Next-Gen Ford Mustang Pushed Back, Will Likely Be Based On Same Platform As The Explorer

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.


  • Mr. EP9

    Ok, so that’s one good thing and one bad thing. Ford listened and won’t use the Mach 1 name for that electric SUV they’re making. But putting the Mustang on the same platform as an crossover? Not too thrilled about that at all.

    • brn

      Most Ford cars share a platform with a crossover.

      Fusion Edge
      Taurus Explorer
      Focus Escape

      More good news is this likely means the next Explorer will likely be RWD based.

      • Leconte Dave

        There’s RWD option for the new Explorer

    • Mike anonymous

      I actually think this would be good. Probably would allow for better handling and stability in mustangs.

    • nellydesign

      The current Mustang platform is ancient. The new CD6 is modern and very flexible. It can be FWD, AWD or RWD and can underpin cars or crossovers. It is not a “crossover platform.”

  • Honda NSX-R

    If the Aviator/Explorer will be RWD based then I’m ok

    • Mike Gauthier

      They will

      • schnittz

        They won’t be RWD based. It’s a flexible platform to save $$

        • nellydesign

          Flexible platform… meaning, it can be longitudinal RWD/AWD and it can be transverse FWD/AWD. So if it’s longitudinal RWD/AWD in the Aviator/Explorer, (which it is) and that’s the same layout as, say, a Mustang, then how is that not RWD based (or “biased”)?

    • Leconte Dave

      They are RWD biased

  • Brent Morrison

    Can’t wait for the Mustang SUV, perfect for running over crowds.

  • Jay

    Guess we’re preparing for mad max styled Mustangs in the future.. this could be a very good. It should be RWD based that’s a giving and it also opens the possibility for an AWD Mustang. Not a thing wrong with that either..

    • Leconte Dave

      No AWD Mustang… Maybe a four door Mustang Sportback with AWD

  • MonkeyRider
    • Liam Paul

      if anyone want this, just buy some 22 inch to 26 inch rims and your mustang will look as stupid as this one

  • LJ

    All wheel drive GT500 please.

  • Bo Hanan

    -because the Explorer platform is so sporty…?…

    • Matt

      The new Explorer platform. Would have been designed from the outset to be suitable for a wide range of models.

      • Bo Hanan

        Doesn’t answer the question. And I realize that with Ford’s “no cars” future, the Explorer is the only platform suitable to build the Mustang off of.

        • Matt

          My question to you is how do you know the new Explorer platform isn’t sporty? It’s not even on sale yet.

          • Bo Hanan

            SUV, sports car. You do the math.

  • kachuks

    I know Mustangs of past used to share a platform with the Fairmont, but this is a bit too much.

  • john1168

    This is just Ford being cheap. They are trying so hard to cut costs and attempting to make the business more efficient that it’s gonna bite them in the ass unless these 5 platforms are excellent. Personally, I think the next Mustang is going to suffer for it although the Explorer/Aviator will benefit from it. The current Camaro platform already kills the current Mustang platform and putting the Mustang on a modified SUV platform is going to hurt it more.

    So Ford said it’s going all SUV in the USA except for the Mustang and GT… Well now it’s going to be all SUV except for the GT…

    • MarketAndChurch

      bmw is cutting down to just 2 platforms for all of their cars. It’s the direction the entire industry is moving in to save costs.

      • john1168

        I’m fine with platform sharing, cutting costs and making a business more efficient but like I said to nellydesign, I’m concerned with basing a sports car off an suv platform. I have a feeling that Ford is just gonna make the Mustang “good enough” instead of good or great. It’s competing against the Camaro’s platform (which is also a shared platform but not with an suv) so it will have to be good. We’ll see I guess…

    • nellydesign

      It’s not them “being cheap” It’s them being efficient. Is Audi/VW being “cheap” when they base just about every model they make on the MLBevo platform? That ranges from the Audi A4 (including performance models like RS4) all the way up to the Bentley Bentayga and Porsche Cayenne crossovers.

      I guess, in your view, Ford should just lose money by making bespoke platforms for every vehicle.

      • john1168

        No, I agree with you 100% that manufacturers should be as efficient as possible. A business survives by being efficient and making money. And yes, other manufacturers do it too. They all do it. BMW does a good job basing their X5 and X3 off their car platforms. But I worry about basing a car off an suv platform. Maybe it’s a same but different type thing but with all the cuts Ford is making lately and with making their entire line up in the US an suv line up, and with making the next Mustang off an suv platform, I think Ford is going to make the next Mustang “good enough” instead of good or great.

  • Wandering_Spirit

    Chassis, suspensions and engine are (together with steering and brakes) core features of a car. If you make a sportscar out of a generic platform for SUVs you can’t expect too much. More videos from Cars n Coffees to comment on anyways.

    • nellydesign

      Not a generic platform. A modern platform. The Audi/VW group MLBevo architecture underpins everything from the Audi RS4 to the Bentley Bentayga. It is neither generic nor does it diminish the performance of the cars it underpins.

      • Wandering_Spirit

        With electronics to put patches on it yes. A chassis for sporty cars is different from a chassis for SUVs. The fact that, then, a brand, makes a single chassis for a whole range of cars to save money and patch it with electronics (a fashion some German brands started in the late 1970s/1980s), does not make that chassis good. Rather a jack of all trades and a master of none.

  • fabri99

    Well… it doesn’t sound good. But I guess we should give them a chance, maybe it will make the Explorer handle better and the Mustang just as good as before.

  • dumblikeyou2

    Since the current Mustang already drives like a truck, this platform sharing won’t be that far off.

    • john1168


  • SpongeBob99Swell

    Please don’t be a Crossover SUV…

  • d’Aforde

    If the Mustang rides on the same platform as an SUV, it will be heavy, which will make it slow. The last Nissan Z shared a platform with the Infiniti FX and G, which made it heavy and slow. Even if Ford boosts the power in the 5.0, the Mustang will still feel heavy and slow.

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