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Who Is Ready For An AWD Pony Car?

Electric Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang Lithium Concept. Photo copyright

According to Autocar, we can expect to see the S650 Mustang hit the market in 2022, pinning it as a 2023 model year vehicle. This is corroborated by other reports (and even a job listing from Ford itself) depicting the same timeline, leaving just two short years left of the S550 Mustang’s life. A $250 million retooling investment for the Flat Rock Assembly Plant is reported to prepare the facility for the all-new muscle car, which is said to share the highly flexible CD6 architecture with the all-new Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator (more on this below). Before that happens, we may yet see a new Mustang variant to celebrate the the S550, which has been on sale since 2014. Mach-1, anybody?

As for the S650 Mustang, Ford Motor Company seems willing to broaden its appeal, both here and abroad. While maintaining muscle car fundamentals – an available V8 engine, standard rear-wheel-drive, and a manual transmission – the new Mustang will bring additional content to the table that purists will find blasphemous. For instance, per the report, all-wheel-drive will be an available option. Considering how that’s working for Dodge, this seems like a no brainer. However, hybridizing the V8 engine seems like a greater risk. Because, if not for the existing fan base being reluctant to the idea, then it will be because it simply will cost too much and be priced too high for such a vehicle to maintain current sales patterns. Ford has also teased an electric Mustang with the Lithium Concept at the 2019 SEMA Show.

Hopefully a non-hybrid V8 Mustang GT is in the cards.

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Some readers may recall that Ford had originally planned to launch an all-new Mustang by 2020, as well as a Mustang hybrid. Instead, priorities shifted to fast-tracking the all-electric Mustang Mach-E utility vehicle to market. In effect, the S650 Mustang timeline got pushed back a few years.

With Autocar being a European publication, the report circulated on what the future Mustang means for that market. As we first reported last year, the 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 would not be officially sold by Ford in Europe due to absurd emissions control mandates. This destructive market behavior is only going to get worse in the near future, with the Mustang GT in danger of being illegal in the market, as well. Ironically, Ford Mustang buyers in Europe seek out the 5.0L Coyote V8 engine option over the standard 2.3L EcoBoost four cylinder.

The hybrid system in the Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring may prelude to the power figures of an incoming S650 Mustang Hybrid. They’re nothing to sneeze at, with 494 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque, so things would certainly look good on paper. Something to note, however, is that the Aviator GT uses a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 in lieu of a V8, which is good for 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque without the assistance of a battery pack. It’s unclear if this TTV6 will make its way into the next-gen Mustang’s engine lineup at this time, but at any rate, the power figures of the next-gen muscle car certainly won’t be undercut by the outgoing model.

Mustang Mach-E

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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