Gas-powered muscle car to take on electric rivals

2024 Ford Mustang

Source: Ford

DETROIT — Ford Motor has always considered the Mustang to be in a league of its own. That may soon prove true, with the seventh generation of the famed American pony car.

The Detroit automaker on Wednesday unveiled the redesigned 2024 Mustang hardtop and convertible with two gas-powered engines. Meanwhile, the Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro — the car’s largest rivals — are expected to go electric in the coming years.

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Ford officials say redesigning the iconic car without any type of electrification is part of its “Mustang family” strategy that includes the all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover that went on sale in late 2020.

“We know customers do want that internal combustion and some of them want the electric and we offer both in that Mustang family,” said Jim Owens, head of Mustang marketing, during a media briefing.

A planned hybrid variant was scrapped, according to a report by Automotive News, likely making the Mustang the last gas-powered muscle car from the Detroit automakers — a narrowing of the segment that seemed far-fetched even a few years ago.

2024 Ford Mustang

Source: Ford

Dodge this summer announced its four-door Charger and two-door Challenger muscle cars would drive into the sunset at the end of next year, to be replaced by a new all-electric vehicle. Chevrolet is expected to end production of the gas-powered Chevy Camaro in the coming years as part of General Motors’ plans to exclusively offer EVs by 2035.

That means gearheads who still thirst for the roar of a V-8 engine in a sporty American coupe will have just one option: the Mustang, which has dominated in sales over the Camaro and Challenger with the current, sixth-generation car.

Sales of Detroit sports and muscle cars have been declining for years. Mainstream two-door sports coupes such as the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro fell 32% from 2015 to 2019 — the last year of sales before automakers were stymied by ongoing global supply chain problems, including a shortage of semiconductor chips.

“Some of our competitors are talking about not being in internal combustion engine sports car business, and what we are so proud of here today is that we are already expanding that family,” Owens said.

Owens and other Ford officials declined to comment on whether the seventh-generation Mustang would be the last to feature a traditional internal combustion engine.

The 2024 Mustang, which will be produced at a plant in metropolitan Detroit, will go on sale in the U.S. next summer. Ford did not announce pricing for the vehicle, but the current generation starts at $27,470.

2024 Mustang