Home Gear box A next-gen muscle car is coming to Australia, the manual is uncertain

A next-gen muscle car is coming to Australia, the manual is uncertain

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Instantaneous

  • Confirmed launch for the new Mustang next year
  • Manual gearbox will go one day due to electrification
  • V8 safe for now

The all-new 2023 Ford Mustang has been confirmed for Australia, with the automaker revealing launch times for its seventh-generation pony car.

Along with sharing plans for the launch of the new Mustang, Ford teased some interesting details around its engine and transmission.

While a 2023 launch has been speculated, Ford’s top brass have now confirmed that the all-new Mustang will be unveiled next year with media campaigns and customer deliveries soon to follow.

And there’s good news for V8 fans – while an electrified Mustang is all but inevitable, the 5.0-litre V8 will carry on. It just might not be offered with a manual gearbox.

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Ford Vehicle Director for Icons and Ford Performance Ali Jammoul is in Australia for final approval of the second generation Ranger Raptor and he said wheels the new Mustang is almost complete.

“The next generation we’re working on right now will launch next year, in 2023, and it’s going to be awesome,” he said. “So it will be launched next year and there will be events, so you [the media] will be able to drive it.

Jammoul is the man in charge of the “total lifecycle” of Ford’s suite of performance icons and vehicles (F-150, Bronco and Mustang), which means he oversees the entire project, from concept to launch. This places him ideally to answer questions about the motors or batteries that will power the seventh-generation Mustang.

“Engine selection is really important, isn’t it,” he replies when we ask him about the switch to electrification and whether the V8 is here to stay. “And what we pride ourselves on is giving the customer a lot of choice and selection. Clearly the V8 has been very successful at Mustang and it has a certain image that our customers associate with.

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“What we need to do, however, is make the V8 more environmentally friendly and you need to make sure it complies with the regulations. And that is absolutely something that we have been working on and that we will certainly have in the next generation of Mustang.

“I don’t think the V8 will go away soon; at some point with electrification and with the BEV [battery electric vehicles] you can do a lot more in terms of performance and this may be the time when the V8s start to disappear. But I see Mustang continuing to wear the V8 for now.

Jammoul also confirmed that Ford is “studying” an electrified version of the new Mustang. He’s incredibly optimistic about the performance potential of hybrids and all-electric powertrains.

“We consider Mustang family, don’t we,” he said. “From the ICE to the BEV to the future Mustangs we envision…we will deliver the DNA and essence of the Mustang, whether it’s ICE or BEV. Obviously the market is moving towards electrification and we are committed to making more performance vehicles that are electric vehicles. Would it be called Mustang? May be.

“Clearly the Mustang nameplate is a brand that is here to stay and we will be looking at all potential opportunities to add series and it could be electrifying. At this time I can’t share anything but we are definitely considering it. .

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One piece of hardware that might not be in the seventh generation Stang is a manual transmission, which will be a big change for fans who consider a manual transmission essential to the recipe for a V8 Mustang.

“You know, it’s going to get deleted eventually, isn’t it?” said Jammoul. “But as long as there’s a market for it and customers still want that more capable feel, it will stay, but clearly you can offer a lot more. [from an automatic], especially electric vehicles. When we switch to an EV strategy, the immediate instant torque you have can never be matched with a manual gearbox.

“So I can’t tell you that the manual gearbox is here to stay, but clearly there will be more electrification, and manual gearboxes won’t be around in the future.”

Jammoul’s comments regarding customer demand suggest the manual gearbox could still be offered, but when we asked him directly if it will be available when the new Mustang launches, he was more evasive than expected.

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“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m not sure I can tell you that…”

It’s also unclear when Australian deliveries of the new Mustang will begin. As a global model, the Mustang is sold in over 170 countries worldwide and Ford will likely prioritize North America, China and Europe before Australian production begins.

“We have a launch cadence and we are scaling the different markets, of course,” Jammoul said. “And I don’t know when Australia will adapt at this time.”

This means we could also see a period of no new Mustangs being imported into Australia as production of the current car ends and the new model begins.