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An 8 Year Product Lifecycle Is A Fairly Long One, And That’s Worked For Mopar

An S650 Mustang all-wheel drive prototype caught testing
Image Via Ford.

Believe it or not, the current generation S550 Ford Mustang has already been on sale since 2014. While the recent addition of the fire-breathing Shelby GT500 model has helped to re-energize the muscle car’s lineup, followed by the Mach 1, it is true that the next-generation car isn’t too far off. Thanks to a report from Automotive News, we now know the S650 Mustang will have an above-average product lifecycle timeline.

According to the AN report, Ford executives have told suppliers that the next-generation S650 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.

It’s not quite on the level of the Dodge Challenger, which was re-introduced in 2008, making it LX-platform based muscle car 12 years old at its core (and counting). But as the segment is shrinking, Ford is likely looking for ways to stretch out the relevance of its icon, which has never been discontinued, and save some cost as a result. And as the S650 product cadence begins to roll out, we wouldn’t be surprised to see another extension. After all, it was rumored that the S550 Mustang would see life as far into 2026. But this doesn’t seem to be the case.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Oscoda Autocross Race Red DRSCCA
Photo Credit: Neil Britton, Muscle Cars & Trucks

The S650 Ford Mustang is expected to begin production in 2022 as a 2023 model year vehicle, per AN’s sources close to Ford product planning. A Ford job listing also leaked this expectation. Suppliers have also been informed that the mid-cycle refresh is currently planned for a 2025. The next-gen Mustang is rumored to be moving to the same RWD architecture that underpins the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, as the company looks to cut costs on their lone passenger car moving forward. This change will most likely make the S650 Mustang look a bit larger than we’ve become accustomed to.

Automotive News reports that Ford has told its suppliers that they are targeting production figures of 77,000 coupes and up to 20,000 convertibles per year. Ford is convinced their pony car has staying power, despite MC&T being the first to report that there will not be a seventh generation Chevrolet Camaro. Perhaps Ford believes some Camaro buyers will soon be left with no choice but to bring their muscle car buying dollars to them after their longtime rival departs.

Photo Credit: Neil Britton, Muscle Cars & Trucks

While Ford refuses to comment on any matters relating to future products, we expect these reports from AN to be the real deal. We still have a few more years before we’ll get to see the S650 Ford Mustang, but we now know it’ll be with us for nearly a decade.

Written by Lucas Bell

Lucas holds a journalism degree from Wayne State University, and is a Automotive Press Association scholarship recipient. While an American muscle fan through and through, he once wrote a fascinating comparison review about eScooters.

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