Ford Authority

New Ford Mustang Expected In 2021, Could Incorporate AWD

The current, sixth-generation Ford Mustang (S550) is marching toward obsolescence as the Blue Oval reportedly plans to launch a fresh redesign of the iconic pony car in 2021, according to Automotive News. Given the automaker’s recent efforts to reduce engineering costs and time-to-market across the lineup, partly by switching to five scalable vehicle architectures instead of relying on myriad different platforms, it’s reasonable to expect the next Mustang could be based on the same RWD/AWD architecture as the next-generation Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator

While few Ford Mustang customers will delight in the fact that they can tell onlookers their car shares its bones with a full-size utility vehicle, the move could allow Ford to offer an all-wheel-drive version to compete with Dodge’s AWD Challenger and Charger models. That could broaden the car’s appeal, making it more suitable for year-round use in places that see regular snowfall during the winter months.

The current-generation Mustang is built on its own, unique vehicle platform – a strategy that’s much more expensive than utilizing the same platform for multiple different vehicles.

Despite the forthcoming next-generation Mustang’s common underpinnings, it “is still going to be a strong, well proportioned vehicle,” Mustang Chief Designer Darrell Behmer says. “The modular architectures will still give us flexibility; it’s not going to bastardize Mustang.”

There’s also the matter of the first-ever hybrid Ford Mustang, which had been slated for arrival by 2020. Given that date’s proximity to the rumored arrival date of the seventh-generation (S650) car, it’s likely that the hybrid will be based on that car rather than the current-generation one. Ford has, in the past, touted the forthcoming model’s “V8” levels of performance, suggesting that the hybrid will utilize a smaller petrol engine than Ford’s 5.0-liter Coyote V8, coupled with an electric motor to deliver greater acceleration than the Coyote-powered GT variant.

Aaron Brzozowski is a writer and motoring enthusiast from Detroit with an affinity for '80s German steel. He is not active on the Twitter these days, but you may send him a courier pigeon.

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  1. Nauticalone

    Sounds good….up to the point of ditching the 5.0 V8! Offer a hybrid as an option yes, but also offer the 5.0 V8.

