Both the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro are on their way out within the next sixth months. Dodge has already confirmed an electric successor to the Challenger and Chevy is making hints that its contender could move to an EV platform when redesigned. For the time being, that will leave the Ford Mustang as the last American V-8-powered pony car. That may not change anytime soon.
While it's easy to assume the Mustang will also go the electric route for its next redesign, Ford officials have revealed that this isn't necessarily the case.
Speaking recently to Australian media, including Drive, Jim Owens, global brand manager for the Mustang, said Ford will continue to build Mustangs with a V-8 as long as regulations allow, and that buyers keen for an electric Mustang can already opt for the Mustang Mach-E.
He also said Ford is continuing to invest in development of V-8s to enable the engines to be used in future models.
2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse
This was backed by comments from Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, in an interview with Wheels. He said Ford is currently on the fourth generation of the 5.0-liter V-8 known as the Coyote, and that a fifth-generation design is possible, assuming regulations allow it. The current V-8 develops up to 500 hp and is found in the Mustang GT and Mustang Dark Horse.
He also said Ford considered making the current seventh-generation Mustang electric but decided against it, citing strong demand for sports cars with exciting sounds and available manual transmissions.
Ford isn't the only major automaker with this philosophy. Porsche has been one of the most vocal about wanting to keep the gas engine alive in its 911 sports car, and is also developing carbon-neutral fuel, or e-fuel, with a view to offering it to customers in the future.
At Germany's urging, the E.U. has agreed on an exemption that will allow vehicles with internal-combustion engines designed to run on e-fuels to still be sold beyond 2035, when new rules effectively banning the sale of gas- and diesel-powered light vehicles come into effect. That means the V-8 engine, or at least Porsche's flat-6, could survive into the next decade in Europe as well.