The (Original) Mustang Lives! Ford Debuts Seventh Gen 2024 Mustang with a Variety of Engine Options: Turbo, V8 and More
Ford, like nearly every automaker today, has been leaning hard into its transition toward electric vehicles, even using iconic nameplates like "Mustang" on its new EVs. But thankfully, Ford hasn't forgotten about the real Mustang. The one with a gasoline engine up front, rear-wheel-drive and an available manual transmission.
This week at the Detroit Auto Show, Ford has debuted the next generation Mustang for the 2024 model year, following up the current S550 model, which has been on sale since the 2015 model year.
While there were some rumors about the next Mustang possibly adding a hybrid powertrain or AWD to the mix, for now at least, Ford has stuck to the basics with a Mustang that looks familiar. But also one that's been improved in every way.
Familiar but New
The exterior of the car isn't a massive departure from the S550—especially from the side view—carrying over the same basic proportions.
But both the front and rear ends of the new Mustang have been shaken up, with a more chiseled profile and a more squared-off, aggressive front end.
Perhaps the biggest departure from the outgoing Mustang comes inside, where the old instrument panel and infotainment screen are replaced by a new, flat dual screen setup for both instruments and the SYNC 4 system.
The 2.3L EcoBoost will continue to be the entry-level model, with Ford promising significant updates to the turbocharged four-cylinder introduced on the S550 generation.
For those worried about the impending demise of both the V8 engine and the manual transmission, you'll be happy to know that Ford is sticking with both of those for the Mustang's new generation.
The legendary 5.0 V8 Coyote returns with some notable tweaks to improve performance, including a new dual-throttle-body intake system. Horsepower figures haven't been finalized but Ford says it will be the most powerful Mustang GT yet, so expect more than the 460 horsepower of the outgoing GT.
Transmission options will consist of the aforementioned six-speed manual or a ten-speed automatic, with stick shift featuring standard automatic rev-matching.
And as another cool touch the new Mustang will have an available "electronic drift brake" developed with the help of a certain Vaughn Gittin Jr.
As before both the EcoBoost and GT Mustangs will be available with factory performance packs that include larger brakes, more aggressive suspension, stickier tires and other upgrades.
Enter the Dark Horse
But for the hardcore track junkies Ford is adding a brand new Mustang variant to the lineup: the Dark Horse. It's still powered by the Coyote V8, but it gets some hand-me-down upgrades from the current Shelby GT500 and will have a target output of 500 horsepower.
It also will get its own suspension setup, larger Brembo brakes, additional cooling, more aggressive aero parts—and it can even be spec'd with the carbon fiber wheels seen on the previous GT350R and GT500.
While the name is new, the Dark Horse basically looks to grab the torch from the current Mustang Mach 1 which acts as a step between the Mustang GT and the Shelby GT500.
Chances are there will be a Shelby version of the seventh-gen Mustang as well, but we'll have to wait a bit for that one.
While this new Mustang might be more of an evolution from the S550 than a complete re-invention, we can't understate just how good it is to see Ford still invested in this car. Especially at a time when the days are numbered for its gas-powered competition like the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger.
Deliveries for the new 2024 Mustang are scheduled to begin in the summer of 2023, so prospective buyers will have nearly a year to start saving for what very well could be one of the last American gasoline performance cars.
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