Ford’s next all-new Mustang will be the last V8 Muscle Car made. There have been rumors of a V8 Dodge Barracuda floating around to be sold next to a new electric Challenger. But while that seems far-fetched, we know a new Mustang is coming in 2022 as a 2023 model.
Ford’s seventh-generation Mustang is called S650 internally
Codenamed S650, this will be the Mustang’s seventh generation. It was once thought to be a Mustang based on the Ford CD6 platform of the Explorer. Now, it looks like it will be built around the current S550 platform, according to Muscle Cars and Trucks.
So rather than being entirely a clean sheet Mustang, it will be hammered out of its current guise. Sort of like the new Nissan Z is based on its old architecture. But everything other than the bare shell will be new, including the sheet metal.
Ford has said that the demographic for the Mustang is aging. So while some of these plans may seem out of touch with the electrification taking place in the auto industry, keep that in mind. Whether this next Mustang will also appeal to a younger following will remain to be seen.
Will the next Mustang be a hybrid?
No hybrid system is planned for this new Mustang until after 2025. So this will be a traditional gasoline-powered muscle car. The 5.0-liter Coyote engine and 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-banger will start off the power parade. Then the 5.2-liter Predator V8 may or may not show up later in production. And the 6.8-liter V8 is probably not going to materialize.
When will the Mustang go all-electric? We can partially determine that from the current Mustang’s lifecycle. It started in 2014, so it will have been with us for eight years before getting replaced with the S650. We should expect another seven or eight years for it before an all-electric Mustang debuts. That put it at roughly 2030.
But things are changing quickly, and that lifecycle could be cut shorter or extended. Gas stations will be harder to find, and the choice of driving an ICE vehicle will mean paying more for gas. So societal and infrastructure changes could shorten the V8-powered Mustang’s life.
There is a reason why this will be the last V8 muscle car
Now, we say this is the last V8-powered muscle car for a reason. The electrification drumbeat is getting louder at Dodge. With the Stellantis merger, the French executives are not constrained by traditional Detroit thinking. They maybe have a clearer vision of the future, and that means an electric Challenger.
Over at GM, it looks like the Camaro will turn into a performance sedan. That means no more muscle car aura. It might still be called a Camaro, but it won’t be in the traditional sense. So the Mustang will really become the last of a breed. The Challenger, Camaro, and Mustang all have huge brand recognition, so they will never be completely gone.
With the demand and hype surrounding the new Corvette, there could be versions of it baking at Ford and Stellantis right now. But those are sports or touring cars, not muscle cars. And from a performance standpoint, electric vehicles match up or exceed muscle car performance. So there will always be high-performance vehicles. Whether they’ll be completely recognizable from what is plying the streets and drag strips of today will be defined in this decade.