All-new 2023 Ford Mustang spied in the USA

Dearborn’s muscle car fights back for another generation with a V8 in hand

Ford’s next generation 2023 Mustang has been spied putting miles on the pavement in the USA before its reveal some time this year. The current model, first introduced in 2015, has proven to be a consistent high seller for Ford, which despite declining sales in the USA retains its highest selling sports car in the world tag. This was thanks in no small part to the addition of right-hand drive production and subsequent popularity in markets like the UK and Australia that bolstered its international appeal.

Now though, we have another generation of Mustang to look forward to, as while the iconic moniker has now found its way onto an electric SUV in the form of the Mach-e, the Mustang GT will retain its traditional combination of coupe (and eventual convertible) body style, V8 engine and rear-wheel drive. 

> Ford Mustang GT500 UK review 

As we can see from the prototype, its proportions will not deviate far from the current generation model, this prototype even sharing some of the current car’s elements such as the wheel design and wing mirrors. But whether this means the new Mustang will run on a modified version of the current chassis, or one from elsewhere in the Ford range remains to be seen. There will be a need for a substantial change to the chassis though, as it will need to support two major new hardware elements that Ford intends on introducing in this generation.

One of those elements is expected to be all-wheel drive, a drivetrain layout that’s popular in the northern states of the USA and Canada due to their cold winters and snowy conditions. Dodge has offered a similar system on its Challenger (the Mustang’s key rival in North American markets) for years resulting in consistently high sales in colder parts of the country, a space Ford is hoping to reclaim in this new generation. 

The second element rumoured to be in the pipeline is a hybrid powertrain option, forming a bridge for potential Mustang customers to full electrification. This new technology would be used to both cut emissions and improve performance in one go. There’s no indication, yet, of the layout that Ford intends to use, but Ford’s heavy investment in both mild- and plug-in hybrid powertrains should yield benefits when it reaches the Mustang. 

One possible option could be Ford’s hybrid powertrain available in the US-market Explorer, which combines a 3-litre Ecoboost V6 engine with an electric motor and 13.6kWh battery pack. This system creates a combined 457bhp and 608lb ft of torque, figures equal to and far above (in terms of torque) the current Mustang GT. There’s no indication that this powertrain could be used in the next Mustang, but is an example of what might be in store. 

Looking at the prototype, its substantial camouflage gives us little indication of what to expect other than its basic proportions. These are not far removed from the current model, with a long bonnet and sloping roofline that terminates in a subtle ducktail spoiler. Given the previous model’s success, we suspect the design and detailing won't deviate far from where it is now, with advances in LED lighting technology giving designers the chance to slim down the lighting and create an even more aggressive face. 

As is often the case in the USA, prototypes on the road often mean a debut isn’t far off, and with the habit of revealing cars months before their market availability now the norm, we shouldn’t have to wait long to see the car in full. How long it takes Ford to homologate and send us right-hand drive examples is the more pertinent question, but let's hope it reaches us before emissions regulations in the UK tighten their grip. 

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