First Look at the 2024 Ford Mustang S650
On Wednesday, September 14th, many Mustang enthusiasts found themselves glued to their phone screens. As promised at the Woodward Dream Cruise earlier in the year, Ford has finally revealed the new Mustang. The seventh generation debuted at the Detroit Auto Show this year and was premiered live on YouTube for 300,000 enthusiasts to enjoy. The Mustang has proven to be the best-selling sports couple on the planet. I would even dare to say it might just be America’s Most Loved car. 10 million Mustang chassis have been driven all over the US since production began in 1964. At first, it was marketed as a super stylish yet budget-friendly transportation for the younger generation. Soon enough, that idea turned into a high-performance enthusiast icon.
When Ford was designing the 2024 Mustang, they went with a much edgier look overall. They have completely revamped the interior and exterior from the one that we know and love today. They wanted the S650 to look and feel different from its predecessor. One of the first things you notice about this new design is the styling. While the lines of the chassis are recognizable and will give you brief memories of the S550, the new chassis is much slimmer and sleek in design. As we are lighting enthusiasts, we also took note of the slimmer headlights on the new Mustang. Funny enough, the smaller headlights give us a throwback to the earlier versions of the S550 Mustangs. The headlights feature a tri-bar LED setup, like the classic rear design for the taillights. On this new chassis, the taillights stay in a similar fashion to the original 3-bar vertical design. What really caught our eye was the relocation of the amber side marker. Instead of housing the side marker within the headlight, they have moved this to a different part of the bumper. Without the amber in the headlights, it gives it a much darker and more menacing design.
"We're starting from a really strong place with the current generation car," Mustang lead engineer Ed Krenz shared with Road & Track Magazine. "Specifically, the platform is really fit for what we're trying to do. Let's upgrade everything a little bit where we can, but do it smartly." The S650 introduces new looks, new tech, a revised V-8, and a new EcoBoost four-cylinder. When the new chassis goes on sale next summer, you will still be able to choose between a convertible or a couple. You’ll also have to decide whether you’ll be driving home in a base model with an EcoBoost four-cylinder, or the more performance-driven GT with a V-8. The GT will also be offered with a manual transmission for those of you that truly love feeling one with the car. With the Mustang having such a rich history in the American culture, it would not surprise us to see the revival of some names such as Boss, Bullitt, and Mach 1 trims offered in the future.
What We Know About the Tech and Engine Specs So Far
Ford has already confirmed that we will be seeing new versions of the 2.3L EcoBoost and 5.0L Coyote V8 engines. The all-new EcoBoost will feature a dual-fuel system that utilizes both port and direct injection. It will also boast a new twin-scroll turbocharger with an electrical wastegate. The new Coyote will be the fourth generation of one of Ford’s most highly regarded motors. The new Coyote will now have a dual-throttle-body intake system that is fed directly from the functional front grille. Ford has not confirmed any horsepower numbers yet, however, we do expect these new engines to offer an improvement over the previous 330 HP. The V-8 should put out at least 480 HP.
The transmissions in the new S650 will be a carryover from previous generations. Ford will offer the standard six-speed manual and their 10-speed automatic. In the automatic cars, the Mustang will come with a feature known as “Remote Rev.” Depending on the crowd you hang out with, this could either be the coolest or most obnoxious feature on the car. The Remote Rev feature will allow the engine to be started and revved by pressing a key on the FOB. This will not be a feature given to manual cars for obvious reasons.
Another incredibly unique feature of this new chassis involves a hand brake. Like other modern cars, the Mustangs have already stepped away from a mechanical parking brake and now utilize an electronic switch. However, you may choose to opt-in for an Electronic Drift Brake with your Performance Pack S650. The Drift Brake progressively locks up the rear wheels depending on how far the driver engages the hand brake. This new feature was co-developed with Vaughn Gitten Jr, a highly respected icon in the drift scene. The electronic brake looks like your traditional parking brake; however, the handle can be replaced with a vertical handle which allows for peak performance when sliding your car. In this instance, it is unique to see a parking brake that is not used for safe parking, but in fact, is used instead to encourage huge smoke clouds while getting sideways. Gitten wanted a system that provided effortless locking and handling. This Mustang’s new customizable driving modes will assure you get the perfect tire-roasting drift to share with all your friends on YouTube, in a closed and safe track environment of course.
