With an anticipated debut in 2022 for the 2023 model year, the enthusiast community is abuzz with rumors and guesses about what the next generation Mustang will bring. The new model is expected to have an 8-year run (similar to the S550), lasting from 2023-2030.
The 7th generation Mustang’s code name, S650, was confirmed by an engineer job listing posted by Ford on LinkedIn.¹ Though the page was quickly deleted, fans are already referring to the next-gen Mustang by its code designation. There isn’t much concrete information yet, but here are some of the top rumors and expectations.
What Will the S650 Ford Mustang Look Like?
Aside from spy shots, there isn’t much info available on how the S650 is going to look. The shots themselves are from early stages where Ford is likely testing systems completely unrelated to the looks of the S650.
Early mule shot of the S650 that’s heavily based on the S550 Mustang GT.
But, an interview with Ford CEO and car enthusiast Jim Farley should give fans some confidence that a bigger redesign is on the horizon. When asked if there were any goals for the car he could share, Farley responded, “For my kid to have it on his wall. Or on his phone.”² It’s up to you to decide what that means, but we’re hoping this will be the best-looking Mustang yet. In the meantime, here’s an artist rendering of what the S650 could look like.
Artist rendering of Mustang S650.
Will the S650 Mustang Have AWD?
Speaking of spy shots, we couldn't help but notice the wiring harness coming from the wheel wells. It’s anyone’s guess on what data these wires are collecting, but they could be evidence of an AWD system. A dual-caliper brake setup is also seen in the photo, which no current S550 model or variant has.
Note the wiring harness on the left side of the image and the dual-caliper brakes.
If the S650 uses an all-wheel-drive system, you can expect improved traction and handling. In fact, AWD would pair nicely with the dual-caliper brakes spotted on the mule’s rear wheels. Dual-caliper brakes are featured on the Charger GT AWD, as well as other performance AWD vehicles.³
Will the S650 Use the CD6 Platform?
The Mustang S650 is expected to use some components from the CD6 platform along with other models. However, it should still continue to be its own unique platform.
Initially, enthusiasts were worried about the Mustang sharing a platform with a crossover. But given the fact the S650 will not make 100% use of the CD6 platform, there’s no cause for concern.
Engine Rumors for the 2023 Mustang
The S650 will likely feature some new engine options. People are thinking the 3.5 V6 EcoBoost could see use in either a traditional or hybrid variant. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, seen in the new Bronco, is another possibility but seems less likely for the Mustang.
Jerry Dias of Unifor, the union representing workers at Ford’s Windsor production plant, let slip in a press conference that a 6.8-liter engine is in the works. But, he didn’t stop there. Dias goes on to say the engine will be used in F-150s and derivatives of the Mustang.⁴ Perhaps this 6.8-liter V8 will be used in a future Shelby Mustang?
While not confirmed, a leak from the LinkedIn profile of a Product Development Engineer at Ford suggests that there could be two hybrid engine options. The profile listed work on a “23MY Mustang 2.3L I4 Hybrid and 5.0L V8 Hybrid Pre-PS low and high-pressure package analysis.”
Since the leak was picked up, the line has been edited to “Mustang 2.3L I4 and 5.0L V8 engines low and high pressure package analysis.” The word “hybrid” and "23MY" are gone.⁵
In our eyes, this further confirms that we'll see at least one hybrid engine option right out of the gate. And with Ford’s recent investment of $11.4B into battery production centers in Tennessee and Kentucky, it would be surprising not to see some electric options in the S650.⁶
Here are some of the potential engine options for the new S650 powertrain.
Potential S650 Mustang Engines
|Engine||New or Existing for Mustang||Notes
|3.5 EcoBoost Twin-Turbo V6
||As seen in the F-150 and Lincoln Aviator.
|3.5 EcoBoost Twin-Turbo V6 Hybrid
||As seen in the Lincoln Aviator Hybrid. Could produce 500 hp and 600 lb-ft torque.
|5.0 Coyote V8
||Likely to be an option.
|2.3 EcoBoost Turbo I4
||Likely to be an option.
|2.7 EcoBoost Turbo V6
||As seen in the Ranger, Edge ST, etc. Not likely for the Mustang platform, but it’s possible.
|6.8L Windsor V8
||Reportedly coming to New F-150s and Mustang variants.
Top 5 Things We Want to See in the S650 Generation
Mustang enthusiasts are already looking forward to learning about every aspect of the new model. While we wait, here are the top five things we hope the S650 delivers.
1. Less Weight
The Mustang has been adding weight over the years. With some models pushing close to 4,000 lbs, a lighter Mustang would be great to see. Lower mass means better handling. However, this doesn’t seem likely given it will probably use the CD6 platform. A hybrid Mustang would weigh even more.
2. The Return of the Boss 302
The Boss 302 was a fan favorite from 2012-2013. We’d love to see it return as a premier-level performance model. There will have to be a trim that slots above the GT and below the Shelby models. The classic style and improved performance of the Boss 302 make it a natural fit
3. A DCT Instead of the 10-Speed Automatic
A modern performance car like the Mustang deserves a dual-clutch transmission. The torque-converted 10-speed auto is good and offers excellent acceleration. But with even economy cars and crossovers making the switch, it’s time the Mustang gets a fast-shifting DCT as well.
4. A New GT500KR
The potential for a GT500KR version of the S650 is an exciting prospect. With the new platform, there’s the possibility of an enhanced version of the GT500 with AWD. With room for over 800 hp, this would mean insane take-offs on the drag strip, plus world-class track performance.
5. Electric Mustang
The Mustang Mach-E has been making waves, often controversially. By all accounts, it’s a very good car. But we’d like to see a true electric Mustang coupe. Something like the concept at SEMA 2019. This two-door sports car can offer instant acceleration and immense performance, all while saving trips to the pump.
Stay Up-to-Date on the Latest S650 News
We’re as pumped about the 2023 Mustang as anyone. We’ll update this article as soon as new rumors or releases come out. Sign up for our newsletter and check out our social channels to catch the latest news on the S650.
Sources: 1. >Ford Job Listing Hints Mustang S650 Is Due In 2022, Ford Authority | 2. Ford CEO Jim Farley Isn't Trying to Reinvent the Wheel - Just Everything Else Around It, The Drive | 3. Spy Shots: Ford Mustang S650 Mule Caught With AWD Brake Setup?, SEMA | 4. Unifor-Ford Deal a 'shot in the arm' for Windsor automotive sector, Windsor Star | 5. 2023 Ford Mustang Might Offer Two Hybrid Engines At Launch, Ford Authority | 6. Ford to Lead America’s Shift to Electric Vehicles, Ford
Image Credit: Spy shots from 7thmustang.com
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