First, its widely believed that the current retro styling will go away, or at least be heavily tempered. Earlier reports had the car borrowing heavily from the Evos concept, but that formed the basis of the 2013 Ford Fusion, and no one wants to drive a Mustang that looks like a two-door version of Ford’s primary grocery-getter.
As Autoweek reports, it’s far more likely that the next Mustang will simply use a few styling cues from the Evos concept, partly to keep a more uniform family look than the current Mustang, which dates back to 2005.
Ford also wants to modernize the styling to attract a new generation of Mustang buyers globally, many of whom have no emotional ties to the shape of the current car. We may not know exactly what the next Mustang will look like, but it’s a safe bet that it won’t resemble the current car in any measurable way.
Speaking of modernization, the belief is that the live axle will go the way of the dinosaur on the new Mustang. That makes sense, since most of the car’s competitors now have an independent rear suspension. If Chevy can build a cost-effective independent rear for the Camaro, Ford should be able to do the same with the Mustang.
EcoBoost power will debut in the next Mustang, likely starting with a four-cylinder turbo (which harkens back to the Mustang SVO of 1984-1986). Purists will cry “foul,” but we can see the appeal of a modestly-powered version with better front-to-rear weight balance than current cars.
Expect a new V-6 engine, code-named Nano, that will offer up both higher output and better efficiency than Ford’s current 3.7-liter V-6. We’d be surprised to see this in EcoBoost form, as the Mustang must also offer up V-8 power, making a forced-induction six-cylinder engine redundant.
As for precisely when in 2014 the next Mustang will hit dealerships, it’s still anyone’s guess. Automotive News (subscription required) believes it will be in dealerships in the Spring of 2014, just in time for the summer cruising season.
If you’re a fan of the current styling and don’t mind the live rear axle, that means you’ve got roughly 20 months left to park one in your garage.