2021 vs 2022 Mustang

2021 vs 2022 Mustang

Last Updated June 12, 2023 | Meghan Drummond

No one expected the 2022 Mustang to be much different from the 2021 model. The S550 Mustang has been in production since 2015, with a mid-gen refresh in 2018. Not only that, but the S650 is expected to debut in 2023.

A lot of people thought this would be the “Senior Spring” of the S550 generation. Mechanically, not much has changed. But appearance-wise, Ford added some great new colors and a few seriously cool trim packages. We did also lose a few favorites though.

Here are all the differences between the 2021 and 2022 model years, and how to decide which Mustang is right for you.

A Bright Red S550 GT Mustang on the highway

Horsepower & Torque

Let’s start with the elephant in the room. Both the GT and Mach 1 are reporting 10 fewer horsepower than previous years. According to Ford, the reduced power comes from modified hydrocarbon traps, a new mass airflow sensor location, and a recalibrated engine. Granted, you can overcome this minor decrease with your typical cold air intake and a tune.

The GT500’s and EcoBoost’s horsepower remains untouched.


As of right now, the only planned exterior changes are to the colors. Four colors are no longer options, but they’re replaced by seven new ones. For a full run-down of the color changes, including pictures, check out our 2022 Mustang paint colors guide.

2022 Mustang in Brittany Blue

New Colors for 2022

  • Atlas Blue Metallic (B3)
  • Brittany Blue Metallic (EB) (Late availability)
  • Cyber Orange Metallic (SB)
  • Dark Matter Gray (HY)
  • Eruption Green (FA)
  • Grabber Blue (AE)
  • Mischievous Purple (P2)

2021 Colors that Won’t Return

  • Antimatter Blue
  • Grabber Yellow
  • Twister Orange
  • Velocity Blue

Trim Packages

The 2022 Mustang is getting three new trim packages along with many returning options. Two customer favorites are being retired though.

Coastal Limited Package (New)

S550 Mustang in Rapid Red

This package is available with Brittany Blue, Rapid Red, and Cyber Orange Mustangs. The colorful assortment does seem right at home on the beach, and the accents highlight the beachy theme.

The Coastal Limited Package acts as a replacement for the Pony Package, which is not returning for 2022. Unfortunately, this package can’t be combined with the High Performance Package.

  • 19” X 8.5” Machined-Face Aluminum with Tarnished Dark-Painted Wheels
  • Coastal Limited Lighted Sill Plate
  • Unique Body-Colored Grille
  • Pedestal Rear Spoiler
  • Side Scoops
  • Unique Vinyl Stripe

Stealth Package (New)

An S550 Mustang that’s been Blacked out

The Stealth Package is only available on EcoBoost Premium fastbacks and can’t be combined with the High Performance Package. But there’s a long list of colors it’s available with. You can add the Stealth Package to Atlas Blue, Shadow Black, Dark Matter Gray, Carbonized Gray, or Mischievous Purple fastbacks.

  • 19” X 8.5” Ebony Black-painted Aluminum Wheels (Same as the Black Accent Package Wheels)
  • Stealth Lighted Sill Plate
  • Black Badge
  • Black Pony Grille
  • Performance Rear Wing
  • Black Mirror Caps
  • Clear LED Taillamps with Sequential Turn Signals

Ice White Appearance Package (New)

An S550 Mustang with the Ice White Package

The Ice White package will be available for EcoBoost Premium or GT Premium Mustangs and is for fastbacks only. As its name would lead you to believe, it’s exclusively available with Oxford White paint. This package is very reminiscent of the Triple White Fox Body that was available in ‘93, and may end up being just as collectible.

  • 19” X 9” Machined-Face Aluminum Wheels with White-Painted Pockets
  • Clear LED Taillamps with Sequential Turn Signals
  • Ice White Door Trim Panel
  • Ice White Instrument Panel
  • Ice White Performance Rear Wing
  • Oxford White Exterior Paint
  • Unique Black Grille with Ice White Front & Rear Pony Badging
  • Unique White Leather Seat Trim and White Interior with White Accent Stitching

Wheels for the Ice White Package

California Special Package (Major Revisions)

The California Special Package is returning for 2022, but with a few major revisions. You can now add the California Special with the GT Performance package. This is great news for those who want great performance features and a cool look. There are also new wheels for this year.

