Spy photographers have captured physical evidence that Ford Motor Company is currently working on an S650 Mustang high-performance model that slot itself above the GT trim level. No surprise there. But there are two questions that need answering: is this performance model going to launch for the 2024 model year with the rest of the S650 family; and what will it be called?
S650 Mustang: High-Performance Prototype
This S650 Mustang mule, seen on Mustang7G, appears to have a Brembo braking setup and the same exhaust and rear diffuser design from what we currently see on today’s S550 Mustang Shelby GT500. The suspension looks relatively low, with the wheels completely filling the arches. Additionally, it seems as if the interior has been removed, and the camouflaged car also features a roll cage. The front-end covering is pretty much the same as we’ve seen from other 2024 Mustang prototypes. While the front bumper intake looks pretty aggressive. There’s a distinctly angled protrusion from the prototype’s chin spoiler that wraps around the sides of the front bumper. Like the rear diffuser design, this aerodynamic feature up front is a prominent part of the S550 Shelby GT500.
While this Ford Mustang prototype does share some common features with the current Shelby GT500, it could also be a Mach 1, which is a step below the GT500 with some similar aspects. The S550 Mach 1 blends the Coyote-powered recipe with Shelby Mustang components from both the GT350 and GT500, making it a great middle-ground for buyers who want a bit more than the GT but can’t quite bring themselves to buy a 760 horsepower GT500. The testing mule could also be a Mustang Boss 302; something we haven’t seen since 2013.
The Mustang Boss 302 was first used in 1969 as a performance option to rival the new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. After several decades, Ford brought back the Boss 302 in the 2012 model year for the S197 generation as the most performance-oriented Mustang below the Shelby GT500 at the time. The Boss 302 was built to be a Mustang you could take on a race track – most evident with the limited-run Laguna Seca variant – but wasn’t as power-obsessed as the GT500.
While we’re of the opinion that the Ford Mustang Boss 302 nameplate is ready for a comeback, whether or not it truly will remains to be seen. The prototype could also be an entirely new trim for the Mustang line that a new generation of buyers can rally around, which is definitely something Ford would like to happen.