  2. Reply
  3. vbondjr

    Okay, so lets dive into this. we know that there’s going to be some sort of hybrid but honestly who cares, lets get into the real mustangs, the ones with the 5.0L V8. Since Jaguar is coming out with an AWD system for their F-Type V8, i can only imagine Ford will do something similar with the 10-speed auto design, adding the transfer case directly to the transmission itself. Working along with a Focus RS style E-Twinster differential system front and rear, this, along with a rear cradle assembly from the GT350 and rear GT350 axles should really give the mustang a much better all around feel and control. The car should use the GT350 brake system equipment on the regular GT as well as Magnetic ride control. Drive modes such as comfort, tour, sport, track and snow/weather mode along with an ECO mode should be standard on the GT as well as the active exhaust, changing out the current integrated cat-manifold for more of the GT350-style exhaust system. Under the hood, the 5.0L needs to be retired. It’s a very good engine, probably the best engine ford has ever designed, but it’s absolute lack of torque is the mustang’s true problem. Ford could easily (and finally) give GM a run for it’s money with a 390ci (6.4L) pushrod V8 with an aluminum block, the same Plasma Transfer Wire Arc technology in the cylinder walls, forged rods and pistons, a lightweight driveshaft design like what is on the current coyote V8 engines, a dual fuel injection system (direct & port) Active fuel management, an intake manifold with an inspired design from the current Coyote and GT350 systems, 90mm throttle body, a GT350 style exhaust manifold (tri-y, mid-length), the active valve exhaust system, etc. The lighter weight of the Overhead valve engine would compensate some for the addition of the all-wheel-drive system and help keep weight off the nose of the engine. Along with that and an upgraded cooling system and ignition system should be also available for the car as well. Beyond the drivetrain, braking & suspension, it would be nice to see the mustang evolve from the first gen styling to more of the second gen 1971-73. A flatter fastback design would lend to a bit more headroom and more volume in the trunk, especially if the car went to a hatchback design (similar to what the corvette has). The car should have a bit more interior volume with a much better design and feel. I think with proper though and design, Ford could take the interior design of the 71-73 Mustang and make it rival Mercedes Benz. Hear me out on this before anyone starts to get upset about moving away from the current double arch design. Ford has been using the double arch design for the mustang continuously since 1994 when the SN95 mustang came out. Yes it is straight from the 65-70 mustang and it works and it’s iconic, lets change it up a bit shall we? The dash comes forward on the 71-73 reducing glare, The general gauge layout of two large gauges on each side of the steering wheel remain so the 12″ cluster fully digital cluster would work on this car, which should be standard on all mustangs. The center stack on the 71-73 mustang sits higher and wider on the 71-73 allowing for a larger infotainment screen which could be a great way to rival the Ram’s 12″ infotainment screen since neither the challenger nor charger have it yet. The car should also have a more comfortable true 2 + 2 setup with a console between the seats (similar to the Nissan GTR) with higher quality materials and the B&O stereo system featuring a trunk mounted subwoofer and 14-speakers (2 tweeters on the A-pillars, 2 6.5″ component speakers on the doors, 2 3-way 6×8″ speakers on the kick panels, 1 tweeter on each front seats (infiniti style) 2 6×9″ speakers beside the rear seats, two 8″ sub woofers between the rear seats in the console and two forward facing 6×9″ speakers on the rear wheel housings. The interior should offer different color schemes such as all black, black and red, black and tan, cashmere and black & tan w/ polished trim, the steering wheel should be much thicker with an alcantara interior package optional. Outside, the 1971 body style allows for an altogether different aerodynamic along with more grille area on top and on the bottom, a completely different light signature, a chance to redo the rear fascia and rear taillights, the spoilers from the GT350, the regular spoiler and the 2019 track spoiler, and 20×9.5″ front 20×10″ rears on the GT along with some elements of the ’69 GT500 cars such as the center exit exhaust system. The hood should have the dual scoops and the car should have the colors of the 71-73 era along with some of the color schemes from the 69-70 Mach-1 and GT500 cars. With a 485hp 6.4L in the Mustang GT, a 7.0L 427ci V8 should also be dumped in the mustang with the Mach-1 Moniker. Pushing roughly 545hp N/A with a supercharged version in a Cobra version producing 750hp, these vehicles would put them squarely in line with FCA’s upcoming 7.0L 426-Hemi and if GM has sense, a revised 7.0L Z/28 Camaro along with the 6.2L Hellcat, the 392ci 6.4L Hemi cars, and the LT1 6.2L Camaro SS.
    With the CD6 platform being so flexible, hopefully it will be competitive to the Alpha chassis that GM has under the Camaro and what FCA has for the Challenger/Charger/300 but better and lighter than the Dodge vehicles, which will be changing around this time as well. Ford needs a RWD Charger competitor but it also needs to liven up the Explorer with V8 performance variants as well to content with vehicles like the Durango and the Grand Cherokee SRT clan. Ford Ford’s explorer, that means a 6.4L V8 pushing the same 485hp that the Mustang has and give it a performance AWD system, performance suspension, Brembo brakes, dual exhaust system with active modes, drive modes, a more dynamic exterior and interior, and let that compete fully with the Durango. A 400hp/400tq 3.0T should be the base explorer. I also think that a 545hp N/A 7.0L and a supercharged 7.0L V8 should be under the hood of the Explorer as options as well knowing that Dodge is going to do the same and if it fits in the Mustang it will fit in the Explorer. Also, there’s no reason these vehicles not to be efficient as well. with 10-speed automatics, Active fuel management, etc, the 6.4L V8 powered vehicles shouldn’t need a gas guzzler tax at all, especially in Eco-mode.
    Ford does need a rear-drive based AWD performance sedan to complete this trio and it should be the Falcon. There should be a base Falcon with a 400hp/400tq 3.0L V6, a Falcon GT-390 485hp, a Falcon 427-Cobra 545hp and a Falcon 427-Thunderbolt 750hp. Those three vehicles would be enough to turn Ford around and make them a lot more desirable. No gimmicks, no nonsense, just good solid cars that can be useful in all 4-seasons.
    You figure, If Ford has those three vehicles under there performance umbrella, along with the much needed return of the Ford F150 Lightning pickup in both single cab shortbed and extended cab shortbed with All-wheel drive and the 750hp supercharged 7.0L V8, Ford could then Focus on Off Road Performance vehicles like a 545hp 7.0L powered F150 Raptor, a 400hp 3.0L Ranger Raptor/Bronco Raptor & a Powerstroke F-250 HD Raptor. The kind of vehicles that people want to see on the road. This way Ford would dominate the street vehicles and the off-road vehicle performance arena with the cars people really want from Ford. What would also be nice would be a 2-seater V8 powered roadster type hot rod vehicle from Ford like what Dodge had with the Viper. (I purposely didn’t mention the corvette because the Corvette is a highly technical and sharply defined sports car whereas the viper more of a brutish hot rod with sex appeal and some sophistication) Truthful the name Thunderbird should fill this niche as a two-seater street rod, retro cues such as circular lights, & fender gills, scooped hood, and other “nods” but the car shouldn’t be subject to complete nostalgia, the car should have side exit exhausts huge wheels and things like that and all V8 options (6.4L, 7.0 N/A and 7.0 S/C). A car like this isn’t meant to compete directly with the corvette but will hopefully draw out a new revised viper from the Dodge camp.

  4. fordhathanh

    Designers are still delicate in keeping the bulb and adding new details. Create a new feeling, but still retain the inherent. “Despite the forthcoming next-generation Mustang’s common underpinnings, it’s still going to be a strong, well-proportioned vehicle,” says Mustang Chief Designer Darrell Behmer. “The modular architectures will still give us the flexibility; it’s not going to bastardize the Mustang. “

  5. Steve Colmar

    Ford should spin Mustang off as a stand alone brand consisting of all the expected varients plus a high end mid engine and, similiar to Porsche, a few high performance SUVs.
    FCA was smart to create focused niche brands like RAM and SRT that later was folded primary into Dodge with it’s muscle cars. Ford could use Mustang as a performance brand, Vignale as a premium moniker and Ford for standard trucks, crossovers and SUVs.

  6. Paul

    Would love an AWD V8 mustang! Wish there was a mod to upgrade my 2006 Mustang Gt.its the hum of the pipes on the V8 & Knowing there are alot Ponys ready to Run that really make me love the Mustang! But AWD would be incredible!

  7. John Healey

    Ford did produce an obscure AWD Mustang in the 70’s..


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