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Next-Gen Ford Mustang Could Use Explorer Platform, Be a Lot Bigger and Heavier: Report

Rumors say the upcoming pony car will swell to the size of the Dodge Challenger and rock an SUV platform to save on development costs.

The next-generation Ford Mustang will reportedly undergo its biggest alteration in the model’s history, by adopting a platform used by some of the Blue Oval’s crossovers. In fact, rumors say that the agile pony car could eventually resemble the Dodge Challenger in size.

According to Automobile, Ford will migrate two more models to its CD6 platform (already used by the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator) starting with the Edge crossover by 2021, leaving room for one more vehicle to migrate. Its next Mustang, reportedly codenamed S650, is believed to follow sometime thereafter, corroborating prior rumors that claimed the same timeline.

Despite allegations that the Mustang would also jump to the CD6 platform and sport all-wheel-drive for 2021, Ford has reportedly delayed the switchover. Sources reportedly said the CD6-based Mustang could arrive as soon as the 2026 model year (possibly for 2025), or as far out as the 2029 model year. Sharing platforms between the Mustang and other models—not a first for Ford—would reduce development and manufacturing costs, allowing the niche model to remain financially viable for a longer period of time.

The S650 Mustang will reportedly swell to proportions near those of the current Dodge Challenger, which will reportedly allow Ford more leniency for fuel economy and emissions ratings on the model. Though the Mustang and Challenger are practically the same widths today, the S650 is said to come in closer to the Challenger’s length, and potentially, even its height.

Ford will reportedly tie the current S550 Mustang over until the new model is ready. To do this, Ford will reportedly give the S550 a major mid-cycle update, complete with platform updates and all-new bodywork, even though there was no estimate as to when these updated Mustangs will be announced. Word is that a more powerful Mustang EcoBoost is coming in 2020, and a hybrid is said to follow any time from 2020 to mid-2022, pointing to the early 2020s as a likely candidate for the launch of the facelifted, pre-CD6 Mustang.

Ford reportedly considered using the S550 as the basis for a Lincoln-branded halo coupe, one allegedly called the Mark IX, but this vehicle was reportedly canceled before development began. If Lincoln can maintain the stride it hit with the suicide-door $110,000 Continental, it won’t need such a model for its resurgence.