The Chevrolet Camaro is dying, the Dodge Challenger and Charger are on the way out, and Pontiac is long gone.

    But Ford says it’s confident the Mustang has plenty of life left in it, and is expecting to benefit from the death of its cross-town rivals in its segment.

    “This isn’t our first time that Camaro and Challenger haven’t been with us,” Ford Mustang brand manager Jim Owens told Australian media.

    “There’s been times where they’ve not been here in the segment, and we’ve been there continuously.”

    Prior to its modern rebirth in 2010, the Chevrolet Camaro had been off sale since 2002. Likewise the Dodge Challenger, which was revived in 2008 after being discontinued in 1983.

    “First in, last out. We’ll still be there,” Mr Owens said.

    Ford is expecting some of the people looking at a Camaro or Challenger to consider the new Mustang, although the brand is well aware that old brand allegiances die hard.

    “For the people who have a bowtie tattooed on their body, or a Challenger Hellcat, Redeye, Demon… we probably won’t bring those people in,” Mr Owens explained.

    “For those who are still interested in an internal-combustion engine version of the sports car and don’t have their loyalties, we really believe we have not only the design, but the powertrain and the suspension, and that technology [to win them over].”

    Emissions standards are making it harder for carmakers selling cars with thirsty V8 engines in large quantities. Ford says it’s banking on its electric cars, including the Mustang Mach E SUV, to offset the emissions from the Mustang for now.

    “At least here in the US, we are meeting the requirements through our [sales] mix,” Mr Owens explained.

    “Part of the reason why we were allowed to do two new internal combustion engines is the success of the [F-150] Lightning and the success of the Mustang Mach E. Those are zero-emission vehicles that go out.

    “Regulations are going to be what regulations are, and we are going to continue to comply. We right now do it through fleet balancing, we produce a certain number to be compliant.”

    MORE: Everything Ford Mustang

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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