The rumored models seem to have been just that.
Muscle car and Blue Oval fans alike are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the all-new Ford Mustang, which will be unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show. Little is known about the seventh generation Mustang, except that it will be made available with a manual transmission and reportedly debut with the existing V8 and four-pot engines - the V8 appearing to be confirmed in Ford's latest teaser.
At the time, we assumed Ford would press the tried and tested powertrains into duty until the planned hybrid engines were ready. But it seems the hybrid Mustang is no longer on the table. This is according to Automotive News, which cites three people close to the matter.
Initially slated for a mid-decade introduction, Ford has reportedly scrapped the electrified variant, but the reason is unknown. Currently, there's no word on whether the hybrid will make a return towards the end of the decade. This will be great news to traditionalists, who love the Mustang for its unassisted V8.
But that's not the only new feature to be scrapped. The rumored AWD Mustang has also been killed, according to the company insiders. With the current generation Charger and Challenger on life support, there will soon be no all-wheel drive options in the muscle car class.
Again, this should come as a relief to purists. After all, the Mustang has always been an affordable way to get behind the wheel of a V8-powered vehicle with a penchant for doing burnouts. All-wheel drive would bring more grip and tractability but also add an air of civility at odds with the iconic muscle car's image.
However, there is some bad news. With Ford extending its product lifecycle from six to eight years, the S650 may be the very last ICE-powered Mustang. The Dearborn-based company has launched an all-electric assault on the industry in recent months, and it was only a matter of time before the brand's most admired car went down the battery power route.
Earlier reports suggest the all-electric Mustang will enter production in 2028, which gives enthusiasts some time to savor the ICE experience. But by then, Dodge's all-electric Challenger will have been on the scene for several years. The upside as far as Ford is concerned is that it will be clear to see whether there is, in fact, a market for battery-powered muscle cars.
Automotive analyst Karl Brauer said Ford's customer base may reward the company's slow pivot toward electric Mustangs. "If there's a stream of those coming, that's as much, if not more effective for sales of that vehicle than any new, innovative technology. The Mustang buyer base will reward a more traditional approach and less 'evolution' than the average new vehicle."