While Chevrolet continues to have issues and hold-ups relating to the development of its C8 mid-engine Corvette, Ford is moving along with strategies to replace the current Mustang pony car. As we have reported here for several years, the next Ford Mustang is to migrate to the versatile new CD6 platform that underpins the most recent Ford Explorer and Lincoln Pilot SUVs.
The current Ford Mustang, understood by connoisseurs as the S550, is the sole model on its rear-wheel-drive unibody architecture. After one generation-spanning 9 model years as a transverse-engine, front-drive-based SUV, the new Explorer is switching to the new, longitudinal-engine unibody CD6 architecture while generating the renewal of the Aviator. These two three-row SUVs will provide the CD6 platform with the volume necessary to make the future Mustang cost-efficient for Ford Motor Company.
Last year, Ford offered 261,571 Explorers and only 75,842 Mustangs. By next year, the volume of CD6 platform vehicles could reach 300,000 units annually in between just the Explorer and Aviator. An all-new Ford Edge likewise changes to the rear-drive bones, one source says, by 2021. But the Mustang will not supplement the CD6 volume numbers up until long later.
It’s Gon na Be Bigger
According to sources familiar with the method, however not linked to Ford, several years have postponed the CD6 Mustang replacement. When it gets here, it will be bigger than the present car, closer to the Dodge Challenger in total size if not girth.
The dimensional distinctions are substantial. Based on its exterior dimensions, the Dodge Challenger is a full-size coupe, at 197.9 inches long on a 116.2-inch wheelbase, while the current Ford Mustang is 188.3 inches long and has a 107.1-inch wheelbase. Both cars’ widths are within 0.1 inches of each other, but the Challenger is taller, at 57.5 inches high versus the Mustang’s 54.4 inches.
Sources state that while the CD6 platform is developed to be extremely versatile, there are specific parts that can’t be reduced as far as the current Mustang. Consider that the Challenger ended up being as tall and long as it is since designers had to make the percentages deal with the tall front cowl of its platform mates, the Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300. A Mustang with a longer wheelbase likewise would give it more EPA fuel-mileage leeway, based upon its bigger “footprint.”.
One source says the CD6 Mustang, which passes the codename S650, seems postponed a minimum of to the 2026 model year, while another source guesses 2028 or 2029, either of which makes it less of a product strategy than a guarantee to keep building the icon. In the interim, the S550 Mustang will receive a significant mid-cycle facelift to upgrade its present D2C platform and reskin it with new sheet metal from nose to tail, which will need some underbody work. It’s the mid-cycle D2C update that will spawn a Mustang hybrid, although that car is said to be delayed somewhat from the 2021 model year to early in calendar-year 2022.
The longer lifecycle of the S550 Ford Mustang is rather typical of two-door and stylish models, and likewise follows Fiat Chrysler’s technique for the Dodge Challenger and its four-door siblings. Under an earlier Fiat Chrysler Five-Year Plan, the Challenger and Charger were to be downsized on Alfa Romeo’s RWD platform, and the Chrysler 300 was to be discontinued or replaced with an FWD sedan, all before the end of this decade. However the Chrysler 300 as presently constituted got a reprieve, and it appears that the Challenger/Charger/300 will advance their present RWD platform, with their present full-size dimensions, for the time being, with a significant upgrade to the architecture coming within the next couple of years. Integrated, the three full-size cars sold a relatively healthy 193,895 in 2018, consisting of an undefined variety of Dodge Charger Pursuit authorities cars. That’s 194K real cars, not SUVs or trucks.
The Dodge Challenger outsold the Chevrolet Camaro last year to place second in the section behind the Mustang. (Speaking of which, talk of a future Camaro has been obvious by its absence.) Ford was taking a look at a rear-wheel-drive, longitudinal-engine car based off the CD6 architecture to change the Continental at the top of the Lincoln range; potentially a large two-door Mark IX coupe, though thinking about Mustang is a two-door, a four-door Lincoln “coupe” was more likely. Consultants worked with to straighten out Ford’s post-Alan Mulally resources encouraged the car manufacturer to ice the Lincoln, sources say.
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