Barely a year from now, Ford Motor Co. will mark the 60th anniversary of the Mustang’s launch at the New York World’s Fair, but fans of the “pony car” don’t have to wait to celebrate. The all-new, sixth-generation Mustang is getting ready to roll into U.S. dealer showrooms.
The 2024 Ford Mustang is best described as an evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, redesign. It hews close to the look of the outgoing model, with generally subtle exterior tweaks that give it a more sporty and aerodynamic appearance. But, slip behind the wheel and you’ll discover a more radical makeover that put an emphasis on technology with twin screens that cover much of the instrument panel.
For 2024, the Mustang will be offered in three distinct flavors: the base EcoBoost trim, the sportier GT, and an all-new performance package, the Dark Horse. Along with the familiar coupe, buyers will still have the option of going al fresco with the Mustang Convertible. And the upgraded engine lineup will be offered with both a six-speed manual and a 10-speed automatic.
In short: Mustang is the bestselling nameplate in the global sports car market — and Ford intends to remain king of the hill with the debut of an all-new, seventh-generation pony car. The 2024 Ford Mustang adds more power, more features, and a significant design makeover, with an all-new interior.
- Engine 2.3L turbo-4 EcoBoost or 5.0L V-8 for GT & Dark Horse
- HP/Torque 315 hp/350 lb.-ft. EcoBoost, 480 hp/415 lb.-ft. GT, 480 hp/418 lb-ft GT w/Performance Pack, 500 hp/418 lb.-ft. Dark Horse
- Transmission 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic
- Cargo 13.3 cubic feet (coupe), 10.3 cubic feet (convertible)
- Updated design, including all-new interior
- Twin digital displays
- More power
- Improved handling
- Climate control requires using touchscreen
- Minimal rear legroom
- Platform still needs to be stiffer
2024 Ford Mustang Review
The coming year will be a big one for the Ford Mustang. An all-new version is about to roll out, just ahead of the pony car’s 60th anniversary. Meanwhile, Mustang’s closest competitors in the muscle car segment are driving off into the sunset. Chevrolet getting ready to retire the Camaro, while Dodge will pull the plug on both the Charger and Challenger models. That will fully cement Mustang’s stand as the world’s bestselling sports car, Ford officials like to boast.
Yet, all isn’t entirely rosy. Sports car sales, and demand for muscle cars, in particular, have steadily declined in recent years. So, Ford planners are hoping that the upgrades they’ve made to the 2024 Mustang will give the pony car some new momentum.
Yet again, the 2024 Ford Mustang will be offered in both coupe and convertible body styles. At launch, the familiar EcoBoost and GT packages will be available — along with a first-time Dark Horse trim. And Ford officials do little to deny that an assortment of other variants, likely including the likes of a new Shelby GT500, will follow.
An Evolutionary Exterior Makeover
At first glance, you might not realize the Mustang has gone through a complete makeover. The basic dimensions carry over, the 2024 model measuring 189.4 inches nose-to-tail. It stands 55 inches in height, with a width of 81.9 inches if you include the mirrors. And, as with the outgoing model, it has a 107-inch wheelbase.
The overall exterior design is more evolutionary than revolutionary, with designers sticking with the familiar fastback shape. But a closer look reveals some welcome revisions, starting with new, triple-beam sequential turn signals up front and a sharp kink to the back end. The overall shape is edgier and more aerodynamic, with nicely flared haunches giving the 2024 Mustang a more athletic feel.
The Convertible’s power-folding ragtop boasts a cleaner look that hews more closely to the shape of the coupe. And it operates a little more quickly, Ford claims, though it still requires a driver to manually lock or unlock it using a handle just above the windshield.
Each Mustang trim gets its own unique fascia and they can be distinguished by other subtle differences. The GT, for example, features a working heat extractor on the hood, as well as twin surrounds built into the grille to help channel air into its induction ports.
2024 Mustang: All-New Interior
Designers got more creative with the cabin layout, adopting what, for Mustang, can be described as a radical new look. Or, as designer Chris Walter puts it, one that’s “progressive (and) disruptive.”
The familiar double-brow instrument panel is gone, replaced by a single-level layout that features a single, wide piece of glass that covers much of the IP. Underneath, Ford has replaced the traditional, mechanical gauge cluster with a 12.2-inch LED screen. And the modest-sized infotainment display in the outgoing model has been replaced by a 13.4-inch, high-resolution touchscreen.
The two displays are readily reprogrammable, the gauge cluster taking on a new look with each of the various drive modes. There’s also a retro “Fox Mode” look meant to replicate the look of the gauges in the old Mustang Fox-body models of the 1990s. Some folks may question the new layout, especially the decision to move climate controls onto the touchscreen. At least they remain readily visible whatever mode you switch to.
The other complaint is a familiar one. As usual, the rear seat is a penalty box. You could threaten long-time friendships by sticking folks in the back for an extended period.
Upgraded Powertrain Options: Gen-4 EcoBoost
Ford claims the two drivetrain packages are all-new. As with the exterior design, that’s a matter of debate. But whether you agree or not, they’ve definitely been upgraded for 2024.
My testing started out in the 2024 Mustang EcoBoost, which is motivated by a fourth-generation 2.3L turbo-four which, among other things, gets a new supercharger and improved cooling. Where, once, base versions were derided as “secretary cars,” there’s nothing to be ashamed of with this package anymore.
As Ford officials are quick to point out, the 315 horsepower the EcoBoost package now makes is more than any GT punched out until 2010. And, it produces an even more impressive 350 pound-feet of torque. All power goes to the rear wheels through either a six-speed stick or a 10-speed automatic.
