The Mustang Mach-E hasn't killed internal combustion. For now.
We're in the midst of a historical change in the auto industry and transportation in general. The onset of pure battery-electric vehicles and alternative mobility solutions such as Lyft and Uber are making consumers think twice when purchasing or leasing their next vehicle. The cycle of change is ongoing, as is the debate as to when the century-old internal combustion engine will be permanently retired. Muscle car fans in particular are paying close attention because this technological shift probably spells doom for the beloved V8. Muscle cars like the Ford Mustang will never be the same, but it's still too early to plan the engine's funeral, according to Ford Performance Chief Engineer Carl Widmann.
Speaking to Autoweek, Widmann pointed out the Mustang Mach 1 and Shelby GT500 have brought the old eight-cylinder to new levels of performance from the Blue Oval never seen before.
But it'll ultimately be up to consumers as to when Widmann and crew cease V8 development. "They [customers] drive what we do," he said. "From our perspective, it's a time of transition. Right now you've got the choice between a Mach 1 or a four-door Mustang Mach-E GT. You can drive the Mach 1 to the track, run it on the track, and drive it home. Or you've got the Mach-E GT with the same power, 480 hp, but a lot more torque, so it has a lot of straight-line capability-it can do zero to 60 in three-and-a-half seconds."
Widmann further made clear that there's still plenty of room for ICE technology to advance but, again, it all depends on what consumers buy. Take, for example, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder, which can produce well over 300 horsepower, a comparable output to that of old NA V8s.
There's also the latest version of the 5.0-liter V8 found in the Mach 1. "We've been working hard on that car for the last three years, wanting to get the 5.0-liter to its maximum capability on the track," he added. "We're getting 480 hp out of the engine, with a cooled transmission, rev-matching for the six-speed transmission, and a rear-axle cooler." The GT500's 760 hp from its supercharged V8 is also "pretty insane."
Bear in mind the Mustang Mach-E GT achieves an impressive 480 hp output but, as noted above, has a lot more torque. It's only the beginning of Ford's electrification era. But the Blue Oval hasn't committed to ending tailpipe emissions as GM has done. To extend that date, Mustang fans simply need to buy V8s.