V-8-powered Mustang not going anywhere

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The V-8-powered Ford Mustang won’t be heading to the glue factory anytime soon, Ford CEO Jim Farley declared in a recently published interview with Motor1.

The rival Chevrolet Camaro goes on hiatus after the 2024 model year, while the current Dodge Challenger is set to be replaced with a new model without a V-8 option. The last examples of both models were built near the end of 2023. That hasn’t phased Ford, though.

“A lot of our competitors have left,” Farley said, noting that Chevy and Dodge have built their muscle cars off and on over the years while Ford has kept the Mustang in continuous production. “And if we’re the only one on the planet making a V-8 affordable sports car for everyone in the world, so be it.”

2024 Ford Mustang GT California Special

2024 Ford Mustang GT California Special

The traditional V-8-powered Mustang can stick around in part because of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover, which helps offset the emissions of internal-combustion models, according to Farley.

“Mach-E lets us sell ICE vehicles for a long time to come,” he said.

Another factor is racing. Coinciding with the launch of the redesigned 2024 Mustang, Ford launched a whole fleet of racing versions, including a Mustang-branded NASCAR racer and NHRA drag racer, a Mustang for the Australian Supercar Series, and Mustang GT3 and GT4 variants for international sports car racing. All have V-8s, so keeping one in the Mustang road car helps make these various racing efforts more relevant.

2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse NASCAR Cup Series race car

2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse NASCAR Cup Series race car

“What other car in the world races on six continents on any given weekend? And that’s because we have a V-8 engine,” Farley said. Ford also plans to use the racing programs to aid development of future road cars, he claims.

Unmentioned by Farley, but worth noting as well, is that Mustang sales are healthy. The Mustang outsold the Challenger and Camaro in 2023. Sales were up 2.2% over the previous year with 48,605 car sold, and the gasoline Mustang once again outsold its electric Mach-E counterpart.