The secret is officially out.
With the arrival of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, the current generation pony car has reached its near maximum potential, from the factory at least. Aftermarket tuning is something else entirely. Launched for 2015, the sixth-generation Mustang has undergone several updates since this time and one must be wondering when a successor will arrive. Despite hearing a few rumors here and there, we didn't have clear information as to when this will be happening. But now we do.
The Mustang6G forum has learned the next Mustang, internally referred to as S650, will launch in 2022 as a 2023 model. This information actually came about kind of by accident. A forum member happened to be on LinkedIn and noticed a job listing Ford posted for a "Wind/Road Noise and Air Leakage Plant Vehicle Team (PVT) Engineer."
The job description further states the job involves work on the current S550 Mustang along with "the final sign off on the Ford 2023 Mustang S650 vehicle program before it goes to the customers." And then there's the smoking gun: the "S650 launches in 2022 as a 2030MY."
The likelihood of Ford officially confirming this information at this time is not expected, but a 2023 model year next-gen Mustang makes sense. The fifth-gen Mustang launched for 2005 and lasted until 2014. That's nine years. 2023 will be eight years since the current car debuted. Given that the Ford Mustang Mach-E will go on sale as a 2021 model, it makes sense Ford wants the next Mustang coupe and convertible to be ready shortly thereafter.
And speaking of the Mach-E, does its existence mean the S650 Mustang will be all-electric? No. An all-electric Mustang coupe and convertible will happen eventually but expect plug-in hybrid variants to come first. The 2023 Ford Mustang will still have a combustion engine, though it's too early to know which one. More details will arrive in due time.