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Should Ford Offer An All-Wheel-Drive Mustang When The S650 Launches?

All-Wheel-Drive S650 Ford Mustang Hybrid Mule
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Rumors of an all-wheel-drive Mustang have swirled for some time now, and though it might seem like a big departure for the legendary pony car, it makes a lot of sense on a number of levels. The Ford Mustang has always been a rear-wheel-drive performance car, so the thought of adding an AWD model is certainly unprecedented, though also enticing. However, the question remains, will Ford actually build and sell an all-wheel-drive Mustang?

All-Wheel-Drive S650 Ford Mustang Hybrid Mule

“Well as you know, the Challenger has AWD. We’re always looking at different kinds of performance, but we have nothing to announce at the moment,” Mustang brand manager, Jim Owens, told Ford Authority executive editor, Alex Luft, in a recent interview.

All-wheel-drive cars present a number of advantages, as well as a con or two. For starters, the additional traction afforded by such a system would help the Mustang better put its ponies to the ground. As we’ve seen in a few real-world drag races here and there, that’s oftentimes a problem with the current Mustang – or at least with more powerful models like the Shelby GT500.

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All-wheel-drive also provides better traction in slippery conditions, whether that be snow, ice, rain, or mud. While most Mustang owners don’t drive their cars in severe winter conditions, the added traction would certainly be welcome in the wet. And for those that like to track their cars, AWD provides quicker acceleration from a standstill and when exiting a corner thanks to its ability to deliver torque to all four wheels.

There are a couple of cons that come with all-wheel-drive systems, however. They are more costly and more complex than two-wheel-drive vehicles thanks to the addition of an extra differential, driveshaft, clutch(es), and software, all of which can lead to higher maintenance and repair costs down the road as well. That added weight can take a toll on fuel economy as well.

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If the 2023 Ford Mustang does come with optional all-wheel-drive, it would be the very first in the pony car’s illustrious history to do so, save for the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. But two of the car’s main rivals –  the Dodge Challenger and Charger – already offer it. So that begs the question – should Ford offer an all-wheel-drive Mustang when the S650 launches? Let us know in the poll below!

We’ll have much more on the next-gen Mustang soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Mustang news and around-the-clock Ford news coverage.

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Written by Brett Foote

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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26 Comments

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  1. Absolutely yes. And also an EV version (the make beleive Mustang, named the Mach-E, is not a Mustang, it doesn’t feel like a Mustang, it doesn’t drive like a Mustang, it doesn’t look like a Mustang and it is not a Mustang) and a serious Ford sedan.

  2. All the top model high horsepower ponies should come with AWD standard GT350 GT500KR, GT500, BOSS. A Lincoln coupe should share the AWD model standard. It should come as a option on lower level Mustangs EB, GT, and EV

  3. My brother in law bought a AWD Charger for snowy conditions in the Northeast, but it wasn’t available with the Hemi V8 engine. He had to get the V6 and likes the engine and fuel economy. Question is is there enough to room for AWD with big engines?

  4. AWD should be optional, at least on the 5.0 and Ecoboost until they get the handling sorted out with the added front end weight on the GT500. Or make a lincoln coupe with AWD and substantially different styling.

  5. AWD yes, but please put the mustang on a diet. our company makes most of the aluminum for the f-150’s and the Mach E. i’m sure we’ll be more than happy to make some aluminum parts for the mustang.

  6. Yes indeed, optional across the board, standard on high performance models, except for maybe a specialized light weight track model

  7. Definitely, I have owned two Mustangs. A 1969 S code Mach 1 and 1980 2.3 turbocharged one. Both were fair weather drivers due to the lack of good traction when the weather went north. Yeah, I know there are Mustang “purist” that think it would be a bastardization of the iconic pony car.
    Most European manufacturers offer AWD high performance sedans and in order for the Mustang to rollover the completion, it’s going to have to keep up with the times.
    I’ve been waiting for the Mustang to “morph” two more legs so I can get away from AWD SUV’s.

  8. I replied yes to the survey above, acknowledging the cons. One more I’d like to add specifically as it pertains to road course applications.

    As I’m a relative newcomer to this arena, when the topic of all wheel drive versus rear wheel drive among my instructors, it is certainly interesting to see how two camps develop.

    Among the rear drive camp, driver induced throttle oversteer seems to be a common refrain, whereas AWD can allow for earlier throttle exiting corners.

    When I posed the question, if lap times were the same, which would you prefer, it seems to boil down to driving style. Some don’t mind the addition on another “nanny”, while others do.

  9. Only as an option. I have an ST Explorer. I for one don’t want/need the extra weight nor mechanicals involved. I do not track my 5.0 drop top. It is a pleasure only vehicle for me.

  10. I had said yes it should be an option, but there should also be a “purist” trim package to satisfy the owners looking for the classic experience. Even though I am in the minority, I would love to see a mustang chassis based 4door sedan to compete with the charger. Bring back the falcon name plate to the USA and make sure that our aussie cousins get it as well as a thank you for keeping the 4door muscle car alive for so many years.

