pony cars like the third homage Bullitt and the track-ready Mach 1 offered unique alternatives to a rank-and-file GT. 

The new Dark Horse is a special edition with over 500 horsepower.
Ford Mustang Dark Horse | Ford

However, due to its youth, the S650 has just one special edition, the Dark Horse. While that might seem limiting, the Dark Horse is a sinister, track-ready car with over 500 horsepower, a Tremec manual transmission, and a name to strike fear in the competition. 

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