The 2018 Ford Mustang Has More Technology, More Gears, and Fewer Engines

Also...kind of an odd-looking face.

So much for our prediction of a New York Auto Show reveal. Roughly a day after footage of Ford’s facelifted 2018 Mustang found its way online, the carmaker has revealed the updated muscle car at the Detroit Auto Show, giving us a better look at the new styling…which, unfortunately, doesn’t look any better with increased viewings. It’s not ugly, certainly, but compared to the blend of retro cues and modern details found on the outgoing version, the 2018 Mustang seems a little overdone. (Here’s hoping it looks better in the flesh.)


On the powertrain side of things, the tried-and-true 3.7-liter V6 that has loyally served rental car customers since the 2011 model year is gone—no surprise, as the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder has rendered it redundant for the entire sixth-generation model’s lifespan.  Both remaining engines have been massaged to squeeze a little additional power out of them—the aforementioned EcoBoost uses overboots for more peak torque, while dual-fuel technology (high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection working in the same motor) means the 5.0-liter V8 revs higher and cranks out more energy than before. That said, Ford isn’t releasing final power figures for either motor yet, so we’ll have to stay tuned to find out more. 


The six-speed manual gearbox remains standard issue (praise Jesus), but as predicted, the old six-speed slushbox has been tossed in favor of the 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed by Ford and General Motors. Meaning that, yes, in a way, the Camaro and the Mustang now share a very important piece of their powertrains…although Ford would almost certainly rather we discuss the fact that its new muscle car shares a gearbox with the 2017 F-150


The new gearbox gives the 2018 ‘Stang a wider range of ratios and quicker shifts, improving acceleration; there are paddle shifters on the back of the wheel for manual control, but considering the difficulty in keeping track of 10 speeds while hitting the track (as well as the car’s various drive modes), we’d imagine most drivers who choose the auto will let the car run the cogs all by itself. 


And considering muscle cars tend to be popular amongst the sort of folks who like to customize their cars, it’s no surprise to see the 2018 Ford Mustang gives buyers the ability to personalize their cars straight from the factory. A dozen different wheel styles are on offer, as well a variety of colors that range from sedate to flashy. (In the latter camp: the Orange Fury paint seen in the pictures above and below.) Hell, Ford says even the soundtrack generated by the optional active exhaust can be adjusted…though we’re guessing most Mustang owners who spring for that will leave it turned up to 11 as much as possible. 

Hey, that’s what we’d do.