Mustang GT & Dark Horse
Both the Mustang GT and the new Dark Horse edition share the familiar, naturally aspirated Ford 5.0L V-8. The GT musters up a solid 480 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. Though, that jumps to 418 pound-feet with the active valve exhaust offered as part of the Performance Pack option. The Dark Horse boosts the pony count to 500, and with the active exhaust standard, makes 418 pound-feet of torque.
Both models feature cast aluminum blocks and heads with plasma transfer wire arc cylinder liners to increase durability and reduce friction. The Dark Horse adds forged connecting rods.
Driving Impressions: 2024 Mustang EcoBoost
I had several opportunities to test the mettle of the new Mustang EcoBoost, starting out on a drift circuit and autocross setup at Irwindale Speedway in the Los Angeles suburbs.
I started out on the Drift Circuit, which allowed me to experience the optional new drift brake Ford developed with the help for Formula Drift king Vaughn Gittin Jr. It’s basically a multifunction version of an emergency handbrake located between the driver’s seat and the center console.
To use it, I launched down the first straight and, as I began a sharp right turn, I gave it a yank. The brake locked up the rear wheels, putting the Mustang into a spin. The trick is to know when to release the brake to enter the next straight. It takes a few laps to get the feel down, but once I did, it became ever more natural.
I followed up with a few laps on an autocross circuit meant to demonstrate the coupe’s acceleration and handling — no drift braking allowed. The gen-4 engine revs more smoothly than the older package and, with the stiffened body and improved steering, it was a joy to flog around the track. Though, I’d have loved having a 2023 Mustang to compare it with.
Driving Impressions: 2024 Mustang GT
I’d also have loved taking the 2024 Mustang GT out on the Irwindale circuit. Although, Ford compensated by letting me spend a full day wandering around the Angeles Crest Highway.
As with the EcoBoost package, the updated V-8 appeared to rev a little more freely, readily responding to the slightest movement of my right foot. I was particularly impressed by the six-speed manual, which was quicker to shift than I recall with the outgoing Mustang.
Unfortunately, I spent only a little bit of time trading off for a GT with the 10-speed automatic. While there’s joy to be had rowing your own gears, it’s hard to sniff at this gearbox.
Shifts came at precisely the right time and were generally imperceptible unless the car was put in Sport or Track modes. Then, the powertrain control system responded with crisper and notably faster shifting.
Mustang GT Suspension
The suspension on the 2024 Ford Mustang GT is largely carryover, but engineers have done enough tuning and recalibration to have a notable impact. Driving the sharp turns of the Angeles Crest Highway was sheer joy, especially with the optional MagneRide rear dampers that come with the Performance Pack.
They use a fluid that responds to electromagnets tucked into the rear shocks. It can respond to driver input or road conditions in the time it takes to travel barely more than an inch at 60 mph. On rough pavement, they smooth out the bumps. During hard driving, the MagneRide system keeps the car glued to the pavement.
That said, this is no Porsche. While the GT’s body has been stiffened a bit, it’s still a classic American muscle car and you can feel that on broken pavement or during especially hard cornering.
Along with those twin digital displays, Ford has loaded up the 2024 Mustang with technology aimed to draw in a new and younger generation of tech-savvy buyers. The Sync4 infotainment system is more intuitive — and quicker to operate. Though, I’d still have preferred hard controls for the climate control system. The automaker turned to “unreal gaming technology” to drive a display as sharp and life-like as any OLED home TV.
There are the requisite USB ports, as well as both CarPlay and Android Auto as standard on all versions of the 2024 Ford Mustang. And, the pony car comes with both Amazon Alexa and the Ford Streaming technology. A wireless smartphone charger is optional.
In terms of safety, all models come standard with a fair range of advanced driver assistance systems, such as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and active cruise control. There are a number of options, as well. The Performance Pack even incorporates an active pothole mitigation system to soften impacts.
Ford’s Power-Up over-the-air updates will allow the automaker to revise existing software remotely and even add new features without requiring a dealer service call.
2024 Ford Mustang Pricing & Fuel Economy
You’ll have a variety of different options to choose from if you opt for the 2024 Ford Mustang. Initially, there will be three different versions, with the EcoBoost starting at $30,920 for the coupe. The GT starts at $41,495. And the new Dark Horse will carry an MSRP of $57,970. Build and price your own at Ford.com.
You’ll have to cough up a bit more for the Mustang Convertible models, and gearheads will likely give serious consideration to the Performance Pack. “Customizability” has always been a watchword for Ford and there’ll be plenty of other options available directly from the automaker, as well as on the aftermarket.
Hennessey Performance, for one, has already announced plans for an upgraded version of the Mustang Dark Horse which will use, among other things, a supercharger to eke out a full 850 horsepower.
As for fuel economy, Ford has yet to release full EPA specs. But it did note that both versions of the EcoBoost model will deliver 26 mpg combined. That’s a 5% improvement for the six-speed stick and 12% for the 10-speed automatic.
2024 Ford Mustang Review: Wrap-Up
The sports car market is undergoing some massive changes. The number of options has been shrinking steadily, and that’s especially true in the muscle car realm where the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Charger and Challenger models are set to vanish.
On the other hand, the upcoming arrival of an all-electric Dodge Charger Daytona suggests the transformation is just getting underway.
Ford is intent on retaining its status as king-of-the-hill and, at least for now, there’s little reason to doubt it will hold onto that title with the seventh-generation Mustang. It’s more stylish and sporty on the surface and a lot more fun to drive. It also offers the sort of tech upgrades that could bring in an entirely new generation of pony car buyers.