Ford unveiled the seventh-generation Mustang on Wednesday at the Detroit Auto Show. Contrary to Dodge’s latest electric muscle car in the Challenger Daytona, this generation of the Mustang will remain gas-powered, but will borrow power from the fast electric Ford before it.
But not under the hood. The 2024 Mustang’s engine bay looks familiar, and there are two options. The 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine will continue to be used in less expensive models, while the iconic 5.0-liter V8 will find a home in the Mustang GT.
Ford says the 5.0-liter engine will make this generation of the GT the most powerful Mustang ever, though exact numbers won’t be revealed until its launch closer to 2023. The current model produces 450 horsepower.
Ford also didn’t reveal the horsepower of the smaller engine, but did say that both will be offered with a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic.
The Performance Package returns upgraded components including a front strut tower, limited-slip differential, MagneRide adjustable suspension, wider wheels and larger brakes. The GT Performance Pack adds more cooling and active exhaust. Speaking of exhaust, the 2024 Mustang will come with a Remote Rev feature that allows owners to start the engine from the key fob.
“The Mustang has withstood the test of time and is cemented as one of the auto industry’s most recognizable and iconic nameplates, despite today’s relatively modest sales figures,” AutoPacific Industry Analysis Manager Paul Waatti told Weekly newspaper“It has a proven formula that Ford was careful not to completely rewrite in its seventh generation.”
For the first time, the Mustang GT will get a different front fascia from the smaller model. As expected, the GT looks more aggressive, while the four-cylinder version looks more restrained but still Mustang-like.
“The Mustang is not just an American icon, it’s a global icon. We have a lot of international designers,” Ford exterior designer Chris Walter said in a news release. “But wherever they were, they knew the Mustang had a nice long hood and a short deck, and all the details.”
“So the seventh-generation Mustang is a modern interpretation of a traditional classic, and we’re setting out to reach our broadest Mustang customer base so we can learn to appeal to a new generation of buyers,” he said.
The new Mustang borrows from tradition, but it also takes enthusiast and tech cues from the Focus RS, Ford GT, and even the electric Mustang Mach-E crossover.
Starting with technology, the new Mustang comes with the Sync 4 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The central screen, including animations, is powered by the Unreal video game engine. This means that when you see a graphical representation of the Mustang and the parts are changing color to notice if they’re in normal, sport or track mode, it’s brought to you by the same program that makes the popular video game Fortnight.
“It’s a real-time rendering of the vehicle that helps enhance the custom mode selection throughout. We’re using the vehicle and visual effects to help reinforce the changes they make when they see the exhaust, suspension and steering,” said Ford Mustang Interaction design manager Craig Sandvig said in a press release in Dearborn.
“For Track Apps, a lot of the development work by the engineering team is done at the Grattan track. That’s why we wanted to have some references on the track icons. We’re really proud of the fact that the entire team has integrated the outside, inside and digital spaces. The way it comes together.”
Mechanically, Ford borrowed its drift stick from the now-gone Focus RS. That special parking brake lever works electronically in track mode to instantly lock the rear wheels. This allows the rear end to slide, which can then be forced into a smoke drift. That’s when the car slides at an angle while the rear tires continue to spin.
The rectangular 13.2-inch touchscreen glass in the center uses many of the same features as the Mach-E, though it ditches the on-screen volume buttons in favor of lower-mounted volume buttons. Driving modes change themes, colours and moods like the Mach-E on the central screen and connected 12.4-inch digital driving information cluster. In less expensive models, the screen is separate, but still digital.
“We really wanted to give customers a choice between three different things they saw. We also looked at our own lineup, like the Ford GT, for inspiration on things like Track Mode,” Sandvig said .
“On the right, the speed is a little bit hidden, the gears are front and center. That’s something we really want to embrace in the track experience. We also worked on the Mustang Mach-E, so we wanted to continue developing the Ford Smart Surface design language, combined with There are 2D and 3D elements combined with the copper theme.”
The gauges also get more customization, including the Ford GT’s digital and analog looks. There are various options for viewing the tachometer and speed, while the center screen can display the classic-looking circular gauge in three or five sections. Buyers can also customize the gauges to look like a 1980s Fox Body Mustang.
A flat-bottom steering wheel is standard, as are the cloth seats. Suede and leather inserts are optional; top models get a full-leather steering wheel and perforated seats. Several interior color options are available to complement the 11 exterior paint options. Wheels range from 17 to 20 inches.
“The 2024 Mustang addresses two of the current model’s main pain points: interior and technology. The cabin is a thoughtful mix of Mustang heritage and modern styling, with the driver-focused cockpit integrating a sleek dual-screen layout,” Waatti said. . “The move to a new electrical architecture that supports over-the-air updates and more advanced driver assistance system capabilities is a big step forward for the new generation.”
In the list of Ford Co-Pilot360 safety features, such as intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane centering assist, evasive steering assist, and reverse brake assist, Ford makes no mention of its hands-free, focus on BlueCruise driving system in the U.S. and Canada’s pre-screening road work. But it appears to have all the hardware and will get frequent over-the-air updates, so it may come at a later date.
No quotes, but the base EcoBoost Mustang with the 2.3-liter engine currently starts at $27,470, and the cheapest V8 GT starts at $38,045.
“Investing in another generation of Mustangs is a major statement at a time when many of our competitors are exiting the combustion engine vehicle business,” Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley said in a release. “However, Ford is accelerating its ICE Growth Plan, adding connected technology, opinionated derivatives and hybrid options to our most profitable and popular vehicles.”