Ford is rumored to have delayed moving their flagship Mustang sports car to a new platform for its seventh generation redesign.
The Mustang is an important car for Ford--it’s the only one they make now. Announced earlier this year, Ford is abandoning car production in North America in favor of a lineup consisting entirely of pickup trucks and SUVs, as well as the iconic Mustang. After the Fusion stops production next year and eventually sells out in dealers across the nation, the Mustang will be the only car you’ll ever see on a Ford lot.
Although the rest of Ford car lineup was apparently lackluster enough to ditch, the Mustang is so important that Ford is going to start splicing Mustang DNA into the rest of their lineup. Flat, aggressive noses, bulging, muscular wheel arches, and sloping, fastback rooflines are all going to be par for the course, according to a new report from Automotive News (by way of AutoWeek).
"It's core to what people see Ford as," said Carl Widmann, Mustang's chief engineer. "We wanted a vehicle that would draw people to the showroom floor. There's clear evidence that's the case."
However, this Mustang cross-pollination may have also caused the car’s next redesign to be delayed. The current generation of Mustang began in 2015 with a new version set to arrive in 2020. That has reportedly been pushed back to 2021 as Ford considers what to do with the Mustang’s looks as well as the chassis itself.
Currently, the Mustang runs on an exclusive RWD platform, but that may change with the 2021 redesign. Ford has five modular platforms across their SUV and pickup lineup, and it wouldn’t be too difficult to use one of those to form the basis of the 2021 Mustang.
This would also add AWD to the equation--something that the Mustang would benefit from in terms of performance. Competitors with AWD are starting to pull ahead of the Mustang in the drag races where it previously reigned supreme, while AWD would also allow the Mustang to be used in more all-weather scenarios.
It’s still far too early to say with any certainty just how the next Mustang will shake out, but one thing is for sure: Ford isn’t about to mess with a formula that has been dominating the sports car market in North America for the past 5 years.