All-new Ford Mustang extends 58 years legacy of pure muscle
Ford recently revealed its new generation Mustang at the latest edition of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit which made a comeback after a hiatus of three years. Expected to go on sale globally from next year onwards, the seventh generation Mustang is the last of the pure ICE-powered muscle cars.
The “Mustang” name holds a special place among motoring enthusiasts who have always been fascinated by its gorgeous aesthetics and sheer power. On sale since 1964, the American carmaker has sold over 10 million units of the muscle car across the world.
The 2023 Mustang is based on the S650 platform, derived from the S550 platform, which underpinned the outgoing model. The upcoming iteration of the muscle car looks unmistakably a Mustang despite multiple updates on its skin. Like its predecessors, the new Mustang will be available in three body styles– coupe, convertible, and GT– each having distinctive design attributes.
Besides, the Blue Oval brand pulled off a surprise at the event by unveiling a new range of Mustangs named Dark Horse, boasting a unique identity. This special edition model of Mustang is for those who not only want a distinctive individuality on the road with its styling but also experience the additional thrill from behind the steering wheel.
Exterior styling updates
When it comes to styling updates, all variants of the seventh-gen Mustang receive some common highlights including slimmer LED headlamps with new tri-bar LED DRLs. The new model features a new grille, inspired by the original 1964 Mustang. At the rear, it features sharper-looking tri-arrow LED taillights. The other primary attraction is a larger diffuser comprising twin exhaust tailpipes.
The GT derivative of the 2023 Mustang is slightly bolder and more aggressive compared to the rest of the lineup. It receives a new gloss black grille panel featuring a pair of nostrils that feed air to the new intakes. Additionally, the front end gets a reprofiled bumper, housing a larger air intake and a large air scoop on the bonnet.
The large air extractor not only releases hot air but also directs high-pressure air from the front air intakes to reduce lift over the front axle. Instead of the dual pipe exhausts, the GT variant opts for a sportier quad exhaust setup. The latest iteration of the muscle car rolls on 18-inch alloy wheels, with the option of upgrading to 19 and 20-inch units.
Interior and features
The interior of Mustang’s cabin is loaded to the gills and lends a modern vibe with its driver-oriented cockpit. The dashboard flaunts a dual-screen layout comprising a 12.4-inch digital driver’s instrument cluster and a 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The latter is embedded with Ford's latest Sync 4 software.
The system comes with multiple levels of customisation capable of over-the-air (OTA) updates that would attract a younger set of buyers. The modern graphics of the instrument console can be swapped for a digital recreation of the more traditional Mustang clock dials.
The brushed metallic finish around AC vents amplifies the cabin’s premium appeal while seats come with memory function. Other notable features include a wireless charging pad, a new flat-bottom, multifunction steering wheel and lots of safety aids. Despite the modern layout, Ford has retained retro elements inside the cabin like a circular gear knob and a conventional spring handbrake.
Ford has borrowed the 5.0-litre V8 naturally aspirated petrol motor and a 2.3-litre Ecoboost turbocharged petrol engine from the current Mustang in the upcoming model. While the former doesn’t boast any drastic updates, the latter has benefited from a set of comprehensive updates.
For instance, the 2.3-litre Ecoboost unit comes with a fresh construction comprising a new bore, stroke, and a fresh turbocharger. On the other hand, the 5.0-litre Coyote unit gets a new dual cold-air intake as part of an update. This V8 motor is expected to dish out around 500 horses although Ford hasn’t revealed any specific details on either of the power mills yet.
Transmission duties are carried out by a ten-speed automatic gearbox as standard with the option of a six-speed manual gearbox offered only on the most powerful Mustang GT with the 5.0-litre V8. Performance figures are also kept in the dark, although rumours suggest that the fastest V8 version of Mustang can breach the 100 kmph mark from a standstill at around four seconds with a top speed of 273 kmph.
That’s not all. The new Mustang has more tricks up its sleeves that make it more fun for the person behind the steering wheel. All variants of the 2023 Mustang are offered a Torsen-style limited-slip differential. It also benefits from an electronic drift brake (EDB), which employs an electric handbrake forcing the rear axle into huge slides. This feature can only be used when one wants to burn the rubber on a racetrack.
Expected India launch
The previous-gen model of Mustang graced showrooms in India for a few years and garnered favourable responses as far as sales go. With Ford no longer actively involved with the Indian automobile market, it is highly uncertain if the American carmaker decides to bring the latest version of the muscle car to our shores even as a fully imported model.
However, during its exit a year ago, Ford announced that flagship models like Mustang and its electric crossover derivative, Mach E, will come to India as CBU (Completely Built Units) models.
(Images courtesy: Ford)
Edited by Suman Singh