When the news broke that there was a new Mustang on the horizon, hardcore fans began to panic. After having their hearts broken when the all-electric Mustang Mach-E dropped, loyal Mustang fans were joined by a bunch of worry warts and doomsayers that suddenly came out of the woodwork. Forum walls exploded with fans conjuring up apocalyptic scenarios of glorified golf carts with a galloping pony emblem glued to the front end.
All in all, it was quite a fuss. The good news is, the new 2024 Mustang, now dubbed S650, is simply a reskinned update of the previous S550 model and it will remain gasoline-powered with no hybrid or electric shenanigans offered. This new pony has crisp sheet metal, two familiar engine choices, and a big screen added to the interior. The real fright here was the darn thing looks like a sixth-gen Camaro from certain angles, especially the rear quarter window and fender lines. Not to worry, from all other angles it still looks like Mustang, but we had to look twice.
There is a lot at stake here. The Mustang is currently the only car the Blue Oval sells in North America and with millions on the road, it is the defacto global face of the Ford Motor Company.
Let’s take a look at the new car and start with the exterior. The new Mustang will again be offered in coupe and convertible. The front end is a bit blocker now and the headlights have a triple-lens design that mimics the iconic taillights. Think of it as the old car in a crisply tailored suit and you get the idea of what the Ford designers were aiming at.
Two engines will be offered. The base 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged I-4 has been massaged to clean up its tailpipe emissions and get more miles from a gallon of dino juice. This fourth-gen variant is dubbed the MPC (Modular Power Cylinder) engine and makes its world debut in the 2024 Mustang.
Although no power specs were revealed, count on at least the same power as the current engine. The mighty EcoBoost I-4 currently belts out 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, but there is a good chance we’ll see a bit more oomph when the new car enters production.
The revised 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine returns with cylinder deactivation capability for better fuel economy. This fourth-gen Coyote V8 has some new goodies, like a steel oil pan, a dual air intake box, and a twin throttle-body cold-air intake which doubles airflow to the engine.
Again, expect at least the current 450 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, but we may see a bit more. GT customers get a Getrag six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching or they can tick the option box for a 10-speed automatic. There is even a new quiet mode for the active exhaust to muffle your aural comet tail as you motor away.
Larger brake rotors and calipers, more precise rack and pinion steering, and MagneRide electronic adaptive shocks have been dialed in for the S650 and will be available via a performance package. Look for Mach 1, Boss, Bullitt, and other familiar trim packages to see encore appearances as well.
The all-new interior has a flat bottom steering wheel, optional Recaro seats, and two screens, a 12.4-inch display for the driver, and a 13.2-inch center screen, both residing under one pane of glass. The Sync 4-powered infotainment system has fewer physical buttons, for better or worse. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will return as well. A couple of trick new features include a key FOB that starts the car and revs it, and a parking brake with a drift mode button that turns off the traction control, enabling your little pony to hang her tail out.
The real story here is that when the sun sets on the current ICE Dodge Challenger and Chevy Camaro, Ford will be the only purveyor of gas-powered pony cars. The Mustang is a perennial best seller in this segment and we predict many conquest sales with no competition.
In summary, the new car doesn’t stray far from the S550’s successful blueprint and ups the ante without fixing anything that isn’t broken. So all you Mustang fans can go to sleep tonight without a care in the world, and dream of a new and improved, gas-powered pony frolicking on the tarmac.