The Next Ford Mustang Could Be Unlike Any Muscle Car in History

One part of this, we expected. The other?

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We’ve made no secret of our love for muscle cars here at Gear Patrol. They’re a glorious, all-American form of transportation, one that celebrates the values we as a nation hold dear in our vehicles: freedom, power, beauty and simple joy.

And while each of the Big Three currently boasts a strong contender for the muscle car throne, the Camaro and Challenger can’t equal the legacy of the Ford Mustang. Unlike them, it created the category; unlike them, it’s been in continuous production for well over half a century. And it seems the most likely to endure into the next era of automobiles, even if that means it has to take on an electric SUV sibling.

Or, apparently, if it means packing a hybrid V8 and all-wheel-drive.

That’s the word from the usually well-informed people at Autocar, which claim the hybridized ‘Stang will arrive in two years’ time as part of the launch of the all-new seventh-generation model. If Ford’s patent filings and Autocar‘s sources are to be believed, the new Mustang will route the power of its V8 engine to the rear axle, as always — but a pair of electric motors up front will supply power to the front wheels. As with the Acura NSX, this could enable torque vectoring and added traction under acceleration; it could also enable the ‘Stang to run as a FWD electric car when it needs to, which is the sort of thought that will surely has good ol’ boys freaking out from Florida to California.

Autocar suggests that it’s unclear right now whether the hybrid V8 Mustang will be the sole way to buy an eight-pot muscle car from the Blue Oval come 2022, or whether the brand will still offer a pure V8 version. Given how potentially heretic the decision to hybridize America’s Original Muscle Car would be, we’re guessing Ford will still offer a cheaper, less-potent Mustang with a V8 alone. Much as we expect with the next-gen F-150, offering a range-topping hybrid powerplant that proves its worth on performance rather than efficiency seems a solid way to win over skeptical fanboys.

The other question that dogs us, though: does this mean Ford is also planning a hybrid EcoBoost Mustang? Because as interesting as a 500-plus-horsepower AWD top-of-the-line Mustang sounds…a $30,000 one that packs 400 horses and gets 30+ miles per gallon might even sound better. Guess we’ll find out in 2022.

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