Official: Meet the All-New Ford Mustang

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After seven generations, the old horse is still far from exhausted

The new Ford Mustang comes at an interesting turning point for cars: expensive fuel, booming electric vehicles, and governments cracking down on anything combustion-powered. So, does that mean the seventh generation is now scaled down, hybridized, or somehow bastardized? Is that the heck. Not only does the 5.0-litre V8 remain, it’s more powerful than ever.

As Ford CEO Jim Farley said, “Investing in another generation Mustang is a big statement at a time when many of our competitors are exiting the internal combustion vehicle business. The subtext of that sentence is as big as the statement itself: there is no leeway for the Mustang to be powered by any means other than gasoline combustion. And Ford isn’t ready to put his stud out to pasture just yet.

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That means under the hood you’ll find at least the 2.3-liter Ecoboost turbo four-cylinder and, depending on your luck, the 5.0-liter Coyote V8. What you won’t find is any electrification, hybrid or otherwise. Almost as if Ford had already covered the whole question of the “electric Mustang” in another way.

Ford says turbo four and naturally aspirated V8 are new; we’d probably lean more towards “revised”, but we’re not in the business of writing press releases. In any case, the V8 has twin air intakes and twin throttle bodies, which means better airflow and more horsepower – apparently delivering more naturally aspirated horsepower than any Mustang. GT before her. Ford doesn’t mention what’s changed with the 2.3-litre turbo, but given Mountune can squeeze 513bhp and 516lb-ft out of a modified version of the same engine for £6,000, it could be of the dark horse of modern Mustangs. Or it would be, if that name wasn’t already meant for something else. Both come with a six-speed manual or Ford’s option “if less is more, then more must be a lot more” 10-speed automatic. At this point, having access to a 5.0-liter V8 muscle car and choosing an automatic might actually be considered automotive apostasy. But we digress.

Apparently, the steering rack is quicker than the sixth-generation Mustang, with “minimal” play from the steering wheel to the front tires. That’s good news for steering feel and cornering, but probably bad news for any wild overcorrection while losing control from a burnout when exiting a car. But if your penchant for hooliganism finds a suitable outlet (like not on the street, people…how many times do we have to have this conversation?), there’s the option of an “electronic parking brake from performance” – basically, a big handle like a mechanical handbrake, just controlling the electronic one the Mustang comes with. Ford claims the “Electronic Drift Brake” is “competition-ready” but “designed for novice drivers to learn and improve.” Ford also verifies Vaughn Gittin Junior’s name, because why not, and says the added option unlocks the “Mustang’s rear-wheel-drive drift capability.”

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Ah yes, the optional supplement. As befits any Mustang, the options list goes deeper than a 10-pint heart-to-heart conversation and probably makes just as much sense to any outside observer. In simplest terms, there are option packs, regular options, and something called the Mustang Design Series, which gives you more customization options independent of option packs. Either way, you’ll probably have a much easier time playing around with the online configurator when it’s displayed on Ford’s website.

Of particular interest is the Performance Pack, which adds a limited-slip differential, wider rear wheels, larger brakes all around and a front strut tower brace, as well as ducted brake cooling and a cooler. auxiliary engine oil on the V8. What it also does is unlock the option of Ford’s MagneRide active suspension, Recaro seats and active exhaust. Yes, options in an option pack. Like optception, or something like that.

But then options, just like big gas engines and rear-wheel drive, are what the Mustang has always been. And even though the new Mustang comes at a time that seems almost tailor-made against it, it’s been through some interesting times like this before. And here it is today: more powerful than ever.

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