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2024 Ford Mustang Delivers with Increased Power, Aggressive Styling and Jet Fighter Digital Cockpit

Posted By: Evan J. Smith
Story by Evan J. Smith

Ford enthusiasts are passionate about their iconic pony car, but that’s just one of the many reasons Ford Motor Company was hyper-focused on “getting it right” when developing the 2024 Mustang. In our eyes, Ford hit the mark with the latest ‘Stang, which features upgraded engines, improved handling and braking and a break-through interior that even pays homage to the 1987-1993 Foxbody!
 
The styling hits hard and we like to let it sink in before forming a final opinion. And in the case of the S650, there’s a lot of content to absorb. Its shark nose is aggressive and breaks free of the retro, which is a good thing, as this Mustang is ready to carve a path of its own. There’s a large grille that allows for improved cooling with better aero and less drag. And while enthusiasts were unsure if the 7th Gen Mustang would even have an internal combustion engine, rest assured Ford is committed to keeping the audience excited about mashing the throttle.
 
“Investing in another generation of Mustang is a big statement at a time when many of our competitors are exiting the business of internal combustion vehicles,” said Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company. “Ford, however, 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.”


 
Under The Hood

The way Mustang looks, drives and sounds is key to the experience that makes you want to get in the driver’s seat and hit the road. With that, Mustang GT is now powered by an advanced, 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine. The fourth-generation 5.0-liter will deliver the most naturally aspirated horsepower of any Mustang GT thanks to an innovative dual-air intake box and dual-throttle body, designed to help minimize induction loss by enabling higher air flow rates. While Ford didn’t allow a photo, we did get a look and it’s a sight to see.
 
The induction system uses twin opposing air boxes that are symmetrical and feed a big common plenum with two, yes, two, 80mm throttle bodies. Considering the outgoing Mach 1 engine makes 470-480 hp with the Shelby GT350 intake, we estimate horsepower to be higher, or why would Ford have gone though the trouble? Our guess is 490-500 hp. Ford also chose larger-duration cams (no doubt to support the increased airflow) and a revised left-hand exhaust manifold that has a much better-looking collector area.
 
“This is the most athletic and confidence-inspiring Mustang EcoBoost and GT to drive yet,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Mustang chief nameplate engineer. “Whether driving an automatic or manual transmission, thanks to drive modes combined with fine-tuned digital engine, suspension and steering controls, we’re now able to give drivers peak performance everywhere, from their favorite roads to their local track.”
 
And don’t worry, Ford will continue to offer a manual transmission. There’s a standard 6-speed manual transmission for customers who want to bang gears. Ford’s advanced 10-speed automatic transmission is also available, and it almost instantaneously reconfigures its shift patterns to match the selected drive mode. In addition to the GT, customers who desire Mustang’s fun-to-drive feeling with fuel efficiency benefits can opt for the EcoBoost model, powered by an all-new, four-cylinder turbocharged 2.3-liter powertrain. 
 
With Mustang’s advanced systems, on a twisty back road or a weekend track day, you can quickly adjust steering effort, engine response, and transmission and electronic stability control settings through six available Drive Modes to create the perfect Mustang at any time. These are Normal, Sport, Slippery, Drag, Track, plus a customizable setting with up to six individual profiles, tailored to the driver’s view ahead of them. As each mode is selected, high-fidelity graphics in the digital instrument panel bring the mode to life.
 
Mustang GT and EcoBoost models are both available with an optional Performance Pack, which adds a host of track-focused features, including a front Tower Brace, Torsen® Limited Slip differential and optional MagneRide active suspension, wider rear wheels and tires, and larger, 390-millimeter front and 355-millimeter rear Brembo brakes. The GT Performance Pack adds brake ducts for even more enhanced cooling and a standard auxiliary engine oil cooler. Performance Pack also offers optional Recaro® seats and active exhaust.
 
Mustang GT with manual transmission includes standard rev-matching that helps hold engine RPM when the clutch is engaged. This retains peak torque between manual gear changes, delivering even more precision, thrill and better refinement. Quicker steering ratios and minimal compliance from steering wheel to tire significantly enhances the car’s cornering dynamics, with increased straight-line power. We spotted 275/40/19s and 255/40/19s on a 2024 GT, which appeared to have Performance Pack options.
 
A segment-first electronic drift brake takes new technology to the racetrack, unlocking the rear-wheel-drive drifting capability of Mustang with the visual appeal and functionality of a traditional, mechanical hand brake. The Performance Electronic Parking Brake comes standard with the Performance Pack on all Mustang models, engineered for novice drivers to learn and improve their drift skills while also providing expert drivers with a competition-ready system.


 
A New Cockpit Awaits


Behind the chiseled exterior of the 7th-generation Mustang lies the most technologically advanced, driver-centric cockpit of any Mustang to date. The fighter jet-inspired cockpit offers the driver two flowing and curved displays that can be quickly customized to show information the driver wants or needs to see. It’s a huge departure from past instrument layouts, but it ties into everything we do in modern life. It offers a range of layouts and graphics and really gives a fantastic perspective once you’re in the driver’s seat.
 
