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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

New Mustang is next verse, worse than the first

After much ado, the seventh-generation, 2023 Ford Mustang cometh. In the end, the rumors of hybridization, all-wheel drive, and the Explorer's RWD/AWD platform were premature. The new Mustang, codename S650, remains pretty much business as usual. What it amounts to is more or less a mild, unremarkable evolution of the existing rear-drive architecture.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-design/new-mustang-is-next-verse-worse-than-the-first/
85 REPLIES 85
TonyT
Technician

Mr. Clarke, I would suggest that you avoid further eye-contact with the upcoming Mustang. Understand, sir, that this type of vehicle will disappear from production in a matter of a few short years, leaving many of us that were around in the 'Sixties when they came to be shaking our collective heads in dismay. The end of an era and it will be lost on too many indifferent people that really don't see how one is supposed to have "fun" with a motor vehicle. Hence, if it offends you, just avert your gaze and let those of us who remember the good old days enjoy the last of the breed.
hyperv6
Collector

Here is what is going on. The Pony car died in the 80’s/90’s.

The old fox body 5.0 was the last pony car based on a standard economy car.

Today they are high cost 2+2 GT cars that are better than ever but less affordable than ever.

Automakers went from selling 607,500 a year to not even making 70,000 a year.

Ford is already laying off people to pay for their EV program do major changes with low sales are just not going to make for much investment.

The Camaro is just hanging on and the Dodges are closing out years of old platforms with more and more power.

The formula is just no longer working. Each mfg will be trying things to see if they can strike a new formula. We have seen the new Charger idea and more to follow.

The youth market is not as interested as past gens and the older gen’s are in decline.

Trucks and Jeep’s are the majority of the market right now. With EV it is hard to say where the future lies as more companies try more things.
spark123
Advanced Driver

Actually the manufacturers are trying to do less things. The first being EVs. All vehicles will have the same EV platform. Same motor with slight upgrade differences, same suspensions again with upgrade differences. The only real differences will be the body and interior.
Chassis and drivetrains will be virtually the same on most platforms. This with reduced production costs of EVs will be a huge cost savings for manufacturers!
oldcardoc
Intermediate Driver

Here is what I think has happened to cars. The technology has cause the cars of today to be priced right out of existance for the average person. Secondly it has overengineered the car to the point that even if you buy one you not likely to keep it running unless you have a good paying job because like everything else the shop rate for mechanics today is more than I make and how can I afford to pay them twice for the same car if it needs to go into the shop and the extended warranty only covers certain things that are normal to major breakdowns. Say you have you car paid off if you're lucky enough and the engine takes a dump or the trans, Dig deep because your going to laying out a huge sum of cash to get it repaired and not all people are going to go for that for very long. I won't miss the new Mustang because that makes the older one worth more anyways . When Ford got rid of the Mercury they let it go to the dogs before they dumped it and they will do the same for the Mustang if they see fit . The triple 5 Chevrolets are becoming so expensive now that it's cheaper to buy a new car I think LOL . .
ron77
New Driver

I think Ford is letting Mustang commit suicide by customer. When sales drop with this new style, Ford has the reason it needs to discontinue Mustang with little outcry from us. This new thing looks too much like a Camero. Bring back the round headlights and this would look much better. Wait, that does not fit the Boardrooms master plan.

 

MustangJim
Technician

Mach 1 never came with dog dish steelies 🙂
Spookysgarage
Detailer

Uh, yes they did.
TonyT
Technician

You might want to watch the original "Gone in 60 Seconds" by H.B. Halicki. Eleanor wears her steelies well!
onteo
Pit Crew

My 73 Mach 1 came with dog dish hubcaps and trim ring surrounds
TingeofGinge
Advanced Driver

"...was how it has adapted to the market of its moment." Ah - but see, this *is* the market of its moment. We haven't really had technological progress where it mattered for years (well, until EVs came along en masse, but that's another post) we just started putting more and more attention into the tech and the toys that don't really add anything to the driving experience. What does The New Mustang come with? Rev-From-Your-Phone. No manual in the 4cyl. Giant, tacky screens everywhere. The "Easter Egg" of being able to make your dash look like that of the Fox Body's. And an add campaign that put "visceral" and "immersive" as adjectives next to.... "13.4" screen." Ford, like other non-majority EV manufacturers, knows it can just rest on its laurels because they know the "next generation" - whoever they are - don't really care about the drive, the care about the image of the drive. So, to that extent, it's the perfect adaptation to the market of its moment.
ATLpaul
Detailer

