The all-new, seventh-generation Ford Mustang is on the way for the 2021 model year, and it will be based on the same shiny new CD6 platform that’s slated to underpin the 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator crossovers, according to sources familiar with The Blue Oval’s future product plans.
The CD6 architecture is understood to be much more flexible than existing Ford vehicle platforms, as it is capable of supporting automobiles of various shapes and sizes with either front-, rear-, and all-wheel-drive configurations, and with either transversely- or longitudinally-mounted engine orientations. In the case of the 20201 Mustang, the CD6 architecture will be configured for rear-drive and a longitudinal powertrain orientation.
The current (S550) Ford Mustang rides on its own, unique platform that’s not shared with any other Ford Motor Company vehicle, so there’s plenty of money to be saved by shifting the next Mustang to a common platform. We can safely assume that the next-generation pony car – code-named “S650” – won’t depart drastically from the established formula, embracing rear-wheel-drive and a 2+2 layout, although Ford’s confirmed plans for a hybrid version of the new Mustang introduce new unknowns.
Apart from these scraps of intel, it’s been rumored that the S650 Mustang could make a priority of weight savings, leveraging Ford’s now-ample experience with aluminum to shed some pounds and compete more effectively with the Alpha platform-based Chevy Camaro.
Expect Ford’s 5.0L Coyote V8 to stick around, possibly with some additional improvements, alongside a new four-cylinder turbo engine. The latter of these is also expected to provide most of the propulsion for the forthcoming Mustang Hybrid, which Ford says will produce “V8 levels of performance and even more torque.”
Ford just recently revamped the existing S550 Mustang for the 2018 model year, three years after its initial debut, so its lifespan is looking significantly briefer than any Mustang before it – save for the not-too-fondly-remembered Mustang II. Notably, the majority of automakers today tend to adhere to an eight-year product cycle for most models.