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Is The Sun Setting Completely On The Muscle Car Era?

Electric Ford Mustang Sedan S650 Mustang EV
Image via EmrEHusemen Design.

The era of muscle cars may be coming to an end as we know them. By that we mean that we may not have a new RWD American performance car with a powerful, baritone V8 engine to choose from come the end of the decade. Adding credence to this suspicion is a new report from AutoForecast Solutions, which alleges that the Ford Mustang will go completely electric by 2028.

The details were first shared by Autoline Daily, which can be found at the 4:30 mark below:

AutoForecast Solutions believes that the electric Ford Mustang will enter production by December of the 2028 calendar year, pending delays, and will be built at Flat Rock Assembly in Michigan, which builds the current Mustang. Autoline says that Mustang fans will have to “wait a while for the next-gen version,” which would imply that the S650 Mustang expected to debut in a year or two isn’t coming.

Now, this report does clash with quite a bit of other details from previous articles. For one, it doesn’t mention the S650 Mustang, which not only was written about by various outlets, but it was also “leaked” by Ford via a job listing. It’s expected that the S650 Mustang will emerge by 2022 as a 2023 model year vehicle, although there have yet to be spy photos that confirm its existence, which is a tad troubling for anybody that understands vehicle development timetables.

One could hypothesize that the S650 Ford Mustang may not be as “new” as previously anticipated (AWD, anyone?), and thus could require minimal development time, plus tooling costs. However, an electric Ford Mustang arriving by 2028 would also clash with previous reports of the S650 Mustang’s lifecycle expected to last eight years, which would have brought us to the end of the decade if reports were accurate.

Ford Mustang Lithium Electric Muscle Car EV S650
Ford Mustang Lithium Concept. Image via Ford.

Over at General Motors, the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro is expected to go dark in the next couple of years, once again likely putting a pause on the nameplate. That’s unless it’s reborn as an electric vehicle, which the Detroit automaker is reportedly going to build at the Camaro’s current assembly plant known as Lansing Grand River, where it’s built alongside the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 today. It’s unclear if the future electric vehicle will be a Chevrolet or a Cadillac at this time.

Over at Stellantis, née FCA, the Dodge Charger and Challenger are expected to adopt some levels of electrification in the near future, but in as non-invasive of a way as possible, with mild hybrid systems. A full-on electric Challenger and/or Charger seems farther out than any other future muscle car product plans.

Our own sources tell us that the internal combustion engine isn’t going away for the Ford Mustang anytime soon. These include expectations of a 6.8L pushrod V8 into the iconic muscle car. But by 2028, it could appear that all bets are off.

Ford has revealed serious electric Ford Mustang proposals over the past two years with the Mustang Lithium Concept at SEMA 2019, and the radical Mustang Mach-E 1400 co-developed with RTR Vehicles owned by Vaughn Gittin Jr. These vehicles are certainly exciting, quick, and powerful. But if they imply the demise of howling Coyote, Voodoo and Predator V8 engines, along with the accessibility to tune them, the die-hard crowd that is the muscle car community may not be ready to embrace this kind of change.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Review
Photo copyright Matheus Pach,

Written by Manoli Katakis

Detroit Region SCCA Member and founder of MC&T. Automotive Media Jedi Knight. Not yet the rank of Master.

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