The interior is a mess. I like the exterior. We get used to interior because it is the only game in town.
Maestro1
Technician

Mr. Clarke, the last Mustang I owned was a '73 Mustang Grande which my wife, no longer, drove with great joy. Those early Mustangs, since, I have owned a '65 and a '66, actually exotic Falcons, were
the last Mustangs I had any interest in. Since then they are all fat and arrogant.
tvjake2
Intermediate Driver

Mostly boring...next.
Ragster
Detailer

YOU say Mr.Clarke .........." I’ve mentioned before how I think the 2005 Mustang is a bit blocky and ungainly, needing a bit more finesse to really sail as a successful throwback in the same way as the Challenger does."
I say those 2005 -2009 are some of the BEST looking Mustangs in awhile.....they" relit the fuse " on the Mustang again for another 15 or more years !
Much better than that EV THING they want to call a mustang now.....The Mustang EV's make Edsel 's look GOOD !
Tim
Technician

Design evolution in the auto world seems to almost always be "two steps forward, one step backward." That's how I would describe the next-gen Mustang. I agree with you and disagree with Mr. Clarke that this Mustang design is a disaster. There are definite improvements. The most obvious about the design is that, despite Ford marketing attempts to say otherwise, this is not an "all-new" Mustang. Rather, it's another mid-cycle update. The changes are more significant than a typical mid-cycle update, but they aren't radical, and certainly not what the passing years on the current design demanded. That said, it's a good package overall and a convertible be on the shortlist and likely end up in our garage.
OHCOddball
Advanced Driver

Prefer simplicity. Don't need all the electronic garbage. I wish they would get rid of it all. The only electronic I want is fuel injection. Keep a platform that works, is simple and tough. True gearheads do not want all the crap. We want good powerful engines that reside in the front of the car driving the rear wheels, that stay running at stop lights (no start-stop crap) and have three pedals. If you want a no style techno-turd, go buy one of the many me-too lumps.
BossGreg
Detailer

That's why I would rather drive a 65.
bblhed
Instructor

You want the electronic stuff out of your car, talk to your elected representative, they put it there not the automaker.
shel-b001
New Driver

I believe this to be Ford`s second blunder the first being calling the Mach E a Mustang & now the introducing the the 7Th Gen that no longer looks like a Mustang but more like a Camaro . The interior is ugly. Sorry Ford as I have blue blood running through my veins & its going RED

Tim
Technician

Calling the Mustang a Mach E was not a mistake, it was genius. It drew a lot of eyes, attention and sales to the product where it wouldn't have garnered as much otherwise. And it cost Ford nothing in traditional Mustang sales. No real buyer decided not to buy a Mustang just because the Mach E existed. Sure, people whined, but it changed nothing about the gas-powered Mustang itself, so either one was a buyer or just an online complainer. The genius of marketing is getting at what moves the sales needle. In the online era, that means being adept at separating the wheat from the chaff.
jstarr111
Pit Crew

I agree. The Mustang Mach E was a great marketing idea. Nothing wrong with that strategy at all. BUT, the way they hyped the 2023 Mustang was a joke. In my opinion, the 2023 version is a poor copy of it’s immediate predecessor. The traditional Mustang is a thing of the past. Technology is changing, and the Mustang is one of the victims of this change. I own a New edge Mustang with a manual transmission. I love the car. I am not sure if the new generation of car enthusiasts would love it too, but who cares. The one constant in life, is that everything changes.
bkmcgraw62
Intermediate Driver

Mr Clarke, After reading your article I am reminded of that famous skit involving Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin on SNL Weekend Update. You are Ms. Curtin.
Seriously though, couple of corrections. 1. Ford is not going all in on EVs. Jim Farley has stated EVs don't work well for the work trucks and big vans. That is one of their largest markets. EVs are expensive and your local plumber can't afford the costs nor the insane limitations on range or charging time. Let alone expose the grid limitations across America and the huge fossil fuel costs to produce batteries.
2. Your Comments about the new design are trivial and shows your lack of appreciation for the best selling muscle car in America. If you don't like the Mustang that is fine, somebody has to drive a Bolt, Prius, Fiat, Citroën or God forbid a Jag.
bblhed
Instructor

You can't see the Jag line running down the side of that Camaro, look again please?

