You better act quickly because the GT500 won't be around much longer.
Last week was a significant one for the Blue Oval as it unveiled the all-new, seventh-generation Ford Mustang. There is much to pore over here, such as the hardcore Dark Horse variant and many cool new features like the remote rev function. The fact that the Coyote V8 lives on in its most powerful form ever is another reason to celebrate.
But none of this means that the sixth-generation Mustang has suddenly become irrelevant, not least of all because the 'old' Mustang will still be on sale for another year. Some will prefer the S550's looks and its more analog interior, and for those who want one before the S650 arrives, there is some new information to take note of - but not all of it is good.
We now know that the S550 model will continue to be produced for the 2023 model year, but not for a full calendar year as S650 production is due to begin in the summer of 2023.
"Demand [for the S550] is there," said brand manager Jim Owens when speaking to Muscle Cars & Trucks a few days ago. "Supply is not, and we're working towards it. We were down nine weeks this year, thirteen weeks last year," he said when referring to production of the S550 at the Flat Rock Assembly plant in Detroit.
While the 2023 Mustang will extend the life of the sixth-gen model for a while longer, this doesn't apply to the entire lineup. The big news here is that the current Mustang Shelby GT500 won't continue into the 2023 model year.
The Shelby GT500 is the king of the S550 lineup with its 5.2-liter supercharged V8 making a monstrous 760 horsepower. Together with a dual-clutch automatic transmission, it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in below 3.5 seconds. It's not confirmed if the S650 will come with a replacement for the GT500, and this news means that there will be a gap at the very top of the Mustang lineup for at least a year or so, leaving Ford without a direct rival to the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. It also means that the new Mustang Dark Horse with its 500-hp V8 will be the most powerful seventh-generation derivative for the time being.
Fans who want one of the quicker S550 models and who might miss out on the GT500 will be happy to know that the Mustang Mach 1 will still be around for 2023. Its 470-hp V8 isn't far off the output of the newer Dark Horse.
As the S550 nears retirement, it will be remembered as the first Mustang to be marketed and sold globally. Its independent rear suspension did wonders for the handling of the car, making it much more than just a dragster, and the 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine saw the Mustang join the downsizing trend without making the car a dud to drive. The S550 was one of the most complete Mustangs yet, and the S650 has big shoes to fill when it arrives.
For those craving the Shelby model, however, your time is limited, so we'd suggest tracking one down ASAP.