Kyle Johnson
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2024 Ford Mustang Goes All in on ICE, Interior

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2024 Ford Mustang EcoBoost and GT
Alert: The horses are out of the barn
Photo: Ford

For the most part, the 2024 Ford Mustang doesn’t reinvent the wheel. Not that a lot of folks would want it to — look at the response to the Mustang Mach-E, after all. But what the seventh-generation Mustang certainly does is take that well-familiar wheel and glitz it up good, delivering a rousing interpretation of that iconic pony car spirit.

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No hybrid? No problem

2024 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
2024 Mustang GT gets a standard six-speed manual
Photo: Ford

Off the top, the 2024 Ford Mustang is not bringing a hybrid powertrain to the table. The announced powertrain lineup at launch will be an all-new 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbo and a fourth-gen 5.0-liter Coyote V8. Ford says that the latter will be the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 offered in a Mustang GT, but no power figures have been announced. Oh, and also, the GT comes standard with a six-speed manual with rev-matching.

So no hybrid for the Mustang — at least not for this year, anyway. Ford CEO Jim Farley says that the latest Mustang is a statement vehicle, hitting right when competitors like the Dodge Challenger and Charger are wrapping up their runs with internal combustion engines. He implies that a hybrid may not necessarily be out of the cards in years to come.

“Ford, [unlike competitors], is turbocharging its ICE growth plan, adding connected technology, opinionated derivatives, and hybrid options to our most profitable and popular cars — all in the Ford Blue family — on top of investing $50 billion in electric vehicles through 2026.”

Bet on the Dark Horse

2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse
Katy Perry approves (probably)
Photo: Ford

What’s an opinionated derivative, you ask? That chunky little bit of buzz-speak is no doubt a reference to the Ford Mustang Dark Horse, the first new model name to enter the Mustang stable since the Bullitt in 2001.

The Mustang Dark Horse gets an up-tuned version of the Coyote that Ford estimates will bring the clomping fury of 500 horsepower.  That’ll put the Dark Horse about this generation’s Bullitt and the Mach 1, making it the most powerful 5.0-liter V8 ever offered in a Mustang.

2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Badge
The latest badge in the Ford Mustang family
Photo: Ford

Ford also says that it’ll “deliver the highest level of performance in the all-new Mustang family.” So we may not see the return of Shelby for a while — maybe not until before the Mustang reportedly goes electric in 2028.

The 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse piled on even more performance tools, including a TREMEC six-speed manual, beefed-up cooling, Pirelli P Zero rubbers wrapped around staggered 19-inchers, 19-inch Brembo front brakes, and MagneRide. The optional Handling Package boosts downforce with a Gurney Flap — a feature returning from the Ford GT — as well as stiffer springs, bigger sway bars, and beefier Pirelli Trofeos.

It sure looks like a Mustang

2024 Ford Mustang Family
2024 Ford Mustang lineup is familiar yet refined
Photo: Ford

From the curbside, the 2024 Ford Mustang is a fairly gradual evolution of the now-familiar look of the gen-six. You get all the hallmarks, including the swooping fastback profile and tri-bar taillamps. The EcoBoost, GT, and Dark Horse all have unique style points including distinct front fascias (the Dark Horse notable has “fangs” in the lower front bumper). Nothing groundbreaking, but again, it doesn’t need to be.

And, of course, you get bunches of color options — 11 to be exact, including new Vapor Blue and Yellow Splash. Ford is also offering up factory customization with its Mustang Design Series. The first named option is the Bronze Design Series Appearance Package, which adds bronze badging and Sinister Bronze alloy wheels.

2024 Ford Mustang gets crazy with the cockpit

2024 Ford Mustang interior cockpit
All-new Mustang offers a massive curved display
Photo: Ford

If Ford is playing by the book with the look of the 2024 Mustang on the outside, it chucked the thing out the window for the interior. Ford says that the cockpit of the seventh-gen Mustang draws inspiration from fighter jets, and that much is clear with its 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster and optional 13.2-inch SYNC 4 display.

These displays are unified under a curved glass display that’s angled toward the driver. They also leverage the Unreal Engine 3D for animated designs and graphics, which adapt to six available Drive Modes including Drag and Track.

2024 Ford Mustang interior dashboard
2024 Ford Mustang feels track-ready
Photo: Ford

The single-piece digital cockpit gives the 2024 Ford Mustang an incredibly streamlined and efficient dash look. It largely veers away from knobs and buttons, a move that Ford surprisingly believes won’t infuriate boomers.

“We knew what customers wanted and designed the most digital Mustang ever while retaining the all-important driver-focused cockpit,” said Ford Interior Design Manager Ricardo Garcia. “Removing some of these physical buttons, such as radio and climate control, and integrating them into a digital display was popular in research with millennials, Gen Z, and traditional Mustang drivers alike.”

2024 Ford Mustang sport seats
Supportive sport seats, because that’s what you expect from a Mustang
Photo: Ford

There won’t be much argument about the other elements in the Mustang’s cabin, including its new flat-bottom steering wheel that’s available in leather with your choice of contrast stitching. Seating options include standard cloth with available micro suede vinyl inserts, ActiveX synthetic leather in a variety of colors, and leather inserts for the GT. The Mustang Dark Horse Appearance Package adds Deep Indigo Blue seats with a unique perforation pattern.

Tech on tech on tech

2024 Ford Mustang Performance Electronic Parking Brake
Drifting just got easier (watch out, Cars and Coffee attendees)
Photo: Ford

Unsurprisingly, the 2024 Ford Mustang is the smartest yet in just about every phase of the game. Performance-wise, it gets a new Performance Electronic Parking Brake with the Performance Pack, which helps simplify drifting. And because somebody somewhere asked for it, the Mustang has a Remote Rev feature that lets you rev the engine with the fob. Ain’t the future grand?

SYNC 4 brings all its perks, including wireless smartphone connectivity, Ford Power-Up over-the-air updates, and cloud-based connectivity. The 2024 Ford Mustang also offers Amazon Alexa Built-In with Ford Streaming, allowing you to cue up music with a spoken command.

The 2024 Mustang is beefier in safety with more Ford Co-Pilot 360 technologies. Standard tech includes Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Reverse Brake Assist, and Speed Sign Recognition. The Performance Package also adds Active Pothole Mitigation, which cuts down on damage caused by road hazards.

2024 Ford Mustang drops next summer

2024 Ford Mustang Heritage
Seventh-gen Ford Mustang goes on sale next summer
Photo: Ford

The 2023 Ford Mustang is getting ready to roll out to dealerships, so we’ve got a good little wait until the seventh-gen Mustang arrives. Ford expects to open up the order books next summer. In the meantime, we can expect more details on performance, packages, and some of the pony car’s new bells and whistles.