Amidst ongoing speculation of the next generation Ford Mustang, a new report from the United States has alleged that the all-new seventh generation pony car will become a reality early in the second quarter of 2023.
Supposedly on track to have debuted in 2024, with 2023 set to have been a year of updates, Ford’s Performance Vehicle Head, Ali Jammoul, confirmed to Australia’s wheels.com.au last month that the latter year had been set aside from the debut of the internally known S650 Mustang.
“The next generation that we’re working on now will be launching next year, in 2023, and it’s going to be great,” Jammoul was quoted as saying.
After the announcement, Road and Track allege that 17 April, a date that coincides with the unveiling of the original in 1964, had been identified as the reveal date for the new Mustang next year.
While details surrounding the S650 are largely still unknown, what has been confirmed is the retention of a V8 engine reports have claimed could feature electrification as a way of improving efficiency.
“What we pride ourselves on is giving the customer a lot of choice and selection to choose from. The V8 has been successful in Mustang and it has a certain image that our customers associate with,” Jammoul said.
“I don’t think the V8 is going away soon; at some point, with electrification and with BEV [battery electric vehicles] you can do a lot more in terms of performance and that might be the time that V8s start to phase out. But I see Mustang continuing to carry the V8 for now”.
Less clear is the future of the manual gearbox, an option dropped with the unveiling of the facelift Mustang in South Africa three years ago, with Jammoul admitting that the switch towards electrification would leave no prospects for the three-pedal ‘box continuing.
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Currently, the ‘box is standard fare on all Mustangs offered in the US, but only available on the runout Mach 1 in South Africa.
At the time of the facelift model’s release, Ford Motor Company Southern Africa confirmed that only five percent of all Mustang sales involved the six-speed manual.
“As long as there’s a market for it and customers still want that higher-performing feel, it’ll stay, but you can deliver a lot more [from an automatic],” Jammoul said.
“I can’t tell you the manual gearbox is here to stay, but there will be more electrification, and manual gearboxes will not be around in the future”.
Based on spy images by the FordAuthority online forum of the prototype undergoing testing, the overall silhouette remains unchanged from the current S550, however, the extensive disguise on the front facia hints at a complete change the Blue Oval is not yet keen on showing.
Additionally, spy shots of the interior show an unchanged lower dashboard section and centre console, with the upper half containing the infotainment system shrouded in black masking. Just visible is the instrument cluster, which also appears unchanged.
As with the previous six generations, the seventh will continue to be built at the Flat Rock Plant in Michigan with production in left-and-drive-hand-drive set to continue.
Expect more details and clearer images to emerge over the coming months.