Sure to make a splash in the car community when it debuts in 2014, the next-generation Ford Mustang could be your dream come true or a black nightmare – it all depends on personal preference.
But preference for Ford’s newest pony car will come down to more than loving or hating its updated, polarizing, style. That’s because Ford has confirmed two major mechanical changes long rumored to be in the pipeline: an independent rear suspension and an EcoBoost engine.
Whether or not that EcoBoost will be a four- or six-cylinder is still unconfirmed, but regardless of which version Ford chooses, the powerplant’s reliance on forced induction is a departure from the car’s near exclusivity to natural aspiration.
Of course, there’s the supercharged GT500, but that doesn’t belong in the same sentence as an entry-level EcoBoost. Fans will also remember the 80′s era SVO which used a turbo four cylinder, but that was a limited-production vehicle where the upcoming car will make mainstream production.
Regardless, the EcoBoost line has already gone great lengths at eliminating the V8 mentality thanks to its performance in the F-150 pickup truck. That still might not be enough to convince some stoics, but Ford may not have to.
The company will certainly still offer its 5.0-liter V8, but Ford will drastically alter the way its pony car drives by abandoning its live rear axle for the first time. That alone could be enough to frustrate old fans regardless of engine choice.
Some might argue that’s exactly what Ford needs, though. By moving to a more refined and fuel efficient drivetrain, the Mustang will probably have more appeal on the global market and with younger drivers – both places where muscle car history is more-or-less irrelevant.