At 8 p.m. (EST) on September 14, 2022, Ford unveiled the 2024 Mustang to the world. The redesign wasn’t overdue like it has been in past years, but thankfully the market conditions are such that Ford didn’t have to delay it as in years past. So, what’s the verdict? Is it the automotive equivalent of the iPhone 14? Or is it part of a serial dance with Mom, baseball and apple pie? Read on.
Ford’s introductory press release announces, “All-new Ford Mustang redefines driving freedom with immersive digital cockpit, advanced engines and bold style.” Let’s start with style since what catches your eye makes for the first impression.
Y’know that facelift that was performed for the 2018 model year? I don’t think many people were fans, but consider it as a graceless missing link to what we have been presented with today. In the context of the redesign, which is squared-off and broader in the right places, the new Mustang succeeds. Ford calls this an “edgier yet timeless design” but, if you’re not into marketing mumbo-jumbo, just imagine of the 2024 Mustang as a contemporary version of the 2015. Not Earth-shattering, but evolutionary.
Rear styling features similar tweaks, with a pinch here and a tuck there. In conjunction with the rear fenders, the new Mustang has a stockier look, as if it was formerly a soccer player that changed sports the next season and was competing as a wrestler.
Each model gets its own front-end characteristics. The Mustang GT differs from the standard Mustang EcoBoost with larger grille openings, hood vents and redesigned front splitter. The difference is subtle, but you’ll easily train your eye to recognize the two.
“Both the EcoBoost and Mustang GT have unique styling cues that deliver on their promise of Mustang Performance,” said Christopher Walter, Ford Mustang design manager. “The new Mustang is … leaning into Mustang’s classic brawniness and timelessness.”
There will be a number of customizable options, such as the color of your Brembos, plus the Design Series of packages to create a whole new Mustang look. For now, we know of the Bronze Design Series Appearance Package, which adds Sinister Bronze alloy wheels and badges.
Of course, this being an unveiling of sorts, the 2024 Mustang has the “most advanced and athletic engines ever.” The EcoBoost 2.3-liter turbo four is claimed to be all-new (and only available with the 10-speed automatic), but Ford hasn’t divulged specs at this time. And the GT? It’s powered by a fourth-generation 5.0-liter Coyote V8 that is said to be the most powerful naturally aspirated Mustang engine ever due to “an innovative dual air intake box and dual-throttle body design that helps minimize induction loss by enabling higher air flow rates.” Alas, there currently there are no official horsepower numbers for the new set of engines, but you can expect nice power increases. Make mine a 6-speed with rev-matching!
For those who enjoy watching Vaughn Gittin Jr. or unlawful “takeovers,” the Performance Electronic Parking Brake will help novice drivers “learn and improve their drifting skills while also providing expert drivers with a competition-ready system.” The drift brake is included with the Performance Pack of all Mustang models.
An even bigger piece of gimmickry can be found in the key fob. Remote Rev gives you the magic power to rev the Mustang’s engine remotely. If you want to be noticed by your neighbors from your driveway, this is the ultimate feature.
Perhaps the biggest payoff for the redesigned Mustang is inside. A 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster offers customization including animated designs. “Based on the same Unreal Engine 3D creation tool used in modern video games, when choosing personalized drive mode settings, the car’s current setup is displayed on the center stack as real-time graphical renderings. Settings can be adjusted by simply swiping the graphic to rotate the car virtually in a true gamified style.” If you’re used to Atari and Intellivision, this will seem like the Space Shuttle, but at least you will be able to configure almost every part of the display and ambient lighting so you don’t have a seizure from all the blinking illumination.
The cluster can be configured to flow seamlessly into the 13.2-inch center stack (though the standard Mustang configuration simply features both clusters). “Removing some of these physical buttons, such as radio and climate control, and integrating them into a digital display was popular in research with Millennials, Gen-Z and traditional Mustang drivers alike,” says Ricardo Garcia, Ford interior design manager. Too bad they didn’t chat with Boomers and Gen Xers, who generally feel modern ergonomics with haptic buttons are a huge downgrade over real buttons and knobs.
From all reports of those who were there, the interior has also stepped up a few notches in quality. Materials have improved, which always has been the bane of Mustang’s existence. Car and Driver says the plastics are etched with a fine grain to give a more expensive look. Not haute couture, but a step in that direction. Standard are cloth seating surfaces, with Micro Suede vinyl inserts being an option, plus Premium models feature upgrades including fancy stitching in the instrument and door panels.
An optional sound system is made by Bang & Olufsen which, of course, is optimized for the Mustang’s interior.
Being a modern car, the Mustang will receive a full complement of safety features that assist drivers in avoiding crashes. One of the more interesting ones—clearly gonna be a favorite for Michigan drivers—is the Active Pothole Mitigation, which is included in the Performance Package. This special technology item “continually monitors suspension, body, steering and braking input and adjusts suspension response accordingly.” Kinda nifty!
Today was just the first day, so there’s still a lot to learn about the 2024 Mustang. In the immediate future, we will be learning more about the famous steed, including power output of its engines. More into the crystal-ball future, we can expect some special models to exploit the wants and desires of enthusiast. What will that look like? We know the Mustang’s team knows, but they keep mum while the general public its only too happy to snap up EcoBoost and GT Mustangs. For now, enjoy the photos and be glad that Ford is continuing to build American muscle and its more modern EcoBoost variant.