For those of you that want the peak performance of everything the Mustang has to offer, you’ll be excited to hear about the Dark Horse. The Dark Horse is a step up from the Performance Package, making this the most menacing S650 available. The Dark Horse will feature a V-8 Coyote engine and a Tremec 6-speed transmission. Though there are many rumors about the specs of the Dark Horse floating around and we are waiting for this to be confirmed by Ford. If you prefer an automatic, they will be available for the Dark Horse too. This trim package will still feature dual throttle bodies like the Coyote engine. Since the release of the Mustang Bullitt in 2001, this is the first new and iconic performance name from Ford.
A Closer Look at the S650 Exterior
The new S650 chassis is a redefined version of the already existing S550 chassis. While there are many new features, we do see some carry-over features as well. Making a re-appearance on the new chassis, we can find the roof, A-Pillar, and rear glass. The new Mustang has a longer hood and a more tapered roof compared to the S550. The biggest difference in design change is in the rear of the vehicle. Instead of the usual overhanging tail panel, the new Mustang taillights are concaved into a V-shape. Eddie Kahn, the engineering manager for the new Mustang, told journalists that this will be the most aerodynamic Mustang created. The re-designed rear end allows for increased airflow and downforce. While the rear might be different, the new Mustang chassis still has similar body lines to the S550 which brings us back to the past. Following those body lines brings us to the newly designed grille which was inspired by the early 1960s model. The headlights and taillights both utilize the Tri-bar LED lighting making this the most menacing pony on the road. As we know, Morimoto has made a name for itself by providing aftermarket lighting for models such as the S550. We will be highly anticipating seeing what aftermarket lighting options become available to enhance the new S650.
There will be two new paint colors introduced with the new Mustang. Yellow Splash and Vapor Blue will now be offered alongside the 11 traditional colors. Ford is also offering more color variants for stripes, seat belts, and Brembo brake calipers. This will be the most customizable chassis yet. Wheels can be ordered in the standard 17-inch size all the way up to 20-inch options. If you choose, you can also opt-in for Ford’s Bronze Design Series Appearance Package. This package will be available for both non-performance packages and performance package Mustangs, equipping your new ride with Sinister Bronze alloy wheels and bronze badging from the factory. "It looks like a fist in the wind going down the road," said global design director Joel Piaskowski.
A Peek at the Interior
The new interior has many prominent features, one of the biggest being the large screens for the infotainment system and gauge cluster. The base model trim package will have a separate screen for each, but the higher-trim models will have both integrated into a single housing. A new feature included in the interior will be gauge cluster customization. The digital cockpit is inspired by fighter jets and will even offer a display the same as the historical Fox-Body mustang. The Mustang drive-mode menu is going to be powered by Unreal Engine, an incredibly common name in the video game industry. Unreal Engine will help to supply animated designs and drive-mode-specific graphics based on the user’s preferences. “Integrating [these features] into a digital display was popular in research with Millennials, Gen-Z, and traditional Mustang drivers alike,” Ford interior design manager Ricardo Garcia said in a press release.
One of the most exciting parts of this interior configuration is the overhead USB ports. The USB ports were conveniently placed to provide easy access for cameras and dataloggers come track day. This interior provides the user with the most driver-focused Mustang to date. Drivers will have a unique experience behind the wheel of the new Mustang, seeing as the interior has been centered entirely around you.
The new Mustang has been released at a very interesting time for the American vehicle market. In recent months, Dodge debuted their Charger Daytona SRT, a completely electric muscle car. At this time, they also announced the end of their Charger and Challenger lineup. With the Mustang’s oldest rival leaving the market, Ford seems to be one of the last major car manufacturers offering gas-powered performance vehicles. "Doing this car at this time is a victory in itself," Krenz said. "As others are saying goodbye, we're saying hello." The Mustang makes it possible for an EV like the Mach-E to exist, Krenz said. As we look at the facts of the world moving towards an all-electric future, this could be the last internal-combustion Mustang to ever be offered. Executive chairman Bill Ford said he knows the last internal combustion, stick shift Mustang will roll off the line in Flat Rock, Michigan, in his lifetime, and he will have a tear in his eye—but that is not in our near future for now.
When thinking about an eighth-generation Mustang, we do not really know what to expect. Perhaps we will see an introduction of a full EV-Mustang, different than the Mach-E. However, an eighth-generation will not be talked about for many years to come. The latest seventh-gen S650 is expected to last for a long time – meaning it will be quite a few more years until Bill Ford has to wipe his tears away.
"Are we going to be able to do it forever? I doubt it," says Krenz. "But we're going to do it for now."
We would like to give photo credits to the following
- Andi Henrick with Road and Track Magazine
- Ford Motor Company