  11. There are so many good ideas in here. The Mustang should absolutely come in AWD and there should be more ecoboost options as well. A 4.0L Barra-Ecoboost I-6 should be one of them and a 2.5L Duratec-Ecoboost I-5 Turbo should be another as well as a 3.0L Ecoboost, a super high output 3.5L Ecoboost and a 3.0L Ecoboost Hybrid. What would really be great would be a global Falcon performance sedan on the S650/CD6 platform with those engine options along with a few Lincoln Models on the S650/CD6 platform as well. Make the coupe larger and more luxurious with the Mustang with all Ecoboost engines including a top end version with the 3.5L Ecoboost from the Ford GT supercar detuned to about 550hp and have a sedan and SUV along with it. Ford also needs a CD6/S650 variant of a Mach-E like performance crossover. I think the Mach E is a fabulous looking vehicle , I really do. Ford Messed up calling it a Mustang and not Just Mach E or EVOS. Ford needs a performance crossover around that size with Ecoboost power. Something like that with a 2.5L Ecoboost I-5 Turbo under the hood with AWD and a rear biased AWD setup even with a transverse mounted engine would be awesome. People will always buy Mustangs but Ford needs some hot, affordable cars right now and this would be the way to go. Honestly I would love an AWD Falcon sedan with a new version of the Barra 325T 4.0L Turbo upgraded with Ecoboost performance and tech with some optional Ford Performance and Roush upgrades done to it. Throw that next to a Lincoln Mark Ten LSC 550hp 3.5L Ecoboost coupe, a Ford Explorer RS and a high performance F150 4-door short cab AWD Ecoboost street performance pickup and that would be one hell of a lineup.

  12. There are so many good ideas in here. The Mustang should absolutely come in AWD and there should be more ecoboost options as well. A 4.0L Barra-Ecoboost I-6 should be one of them and a 2.5L Duratec-Ecoboost I-5 Turbo should be another as well as a 3.0L Ecoboost, a super high output 3.5L Ecoboost and a 3.0L Ecoboost Hybrid. What would really be great would be a global Falcon performance sedan on the S650/CD6 platform with those engine options along with a few Lincoln Models on the S650/CD6 platform as well. Make the coupe larger and more luxurious with the Mustang with all Ecoboost engines including a top end version with the 3.5L Ecoboost from the Ford GT supercar detuned to about 550hp and have a sedan and SUV along with it. Ford also needs a CD6/S650 variant of a Mach-E like performance crossover. I think the Mach E is a fabulous looking vehicle , I really do. Ford Messed up calling it a Mustang and not Just Mach E or EVOS. Ford needs a performance crossover around that size with Ecoboost power. Something like that with a 2.5L Ecoboost I-5 Turbo under the hood with AWD and a rear biased AWD setup even with a transverse mounted engine would be awesome. People will always buy Mustangs but Ford needs some hot, affordable cars right now and this would be the way to go. Honestly I would love an AWD Falcon sedan with a new version of the Barra 325T 4.0L Turbo upgraded with Ecoboost performance and tech with some optional Ford Performance and Roush upgrades done to it. Throw that next to a Lincoln Mark Ten LSC 550hp 3.5L Ecoboost coupe, a Ford Explorer RS and a high performance F150 4-door short cab AWD Ecoboost street performance pickup and that would be a great lineup. Get rid of the Ecosport, the Escape and the Edge and bring in a ford Puma ST and RS along with a gas version of the Mach E on the CD6/S650 platform, and have the Bronco Sport, Bronco, Explorer and Expedition above that. Have your Mustang and Falcon cars, redo the Ranger, bring out a Falcon UTE and call that the Maverick and base it on the CD6/S650 platform and have your F150 and super duty above that. As far as the Lincoln lineup is concerned, have the new Mark Ten coupe, the Zephyr luxury sport sedan, the Aviator, the Navigator and a real blackwood pickup truck to compete with the GMC Sierra. Lincoln failed the truck market because it’s previous blackwood was nothing more than a huge towncar and the LT just wasn’t worth it. A Lincoln blackwood with a 450hp/510tq 3.5L Ecoboost with an optional 3.0L 494hp/630tq hybrid ecoboost V6 and maybe even the 430hp/570tq 3.5L Powerboost V6 powertrains with luxury features, Black Label options, etc would be really nice from Ford right about now.

  13. continuation of above……
    Get rid of the Ecosport, the Escape and the Edge and bring in a ford Puma ST and RS along with a gas version of the Mach E on the CD6/S650 platform, and have the Bronco Sport, Bronco, Explorer and Expedition above that. Have your Mustang and Falcon cars, redo the Ranger, bring out a Falcon UTE and call that the Maverick and base it on the CD6/S650 platform and have your F150 and super duty above that. As far as the Lincoln lineup is concerned, have the new Mark Ten coupe, the Zephyr luxury sport sedan, the Aviator, the Navigator and a real blackwood pickup truck to compete with the GMC Sierra. Lincoln failed the truck market because it’s previous blackwood was nothing more than a huge towncar and the LT just wasn’t worth it. A Lincoln blackwood with a 450hp/510tq 3.5L Ecoboost with an optional 3.0L 494hp/630tq hybrid ecoboost V6 and maybe even the 430hp/570tq 3.5L Powerboost V6 powertrains with luxury features, Black Label options, etc would be really nice from Ford right about now.

    • The Lincoln line up should look a little different Continental coupe and sedan flagship EVs both with suicide doors. Of Bentley- Rolls Royce level of luxury. The Blackwood EV with suicide doors , retractable rear window and bed cover would be aimed at Hummer. Zephyr AWD 3.0 400hp, Hybrid 494hp with a glass roof option sedan only. Corsair AWD 350hp with optional 6spd sport model, Nautilus if not replaced, Zephyr,Aviator, Navigator, Blackwood and Continental is the 8 luxury model lineup

  14. What would be even better would be a semi all wheel drive, with lockable front wheels, this way you would have the best of both worlds, the traditional two wheel rear drive and for wet conditions the AWD.

  15. I think the AWD should be offered for the premium GT and upward models as an option. The maintenance up keep is a concern for me along with reliability.

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