EV's only make up 6% of sales and they can't build them fast enough, how popular are EV's? Ford had to tell dealerships to stop gouging customers on EV's because Ford dealers were gouging on them like they are new Corvettes.
RaceCityZ
Pit Crew

I like looks of the 2024 Mustang and i don't give a crap what some Adrian Clarke thinks!
Steveway
Pit Crew

It's truly sad that Ford is following the whim of the politicians and greenies. Full electric in 10 years is unattainable. Both with our grid and the cost of buying an EV.

Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler are all supposedly doing away with ICE and driving toward alternative fuels to appease political BS and satisfy the greenies.

But what about folks that still want an ICE in their full size truck? What are we supposed to do?

Gone are the days when any manufacturer made what the people want. Now they make what you're going to buy.
BossGreg
Detailer

I will buy used if that is my only option
TingeofGinge
Advanced Driver

"Gone are the days when any manufacturer made what the people want. Now they make what you're going to buy."
Aren't these basically the same thing? People buy transportation appliances. They always have, they always will. Sure, we laser in on the once-in-a-while cool offerings, but for every 1 enthusiast buyer, there are 300 people who just want their car to get them from A to B with as little fuss as possible. EVs are just the latest iteration of that, and amorphous blobs the current packaging. Not fill up my car at a gas station *ever*? Not have to worry about parallel parking? Not have to worry whether or not I have space for People and Their Things? Shoot, you give the buying public those options and they'll pay any price you want.
Also, it's folly to think that the ills of today's grid or manufacturing or whatever excuse du jour will continue to be the ills of the next decade. Have some faith in the free market. EVs are the future. Get on board or get run over.
Tim
Technician

There are a lot of misconceptions continually rehashed about "going fully electric." First, even if a manufacturer such as Ford were to sell only EVs in 10 years, that affects existing cars on the road absolutely not at all. "The grid" isn't going to be suddenly overwhelmed the day after the last gas-powered engine rolls off the assembly line.

And that doesn't even speak of electric utility companies actually *welcoming* EVs. Why? Because they are typically charged at night, when power demand is low. When those power plants are running at a fraction of capacity. EVs not only help these utilities sell more electricity, they make better use of and better return on their power plant investments. Meanwhile, mentioning "the grid" as though it is some kind of stagnant entity that is incapable of expanding capacity ignores the reality of what is happening regardless of whether one more EV hits the road.
Bostwick9
Advanced Driver

'It started in the Sixties when the Mustang was born as a way to give the common man flash for not much cash.' Option to your own tastes. Economy to high performance and in between.
This formula is eternal.
Ford lost the plot by '69. Got it back in '79. Lost it again with a fat version of a '69-70.
This new one? Still too wide, too fat, too expensive, too big and looks like a Camaro with Mustang styling cues.
"It is what it was".....in 1971.
A very sad ending.
Ford never reconnected with the original Mustang formula except for a couple of times over the past 58 years.
Iacocca said it himself: Mustang didn't leave us, we left the Mustang.
71-'73 version was a vulgar parody. A compact T-Bird.
Forester
Intermediate Driver

Hmmm? Stay with old original style lines. It has worked for years. I think the 911 Porsche has proven that. Hmmmm
chargeral
Intermediate Driver

Well I for one do not intend to ever buy an EV so they can kill off the older models all they want but a fire bomb waiting to happen I am not interested in. Having seen a nice Telsa go up in flames here in my state and the trouble they had putting out the fire I have no interest in those over priced short range junk piles.
TingeofGinge
Advanced Driver

Let me tell you about the Pinto
MrKnowItAll
Advanced Driver

What about it? The overblown urban myth of the exploding Pinto?
Tim
Technician

It's a good thing that gasoline is not flammable!
okfoz
Advanced Driver

Do you know how difficult it is to put out a Lithium battery fire? Just the internals being exposed to air causes a reaction that is quite violent.
jstarr111
Pit Crew

