The 2024 Mustang must be familiar. It will be powered by petrol and adapted to past Mustang templates. We’ll argue about the details, but the format is an evolution of the car that debuted in 1964. Have you ever heard the harsh bark of a V-8 coming out of a stop position and just thinking “Mustang” without needing to look? This will be one of them.
But, as Mach-E points out, Ford is planning more cars called the Mustang that aren’t a 5.0 coupe out of your nostalgia. To which I say: Get more than that.
This is actually a good thing, because Mustangs are synonymous with fun, so if Ford makes more Mustangs, it means they’re trying to make fun cars. Or crossovers. Or whatever. If, in 50 years, we were floating in flying electric mobility pods, the Mustang would be one that sounded like the F/A-18 and had a button to squirt skid marks across the sky.
The finicky fan faction will always have a meltdown when their favorite car changes in any way. Certain Jeep folks freaked out when the Wrangler got coil-spring suspension. Some die-hard Porsches swear that if the 911 got a water-cooled engine, you’d better drive it upside down and call it the Volkswagen Golf. I guarantee there are salty Corvette fans out there who are the C8’s arch-enemy, in all its mid-engine blasphemy. And the Mustang Mach-E immediately got a reaction from the 5.0 audience. Four-door Mustang? Is that electricity? And can it take the shrimp where the V-8 should be? We would refuse to call such a vile Mustang! Why, maybe it won’t even crash on exiting Cars and Coffee.
But guess what? The Mustang Mach-E is fun. It’s fast, and it’s exciting, and they make crazy drift cars out of one car just to show what’s possible. Since they call it the Mustang, you know what to expect, or at least where they want to go with the experience. There’s a four-cylinder automatic Fox body rolling out there that struggles to withstand 65 mph uphill. They wear the Mustang badge. So come on—it’s not exactly a 480-hp four-door that tarnishes unknown names other than greatness.
When people rebel against changing their favorite car, it’s basically an expression of narcissism: “How dare you spoil the idea it’s in. my head about what this particular thing?” It’s an insult to their identity. Like, if I thought a V-8 powered Mustang and rear-wheel drive and four-seater, how dare Ford build something so different and call it a Mustang too? Why, as it were I shouldn’t really care about the money-making strategy of a giant, faceless corporation!
The name “Mustang” is attitude, not format. We can argue about whether a particular car fits the Mustang idea, but how it gets there will change. Maybe the 2024 Mustang will be the last to share its base setup with the 1964 original. Maybe not. But in the end, the Mustang we know will die. The idea, however, will come to life—fast, fun, and a little childish. In any form needed.
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