Yet another sign of confidence for the long-running pony car.
The seventh-generation Ford Mustang is currently in development and, if all goes to plan, we should see it debut sometime in 2022 as a 2023 model. Previous reports have speculated the next Mustang won't be all-electric like the new Mustang Mach-E SUV, but it's expected to adopt a hybrid system for V8-powered models. The turbo-four base engine is also expected to return, though with numerous upgrades to power, performance, and efficiency.
The Mustang and the Mustang brand as a whole has become a core part of the Blue Oval's future product strategy and now we're hearing from Automotive News the next Mustang's lifetime is already being extended. Originally, the 2023 Mustang was scheduled to have a six-year production lifespan but now that's reportedly been increased by two additional years. The current sixth-generation Mustang will also ultimately have an eight-year lifetime.
Ford's decision to extend the next Mustang's production plan before it debuts is a clear sign of confidence, in contrast to GM's attitude towards the Chevrolet Camaro. There have been rumors the current Camaro will stick around for another few years but won't be replaced afterward, leaving the Mustang and the Dodge Challenger to continue the pony car war.
Unlike today's Mustang, its successor isn't expected to utilize a rear-wheel-drive platform built specifically for it. Instead, the Mustang will switch to a modified version of the RWD and all-wheel-drive platform currently underpinning the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator. A slightly larger coupe and convertible could be the result.
The increased size will also make things easier for engineers to connect the V8 to the hybrid system. This system, which can also be found on the Explorer Hybrid, will allow the V8 to shut down in certain situations, such as city driving. And yes, AWD could become available, though it won't be a full-time system. The front wheels are expected to be sensor-activated and will only kick in when the rear wheels lose traction.
Exterior styling won't be a radical departure from today's car, perhaps with some Mach-E traits incorporated. Interior styling remains a mystery but various retro-themed elements are likely to continue.
Ford aims to build just under 100,000 seventh-gen Mustangs per year, with 77,000 coupes and 20,000 convertibles planned, according to suppliers.