MUSTANG buyers who prefer petrol over electricity as the source of power for their pony car will probably have one last opportunity to fulfil their wishes when the last generation of an ICE Mustang goes into production in March next year.

After that, it’s likely all over for the petrol-powered pony car as Ford moves to go all electric by the end of the decade. That includes a Mustang EV based on the Mustang Mach-E SUV platform, which will no doubt deliver superlative performance but will not sound or feel the same as the legendary American V8 coupe.

Reports out of the US suggest Ford will string out the petrol Mustang until a fully electric model comes to market in 2028 as a 2029 model, completely replacing the petrol-powered car.

The final petrol Mustang is generation seven of the popular coupe with Ford set to launch the vehicle within weeks to high anticipation from keen buyers many of whom have grown up alongside the iconic model.

According to publication Automotive News, the first Mustang was aimed at attracting the coming wave of post war baby boomers who wanted “something more hip and exciting than their parents’ sedans”.

The Mustang II was a smaller, fortuitously timed answer to the oil crisis of the 1970s.

The current generation was the first to go global as Ford strove to be more competitive and profitable in overseas markets such as Europe and China.

To celebrate what could be the last of its kind, Ford is asking Mustang owners to form a parade referred to as The Stampede, snaking from Ford’s Dearborn headquarters to downtown Detroit for the reveal of the seventh-generation car on September 14, opening day of the Detroit Motor Show.

Unfortunately, it ushers in wide-ranging job cuts at Ford (globally as many as 10,000 possibly more) as the car-maker rationalises down due to electrification in a battery powered, less labour intensive future with cars requiring fewer components and sharing many of them.

Ford is in the process of reinventing itself reorganising its work force to prioritise electric vehicles, which, according to Automotive News, account for less than three per cent of its US sales so far this year.

But the report says: “That mix is beginning to shift quickly and Ford is rushing to get ahead of the curve. Since April 1, it has reported selling 286 more of its Mustang Mach-E electric crossover in the US than gasoline Mustangs”.

Ford has already culled numerous ICE powered models from its US line-up including the EcoSport, with the Transit Connect, Escape and Edge expected to disappear in the coming years.

It means Ford is placing its main focus on the F-Series, Mustang and Bronco — which, according to Automotive News are vehicle families using platforms with relatively long life cycles that can be occasionally upgraded with derivatives and special editions, reducing the urgency of ground-up redesigns.

Back to the last ICE Mustang and we find the so-called 2024 model is built on a new platform, called S650, which is similar to the current S550 platform.

Current 5.0-litre V8 Mustang Mach 1 pumps out 345kW of power and 556Nm of torque and the US-market Shelby GT500 flagship’s stroked 5.2-litre V8 version delivers 567kW and 847Nm. Both engine choices and a four-cylinder are likely to continue with the generation seven Mustang though a manual transmission may not be available.

Talk of a twin turbo V6 seems unfounded as does hybrid petrol electric which appears to have vanished as Ford (and others) realise hybrids are being largely overlooked in favour of pure electric vehicles.

Ford has stated that the petrol-powered Mustang will remain rear-wheel drive.

According to Automotive News, Ford has told suppliers it is stretching the product’s lifecycle from six to eight years, all but ensuring this will be the final petrol-powered Mustang before the expected switch to battery power around 2029.

Ford appears to be disregarding Dodge’s all singing and dancing limited/special edition, run-out strategy with their ICE Challenger and Charger muscle cars that finish production next year instead Ford looks to be acknowledging Mustang’s buyer base with more traditional run-out approach and less evolution… in other words, cars for purists.

Because of this, generation seven Mustang will probably be the last internal-combustion pony car standing.

Which leaves the Mustang EV which is almost certain to ride on the same platform as Mustang Mach-E and use the same powertrain. According to US sources, the Mach-E’s battery chemistry and technology should help make a future Mustang EV a success.

Good news is that generation seven Mustang and the Mustang EV will be produced out of the Mustang’s current factory in Flat Rock, Michigan.

Ford’s display at the upcoming Detroit Motor Show will be interesting to say the least.

final petrol mustang sallies forth

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