Ford confirmed today that the seventh-generation Mustang will debut on September 14.
The next-generation pony car will appear at a special event held as part of the Detroit Auto Show. Ford invites Mustang owners nationwide to converge at Ford World Headquarters to Detroit’s Hart Plaza for a celebratory unveiling they’re calling “The Stampede.”
More questions than answers
And there you ask us about the car. We do not know. Nobody does. Ford has been tight-lipped about the next edition of its oldest nameplate. Trade publication Automotive News reported that the 2023 pony car “should feature four-cylinder V-8 and EcoBoost engines” under the hood. They quote “two people familiar with the plans”. But nothing has been confirmed.
The Mustang’s debut in 1964 didn’t quite kick off the muscle car era. Detroit had been installing big engines in cars that seemed too small for them for over a decade.
But it kicked off a three-way battle that still rages between the Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and a succession of Dodge muscle cars currently represented by the Challenger.
A historic week for Muscle Cars
This rivalry has had a turbulent week.
Dodge has unveiled a concept car set to propel the muscle car category into the electric future – the Charger Daytona SRT Concept. Complete with an interpretation of engine noise for the electric age, it attempts to replicate the spirit of the muscle car without its traditional big V8.
Fan response is mixed. Some welcome an approach that can keep their love alive after the heyday of internal combustion, while others insist that an electric muscle car is a contradiction.
We’ve seen no indication that Ford will follow Dodge in the electric muscle car concept with this latest Mustang. This, however, could create an interesting new era for the rivalry. Ford appears to be the leader in the electrification race among the Big Three so far, with its F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck and Mustang Mach-E electric SUV (yes, there’s Mustang in the name. No , no one considers it a Mustang).
Watching muscle car purists respond to a market where Dodge appears to be the progressive leader and Ford and GM may still be championing the classic V8 could be fascinating. We’ll find out if that’s where the future of the rivalry lies in about a month.