Believe it or not, Ford debuted the sixth-generation Mustang all the way back in December 2013. The all-new seventh-generation Mustang — reportedly codenamed S650 — should be arriving very soon, as a 2023 model year vehicle. In fact, 2022 is the last year of the current, S550-generation Ford Mustang. In March 2023, the next generation of the pony car will be making its debut and it is going to feature a hybrid powertrain.
Ford has the Mustang Mach-E now, which offers a Mustang-branded car that is far more efficient and practical, and has an all-wheel drive. That should free up the conventional Mustang to remain very much a good old-fashioned Mustang, at least for the current generation.
While the Mustang name is iconic, it has birthed a new body style — the ’Muscle car.’ This new style has transformed the automotive landscape for good by not only creating some of the fiercest rivalries but also some of the strongest friendships. This is automotive Nirvana. Now, for the first time in six decades, the Mustang is set to undergo some of the most radical changes ever.
Spearheading the new Mustang will be the Coyote V8, which for all intents and purposes, has come to be synonymous with the Mustang nameplate itself. While the car is yet to lose its covers, there’s plenty we have been able to gather so far about the 2023 Mustang GT.
The new face of the 2023 Ford Mustang
The S650 Mustang should not be a radical departure, looks-wise, from the previous generation. The car will most likely use an evolution of the current platform code-named S550. But the S650 should be getting a new front end to differentiate itself from its predecessor.
Ford Authority obtained what appears to be a spy photo of the new Mustang with its front fascia uncovered. And what may be another leaked photo popped up on a Facebook account as well.
The new Mustang is expected to carry over the current V8 and EcoBoost four
Ford will most likely keep the combustion engine lineup intact, at least initially. According to exclusive sources, the new Mustang will launch with the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four and 5.0-liter V8 found in the current 2022 model cars. However, they will be part of a hybrid system. This could also mean all-wheel drive for the S650 Mustang, but at this point, it is too early to tell. The 10-speed automatic is expected to make a comeback, but nothing is being said about the manual version, yet. Ford is keeping a tight lip about the extent of hybridization but it’s almost certainly going to be a plug-in or a full hybrid.
While all (non Mach-E) Mustangs so far have been rear-wheel-drive, reports have suggested the Mustang will eventually get all-wheel-drive. Ford has also patented a new clutch-by-wire system for a manual transmission that would not need (but could still use) a physical clutch pedal; if Ford were to implement that, the Mustang would be the place.
A Track-Ready GT3 Sibling
Ford announced that they would be building a 2024 Mustang GT3 race car for the IMSA racing events, as well as overseas events. Powered by a specced-up version of the iconic Coyote V8 5.0-liter housed in the current Mustang GT, the GT3 variant would meet the criteria to compete in race events worldwide, including but not limited to Le Mans and Daytona.
Of course, like much of everything around the 2023 Mustang, Ford is keeping its details close to the vest. However, the GT3 sibling to the new Mustang would be built in partnership with Multimatic (who also helped out with the 2019 GT MK II and the Baja Ford Bronco), and M Sport. Thus, an all-American race rivalry could finally begin between the Corvette Z06.R GT3 and the Mustang GT3.
A potential hybrid system
The biggest changes on the next Mustang will happen under the skin. Set to be underpinned by Ford’s new modular platform, the seventh-gen Mustang will, for the very first time, likely gain AWD and a hybrid system. However what still remains unclear is whether it’ll be a mild hybrid or a plug-in hybrid.
Reports also cite that Ford will be debuting a hybrid version of the Mustang by 2025. Hybrid options may be necessary for efficiency and keeping up with rivals’ performance. The AWD Mustang could even be the hybrid Mustang, if Ford decides to include electric propulsion on the front axle.
It Will Not Forget Its Muscle Car Roots
The new generation of the Mustang GT has been spied doing testing rounds in the States, and while it is still heavily camouflaged, reports suggest that its aerodynamics and shape aren’t all too different from the current generation models. Thus, that also means that the interiors of the car aren’t going to change much, in terms of space available and seating.
While we can be certain the 2023 Mustang GT will offer state-of-the-art tech and fancy features loaded to the brim and definitely new materials for the cabin, the seats are pretty much going to be the same physically.
It’s Based On The High-end CD6 Platform
Ford’s CD6 platform is quite a popular one, designed from the start to be a versatile and dynamic bed for cars across the lineup. Of course, Ford clearly abstains from using it for its smaller cars, reserving it exclusively for their high-end products. Bits of the CD6 platform, which is also shared by the Ford Explorer and the Lincoln Navigator, are used in the current S650 Mustang GT, and the new GT will most likely be built completely on the CD6, with all the new-generation additions like AWD and Hybrid support.
It’s Estimated To Start At Around $28,000
With several variants, Ford would allow customers to bring home the 2023 Mustang GT at a lot of different price points. Starting off at around $28,000 would be a good bet, which is slightly more than the current base price of the EcoBoost Fastback.
The Coyote-powered V8 high-end variants could certainly start at around the $40,000 mark, and cross the $50,000 threshold too. On the other hand, the Shelby models focusing on performance could well be over $70,000, seeing as the 2022 Shelby GT500 retailed for nothing less than $73,000.
An electric Mustang will likely arrive down the road
The seventh-generation Mustang life cycle should stretch into the early 2030s. It’s really hard to see Ford launching a new pure combustion Mustang at that point. One report has Ford launching an all-electric Mustang for 2028, which would likely overlap with the S650 — and eventually replace it. There’s no confirmation of that timeline yet; however, it would make a lot of sense.
With the dawn of the EV age, it appears that Ford is all set to embrace this change, perhaps with a hybrid Mustang being the very first step. An all-electric ’Stang seems like the obvious next step and to showcase its potential, Ford has already unleashed the Cobra-Jet 1400 EV on the drag strip, and boy, is it lethal!
All in all, with all the camouflaged test mule shots running about, it’s a safe bet to assume that the covers will be taken off the 2023 Mustang GT fairly soon!