Or overheated or overcharged lithium batteries. Right?
espo70
Instructor

I would absolutely take that black 86 GT over the new one.
JackW1
New Driver

I agree about the interior. Even if I could abide the exterior, the interior would be enough to make me look elsewhere. The screens do not scream Mustang but do scream something more like Tesla. The exterior is also a disappointment, especially rear of the doors, where the design makes it seem like the Mustang has chosen to incorporate the worst part of the Camaro's design. I will pass.
tcchuck2005
Intermediate Driver

Remember back in the late 80's when the Mustang replacement was going to be the Probe? I'm glad they didn't do that.
I am like that they keep the Mustang going in more traditional form rather than following a trend.
joefo
Intermediate Driver

I'm 73 years old.
I have a 2018 Mustang GT 6-speed.
I buy Mustangs for these reasons: performance, legacy and pride of ownership.
I want my Mustang to look like a Mustang, the new car does.
I want my Mustang to perform. The new car will perform very much like my car. Check.
I want to enjoy the ownership experience. I see no reason this new car will disappoint.
Will I trade my 2018 for a 2022? Probably not. But never say never.
Ford did not take a big risk with the new car, but they didn't have to.
sclin10
Instructor

Have you seen the EV Mustang? 'Nuff said.
gary21sn
Intermediate Driver

I disagree. The author expelled too much overthinking of the design and changes.
BigBear
Pit Crew

I’ve always been a Ford fan…
But this Mustang is a wimpy excuse of
a vehicle with a Mustang label on it.
Just like the EV model Mustang.
a four door Mustang ? Really? So sad…
Thanks to Joe O’ Biden and his EV evolution,
and Automotive designers with too much sugar
In their pants, the muscle cars like Mustang, Camaro,
and Challengers are fading away fast.
Think of the cost of thousands and thousands of electric charging stations
across America for these EV’s. The U.S. can’t supply enough electricity
to run our household A/C’s in the summer, ..how are they going to supply
charging millions of EV’s ?
I feel we are on a short road, to big trouble.
Boxer69
Pit Crew

Yes, manufacturers miss opportunities frequently, and that dash layout is flat awful but it's nice to have fun stylish vehicles offered, something other big brands avoid which sucks for their followers (lookin' at you, VW! You'd better not make us wait 4 years for a minivan with zero style promised by those prototypes!)

spdfreak
Intermediate Driver

Nothin here but a bunch of old guys whining about how good the good-ol-days were. Time marches on. Today is tomorrow's good-ol-days. They are not trying to sell the new Mustang to the generation that had the old ones. The styling is OK, not great. Drive a new Mustang after driving a Fox body (which I had 10 of) and the only thing you can say is wow, those things are stone age. I'm just wondering if even the base ecoboost coupe will be affordable to someone wanting a daily driver. The average car payment is up to almost 700/mo and that doesn't seem sustainable for the industry.
Jimmyo
Intermediate Driver

Do you know why these cars don't sell anymore? Too expensive and the people who remember the sixties are all over sixty. Younger buyers interested in fun car are buying Toyota 86's, Subaru BRZs, WRXs, and Mazda MX5s. They cost half as much and have tremendous aftermarket performance support. There is also a growing EV performance market too. I've owned and loved many muscle cars but, if you think they drive better and are faster than modern cars, you're just kidding yourself. Personally, I would love if someone built a simple low buck fast car, but I know that won't happen because there is no profit in low priced cars, and today few people would buy a car without A/C and power everything. There is far more profit in giant 75k trucks, SUVs, and EVs than simple pony cars and economy cars, that is why they are going away.
TingeofGinge
Advanced Driver

How dare you contribute an astute and well-reasoned argument on an internet forum.
Tim
Technician

As someone who shopped the cars you mentioned, I would point out that none of them "cost half as much." Actually, they all start at about the same price as the Mustang. It's just that the Mustang also has higher-end models with far more performance that a top-end Mustang can cost twice as much as one of those other cars.

Side bar: I found the FR-S/BRZs to be lacking too much in power to be fun. I didn't enjoy having to rev to 5,000 and beyond just to keep up with Corollas and Camrys. The Miata was an excellent car. If it was an inch or two longer in the cockpit, there'd be one in my garage right now.
Geardo
New Driver

I will just keep my 2007 GT