After years of being the muscle car sales leader, the Ford Mustang is seeing some serious competition. Last year, the Dodge Challenger beat it to the number-one sales spot in the U.S., the first time the sixth-generation Mustang has been toppled since 2014. While that may have been a supply chain-influenced fluke, looking forward, Dodge is hoping to continue the beatdown by being the first out of the gate with an all-electric muscle car in 2024. If you wouldn’t call the Mustang or an EV a “muscle car,” well, definitions change.
So what’s Ford’s response to all this? The automaker is currently working on a seventh-generation Mustang (internally named the S650), but until recently we haven’t had any concrete details on what the car will look like or what it’ll be packing under the hood. Will it go all-electric like its new crossover sibling? Will it keep a V8 as an option? Will it double down on old-school power before EVs take over?
According to photos released last month, it appears the new Mustang will be trying to appease all factions before it does anything too drastic. As Edmunds explained in January, spy photos of the car testing wrapped in camouflage show the basic design will likely see incremental change. “It maintains its classic long hood, short deck proportions and 2+2 layout,” the outlet wrote, though there may be “some new design elements that link it to the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV.”
Likewise, the internal combustion engine is staying put for now, as the exhaust setup on the camo car implies. What will likely come to pass sometime in the next generation is the first hybrid Mustang. Initially, reports came out that a hybrid would be added to the lineup after the S650 launched, but more recent info seems to suggest a hybrid will launch right out of the gate.
None of these reports have been confirmed, but with Ford increasingly focused on electrification — so much so that the company is reportedly looking into spinning off its EV business to rake in some of that Tesla-level investment — a hybrid Mustang seems like a no-brainer, especially for the extra power it could offer (though they’ll have to balance out the extra weight).
The death of the gas Mustang is still far off. A year ago, one source reported that the Mustang would go all-electric in 2028, killing off the entire lineup of internal combustion engine models. But we’re just telling you that because it’s out there on the internet, not because we necessarily believe it. Yes, Ford is taking EV production seriously, but its reputation is built on historic (gas-powered) cars like the Mustang, so it has to tread lightly in the handling of those going into the future.
For now, expect the seventh-generation Mustang to be powerful and popular, with a side of electricity. According to Edmunds, the car will likely be unveiled in 2023, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it debuts later this year.
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