S550 vs S650 MustangsLast Updated October 25, 2023 | Nate Moonis
Now that the S650 Mustang has been released to the public and people are trying to make a buying decision, we thought it would be fitting to compare the seventh-generation Mustang with the outgoing one, the S550. There are plenty of differences between the S550 and S650 Mustangs to talk about. Here are some of the largest changes between the two generations.
|Spec||S550 (2018-23)||S650 (2024+)|
|Engine||Gen 3 Coyote 5.0L V8
2.3L EcoBoost Turbo I4
|Gen 4 Coyote 5.0L V8
"New" 2.3L EcoBoost Turbo I4
|Horsepower||Gen 3 Coyote: 460 hp
EcoBoost: 310 hp
|Gen 4 Coyote: 450-500 hp
"New" EcoBoost: 310+ hp
|Dash||12.3" digital gauge cluster (optional)||12.4" and 13.2" digital instrument cluster (standard)|
|Infotainment||SYNC 3||SYNC 4|
|E-Brake||Standard||Electronic Drift Brake|
|Driver Assist||Ford Co-Pilot 360 (optional)||Ford Co-Pilot 360 (standard)|
|Cool Factor||Quiet Neighbor Mode||Remote Engine Revving|
Front End Design
Before we talk about the differences between the two generations, it's important to note that the S650 will have different front end designs for the EcoBoost and GT. You can check out the differences between the EcoBoost and GT designs here.
Now, onto the differences between the S650 and the S550. One of the most striking differences is the totally redesigned headlights on the S650. They are much slimmer and rectangular compared to the S550. The hood on the S650 is also much longer and slimmer with a low, horizontal brow.
The S650 also has large, Mach 1-inspired vents on the front fenders to provide better airflow to the intakes or brakes under heavy load. The overall styling of the front end has put a significant emphasis on looking as mean and aggressive as possible. Compared to the S550, the S650 looks like it's wearing a menacing scowl.
This is one of the biggest differences between the two generations. The S650 was released with a brand new, 4th-generation 5.0L Coyote V8. Confirmed to make 480 horsepower, it makes more than the 3rd-generation 5.0L Coyote V8. Ford has also confirmed it'll make 500 horsepower in the Dark Horse Mustang. Finally, the Gen 4 Coyote makes around 415 lb-ft of torque in the 2024 Mustang GT.
Compared to the 2nd and 3rd generation Coyotes in the S550, the new motor will make significantly more horsepower. We recently got to test the 2024 Mustang's horsepower ourselves, and it certainly has a performance advantage over the third-generation Coyote. The 2nd-gen Coyote, found in the 2015-2017 Mustang GT, made 435 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The 3rd-gen Coyote, found in the 2018-2022 Mustang GT, makes 450 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
The S650 has also been confirmed to have a "new" version of the 2.3L EcoBoost I4 found in the S550 EcoBoost Mustang. While there aren't a ton of specifics surrounding what is different between the two yet, the new 2.3L EcoBoost I4 in the S650 will make 315 horsepower.
In case you are interested in adding power through aftermarket parts, it is unclear at this time whether the S650 Mustang ECU can be tuned.
Dash Cluster and Infotainment
For the S650, Ford is completely doing away with gauges and moving to a digital instrument cluster. Starting in 2018, Ford offered digital gauges in the Mustang, but they weren't standard and were only in certain models. Starting with the S650 Mustang, the digital instrument cluster will be standard on all trims and models.
The digital instrument cluster in the S650 is completely breathtaking. The cluster behind the steering wheel, where you'll see things like a speedometer, driving mode, and fuel level, is 12.4 inches wide and connected to the 13.2-inch SYNC 4 display by a singular piece of glass. This display is angled towards the driver for the best driving experience possible. However, the base level trim of the GT and EcoBoost do not have the two screens connected by a single piece of glass. You still get both displays and all the functionality of the Premium trim, just not the connected screens.