The car’s 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster can be customized to display different animated designs and new drive-mode dependent visuals. Based on the same Unreal Engine 3D creation tool used in modern video games, when choosing personalized drive mode settings, the car’s current setup is displayed on the center stack as real-time graphical renderings. Settings can be adjusted by simply swiping the graphic to rotate the car virtually in a true gamified style.
 
“We’re taking advantage of every pixel,” said Craig Sandvig, Ford Mustang interaction design manager. “We can be creative in showing necessary driving information and give the driver control of selecting colors, classic Mustang gauges or even a ‘calm’ screen where only minimal details are displayed.”
 
Mustang’s default instrument gauge setting has shifted from traditional, cool blue and light grey tones to an ultra-modern, copper appearance theme also shared with Mustang Mach-E. From there, almost everything in the displays—and the ambient interior lighting—can be configured to selected tones, while instrument clusters adapt to drive mode selection. When choosing personalized drive mode settings, the car’s current setup is displayed on the center stack as real-time graphical renderings. Settings can be adjusted by simply swiping the graphic to rotate the car virtually in true gamified style. 
 
This digital instrument cluster can be optionally configured to flow seamlessly into a 13.2-inch SYNC® 4 center stack behind a single piece of integrated glass that’s angled toward the driver. “We knew what customers wanted and designed the most digital Mustang ever while retaining the all-important driver-focused cockpit,” said Ricardo Garcia, Ford interior design manager. “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.” Beyond the screen, an all-new race-inspired flat-bottomed steering wheel provides more space when getting seated.
 
Outside the vehicle, animated welcome lighting greets drivers as they approach and, upon entry, Mustang splash screens come to life. And for those who enjoy the sound of a revving engine, Mustang introduces Remote Rev, providing the ability to rev the car’s engine remotely using the key fob. 
 
Mustang has a standard cloth interior featuring all-cloth seats with optional Micro Suede vinyl inserts and black seat belts, while Premium models benefit from upgraded wrapped and accent stitched across the instrument panel and door trim. EcoBoost models feature Ford’s ‘ActiveX’ synthetic leather upholstery with multiple color options, while GT models gain leather seat inserts. 
 
Higher series models offer an upgraded, full-leather steering wheel, as well as a choice of color accent stitching and a unique upholstery perforation across the seat inserts, complemented by color-coordinated, asymmetric accent striping on the seat belts. The center console can also incorporate an available wireless mobile phone charging pad while new overhead USB ports are installed above the cockpit, conveniently placed for track cameras and other devices, helping prevent wires from draping across the cabin.


 
The available B&O Sound System is optimized for the car’s interior, contributing to the visceral experience of Mustang ownership. Customers can share the ultimate driving playlist through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, both of which are fully compatible with SYNC 4. Amazon Alexa Built-In with Ford Streaming allows music and podcasts to be played with simple voice commands. Like the all-electric Mustang Mach-E SUV, the all-new Mustang features Ford Power-Up software update capability.
 
Each model in the Mustang lineup carries its own unique front end. GT is differentiated from EcoBoost models by larger, more aggressive grille openings, engineered to allow increased airflow, reflecting the increase in power and performance. The car’s aerodynamics are optimized further with the addition of new hood vents and redesigned front splitter. 
 
“Both the EcoBoost and Mustang GT have unique styling cues that deliver on their promise of Mustang Performance,” said Christopher Walter, Ford Mustang design manager. “The new Mustang is more chiseled and edgier, leaning into Mustang’s classic brawniness and timelessness.” 
  
Mustang convertible continues its drop-top legacy offering maximum open-air freedom. A simple, one-touch activation with a single-handle center latch opens and closes the fully lined and insulated fabric roof. The compact roof design and independent rear suspension also contribute toward segment-leading trunk space that can accommodate up to two golf bags.  
 
The all-new Mustang launches with 11 exterior color options including two new shades, Vapor Blue and Yellow Splash, complemented by new stripe colors and designs. Customers also can choose from three Brembo brake caliper color options: Black, Red and Grabber Blue, plus an all-new lineup of alloy wheels, ranging from 17-inch standard size on base models to 19-inch for GT with optional 20-inch alloy wheels. New for the 2024 model year is the Mustang Design Series, providing further customization options straight from the factory. The Bronze Design Series Appearance Package adds Sinister Bronze alloy wheels with bronze badges, and is available on both EcoBoost and GT models, with or without the optional Performance Pack. 
 
More Available Advanced Driver Assistance Technologies 
The new Mustang comes equipped with Ford Co-Pilot360™ features, including Speed Sign Recognition, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, Lane Centering Assist, Evasive Steer Assist and Reverse Brake Assist. Another key feature is Active Pothole Mitigation, included with the Performance Package, which continually monitors suspension, body, steering and braking input and adjusts suspension response accordingly.
   
Owners can stay connected with their car via the FordPass™ app in other ways, utilizing free remote features such as remote vehicle start and stop, door locking and unlocking, scheduling a start time, locating the vehicle, and vehicle health and status checks. The FordPass app provides important vehicle information available to users, including fuel and oil levels, service history and warranty information. The all-new Mustang goes on sale in the U.S. starting in the summer of 2023 and is assembled at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.



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