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.
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.