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.
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.
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.