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S650 FORD MUSTANG CHIEF ENGINEER EXPLAINS ‘NIGHT AND DAY’ DIFFERENCE FROM BEFORE

Even The Base Mustang EcoBoost Has A Bigger Steering Rim Than The Outgoing Shelby Products

S650 Ford Mustang Family
Image via Ford

For some in the media, the seventh-generation Ford Mustang has been criticized as “just a refresh.” And that somehow, it’s a wiser idea to have revealed a fully electric version instead. As a site that literally specializes in modern muscle cars, and constantly publishes insights on the demands of today’s muscle car customer, we can say that these pundits have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s already been well explained why Ford doesn’t need to make an electric Mustang coupe. At least not right away. And as for the “refresh” commentary, that definition appears to vary broadly across the industry, and we’re not ones to get too hung up on semantics or colloquialisms. We’re busy.

However you want to look at it, the 2024 S650 Ford Mustang is far more than a nip-tuck to the sheetmetal. And even more than just engine updates. In fact, after a conversation with S650 Mustang chief engineer Ed Krenz, it appears that just about everything on the new car was touched up, with the most noticeable change to the driving experience happening right in the hands of its operator.

Image via Ford

S650 Ford Mustang Steering And Handling: Details

“The most impactful thing is the steering and handling of the seventh generation. It’s night and day compared to the current model.” Krenz stated. “The current model balances things like noise and vibration, steering precision, and other factors. For S650, we really wanted to eliminate any compromises from a steering perspective.”

“Starting with the steering wheel, your touch point for the steering system. Obviously, a flat bottom steering wheel, but also a bigger circumference rim. Actually, it’s the biggest that we’ve done, even compared to Shelby products. Talking about the section (not the wheel itself). And we increase that as we go up the performance pyramid. In this case, we just went to the base car with the biggest section of a steering wheel we’ve done, and it’s just about how it fits in your hands and maximizes grip and comfort.”

Of course, the steering wheel wasn’t the only aspect of the S650 Ford Mustang steering that was modified when it came to delivering improved sensations and control to the the driver.

“Then you walk down the steering column, and the current model has a joint in there that’s there for vibration. We removed that from the S650 product. Then we increased the steering gear ratio as well as upgraded the overall steering rack capacity. So it makes a much quicker, nimble feeling car to drive.” Krenz explained.

2024 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Stampede Reveal S650
Image copyright Mattheus Pach, Muscle Cars & Trucks.
2024 S650 New Ford Mustang Drift Brake GT
Image via Ford

Going along with the steering improvements, the S650 Mustang handling has also received significant upgrades over the current model. The chassis of the car is also stiffer, and features a reworked suspension system, as well. The Pirelli P Zero tires on the new Mustang GT are consistent with the outgoing model, however.

“In terms of suspension, the MagneRide dampers now have the next-generation control system that we’ve evolved with some learnings from Raptor programs,” said Krenz. “The base car has a new supplier of monotube shocks… The breaking system; we migrated to electronic brake boost … so you can tune the brake pedal response, and there was a lot of effort into getting what a standard Ford electronic brake pedal feel might be on something like an Explorer and bringing that into what we think a performance car or sports car needs to feel like.”

“We also went to electronic park brake from mechanical park brake for this product, again by wire. That enabled us to do a couple of cool things, including the ultimate evolution of the Drift Brake. Which is, sort of, next-level unexpected.”

Krenz is of course referring to the mischievous new hand brake in the the 2024 Ford Mustang GT, which was developed with the help of Formula D veteran Vaughn Gittin Jr.

How soon until customers can experience all of these new changes for themselves? Well, the 2024 Ford Mustang is scheduled to begin production in the summer of 2023. Pricing, options, and ordering details will be made available at a later date.

2024 Ford Mustang S650 Performance Pack
Image via Ford.

Written by Zac Quinn

Zac's love for cars started at a young age, after seeing the popular Eleanor from Gone In 60 Seconds. From there, fascination and enthusiasm blossomed and to this day the Ford Mustang remains a favorite. His first job started out detailing cars, but also provided the opportunity to work on restoration including an 1968 Ford Mustang, Ford Firebird, and a C3 Corvette, though he left that job before further work and experience could be had. From there, he was a detailer at a car dealership before quitting that job to try and finish college.

Much of his free time while studying was spent watching YouTube videos regarding new cars, or off-roading. 4WD247 is a personal favorite channel which rekindled a dying flame in car enthusiasm, now tailored towards trucks and SUVs and the fun that can be had building up an overlanding rig, and going on adventures, though, that chapter remains unwritten for the time being.

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    1. I realize CAFE is still a huge obstacle for car manufacturers, but to remove the 6 speed manual from the 4 cylinder Ecoboost is just asinine to me. Yes, it’s still available in the V8, I get that. But what about the next generation of car enthusiasts that will be shopping for used cars. 16 years old and first car to 20 years old and first manual,…whatever, maybe 500 horses isn’t what they need or should be learning how to drive a stick, but a 300 horse Ecoboost fits the bill perfectly. SAVE THE MANUALS!!

    2. This needs further explanation: “The chassis of the car is also stiffer, and features a reworked suspension system, as well.”
      We have been told that the hard points haven’t been moved. So what did Ford “rework”?

    3. I see it that way too, because the differences between the Gen6 and the Gen7 are really well done. The further development of the V8 engine has been a total success with the double throttle valve inlet.
      With the Mustang TEAM, Ford has real top specialists who develop real intelligent technology for the customer at reasonable prices!

      Very well done!
      The handbrake variants are ingenious developments.
      I’m particularly looking forward to the Shelby GT 550 and KR – both also available as a convertible or Speedster Mustang.

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