The iconic Mustang returns for its seventh generation. This, the V8 GT, gets aggressive styling
Seventh generation of iconic car to hit UK shores next year with meaner look – but it could be the last
Ford has unwrapped its new seventh-generation Ford Mustang, which could be the final model in the icon’s 58-year history.
Launched at a huge outdoor event following the opening of the reborn Detroit motor show, the Mustang will hit UK shores next year.
Featuring a bolder, edgier take on the classic Ford icon, the headline news is that, rather than being based on Ford’s latest CD6 architecture that underpins the current US-spec Ford Explorer, the new 2023 Mustang remains on the previous generation’s S550 platform.
This means the new Ford Mustang (codenamed S650) is more of a comprehensive reskin of the current car and that it will miss out not only on long-rumoured electrified powertrains, but also the American brand’s next-generation autonomous driving aids.
Under the bonnet, both the 2.3-litre twin-scroll turbocharged Ecoboost four-cylinder and 5.0-litre ‘Coyote’ V8 are carried over, although the former is said to be so comprehensively updated – with a new bore, stroke, and a fresh turbo – it’s effectively all-new.
The naturally aspirated V8, meanwhile, gets less dramatic updates, but does come with a new dual cold-air intake.
Both engines are claimed to push out more power and torque, while being more efficient.
Like before, a six-speed manual will be offered, but only on the most powerful Mustang GT with the 5.0-litre V8. An updated version of the 10-speed torque-converter automatic is optional in the V8 but is standard for the 2.3-litre Ecoboost.
Performance figures are yet to be released, but the fastest V8 version is tipped to launch from 0-62mph in around 4.0sec and top out at more than 170mph.
For the first time, Ford’s designers have provided strong visual cues to differentiate the V8 version from the EcoBoost.
Of the two, it’s the four-cylinder turbo that gets less shouty styling, including a new grille inspired by the original 1964 Mustang flanked by a pair of slimmer headlamps, featuring new tri-bar LED daylight running lamps.
The GT, meanwhile, gets more aggressive cues such as a gloss black grille surround plus a pair of nostrils within the grille that feed air to the new intakes.
Other changes are a new lower front bumper and a large bonnet extractor that not only vents hot air, but also channels high-pressure air from the front air intakes to reduce lift over the front axle.
At the rear, the V8 gets a larger diffuser and quad tail pipes in place of the turbo-four’s dual pipes.
Within the cabin, the base models get twin screens, but mid-grade and above trims get a new ‘continuous’ screen combining a 12.3in digital instrument cluster and a larger 13.2in infotainment screen running Ford’s latest Sync 4 software.
Capable of being updated over the air, this latest system enables a huge level of customisation that Ford hopes – along with the car’s styling – will attract younger buyers. One party piece is the ability to swap the modern gauge graphics for a digital recreation of the ‘Fox body’ (1979-1993) Mustang’s clocks.
Under the skin, the new Mustang carries over its MacPherson-style strut front suspension and the independent rear suspension introduced on the sixth-gen coupé in 2015. Both mounting points and linkages have all been stiffened and new springs and dampers added.
A performance pack is also available, adding stickier rubber, 20mm-wider 275-section rear tyres, Magneride adaptive dampers, larger 19-inch rims – 18s are standard – plus bigger Brembo six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers.
All models get a Torsen-style limited-slip differential and, for the first time, the Mustang gets a ‘drift brake’ that employs an electric handbrake to help coax the rear axle into huge slides, but only in Track mode. A line-locking burnout mode is also available.
Confirmed for right-hand drive production for markets including Japan and Australia, where deliveries will begin before the end of 2023, there’s still no word when, or if, the new Ford Mustang will return for another generation.
One of a select few cars to have remained on continuous sale since its introduction in 1964, the Ford Mustang has racked up more than 10 million sales and remained the world’s best-selling sports coupe for the last seven years, beating its key rival, the Chevrolet Camaro.
Commenting after the Mustang’s unveiling, Ford CEO Jim Farley said: “Investing in another generation of Mustang is a big statement at a time when many of our competitors are exiting the business of internal combustion vehicles.”