The debut of the 2024 Ford Mustang is a notable one for a number of reasons, particularly since the beloved pony car can still be had with V8 power and a manual transmission – two things that are slowly going away in the automotive world, even as most have opted for an automatic thus far – though the S650 generation Mustang is designed to appeal to younger customers with its fancy new gadgets and big screens inside the cabin.
However, the 2024 Ford Mustang is suddenly without a proper rival given the impending discontinuation of the sixth-generation Camaro and its uncertain future past this year, as well as the end of Dodge Challenger production – though those models may live on, after all – even if it is in all-electric form. Regardless, it doesn’t seem as if Ford expects the Bow Tie and Mopar faithful to switch to The Blue Oval side, as Ford Mustang brand manager Jim Owens recently explained to CarExpert.
“This isn’t our first time that Camaro and Challenger haven’t been with us,” Owens said. “There’s been times where they’ve not been here in the segment, and we’ve been there continuously. First in, last out. We’ll still be there. For the people who have a Bow Tie tattooed on their body, or a Challenger Hellcat, Redeye, Demon… we probably won’t bring those people in. For those who are still interested in an internal-combustion engine version of the sports car and don’t have their loyalties, we really believe we have not only the design, but the powertrain and the suspension, and that technology [to win them over].”
Given the strong brand loyalty that fans of the Mustang, Camaro, and Challenger typically exhibit, these comments don’t come as much of a surprise. However, those that find themselves wanting a traditional, V8-powered, manual transmission-equipped, rear-wheel drive American performance car may soon cave, given the fact that only one will seemingly be available moving forward.