  • 19” X 8.5” Machined-Face Aluminum Carbonized Gray-Painted Wheels (without Performance Package)
  • 19" X 9" (F) 19" X 9.5" (R) Carbonized Gray-Painted Aluminum Wheels (with Performance Package)
  • California Special Badge on Strut Tower Brace
  • California Special Script Rear Badging
  • ”Carbon Hex” Aluminum Instrument Panel
  • Floor Mats with Red Contrast Stitching and California Special Script Logo
  • Miko Suede Door Inserts with Red Contrast Stitching
  • Miko Suede Seat Inserts with GT/CS Logo and Red Contrast Stitching
  • Performance Rear Wing (Fastback Only)
  • Spoiler Delete (Convertible Only)
  • Performance Package Front Splitter
  • Side Scoops
  • Side Stripe (Mid Body)
  • Unique Front Honeycomb Grilles with GT/CS Badge

Comparison pic showing the 2021 and 2022 California Special Mustang Wheels

Returning Packages

The following packages are returning without any significant changes over last year’s. Click on "expand all" for a complete list of features for these packages.

Black Accent Package

  • 19” x 8.5” Ebony Black painted aluminum wheels
  • Black badging
  • Black spoiler
  • Black Mirror Caps
  • Black Painted Roof

Safe and Smart Package

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Voice activated touchscreen navigation with Sirius XM Traffic and Travel Link

2.3L High Performance Package

  • 3.55 limited slip rear axle
  • 19” x 9“ machined-face aluminum wheels with low-gloss Ebony Black painted pockets
  • 255/40 R19 Pirelli summer tires
  • Active valve performance exhaust
  • Black painted strut tower brace
  • Engine-spun aluminum instrument panel
  • Carbonized Gray side mirror caps
  • Gauge pack
  • GT Performance Package front splitter and belly pan
  • Hood accent stripe
  • Heavy-duty front springs
  • Large brake rotors with four-piston fixed calipers
  • Larger radiator
  • Raised blade decklid spoiler (Carbonized Gray) for fastback, no spoiler for convertible
  • Unique chassis tuning
  • Unique EPAS, ABS, and stability control tuning
  • Upsized rear sway bar

EcoBoost Handling Package

  • 19” x 9.5” Magnetic painted aluminum wheels
  • 265/40R19 Pirelli Corsa 4 summer tires
  • 3.55 Torsen limited-slip rear axle
  • MagneRide Damping System
  • Premium brakes

GT Performance Package

  • 19” x 9” (front) and 19” x 9.5” (rear) Ebony Black painted aluminum wheels
  • 255/40R10 (front) and 275/40R19 (rear) summer tires
  • Brembo six-piston front brake calipers
  • Engine-spun aluminum instrument panel
  • Gauge pack
  • Heavy-duty front springs
  • K-brace
  • Larger radiator
  • Performance rear wing
  • Black painted strut-tower brace (New)
  • Torsen differential with 3.73 axle ratio for manuals, 3.55 axle ratio for automatics
  • Unique chassis tuning
  • Unique stability control, EPAS, and ABS tuning
  • Upsized rear sway bar

Mach 1 Appearance Package

  • Fighter Jet Gray exterior paint
  • Ebony/Orange interior
  • Orange brake calipers
  • Black/Orange hood and side stripe
  • Seatback accent color

Mach 1 Elite Package

  • 12-speaker B&O sound system
  • CD player
  • HD radio
  • Subwoofer in trunk
  • Enhanced security

Mach 1 Handling Package

  • 19” x 10.5” tarnished dark-painted aluminum wheels (front)
  • 19” x 11” tarnished dark-painted aluminum wheels (rear)
  • 305/30R19 front tires
  • 315/30R19 rear tires
  • Adjustable strut top mounts

Retired Packages

Carbon Sport Interior Package

The Carbon Sport Interior Package was cool, but considering it only changed the interior, had limited appeal. It will not be returning for the 2022 year.

Pony Package

The loss of the Pony Package, an option that’s been popular since the first Mustang, is going to hit a lot less hard with three new packages to select from. It’s likely the Pony Package will return. It usually doesn’t stay retired for too long.

Should You Get a 2021 or 2022 Mustang?

The new 2022 colors and trim packages are gorgeous. It’s likely that the Ice White and Coastal Limited Package will be popular, and may even achieve collectible status.

Dark Blue S550 Mustang on a track, stands in the background

The hit to horsepower and torque is a bummer, but if you were already planning on a tune (and you should have been) it won’t really matter.

The Mach 1 and GT500 are available for either year, but are still tough enough to find that if you want one you should jump on whatever year you find available.

One of the most attractive combinations is the GT Performance Package and California Special. Never before available, this combo offers better performance and sharp looks.

Ultimately, the differences between these two years are largely superficial. So, go with the model year that has the most appealing options to you.

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Source: 2022 Ford Mustang V8 Loses 10 Horsepower Because of Emissions Regulations, Future Car | 2022 Mustang Order Guide, Mustang 6G

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.