2024 Ford Mustang: Still Cookin’ With Gas

ford-mustang-gt-2024-02-exterior-front 2024 Ford Mustang GT | photo by Christian Lantry

Competes with: BMW 4 Series, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Nissan Z, Toyota Supra

Looks like: A slightly lower, more menacing Mustang

Drivetrains: Turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder or 5.0-liter V-8 engine; six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Summer 2023

Hear that sound? That rumbling, roaring combination of hoofbeats and sonorous V-8 bellow? Well, enjoy it now because rumor has it this is the last time the legendary Ford Mustang will be redesigned as a gasoline-powered pony car. While Ford is mum on the subject, speculation is rife that the next Mustang will be electric, powered similarly to the Mustang Mach-E SUV that has been increasing in popularity since its introduction two years ago. Until then, we have this: the redesigned, seventh-generation 2024 Mustang, unveiled during the 2022 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and featuring some mildly redone bodywork, an all-new interior and some upgraded gasoline powertrains to keep the purists happy for at least a few more years.

Related: More Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Swoopier Outside

The look of the new 2024 Mustang is definitely more evolutionary than revolutionary on the outside. A new front end with a low brow and tri-bar LED headlamps is more menacing than before, but the upper grille is now more influenced by the original’s 1960s design. Most notable, perhaps, is the news that the front end differs on the four-cylinder EcoBoost from the eight-cylinder GT, with the GT featuring larger grille openings for improved cooling. There are new hood vents and a new front splitter, as well.

The roofline has been modified to allow for easier ingress and egress while wearing a helmet, according to Ford. The rear overhang is shorter now, but the rear haunches are wider, emphasizing the athletic nature of the car, while a new extended rear spoiler module has the signature rear tri-bar lighting element out back.

As before, a convertible variant will be offered, with a new one-touch activation and single-handle center latch. There will be 11 exterior color options, including two new shades: Vapor Blue and Yellow Splash. Wheels will range from standard 17-inchers on base models up to 19-inch standard units on the GT, with 20-inch wheels an option. And something new for 2024 is the Mustang Design Series, with Ford seemingly taking a page from the Dodge Challenger playbook and creating more factory customization options. The first is the Bronze Design Series Appearance Package that will add Sinister Bronze wheels and bronze badges, available on both EcoBoost and GT models.

Glassed Up Interior

The bigger change happens inside the new 2024 Mustang, where Ford has completely redone the interior in the theme of a fighter-jet-style glass cockpit. What’s that mean? Screens, folks, screens everywhere — two big ones that are inspired by those in the Mustang Mach-E.

Front and center is a 12.4-inch curved digital instrument cluster running graphics done with Unreal Engine, the same architecture used in a number of prominent video games and the (really impressive) interior graphics of the new 2023 GMC Hummer EV pickup truck. The graphics are reconfigurable in the instrument cluster, and the theme has shifted from the traditional blue-and-gray colors in prior vehicles to an ultramodern copper theme shared with the Mach-E. The displays are highly reconfigurable for colors per the driver’s whim, or they can be changed based on the vehicle’s drive mode selection.

An optional second 13.2-inch curved touchscreen is available on the center stack, both of which flow seamlessly into each other behind a single pane of glass. That touchscreen will run the latest Sync 4 multimedia system, with the whole thing angled towards the driver. Perhaps most surprising, however, is the removal of traditional radio and climate controls in the interior, a decision Ford chalks up to its research.

“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, in a statement. “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.” Uh-huh. We’ll see about that, won’t we?

The standard interior will be cloth, with optional microsuede vinyl inserts, while Premium models get an upgraded interior with wrapped panels and accent stitching across the dashboard and doors. EcoBoost trim models get the ActiveX synthetic leather in several color options, while GT V-8 versions get real leather seat inserts. Options on high-spec trims will include things like a full leather steering wheel (flat-bottomed for easier entry and exit), a choice of accent stitching colors, unique seat insert upholstery perforations and asymmetric accent striping on the seat belts.

Of note in the interior are some USB ports installed overhead, which allows users to put things like dashcams, radar detectors, and other windshield-mounted electronics up and not have wires dangling down the dash to sockets low in the console. Optimized for the Mustang’s interior, an available B&O sound system is present, and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Most unusual of all might be the new Remote Rev feature: a button on the car’s key fob remote that will allow the driver to rev the engine while standing outside the car.

Still Cookin’ With Gas

Under the hood is a choice of two powertrains, lightly massaged to make more power than ever. The standard engine in the 2024 Mustang will be an all-new turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. It’s mated to a standard 10-speed automatic transmission and drives the rear wheels. Rumors of a hybrid or all-wheel-drive version of the Mustang have sadly not panned out — it retains the front-engine, rear-drive pony car layout it’s always had.

The optional engine is the Coyote 5.0-liter V-8 that comes in the GT trim, reportedly “the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 ever put in the GT trim,” according to Ford, which did not publish any official power numbers for either powertrain. It features a new dual air intake box and dual throttle-body design, enabling higher airflow rates, according to the company. It’s mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission (the stick shift lives on, at least in the GT) with standard automatic rev matching or an optional 10-speed auto.

The Mustang features six adjustable drive modes, allowing operators to change things like steering effort, engine response, transmission and stability control settings to tune the car to their preferred feel. The modes are Normal, Sport, Slippery, Drag and Track, plus a customizable setting with six individual profiles; changing modes also brings up some spiffy animations on all the digital interior screens.

Optional on both the EcoBoost and GT trims is a Performance Pack, adding track-focused features like a front strut tower brace, Torsen limited slip differential, wider rear wheels and tires, and larger 390-millimeter front and 355-mm rear Brembo brakes, available in a choice of three colors. On the GT, the Performance Pack also adds functional brake cooling ducts and an engine oil cooler. Optional features that you can add to the Performance Pack include the MagneRide active electronic suspension, Recaro sport seats and an active exhaust system.

More From

A new feature that’s surely not going to induce an entirely new round of YouTube videos is the segment-first electronic drift brake feature, which will employ the electronic parking brake to help novice drivers learn how to drift and allow expert drivers to improve their skills with what Ford says is a “competition-ready system.” Available on Mustangs equipped with the Performance Pack, customers can add a special “drift brake handle” to the center console that will help turn them into a drift pro for both fun and competition events.

There’s no pricing yet announced for the 2024 Mustang; that won’t happen until much closer to the car’s on-sale date, which will be in the summer of 2023. If this really is the last gas-powered Mustang, Ford’s sending the model out with some serious appeal.

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Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

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