Compared to the S550, the S650 is on a different level. The S550 has one 12.3-inch gauge cluster (either digital or analog) and a 4-inch infotainment screen sporting SYNC 3. While there is the option to upgrade the infotainment screen from 4 to 8 inches, it's not standard like the S650's 13.2-inch display.
SYNC Entertainment System
Another significant difference between the two is the infotainment systems offered. The S550 came with SYNC 3 as the option for infotainment, while the S650 is releasing with SYNC 4 as standard. If you're looking for the differences, check out our comparison between the two versions to learn more.
Aside from the dash, the S550 and S650 interiors are also very different. The biggest standout is the flat-bottom steering wheel found standard on the S650. It has been completely redesigned and makes it easier to get in and out of the car.
You can find flat-bottom steering wheels on some S550s, but only on top-level performance models like the GT500. The center console has also been redesigned. Sadly, the awesome switches that can be found in the S550 for functions like hazard lights have been replaced with buttons on the S650. Along with the switches being changed, the ignition button is now red instead of the gray/silver from the S550.
The handbrake has been redesigned in the S650 as well. This new S650 handbrake is much smaller and more accessible, probably with the new electronic drift brake in mind. To accommodate the new digital instrument cluster and infotainment system mentioned earlier, the dash has been redesigned to be more sleek and minimal.
Rear End Redesign
The most eye-catching changes on the rear end of the S650 are the trunk and taillights. While the S650 retains the classic tri-bar taillights of Mustangs past, the design has been altered to be more aggressive and angular. The S650's trunk also ditched the large black contrast piece in between the taillights where the emblem would usually go on the S550.
With the increased performance of the S650, there have been a few performance-oriented changes made to the S550. Shown in the release event, the new Mustang GT has a trunk-lid spoiler that completely changes the look of the rear end. The S650's rear fenders have also been redesigned to be more aggressive and fit the slicked-back look of the rear window better.
Ford had originally planned to create an entirely new chassis for the S650. However, as development progressed, Ford decided to base the S650 chassis on the previous generation and upgrade it. This has led to two very similar chassis with small differences between the S650 and S550 generations.
Besides the Brembo branding on the front brake calipers of the S650, the front suspension is largely the same as the S550. You can expect the strut design, sway bar design, spring, and more to be exactly the same as they were on the S550. This is great for people looking to upgrade their S650's suspension immediately since you can use S550 parts.
This is a similar story to the front suspension. The only real difference is that there is an electronic parking brake in the rear if you have a non-Performance Pack model. If you decide to upgrade to the Performance Pack, that's where things start to change.
The Performance Pack comes with the new electronic drift brake that Ford's been touting since the reveal of the S650 generation. In order to accommodate it, Ford completely changed the rear suspension setup for S650s with a Performance Pack. Ford borrows a majority of the rear suspension components from the S550 Shelby GT350 and GT500 and you get a dual-caliper rear brake setup if you upgrade to a Performance Pack. The goal of this change was to give the rear Brembo calipers more clearance since they're mounted on the front of the rotor.
The suspension system for the S650 is also highly customizable, with ample options to lower your S650 using aftermarket lowering springs.
One of the first things you'll notice when looking at the underside of the S650 is multiple belly pans made from a felt-like material. This felt material was only really used in the wheel wells of the S550, but Ford has deployed it all over the underside of the S650.
All these new underside panels will make the S650 a bit more awkward to work on than the S550, but it shouldn't be a significant issue.
Ford has again taken parts from their performance-level S550s and made it more accessible on the S650. The S650 has tighter and more responsive steering thanks to the steering rack from the Mach 1. While you can only find this upgraded steering rack on S650s with a Performance Pack, it's still a welcome change that enthusiasts were asking for.
What's to Come?
Ford's launch event for the 7th-generation Mustang was great and answered a lot of questions we had about the car. However, we'll continue to learn more about the differences between the two generations as more people get their hands on the S650.
This article will be updated as more information comes out, so check back regularly to see any updates!