The same thing started happening in the 1970s. As emissions became a bigger deal, and with the gas shortages and higher insurance premiums for big horsepower, the car companies started trimming it back. Now it is happening again and for similar reasons. For 2022, Ford will detune the Mustang.
The 2022 Mustang loses 10 horsepower due to state and federal regulations
Both the Mustang GT and Mach 1 will be back in 2022, with 10 less horsepower and 10 less lb-ft of torque. The naturally aspirated 5.0 Coyote V8 gets detuned for state and federal emissions requirements. While the 2021 GT was rated at 460 hp and the Mach 1 at 480 hp, Ford had to cut 10 horsepower.
The Shelby GT500 sees its numbers remain the same as in 2021. Its 5.2-liter Predator V8 remains at 760 hp. And across the board, whether hooked to the six-speed or 10-speed automatic, the horsepower doesn’t change.
2022 will be the current generation Mustang’s swan song
When last visited Ford announced that the 2022 Mustang will see an Ice White Edition, Stealth Edition, and California Special. These will be the current platform’s swan song. In 2023 a new seventh-generation Mustang will arrive. Though virtually nothing about this next Mustang has leaked, we do know that it will probably retain some aspects of its current platform.
Probably a plug-in hybrid system will be tied to its V8. But no worries; it will still be V8-powered, and won’t see production until later in 2024. Ford CEO Jim Farley said at the 2021 Monterey Concours de Elegance that he wanted it to be as compelling a design as anything from Europe. That sounds like he wants it more a sports car than a muscle car.
A bit more juicy speculation
We would caution that the current Camaro went in that direction with very mixed results. There were rumors at one point that Ford was developing a car that sat between the Mustang and GT. This would more directly compete with the Corvette. If that were the case then the Mustang would retain more of its muscle car characteristics. But again, we don’t know for sure.
All-wheel-drive has also been rumored. A mule has been seen with some physical characteristics of that type of drive system. But, again, nothing has been said officially so we’re left to only guess.
As it is expected that we see a premiere of the 2023 model in the next couple of months, we won’t have long to wait. This is also when we should get more information about powertrains and horsepower. But just as Ford was sneaky about the GT before it was unveiled in January 2015, we know that engineers and designers there can keep a secret.