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The S650 Mustang Will Be The Last V8 Muscle Car Standing

S650 Ford Mustang Sculpture Design Preview

Ford Motor Company is now testing S650 Mustang prototypes on public roads. Set to be on sale in the spring of 2023 as a 2024 model year vehicle, the next-generation Mustang will be an evolved form of the current S550 platform, and will launch with familiar powertrain lineup that won’t break away from the formula we see today: that’s the 2.3L EcoBoost with either a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic, as well as a 5.0L Coyote V8 with a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic. Hybrid variants could arrive down the road, along with AWD variants.

Visually, the proportions of the S650 Ford Mustang will be very close to the S550, in that the wheelbase won’t be adjusted much, nor the dash-to-axle ratio, or the front/rear overhangs. The roofline appears to be unchanged also. All of this signals marginal changes between the S550 and S650 architecture.

Design-wise, the rear of the S650 Ford Mustang will continue to feature vertical tail lights as seen with the S550, which are likely to look more slim and trim thanks to improvements in LED technology. Up front, expect a similar evolution: sleeker, more horizontal headlights, with edits to the grille design that should match the lights, while allowing for optimal cooling and thermal efficiencies.

Potential S650 Mustang Design

Headwinds For The S650 Ford Mustang: The Last V8 Muscle Car Standing

As we’ve continued to report here on MC&T, the Ford Mustang buyer has gradually gotten older over time, to the point of being the senior most customer in the segment, while Dodge enjoys the youngest. Getting Millennials and Zoomers into the seat of Mustangs has also proven to be more tedious than convincing the elder Boomers and Gen X to choose the Mustang, as well. Lastly, the Ford Mustang just recorded its worst sales in its 58-year history on the market. And it’s likely not just because of inflation and high MSRP, as Ford has rolled out several exciting off-road trucks and SUVs through the past few years, commanding just as much money as the Mustang and its respective variants. Some data suggests that the would-be Mustang customer is gravitating towards the Ford Bronco, Ranger Tremor, and F-150 Raptor instead.

Under turnaround man Jim Farley, the 2024 S650 Mustang aims to be the car that a kid will “have on his wall, or on his phone,” according to the Ford CEO.

The S650 Ford Mustang will have an eight year lifespan, which is 24 months longer than the initial six years the company planned for. While this may seem like a long time for a sports car platform to be around, the S650’s run will now match the S550’s total production time. Ford has told its suppliers that they are targeting production figures of 77,000 coupes and up to 20,000 convertibles per year. A refresh is planned in 2025.

By the end of the decade, the S650 Mustang will be the last true muscle car left on the market, as Chevrolet reportedly moves to replace the Camaro with an electric sedan, and Dodge ditches its Hellcat engine for an all-electric performance car. A fate that will eventually await the Mustang, as well.

Potential S650 Ford Mustang Design

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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