The Debut of the S650 Mustang
Following the debut of the all-new, next-generation S650 Ford Mustang this week, it’s clear that the current variants of the long-running pony car – the Mach 1 and Shelby GT500 – will be going away, at least temporarily. The GT500 will bow out after the 2022 model year, in fact, while the Mach 1 will live on through the last year of the S550 in 2023. However, sources familiar with the matter say that the S650 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will debut in 2025 as a 2026 model, which means it won’t be absent from the lineup for too long.
If the S650 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 remains on track for a 2025 release for the 2026 model year, this means that the next-gen variant will arrive earlier for the seventh-generation than the sixth, as the S550 didn’t get a GT500 until the 2020 model year after debuting for 2015.
The S550 Shelby GT500 is equipped with the supercharged Ford 5.2L V8 Predator engine, which cranks out 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated exclusively to Ford’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and is equipped with a host of suspension upgrades and aero modifications that help it live up to its billing as the ultimate version of the current-gen Mustang.
Meanwhile, the regular 2024 Ford Mustang will continue to be offered with enhanced versions of the existing Ford 2.3L I-4 EcoBoost and Ford 5.0L V8 Coyote powerplant. While the EcoBoost will no longer be available with a six-speed manual transmission, the Coyote will continue to be offered with both the manual and the Ford 10-speed automatic gearbox, which is now the only option for base four-cylinder models.
Finally, the Mustang Dark Horse was also unveiled alongside the regular versions of the pony car packing a fortified version of the Coyote V8 that’s projected to produce 500 horsepower and is mated to a Tremec six-speed manual transmission. The Dark Horse will also be available in two track-only variants and is the basis for a big motorsports push consisting of multiple new Mustang racers, one of which will compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
There is nothing like getting behind the wheel of a high-performance car and flying down the road, shifting through the gears on the manual transmission as needed. The V-8 cars, including the Dark Horse Mustang, can still be bought with the standard six-speed manual transmission, but the cars with the smaller 2.3-liter will only come with an automatic transmission. The 10-speed automatic was the go-to choice for Mustang buyers when paired with the turbocharged four-cylinder, so the manual option was taken off the board. But, only for the smaller engine, leaving the option open for the Coyote cars.
The 2.3-liter engine will have a new fuel delivery system, as will the 5.0-liter Coyote. The four-cylinder will have a dual-fuel system that will use port and direct fuel injection and a new twin-scroll turbocharger with an electronically controlled wastegate. The Coyote engine receives a dual throttle body intake that receives air from openings created on each side of the front grille. More air and fuel means more horsepower when the pedal is mashed to the floor.
Ford went all out when it came to the interior. It has been designed to offer the highest technology available in a car. The engineers used the UnReal Engine 3D creation tool for its electronic screens, which is used in many of the new games on the market. The best thing about the interior is that the color, and the look, all change when a unique driver control setting is chosen. If the driver does not like the new look, they can opt to program their own style that fits them better.