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May 22, 2024

Ford Commits to V8 Mustangs Despite Industry Trends

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Jan 20, 2024

Automaker pledges continued V8 production as competitors go electric

DETROIT – Ford made waves this week by emphatically stating its commitment to building V8-powered Mustangs for the foreseeable future, even as the auto industry shifts toward electrification. During the 2024 Ford Performance Season Launch event, executives stated that the iconic Mustang pony car will retain its muscular V8 engine option regardless of any moves by industry rivals Chevy and Dodge.

“We get a lot of questions about the future of Mustang and its V8 engine,” said Jim Farley, Ford CEO. “With Dodge launching their first BEV muscle car in 2024 and Chevy going all-electric on the Camaro, we want Mustang customers to know – we’re not going anywhere.”

This steadfast pledge comes amidst great change in the muscle car landscape. Dodge recently debuted the all-electric Charger Daytona SRT concept, previewing the brand’s first battery-powered performance car arriving in 2024. And GM announced the end of Camaro production in 2024, to be replaced by an electric performance sedan.

Meanwhile, Ford is forging ahead with the next-generation 2024 S650 Mustang retaining its signature V8 powertrains even as the model lineup expands with electric options.

Why Ford Is Sticking With The V8

The V8 engine holds an almost mythic place in Mustang history, powering icons like the 1969 Boss 429 to the modern Shelby GT500. While downsized turbocharged engines have grown in popularity, Ford believes the free-breathing V8 defines the Mustang muscle car experience.

“The V8 and its unmistakable war cry is core to the brand and our customers,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director of Ford Performance. “We know this is key not just for our loyal Mustang fans but also in attracting new buyers in an increasingly electrified performance future.”

In addition to satisfying die-hard V8 fans, Ford sees big marketing value in being the only brand to offer an old-school eight-cylinder muscle car as the market trends toward EVs. The strategy aims to make V8 Mustangs more valuable by becoming a rare and special breed.

Full Speed Ahead On Electric Performance

While holding firm on gas-powered Stangs, Ford also used the season launch to detail an ambitious electric roadmap for Mustang. An all-electric Mustang coupe arrives next year, followed by other battery-powered performance models.

“Racing and icons like Mustang are the testing grounds for new technology that eventually makes its way to mainstream models,” said Rushbrook. “Similar to Mustang leading the pony car segment over the past six decades, we intend to lead the emerging electric performance vehicle space in style and substance.”

Ford aims to leverage its motorsports history and the Mustang brand’s cache to make electric performance cars exciting to a new generation. The company is embedding electrification across its racing programs to spur innovation, including the Mustang GT3 IMSA racer and new Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 and Supervan concepts.

“Ford’s racing programs have always been a proving ground and springboard to develop new technologies,” Rushbrook explained. “Now we are applying that same mentality to pave the way for electric performance on road and track.”

V8s Forever – With An Expiration Date

While Ford currently has no end date for V8 Mustang production, executives recognize electrification is the inevitable way forward. Market trends and tightening emissions regulations will eventually force an end to the beloved eight-cylinder engines.

“It’s impossible to predict the exact moment we’ll have to move away from V8s,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford Chief Product Platform Officer. “But we expect to offer lust-worthy Mustangs with thunderous V8s for at least the next decade if not longer.”

Industry analysts estimate Ford could produce gas-powered V8 Stangs through 2030-2035 at which point regulatory pressures will likely force an all-electric shift. But the automaker is determined to milk the V8 for all its worth in the meantime.

“The sound of that V8 elicits a visceral reaction that simply can’t be replicated electrically,” said Thai-Tang. “We realize that’s a unique thrill that Mustang provides, and something customers aren’t ready to lose yet. So as long as there is demand for the V8, we are committed to delivering it with pride.”

Year Average V8 Take Rate
2020 70%
2021 68%
2022 72%
2023 (expected) 75%

Bracing For An All-Electric Future

While Ford buys more time for gas-powered performance, executives recognize full electrification is inevitable for the Mustang lineup. The automaker is already hard at work on next-gen electric powertrains to preserve Mustang’s fun-to-drive spirit.

“There’s no doubting our electric future and we fully expect Mustang to transition to EVs at some point,” said Thai-Tang. “The good news is we have some time to make that transition seamless so Mustang doesn’t lose any of its soul.”

Ford’s short-term electric strategy focuses on a Mustang coupe EV next year followed by other performance models. Longer term, analysts expect an electric Mustang replacement when V8 regulations eventually kick in.

To ease the transition, Ford is leveraging learnings from EVs like the F-150 Lightning and Lincoln Zephyr Reflection to fine-tune driving dynamics for future electric Mustangs. Ford is also getting vital real-world data from its EV racing efforts that will directly benefit production models.

“Our motorsports programs are quickly amassing a wealth of EV performance know-how,” Rushbrook explained. “From battery cooling and regenerative braking to torque vectoring and advanced traction control – racing is fast tracking key technologies to ensure emotional fun-to-drive remains in Ford’s electric future.”

Final Lap For The V8 Era

For now Ford is soaking in what could be the final lap for the V8 Mustang era modern muscle car fans have loved for 60 years.

“We realize we’re likely witnessing the last era of the loud and proud V8 pony car,” said Rushbrook. “So we’re committed to ensuring its thunder rolls on as long as possible.”

While the clock is ticking on the gas-powered Mustang, Ford aims to extend the V8 party as long as feasible. But make no mistake – electrification is coming for America’s sports car icon.

“Obviously there’s no escaping our all-electric future,” Thai-Tang concluded. “But we didn’t become America’s sports car by dwelling too much on endings. Instead Ford has always focused on what comes next – pushing performance to greater heights.”

So while the sights and smells of rip-snorting V8s will one day fade into history, Ford promises Mustang will retain its heart and soul in the age of electricity. Exactly what form that takes only time will tell. But with so much racing in Ford’s DNA, one thing is certain: the electric Mustang future promises to be fully charged.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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