Next-gen Ford Mustang hybrid and AWD reportedly dead

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The goalposts for the coming seventh-generation Ford Mustang have been moving for years. Seems the latest adjustment has led to a missed extra point for Ford. In 2017, then-CEO Mark Fields told dealers there'd be a hybrid version of the current, sixth-generation Mustang on the market come 2020. In 2019, a change of CEO didn't stop news that the hybrid Mustang would be built in Ford's Flat Rock, Michigan, assembly plant. In summer 2021, Automotive News said execs told dealers there'd be a hybrid trim for the seventh Mustang generation on the market come 2025. Fast forward one year to a few days ago, and everything's upended again. Autoweek spoke to industry analyst AutoForecast Solutions, who said the hybrid pony car is dead and the Mustang Mach-E is to blame. With the battery-electric crossover offsetting the ICE Mustang's carbon emissions, a hybrid model wasn't necessary.

The new plan, according to AFS, would see the internal-combustion Mustang run for about five years, then be replaced by an all-electric model built on the Mach-E's platform. The present Mach-E sits on Ford's Global Electric (GE1) architecture, which is a heavily modified version of the C2 platform that serves everything from the European Ford Focus to our Ford Escape and Bronco Sport to the Chinese Lincoln Zephyr. Going back to AutoForecast Solutions' commentary from May 2021, Ford will launch the GE2 platform around 2023, it will support a next-gen Mach-E at some point, and it will provide the bones for the all-electric Mustang around 2028.

AutoNews followed up the AutoWeek report with this line buried in a longer piece about the arrival of the S650 Mustang that debuts at this month's Detroit Auto Show: "A hybrid variant that was planned for mid-decade has been scrapped, according to three people familiar with the plans, and the car isn't expected to get a long-rumored all-wheel-drive configuration, instead continuing as a rear-wheel-drive sports coupe." The AWD mechanism had been rumored to be part of a V8-hybrid setup that gave two e-motors the duty of turning the front axle. With the death of the hybrid, it seems, so dies the all-wheel performance.

The duration of the coming Mustang's life cycle seems to be about five to seven years. AFS said the all-electric coupe shows in 2028, perhaps as a 2029 model. AutoNews wrote, "Ford has told suppliers it's stretching the product's lifecycle from six to eight years, all but ensuring this will be the final gasoline-powered Mustang before an expected switch to battery power around 2030." Whenever it happens, the streets are going to run bubbly with all the Bud Light and White Claw poured out for that fallen steed.

As others have noted, looks like the Mustang will have the title of combustion-powered pony car to itself for its swan song. The Challenger quits gas next year, the Camaro is expected to get on the wagon in 2024. Anyone who wants to say they were there at the beginning of the end should make plans to be in Detroit in about a week.

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