Ford unveiled the 2024 Mustang at an event following the Detroit Auto Show on Wednesday, calling it the most exciting iteration of the pony car yet. But while the redesigned Mustang coupe and convertible have a fresh look, performance upgrades and a number of new features, there's not much that really moves the needle for this seventh-gen 'Stang.
The new Mustang's design is pretty evolutionary overall, with a simpler and sharper look that fits better in the new decade. It looks wider despite not growing in dimension, with a great rear haunch that creates a Z-shaped line aft of the doors, and the greenhouse is lower and has flush glass on the coupe. Ford says the 2024 Mustang has the lowest drag coefficient of any Mustang while also producing more downforce. The shark-nose front gives the Mustang a furrowed brow look, and it has slim three-bar headlights flanking a wide hexagonal grille. The angular rear end is the best part of the new 'Stang, having ditched the black center panel of the outgoing car for a cleaner look with chevron-shaped LED tailights set into the tailgate's ducktail form. The GT has a larger grille and front intakes and a functional hood vent, but otherwise each new Mustang looks the same.
Ford's interior designers were inspired by fighter jet cockpits, and it's certainly more modern than previous Mustang cabins, doing without the old dual-wing design. Every Mustang comes standard with a 12.4-inch digital gauge cluster and a 13.2-inch center screen, with the option to have both displays integrated together in a single curved piece of glass. The center air vents are positioned below the screen, with a row of capacitive touch buttons underneath. Lots of subtle touches have moved the Mustang's interior upmarket, including a new "white noise" plastic grain design and more available color schemes and trim options.
While Ford says the Mustang's engine lineup is all new, they're really just updated versions of the old powertrains. The base engine is still a turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-4, which Ford says is both more powerful and efficient than before. The GT's Coyote 5.0-liter V8 has upgrades like dual air boxes and electronic throttle bodies, a new steel oil pan and a new exhaust manifold, and it will be the most powerful naturally aspirated Mustang ever. A 10-speed automatic is the only transmission option for the EcoBoost, but a six-speed manual is standard on the GT. Both models get a new Remote Rev feature, which can rev the engine using the key fob. The biggest upgrades to the Mustang's chassis and dynamics are in terms of steering feel, which Ford says is greatly enhanced thanks to a faster ratio, a new rack and a number of stiffness improvements.
Both versions of the 2024 Mustang have an available Performance Pack, which adds a front tower brace and a limited-slip differential; the GT also gains brake ducts and an auxiliary engine oil cooler. Additional optional features for the Performance Pack pack include an active exhaust system, MagneRide adaptive suspension, wider rear wheels, larger Brembo brakes and Recaro seats. Another feature added by the Performance Pack is a new Performance Electronic Parking Brake, which looks like a traditional mechanical handbrake and was designed for drifting.
Where the new Mustang really gets an upgrade is in terms of technology. Those dual screens are powered by the Unreal Engine, the same software used to create current-gen video games. Everything is highly configurable. A copper color scheme is the default, but drivers can change the colors to match the ambient interior lighting. One of the driver display layout options looks like classic Mustang gauges, and there's are options for a "calm" screen that only shows a few numbers and multiple performance oriented motifs with race car-like displays. Available features include a wireless charging pad, USB ports for track cameras and integrated Amazon Alexa connectivity. Every 2024 Mustang comes with adaptive cruise control with stop and go, evasive steer assist, lane centering assist, rear automatic emergency braking and traffic sign recognition. Performance Pack cars also get Active Pothole Mitigation, which monitors dynamic inputs and adjusts the suspension accordingly.
The Mustang will be more customizable than ever, too. The color lineup at launch includes 11 shades, two of which are new, and it will be available with a bunch of different stripe and graphics options. Customers can now choose from three different brake caliper colors, including Grabber Blue, and there are a ton of wheel designs ranging from 17 to 20 inches. Ford will also offer appearance packages like the Bronze Design Series, which adds bronze wheels, badges and other accents.
Ford says the new Mustang will go on sale in summer 2023, and pricing should stick close to the outgoing model's sub-$30,000 starting price. Despite being billed as an all-new seventh generation car, the 2024 Mustang is really more like a heavy overhaul of the sixth-gen car, like the 1999 or 2010 models. The new Mustang coupe and convertible feel too tied to the past instead of looking toward the future of enthusiast cars, especially when put up against Ford's electric Mustang Mach-E SUV. That shouldn't matter to the Mustang's customer base, though, as the upgrades and enhancements for 2024 are more than enough for this pony car to remain one of the best performance affordable gas-powered performance cars you can buy.