As its two prime competitors from Dodge and Chevy go electric and face uncertain futures, respectively, the internally combusted muscle car show from Ford ain't leaving. Back for one more gas-burning round, this is the next-generation 2024 Ford Mustang. Mainly using massaged versions of parts we already know, it introduces quite a few fun quirks that make sure the Blue Oval's angry, rumbling icon isn't going gently into the night.
Ford describes this new seventh-gen Mustang—internally known as the S650, sequel to the current S550—as "all-new" but, in reality, it uses a revised, stiffened version of the outgoing car's chassis and suspension architecture. The wheelbase is the same and everything, not unlike what Nissan did to come up with the new Z. Aesthetically, then, it's essentially a blockier, more chiseled interpretation of the Mustang we already know.
Under the hood of the Mustang GT continues to sit a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter Coyote V8 while a Mustang EcoBoost remains available and powered by a 2.3-liter turbo-four. Ford said both motors are more powerful than before but the automaker hasn't released specific figures, only saying that the V8 would deliver more horsepower than any Mustang GT before it. The V8 is enhanced by a new dual air intake box, dual-throttle body, new exhaust manifold, and longer-duration exhaust camshafts. A new steel oil pan provides better underbody aero—this car happens to have the lowest coefficient of drag of any Mustang in history.
Either engine is available with a 10-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual sourced from Getrag and featuring auto rev-matching. Ford told me that while that manual 'box has been refined, it's largely the same part from the last-gen, non-Shelby, manual 'Stangs, even boasting the same gear ratios as before.
Actually new, however, is a quicker-ratio steering rack boasting a stiffer I-shaft and cross-car beam.
Serious Mustang drivers will want to opt for the Performance Pack, which includes a front tower brace, Torsen limited-slip differential, optional MagneRide active suspension, wider rear tires, bigger Brembo brakes (six-piston fronts, four-piston rears), optional Recaro seats, an active exhaust Ford says pushes the limits of decibel-based legality, and an "Electronic Drifting Brake."
That drift brake is, essentially, a factory rendition of a Ken Block-style handbrake. Enabled exclusively in track mode, this lets you rip gnarly slides like a bona fide Formula D hot hand, such as Vaughn Gittin Jr. who was tapped to help develop the feature.
Another fun feature designed to make owners the most popular cat on the block, Remote Rev lets you rev your Mustang's engine via key fob. Like remote start, except more awesome or annoying, depending on how you look at things.
Expressly designed to cater to a younger generation of Mustang buyers, the new car's very screen-heavy interior is apparently inspired by fighter jets. Two screens—one 13.2-inch center touchscreen and a 12.4-inch instrument display—are joined underneath a single piece of glass that's bent so the center display is canted towards the driver. A little oddly, this one-glass-piece setup is reserved for Premium trims and higher, while the Base model has these two same screens separated. Sync 4 software takes a big leap over the last Mustang's very dated infotainment and uses Unreal Engine to render in real time a 3D model of the Mustang in the car's drive configuration screen.
Another, arguably even cooler aspect of the new Mustang's screens? In addition to the regular array of drive mode-based cluster setups, the instruments can be configured to simulate the gauges of an old Fox body Mustang, specifically one from 1987 to 1993. These dials go green at night, too, like the real thing. Automakers: More. Retro. Gauge. Themes. Please.
Planted firmly in our touchscreen-dependent hellscape present, however, is the HVAC controls that now all live within the center display. On the brighter side, the volume knob stays. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are, of course, on board as are USB ports overhead for dashcams, optional Bang & Olufsen audio, and an available wireless phone charger.
A new flat-bottom steering wheel is more sculpted and slightly beefier than the old one and indeed feels better in the hands, at least when stationary.
As for other little design touches of note, both front and rear turn signals are now sequential. A little Mustang horse logo resides beside the Brembo logo on the brake calipers. As an Easter egg, there are tiny silhouettes of all seven generations of Mustang sitting at the bottom of the rear window. The new Mustang can be had with bronze wheels and badges (with any trim/engine/top combo) while Deputy Editor and self-professed Mustang Woman Kristen Lee will be happy to know that this car can be spec'd with red seat belts.
The 2024 Ford Mustang goes on sale in summer 2023. Ford hasn't yet said how much it will cost, but we should know more details next year.
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