When it came time to choose a name for its new electric crossover, Ford decided to take a gamble by using its iconic muscle car moniker on a SUV for the first time — and called the vehicle the Mustang Mach-E. The name seems likely to be a smart premium branding strategy for what turned out to be an excellent new vehicle. But it also raised hackles among some Mustang enthusiasts, for whom the idea of an electric crossover using the fabled name seemed a betrayal of biblical proportions.
Well. if you're one of those angered by that naming sacrilege, you may want to sit down for this wild Mustang report, as it might leave you bordering on apoplexy. A new report from Autoline Daily (first spotted by Muscle Cars & Trucks) says the next-generation 'Stang will not only ditch the V8 and the manual transmission; the report indicates that the new Mustang will be an electric car, and only an electric car.
Autoline Daily's report also claimed the next-gen Mustang will be delayed until 2028. This sort of (but not entirely) contradicts some previous reporting, which claimed the next all-new Mustang was on tap for the 2023 model year. Suppliers, allegedly, had been told to prep for an eight-year life cycle with the all-new version code-named S650 — about the same lifespan of the current S550 model, which debuted in 2014.
One reason to doubt that model-year 2023 timeline: Ford is notoriously leaky. It's odd that little, if anything, has been revealed about a car purportedly debuting in 2022.
And it's not impossible to sync up both old and new reports. Considering how solid the current Mustang platform remains, it's very likely that the S650 will wind up being closer to a facelift of the S550 than an all-new car; the differences in these reports could largely be a matter of semantics. Ford isn't likely going to develop a brand-new combustion engine for the new Mustang, either; the biggest changes would likely be all-wheel-drive and hybrid options.
An all-electric Mustang may feel like a desecration now — but in the world of 2028, by which time countries are considering/enacting outright internal combustion bans, it would be just as weird if Ford were to keep the gas-powered Mustang around as the primary option. Besides, carmakers like Porsche are planning to keep existing gas-powered models on sale alongside new EV versions; it's very possible that the ICE S650 'Stang could endure alongside an all-new EV Mustang into the 2030s.
Perhaps the bigger question is, can the Mustang sub-brand withstand going all-electric? Well, the Mustang somehow kept its mystique after being slapped on a series of underwhelming cars for about 30 years. In comparison, transitioning to electric may not be too much of a gamble.