Ford celebrated the production of the ten millionth Mustang earlier this month, but fans waiting to see the next-generation pony car are in for something disappointing news.
Automotive News is reporting that Ford CEO Jim Hackett has delayed the next-generation Mustang by about a year. There’s no word on why the car was pushed back, but the delay means redesigned model isn’t expected to arrive until 2021.
Little is known about the next-generation Mustang, but the publication talked to several people who are involved in the project. While they won’t go into specifics, they did drop a few hints about the car.
Since Ford wants to base all future models off five modular architectures, it’s likely that the Mustang will no longer be built on a bespoke platform. Instead, the next-generation pony car will likely ride on the same architecture that underpins the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator.
Fans will probably cringe at the idea of a Mustang based on the same platform as a crossover, but the Mustang chief designer Darrell Behmer promised the potential switch won’t “bastardize” the pony car. As he explained, the “Mustang is still going to be a strong, well proportioned vehicle” and “The modular architectures will still give us flexibility.”
His sentiments were echoed by Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann, who told the publication “The general layout of rwd has morphed over time, but it’s still the general architecture that it has been.” He went on to say, “As you tune it [the platform] and put a top hat on it, you can get different combinations and can define a lot of the emotion.”
One of the key benefits of basing the car on the same platform as the Aviator and Explorer would be the ability to offer an all-wheel drive variant. Rumors about an all-wheel drive Mustang surfaced earlier this year and the variant could help to increase the car’s appeal in colder climates. It would also give Ford a competitor to the all-wheel drive Dodge Challenger.
Speaking of the Mustang, the company’s upcoming Performance Battery Electric Utility likely won’t use the Mach 1 moniker. While the company used the name for the model’s announcement, Ford’s president of global markets said they did that to “evaluate” the reaction. Jim Farley went on to say there are “pros and cons” to using the name and noted there was a “very strong reaction from people.” The reaction was largely negative and it appears Ford was paying attention.