The seventh-generation Ford Mustang storms Detroit and it is better than ever.
Over the past couple of weeks, Ford has shifted focus to the launch of the seventh-generation (internal codename S650) Mustang, teasing us with glimpses of new design elements and short clips of the V8 engine. We've also been treated to the noise of the new GT3 racer, but that's not important right now.
What does matter is that the all-new 2024 Ford Mustang has finally been revealed, and it's better than ever. CEO Jim Farley says that "investing in another generation of Mustang is a big statement at a time when many of our competitors are exiting the business of internal combustion engines." But can it live up to the hype?
Some will take issue with the styling, some will be besotted. Regardless of how it looks, it comes with two combustion engine choices, the option of an automatic or manual transmission, and a lot more tech. Let's see if it was worth the wait.
The Mustang GT comes with the most powerful naturally aspirated iteration of the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine, which is now in its fourth generation. Ford says this will be the most powerful 5.0 yet, with at least 480 horsepower. The motor features "an innovative dual air intake box and dual-throttle body design that helps minimize induction loss" by increasing air flow rates. At the reveal event, Ford also revealed a new Dark Horse model with 500 hp and the Tremec manual from the GT350 and Mach 1.
As standard, this is paired with a six-speed manual transmission with standard rev-matching, although you can have Ford's 10-speed automatic if you prefer. This can almost instantly reconfigure shift patterns to match whichever of the six pre-configured drive modes you may be in. The 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost that non-GT customers get is also new but like the GT, power output remains a mystery.
Both GT and EcoBoost variants can be had with an optional Performance Pack, adding a front tower brace, wider rear wheels and tires, a Torsen limited-slip differential, optional MagneRide active suspension, and bigger brakes from Brembo. In front, the discs measure 390 millimeters, while the rears are upgraded to 355-mm units. With the GT Performance Pack, stopping power is further bolstered by new brake ducts and a standard auxiliary engine cooler. The Performance Pack can be further improved with optional Recaro sport seats and an active exhaust system.
Another cool feature of the package is the standard electronic drift brake, which looks and acts like a traditional, mechanical handbrake. There's also a new Remote Rev feature that allows you to rev the car from the key fob, standard on all 'Stangs. Hoodrat car meets are about to get a lot more sketchy.
Inside, the car now has a customizable 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster with 3D animation software courtesy of Unreal Engine. Instead of traditional cool blue and light grey tones, this now has a copper appearance theme like that of the Mustang Mach-E. This display flows toward a 13.2-inch SYNC 4 center screen angled toward the driver, from which you can control just about everything, including the ambient lighting. A single piece of glass connecting the two adds a touch of class. Above your head, new USB ports have been added for your GoPro and any other track-related tech you may wish to aim at the hood.
As standard, cloth upholstery with optional Micro Suede vinyl inserts and black seat belts are fitted, but Premium models are upgraded with accent stitching. EcoBoost variants get the brand's ActiveX faux leather with various color options, and GT models get leather seat inserts. The more you spend, the better your cabin. A full-leather steering wheel is available, as is your choice of color for the accent stitching and the colored asymmetric striping on the seat belts. A Bang & Olufsen audio setup is also available if you tire of the noises of internal combustion, while Power-Up software updates will keep the Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa-equipped infotainment system as fresh as possible.
Ford CoPilot360 driver aids include Speed Sign Recognition, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane Centering Assist, Evasive Steer Assist, and Reverse Brake Assist. Active Pothole Mitigation, which "continually monitors suspension, body, steering braking input," is standard with the Performance Pack, adjusting suspension as needed.
Now for the looks. Ford calls this an "edgier design with timeless Mustang cues," and we're getting a lot of different vibes here. There are hints of 1970s Mustang in the angular front fascia, and the shape seems to incorporate some of the Fox body 'Stang's silhouette. The influence of the preceding sixth-generation Mustang still shows, however, which has us feeling a little letdown. The rear end also keeps reminding us of the Hyundai Elantra N's derriere. Sorry, Jim.
Nevertheless, the styling is not as important as the design. New tri-bar LED headlights are a cool touch that seems to have been inspired by the iconic triple taillights that have been a mainstay of Mustang design for generations. Notably, each model of the Mustang now has a truly unique front end. GT models naturally get larger, more aggressive grille openings for better airflow. New hood vents and a redesigned front splitter are also included.
The convertible version also returns with a one-touch activation of the insulated soft top. A single-handle center latch makes things simple, and a compact design helps maximize the space by not encroaching too much on the trunk. The independent rear suspension also contributes to "segment-leading trunk space that can accommodate up to two golf bags."
11 colors are on offer, with two new shades: Vapor Blue and Yellow Splash. New stripe designs and colors will complement these, and the Brembo brake calipers can be optioned in Black, Red, or Grabber Blue. New wheels are available, too, starting at 17 inches on base models to 19-inch wheels on the GT. This variant also gets access to optional 20-inch rims.
A new Mustang Design Series adds preselected customization from the factory. The Bronze Desing Series Appearance Package is the only offering right now and gives you Sinister Bronze alloys with bronze badges. This is available for both EcoBoost and GT models.
With a "jet-inspired digital cockpit," that includes roof-mounted USB ports, Ford is clearly listening to the demands of its buyers. The same can be said for the electronic drift brake and the Remote Rev function. These are the things that Mustang buyers want, and we suspect that this will be a huge sales success once again. Sure, the styling will take some time to grow on some people, but it's not overly fussy and does a good job of modernizing a basic shape that has been around for almost 60 years now. We can't wait to see it in the metal.
As for pricing and availability, that information has not yet been revealed.