Just when you thought fun-loving sports cars were disappearing down the same drain as those once-beloved institutions, like Toys R Us, Borders, and Pier 1 Imports, Ford is bucking the trend by unveiling a brand-new Mustang.
And pretty cool it looks too, with a new, more edgy, more chiseled design, a major interior makeover with a big focus on glass screens, and more giddy-up when it comes to performance.
But before you start galloping to your nearest Ford emporium, know that this seventh-generation pony car won’t be hitting showrooms until next summer, going on sale as a 2024 model.
Alas, if you secretly had hopes that this new Mustang might embrace Ford’s electrification aspirations and create, say, a two-door Mustang Mach-E, sadly it’s not going electric. Or even hybrid.
Instead, Ford is making this brand new ‘Stang, perhaps, a last hurrah for internal combustion motivation, sticking with a big ol’ gas-chugging V8, with an EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder for the slightly more eco conscious.
But with Chevy waving goodbye to the Camaro after 2023, and Dodge’s Challenger coupe and convertible models bowing out at around the same time, you have to admire Ford for giving Mustang fans a brand-new pony to ride.
See it in the metal and yes, the new design is more evolution than revolution. But there’s no shortage of new styling cues to set it apart it from the previous generation.
Up front, the hood line has been lowered at the front edge, the grille widened and flattened, and a trio of slimline LED lights added at each side for an edgier, more straight-across, horizontal look.
The bolder look continues down the sides with more creases and bigger, beefier shoulders over the rear wheels. At the rear, the tri-bar lights continue, but there’s now a big chunk of ugly black plastic to spoil things.
Climb aboard and you’ll notice it’s a tad easier to get inside. With the Coupe, the roofline has been raised, primarily to make it easier for helmet-wearing racers to sit more comfortably behind the wheel.
The big news, however, is the switch to big, glass screens across the dash. While base models get two separate screens, more premium versions get one vast screen, made up of a 12.4-inch instrument display and a 13.2-inch central touchscreen.
Add to this a new flat-bottom steering wheel, better-quality materials throughout with less cheap-looking plastic, and better fit and finish, and this new Mustang has much less of a rental car look and feel.
As before, there’s a choice of V8 or turbocharged four-cylinder power. The base engine is still a 2.3-liter EcoBoost though Ford says, without going into detail, has had a major re-design. The current version packs a healthy 310hp.
For V8 lovers, the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 will reportedly get a bump-up in power from the current 460hp, to maybe 480-plus. And, as before, it’ll be offered with a six-speed manual but now with rev-matching technology for smoother shifting.
There’s no longer a manual option for the four-cylinder, which now has the 10-speed automatic as the only choice. Seems all those Florida and Hawaii renters don’t like D-I-Y shifting.
But those automatic transmissions, both in the EcoBoost and GT, will offer buyers one pretty cool new feature; Remote Revving. A button on the key fob will let you stand away from the car, start the engine and blip the throttle to impress – or perhaps annoy – friends and family.
Here in Florida, where the Mustang Convertible has become almost the State vehicle, the top mechanism stays pretty much the same.
That means a single center latch and electric folding. Ford is quick to point out that the Mustang’s trunk, even with the top dropped, will continue to be big enough for a couple of golf bags.
So far pricing for this 2024 Mustang hasn’t been revealed, but don’t expect it to change much from today’s numbers. One thing that has always been consistent with Mustang is great value.